(Pocket-lint) – The Kindle Paperwhite is great for just zoning out and getting lost in your favourite fiction, scrolling endlessly through each page and devouring a book at a time. But if you have a bit of time, there are a bunch of lesser known features worth getting to grips with.
In the video below – and the written tips beneath – we’ll show you a few of our favourite tips and tricks to try on the new Kindle Paperwhite. It’s worth noting, the software is very similar on most Kindle models, so while not everything works on every model, a lot of it will. So even if you don’t have a new Paperwhite, there’s still stuff here for you to try.
1 – Schedule Warm light
We had to start with this one, purely because it’s the big new feature on the latest Kindle Paperwhite. The warm adjustment is great, but for many it’s likely a feature you’d rather came on just in the evening when you’re reading before bed. And there are two ways to schedule it to come on.
You can either drop down the settings shade by tapping or swiping down near the top of the page, then tapping the down arrow and then selecting ‘Schedule’ above the Warmth slider. Or you can tap the ‘All Settings’ cog, then select ‘Device Options’ and then ‘Warmth Schedule’.
To enable the feature, toggle the switch on and either choose ‘automatic’ for it to switch on and off with the sunset. Or choose a manual time for it to be activated. Now adjust the Warmth grade at the bottom of the page to customise how warm you want it to be.
2 – Use your book cover as a lock screen
One feature recently added to most Kindle’s software is the ability to use the cover art of the book you’re reading as the lock screen graphic. Simply go to ‘All Settings’ then ‘Device Options’ and now toggle on the switch at the top next to ‘Display Cover’.
3 – Page turning animations
By default when you’re reading, when you tap or swipe to go to the next page it simply switches quickly without any sort of animation. However, you can enable one if you want to. Open the book you’re reading and then tap near the top to bring up the toolbar. Tap the ‘Aa’ icon, and select ‘more’ in the popup window that appears.
If you scroll down this list by swiping you’ll see an option that says ‘Page Turn Animation’. Toggle this on and now every time you turn a page, you’ll see more of a transition between pages.
4 – Show a clock while reading
Another feature that isn’t on by default is having the lock constantly on display at the top of the page. If you’re often one to get lost in your book and lose all track of time you might find it useful to switch it on. Open the popup menu again by tapping that ‘Aa’ icon in the toolbar and select ‘More’. Now toggle on the option near the top that says ‘show clock while reading’.
5 – Change your font size and style
Arguably one of the most important things to get to grips with on the Kindle is adjusting the font style, size and layout, to make it as easy as possible for you to read. Open up that same toolbar as the previous two tips and tap ‘Font’.
The Font Family option at the top lets you choose the font style, with 9 to choose from including popular fonts like Helvetica, Futura and Bookerly. Once you’ve selected the one you want you can adjust the weight by tapping plus next to the bold slider, and underneath that you can adjust the size.
If you’re struggling to read because the lines are too close together, you can change the spacing by tapping ‘Layout’ and now choose one of the spacing options with bigger gaps between the lines. You can also change the size of the margins if you don’t want text spreading widely across the page.
6 – Read in landscape
One interesting option you might find useful is reading in landscape mode. In that same Layout menu as the previous tip, tap the wider option under ‘Orientation’ and now the text will rotate 90 degrees, and you’ll be able to read horizontally, in landscape.
7 – Show word meanings above long or difficult words
Kindle has a feature called Word Wise, which automatically shows meanings of words above any that may be difficult, or long. To enable it, bring up that familiar toolbar at the top, tap ‘Aa’ and then ‘More’ in the popup window. Scroll until you see ‘Word Wise’ and select it. Toggle it on and wait for the data to download, and you’ll now see descriptions appear above long words.
You’ll now also see ‘Word Wise’ in the bottom corner. Tap it and you’ll see a slider that lets you adjust the number of descriptions you see. There’s also an option that lets you ‘hide’ them all whenever you like.
8 – Build your vocabulary
When you’re reading any book you can long press on a word that you don’t know and a dictionary definition appears in a window above it. Now, whenever you do this, it adds this word to something Kindle calls ‘Vocabular Builder’.
To find this list when you’re reading, just tap near the top of the page, then tap the three dots in the corner and select ‘Vocabulary Builder’ and you’ll see all the words you’ve learned, or are learning.
Tap on any word to see a dictionary definition.. Tap ‘usage’ to see where that word appeared, and in in which book. If you want to you can easily delete the word from the list, or when you’re comfortable you’re familiar with a word, tap ‘mastered’ and the word is moved to a ‘mastered’ list.
9 – Quick Archive
If you’re finding that your Kindle’s storage is getting close to full, there’s a quick archive feature that lets you swiftly remove any books or content you’ve not read recently. Go to ‘All Settings’, then ‘Device Options’ and ‘Advanced Options’.
Now choose ‘Storage management’ and select ‘Quick Archive’. Here you’ll find four options, with the ability to remove anything you haven’t opened in 1, 3 or 6 months as well as anything that’s been unread for more than a year.
10 – Browse the web
Funnily enough, there’s an experimental web browser built into the Kindle software. In your home screen tap the three dots in the corner, and now select ‘Web Browser’. It’ll load – unsurprisingly – a browser, and you can browse your favourite site. Understandably images are a bit rough, but for text heavy pages it’s fine.
So there you go – 10 handy tips and tricks to try on your Kindle.
Writing by Cam Bunton.