Custom fonts on the Kindle

A recent update for the Kindle software introduced the ability to use any third-party font to read any ebook. This has made the process of testing text typefaces a lot easier. Before this update, testing on Kindle meant embedding the fonts on ebooks using Calibre and transferring them to my Kindle Paperwhite. This would be fine, but doing so for every minor font version soon filled my device with dozens of the same ebooks that I would never actually read. Comparing different font versions was also practically impossible, as reading positions are not synchronised between different files.

Selecting a custom font on a Kindle Paperwhite
The font selection screen during the development of Kiperman.

After updating my Kindle, I can now export my test fonts with unique file names (sequential numbers, for example) and use them to actually read books I’m interested in. I can also compare different versions without leaving the page.

If you are not a type designer and just want some variety, the good news is you don’t need to pay extra to use Harbor Type fonts on your Kindle. Simply transfer the files you already purchased to your device via USB, select the typeface in the font settings and start reading. Just make sure to update your Kindle to at least version 5.9.6. You can find all updates and instructions for your Kindle device at Amazon’s website.

Using Kiperman to read on a Kindle Paperwhite.
Using Kiperman to read on a Kindle Paperwhite.

Please bear in mind the standard desktop license does not allow you to distribute the fonts with your ebooks. You will need an ebook license for that. Using the fonts on your own devices will be fine.