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Font install files - Note: Kindle 2 only!

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

The latest update of the Kindle software does not allow using these font install files. If you update, you will no longer be able to use the fonts!
I will convert the fonts once the developers of the "font hack" come up with a version that works with the new firmware.

Please be patient. It's going to take some time for me to go through the conversion process for three different platforms. I'll do my best.



This folder (not listed in the navigation bar of this site) contains demonstration font install files for use only by Amazon for the purpose of evaluating different fonts on the Amazon Kindle 2 reading device. This in no way implies a license for any use of the fonts. The sole purpose of these files is for the evaluation of the Amazon Kindle 2 display.

These files have been tested with versions 2.0.2 and 2.0.3 of the Kindle 2 firmware.
If you'd like to contact me, send email to ted at soleburymountain (dot com, of course).

Note: this is NOT COMPATIBLE with the Kindle DX

See this page for DX fonts


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Thank you for your contributions.

Updates

Updated 4/25/2009: added "large print" style - enlarged font. This is specifically intended for those with vision issues where extra-large, bold text is required.
Update 2, 4/25/2009: added slightly enlarged font. By request, I created a version of the K2 font that was a little taller, with a less bold appearance.
Update 3, 4/27/2009: added the Georgia font. This is a fine serif font, bolded just enough to ensure definition on the K2 screen. It is a larger font, approximately one size larger than the standard fonts which makes the home screen text larger.
Update 4, 4/29/2009: added Helvetica and variants. Helvetica2 - scaled a taller and slightly wider. HelveticaL - scaled up 125%. Quite large. 
Update 5/3/2009: removed Georgia. Superseded by Georgia2. Modified monotype font. All subsequent binaries will include bolded monotype which affects almost none of the displayed text.
Update 5/4/2009: Added full screen grabs (shift-alt-G) of Georgia, Helvetica, Helvetica2, Helvetica Large, Helvetica Bold Large, CMod Bold, CMod Narrow, CMod Large, CMod Tall fonts, Arial Round Narrow and Droid,  in sizes 1, 2 and 3. Please remember - screen grabs displayed on your LCD monitor will look very different than they do on your Kindle screen.
 
Update 5/4/2009: Added a PDF file with screen grabs of all the fonts in sizes 1, 2 and 3.
Update 5/4/2009: New fonts! Thanks to Paulette who provided me with several new font files to tweak and a donation towards the purchase of a font editor! We have: Diavalo, Verdana, Lucida and Myriad. I haven't had the opportunity to fully describe them yet. 
Added a tweaked Myriad Tall. Taller, slightly wider, less bold.
Update: 7/9/2009: New font: By special request, I've implemented a HUGE version of Helvetica for the visually impaired. This will be ported to the DX where it will be considerably more useful since it's so large that very little text shows on screen.


Review the feedback from font beta-testers

Join the beta-testers' forum

Take / Review the Font Popularity Poll



USB Connection Note: when connecting the Kindle to your computer via USB, some people have experienced file corruption when using a USB hub. They suggest connecting the Kindle directly to the USB port on your computer.

Individual font files are installed by placing a single of the the update_xxx.bin file into the top level directory of the Kindle 2 through a USB connection. The Kindle 2 is then to be updated to install the new fonts. This is done as follows:
  1. From the "home" screen, press "menu"
  2. Select "settings"
  3. Press "menu"
  4. Select "Update Your Kindle"

The Kindle will go through the installation procedure and restart itself. Don't use the slider or the menu 'restart option' to do this. This causes an infinite reboot cycle. Just let the Kindle do its thing when you go through the update process. I've done this hundreds of times now without a single glitch.

If you get stuck in this cycle, don't panic (I did when it happened to me!) It's reversible.

Read this discussion on KindleBoards.

Then, read this discussion of "recovery mode" on Blog Kindle.

When it's all done, the new font will supersede the originally installed reading  font.

I have only modified the default serif fonts. The other fonts should remain the standard Kindle 2 fonts.

After uninstalling: you may delete the extra files that were installed in the top level directory.

The files are as follows:

update_uninstall.bin: used to roll back to the original Kindle 2 fonts.
 
update_Droid_fonts_install.bin: installs the Unicode Droid fonts. The font has been modified to slightly increase the boldness of the default Droid font.
update_arialRndNrw_install.bin: installs a modified version of the Arial Round font. The font has been made bolder and narrower for a more dense text display. This may be too bold for many readers, but it shows the most dramatic improvement in the readability for low-light conditions.
update_centuryGothicB2_install.bin: Century Gothic - an old sans serif font. 
update_cmodNarrow_install.bin: installs a slightly bolded, narrower version of the native Kindle 2 fonts. This font is particularly useful. In side-by-side tests with two Kindle-2 readers, the narrow font in size 3 shows the same amount of text on the screen as the native font in size 2 but with greater clarity.
update_cmodBold_fonts_install.bin: This set of fonts are the native fonts where the plain font has been replaced by the bold font and the bold font has been made slightly bolder.
update_cmodLarge_fonts_install.bin: The original K2 font scaled to 125% of it's normal size. Allows even larger, bolder font scaling for those needing extra-large type, specifically those with vision issues, macular degeneration, cateracts, etc.
update_comicSans_install.bin: The standard Comic Sans font, tweaked for the Kindle display.
update_tall_fonts_install.bin: The K2 font scaled vertically by 115%, horizontally by 105%. Slightly bold, but thinned out a bit to be as thin as possible while retain good legibility at the smallest sizes. Some characters tweaked for greater clarity.
Georgia (removed) This is a bolded, taller version of the Georgia font. It is a more traditional serif font, bolded just enough to ensure high definition on the K2 display. Because it is a serif font, it is not as bold as many of the other replacement fonts. It is intended to provide more of a traditional book font.
update_georgia2_install.bin: This is identical to Georgia but raised up so that it doesn't sit on the underline. There appears to be a bug in the Kindle rendering code where it ignores the font metrics as to where the underline is supposed to be drawn. Currently the second most popular font.

update_helvetica_install.bin: Standard Helvetica font. This is the same font used by the Kindle for menus and other sans serif displays.
update_helvetica2_install.bin: Helvetica stretched vertically 110% and horizontally 105%. Currently the most popular font.
update_helveticaL_install.bin: Helvetica2 expanded 125%. May be good for those with visual impariment who require "large print" books.
update_helveticaBL_install.bin: a bolder version of the large Helvetica font.
update_helveticaH2_install.bin: a huge version of Helvetica. 225% the size of the standard Helvetica2 font.
update_Lucida_demi_install.bin: Lucida-sans demibold. An attractive, sans-serif font. (Thanks to Paulette). See WikiPedia
update_MyriadMod_install.bin: Myriad Web is an older Adobe font that looks extremely similar to Helvetica. (Thanks to Paulette). See WikiPedia
update_MyriadTall_install.bin: A version of Myriad scaled 120% vertically, 110% wider. Also, it is slightly less bold than the original.
update_verdanaMod_install.bin: Verdana is one of the standard Microsoft fonts, again modeled after Helvetica but with smoother curves and more open loops. (Thanks to Paulette). See WikiPedia and Microsoft

 
The following samples were made using size 2 display.
 
 
 
Size 1 font comparisons. Unfortunately, backgrounds don't match very well on these as the lighting conditions varied. However, they still give a fairly accurate view of what one could expect using each of the fonts.
Below each photo is an image of the font as rendered in windows in the same point size to give you an idea of what the font can look like.
 

 
CMod Bold Screen Captures
Size 1    Size 2    Size 3
 
CMod Large Screen Captures
Size 1    Size 2    Size 3
 
CMod Tall Screen Captures
Size 1    Size 2    Size 3
 

Arial Round Narrow

 
Arial Round Narrow Screen Captures
Size 1    Size 2    Size 3

 Bold Narrow Native

 

 
CMod Narrow Screen Captures
Size 1    Size 2    Size 3
 Century Gothic
Size 1    Size 2    Size 3
 Comic Sans

 Droid

 
Droid Screen Captures
Size 1    Size 2    Size 3

 Georgia Bold

Note: this is size 1 in this font. Other samples are size 2.

 

Georgia full screen captures

size 1    size 2    size3

 Helvetica

Helvetica Screen Captures
Size 1    Size 2    Size 3
 
Helvetica-2 Screen Captures
Size 1    Size 2    Size 3
 
Helvetica Large Screen Captures
Size 1    Size 2    Size 3
 
Helvetica Bold Large Screen Captures
Size 1    Size 2    Size 3
 
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