I secretly cringe every time hear how successful ebook readers are becoming. I myself, am a man of my own stubbornness, of tradition — and most importantly — of paper. However, I cannot deny that the Kindle is one of the most convenient and efficient tools ushering in this new age of eBooks and digitally-read media. The device offers a viable solution for anyone who wants to pack thousands of free and comparatively cheap publications into a single frame weighing less than 6 ounces. However, what happens when you decide you’d rather view your Kindle files as PDFs on your computer, or more likely, on another device that doesn’t support native eBook formats like AZW or MOBI? Luckily, there are plenty of online and offline tools that will help directly convert files purchased through Amazon to a format easily viewable on any number of PDF-supported devices.
Here is our guide on how to convert Kindle files to PDF. They may not look as polished as they did in their native form, but at least you can view them on more devices than solely your Kindle. While you’re at it, check out our picks for the best free PDF readers for viewing the files on your desktop and our top five reasons to break the DRM on your eBooks if you find yourself constantly struggling with shackling Amazon restrictions.
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, AZW, and TXT among others, 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, navigate to the EPUB Converter homepage and click the Kindle to PDF Converter link beneath the Kindle Converter section on the left-hand side of the page.
Step 2: Upload and convert the Kindle file
Assuming you have the file(s) in question housed on your machine, click the blue Browse button located below the PDF information and above the conversion instructions. Afterward, locate the Kindle file you wish to convert — most likely formatted in Amazon’s proprietary file type AZW or MOBI— and click the gray Open button located in the bottom-right corner of the pop-up window. EPUB Converter allows for simultaneous uploading and converting, so feel free to add as many files you’d like. Click the green Start Now! button next to the right of the Browse button when finished.
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 the Save link as option (or a similarly titled one) to download the file to your desired save location. Alternatively, left-click or single-click the link to view the PDF in your browser window. EPUB Converter will host the file on its server for two hours, providing plenty of time to download the your new PDF. Refresh the page and repeat the process as necessary.
Convert using Calibre (Windows/iOS/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 enrobed with an attractive interface that is both resourceful and self-explanatory. The software 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 perform a bit buggy, but our hands-on experience with software 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 blue Download button located on the right-hand side of the page. Afterward, 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 the Add books button located in the upper-right corner 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 gray Open button the bottom-right corner of the pop-up window. Alternatively, drag and the drop the files you wish to convert into the application window. Like EPUB Converter, Calibre offers bulk uploading and direct conversion with the program, so feel free to add more than one file at a time.
Step 3: Convert the Kindle file
Highlight the files you wish to convert and click the Convert books button located on the left-hand side of the top navigational bar. A pop-up window will appear housing various options for altering the book cover, title, author, tags, and other meta data components, as well as slew of options for changing the page design and structure of the resulting PDF. Select PDF from the drop-down menu located to the right of Output format in the upper-right corner of the window and perform any other customized tweaks to the file before clicking the gray OK button in the bottom-right corner of the window.
Step 4: Download the PDF
Once the conversion is complete, a potentially lengthy process depending on the file size, select the eBook once more and right-click or CTRL-click the blue PDF link located on the right-hand side of the window next Formats. 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 OS’s default PDF viewer. Repeat the process as necessary.
What do you think of our handy guide on how to convert Kindle files to PDF? Do you have a better solution worth offering up? Let us know in the comments below.