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How to convert a Kindle book to PDF

By Simon Hill

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The Kindleis one of the most convenient and efficient tools ushering in this new age of ebooks. It allows anyone to pack thousands of free and comparatively cheap publications into a single frame weighing less than 5 ounces. But what happens when you decide you’d rather view your precious Kindle files as PDFs on your computer, or more likely, on another device that doesn’t support native ebook formats such asAZW or MOBI?

Luckily, there are plenty of tools to help you quicklyconvert files purchased through Amazon to a format that’sviewable on any number of PDF-supported devices. Below are two such pieces of software, along with detailed instructions on how to convert a Kindle book to PDF.

Are you a Kindle user? Read our picks for the best free Kindle books. If you’re new to Kindle, we recommend you take a look at how to share books on a Kindle, how to remove books from a Kindle, and how to get EPUB books on your Kindle.

Download the AZW files first

Both of these software options require your Kindle books to be in AZW format rather than the new KFX format that Kindles are using now. You can get the AZW file by logging into your Amazon account on your computer or laptop. Hover where it says Your Account and select Manage Your Content and Devices. Where it says Show at the top left, choose Books and then tap the three dots at the left next to the title or titles you want and choose Download & transfer via USB. You’ll be prompted to choose one of your Kindle devices and the AZW file will download onto your computer.

Convert using EPUB Converter — web-based

As the name implies, EPUB Converter is a free online utility used to convert ebook files to and from their native format. The tool currently includes options for converting electronic publications, aka EPUBs, to PDF, MOBI, and AZW, among other formats, as well as one for directly converting Kindle files to PDF. It’s speedy, simple, and lacks a heavy desktop footprint. How’s that for sustainable?

Step 1: Access EPUB Converter

Launch your favorite browser, then navigate to EPUB Converter’sKindle to PDF Converter.

Step 2: Upload and convert yourKindle file

Assuming you have the file(s) in question housed on your machine, click the yellowAdd Filebutton located below the PDF information and above the conversion instructions. Next, locate the Kindle file you wish to convert — most likely formatted in Amazon’s proprietary file type, AZW or MOBI— and click the gray Openbutton located in the bottom-right corner of the pop-up window. EPUB Converter also allows for simultaneous uploading and converting, so feel free to add as many files you’d like. When finished, click the yellowStart Uploadbutton to the right of thefile you just added.

Step 3: Download the PDF

Once the conversion is complete — a potentially lengthy process depending on the file size — right-click or CTRL-click the resulting PDF file and select theSave link as option to savethe file to your desired location. Alternatively, left-click or single-click the link to prompt the download, or to viewthe PDF in your browser. EPUB Converter will host the file on its server for two hours, providing you with plenty of time to download your new PDF. You canrepeat the process as many times as necessary by clicking theAdd Filebutton housed below your newlyconverted file.

Convert using Calibre — Windows, MacOS, and Linux

It’s not surprising that Calibre has become the one-stop solution for most people looking for free Kindle-to-PDF conversion. The ebook manager is relatively lightweight, yet teeming with noteworthy features and sporting an attractive interface that is both resourceful and self-explanatory. The software also handles a grandiose assortment of input formats, from MOBI and HTML to PRC and AZW, and is capable of functioning with or without a persistent or active network connection. The application has been known to create new folder directories, reorganize ebook files, and generally be a bit buggy, but our hands-on experience produced no such instances. Plus, it’s loaded with intuitive options for customizing the looks and aesthetics of the resulting PDF.

Step 1: Download, install, and launch Calibre

Launch your favorite browser, navigate to the Calibre homepage,and click the blueDownloadbutton located on the right-hand side of the page. Next, select the appropriate operating system and follow the on-screen installation instructions once downloaded. Launch the program when finished.


Step 2: Add the Kindle file

Assuming you have the file(s) in question housed on your machine,click theAdd booksbutton located in the upper-leftcorner of the application window,locate the Kindle file you wish to convert — most likely formatted in Amazon’s proprietary file type, AZW or MOBI —and click the grayOpenbutton the bottom-right corner of the pop-up window. Alternatively, drag and then drop the files you wish to convert into the application window. Calibre offers bulk uploading and direct conversion with the program, so feel free to add more than one file at a time.

Calibre Kindle Fire

Step 3: Convert the Kindle file

Highlight the files you wish to convert and click theConvert booksbutton located on the left-hand side of the navigational bar. A pop-up window will appear housing various options for altering the book cover, title, author, tags, and other metadata components, as well as a slew of options for changing the page design and structure of the resulting PDF. SelectPDFfrom the drop-down menu located to the right ofOutput format, and perform any other customized tweaks to the file before clicking the grayOKbutton in the bottom-right corner of the window.

Calibre PDF Conversion Complete

Step 4: Download the PDF

Once the conversion is complete — a potentially lengthy process depending on the file size — select the ebook once more andright-click or CTRL-click the bluePDFlink besideFormats. Select the second option from the resulting drop-down menu,Save the PDF format to disk, and chose your desired save location. Alternatively,left-click or single-click the same link to view the PDF using your operating system’sdefault PDF viewer. Repeat the process as necessary.

Calibre PDF Download

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