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Kindle 2.5 software – closer look at PDF pan and zoom

May 10, 2010

While we all patiently wait for the 2.5 software update for our Kindle 2 and/or Kindle DX to arrive over the next few weeks (it will be rolled out in batches via Whispersync), let’s preview one of the major changes: PDF pan & zoom.


To zoom on a page:

  1. Press the Text key.
  2. Select the desired zoom percentage–actual size; 150%; 200%; 300%. (note: options on DX model–unsure whether Kindle 2 will be the same)
  3. Position the zoom box over the section you’d like to view using the 5-way controller–you’ll see scroll bars appear at the edges of the page that indicate what section you will be viewing.
  4. Press the 5-way controller.

Zoom options

Scroll bars (arrow points to right border)

To pan:

  1. Use the 5-way controller to move across the page and view different sections.
  2. To return to the previous view, press the Text key and select “fit-to-screen.”

To zoom on an image in a book, magazine or newspaper:

  1. Position the cursor over the picture using the 5-way controller. You’ll see a magnifying glass icon appear.
  2. Press the 5-way to zoom the image.
  3. Press the 5-way to return to your content.

Note: The screen can be rotated into landscape mode for wider margins.

“Actual size” represents 100%–since “fit-to-screen” on a Kindle 2 is roughly 65%, this zoom option would essentially be 154% of the default view (if these zoom options are the same for both Kindle models).

Video of the process

A Japanese Kindle owner has put together a nicely-produced video of the zoom process and posted on youtube:

I will wait to pass judgment on how manageable these new options make reading native PDF’s on the Kindle 2 after I have actually tried using them to read an entire pdf. For example, it is unclear what happens when one presses the “Next Page” button while in zoom mode.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2010 6:21 pm

    Next page takes you back to the previous zoom level, then you have to press it again to actually get to the next page, then zoom in again. Rinse and repeat.

    Basically, a fail for most purposes. Why am I not shocked?

  2. July 26, 2010 8:12 pm

    What it really needs to do is just eliminate the margins of the PDFs and magnify the writing on one whole page to as big as it can. It is impossible to read columns and the zoom make too small of an area too big. We need the type to be bigger and not have an inch of blank space surrounding it.

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