Kindle Previewer

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Kindle Previewer is a proprietary tool provided by Amazon to be used to preview the AZW format (in particular Mobi and KF8 formats). It also has the capability to convert the EPUB and HTML files into AZW format using the KindleGen that is packaged along with that. As of version three it can show documents for KFX format.


[edit] Overview

Kindle Previewer is a tool that emulates how books display on Kindle devices and applications. Kindle Previewer makes it easy to preview the layout of a book and make sure its text displays properly for any orientation or font size. This tool is recommended for publishers, eBook conversion companies, and individual authors in combination with KindleGen to produce the highest quality Kindle books.

Highlights of Kindle Previewer functionality
  • Ability to preview your content across Kindle devices and apps
  • Support for previewing Kindle Text Pop Ups and Kindle Panel Views
  • Accurate rendering of your content across Amazon Kindle devices and Kindle Reader apps
  • Faster previewing through features like Auto flip mode, Image flip mode
  • Auto updates for future enhancements

[edit] Available Platforms

Kindle Previewer is available on:

  • Kindle Previewer for Windows (2003, XP, Vista, 7)
  • Kindle Previewer for Mac OS 10.5 and above i386
  • As of ~early 2016, it cannot be run inside Wine on Linux - it opens, states some fatal error has occurred in a model popup dialog, and quits when the dialog is closed. Periodic retesting recommended. (Note: It's Java-based but the build depends on resources inside Windows executables.)

[edit] Previewer 3

Amazon Kindle Previewer 3 is software that takes books in ePub format and renders them with Enhanced Typesetting. It does this by converting the ePub file to KPF, which has the same content as KFX but in a different container.

[edit] Calibre plugin

The Calibre plugin is able to invoke the Previewer and reformat its output to produce KFX files suitable for sideloading. The plugin performs the following steps during conversion:

  1. Convert from the original eBook format to ePub.
  2. Correct some common ePub content issues that cause problems for the Previewer.
  3. Use the Amazon Kindle Previewer to convert from ePub to KPF.
  4. Repackage the KPF data into a KFX container.

New in Kindle Previewer 3.11 beta

  • You can now preview Indic language books on Kindle Previewer.
  • We have added support for previewing books in Word format (English only).
  • Includes better floating elements support in Enhanced Typesetting.

[edit] version 3.32

The major change is the introduction of a command line interface that can convert source files into KPF format. It also supports batch conversion of multiple files at once. Once a book is in KPF format it can be viewed with the Previewer GUI or uploaded to Amazon for publishing.

This provides a new possible workflow for publishers. It will be interesting to see if there are any differences in the resulting Kindle book if it is published using a Previewer generated KPF instead of a Master MOBI from KindleGen or a source format such as EPUB or MS Word.

KPF (Kindle Package Format) is a variant of KFX, the format that enables Enhanced Typesetting. Amazon's Kindle Create and Kindle Textbook Creator software have produced this format for some time. The KFX Output plugin for calibre is capable of converting KPF format into KFX that can be sideloaded to kindle apps and devices, a feature that Amazon does not currently provide.

[edit] Usage instructions

kindlepreviewer <input> <-command(s)> [-option(s)]

  • Input: Specify the input file name here when processing a single file, or the input folder when processing multiple files.
  • Command(s): Include at least one of the commands specified in this table:
    • -convert : Create a KPF file in the specified output path or a Mobi file if the book doesn’t support Enhanced Typesetting. Use the Enhanced Typesetting-compatible KPF file to open the book in Kindle Previewer's graphical user interface.
    • -showpreview : Open the converted book in Kindle Previewer's graphical user interface. This will first convert the book, and then open it for preview.
    • -log : Use this option to generate only the log files for validation without generating a KPF or a Mobi file.
  • Option(s): Choose any of options specified in this table (optional):
    • -output <output path> : Path to the output folder. Use this option to specify a preferred path to store output file(s) instead of the default path (input folder).
    • -locale <locale-option> : Specify your preferred locale. Use this option to set the language for conversion log messages and the Kindle Previewer user interface. Supported locales:
      • en (English)
      • de (German)
      • fr (French)
      • it (Italian)
      • es (Spanish)
      • zh (Chinese)
      • ja (Japanese)
      • pt (Portuguese)
      • nl (Dutch)

[edit] Emulated Devices

Kindle Previewer can no longer be used to preview files for devices below. If these devices are selected it will convert the file to AZK which must be loaded onto the device itself for checking via iTunes.

[edit] Conversion

This tool can also be used to convert books to Kindle format. Just drag an ePub to the program. It contains a simplified interface to KindleGen. It can also converted files to AZK for iOS device checking. It can also be used for KFX using a Calibre extension.

[edit] For more information

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