I want to be able to read research papers and if you have ever seen one they have two columns of text per page, does the Kindle format this is a user friendly way?

Can it display any article from the web in proper formatting if you want to read it later on your Kindle rather than on your PC?

  • "Any article from the web" seems very open and general. What Ereaders can do, whether kindle, kobo or others, is display documents written in some of a wide variety of formats such as EPUB, MOBI, PDF, TXT, DOC, HTML, ODT, DJVU ... You have to be somewhat more specific about the formats you wish to be able to read. And maybe you should be more precise as to what you would consider to be user friendly (having only one column?). Be also aware that the answer my differ with other Ereaders than the kindle, in pluses and minuses.
    – babou
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 16:52
  • Proper formatting being double column?
    – Anthon
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 18:48
  • Yes, I have discovered the reflow feature so I think that may be my answer.
    – Sourdough
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 9:56
  • Similar questions: (1) scientific pdf on kindle (2013), (2) academic pdf on kindle (2012), (3) multi-column pdf on ebook (2016)
    – willus
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 14:01

2 Answers 2


Hello and welcome to forum.

I am also mainly using kindle to read research papers. PDF files with two columns are running smoothly and fast on kindle (from the performance point of view). The problem is that, in 100% zoom level, the text is very small and somehow impossible to read. (If you want to simulate the real size of text on 100% zoom level in kindle, try to zoom out the PDF in your PC screen until it is approximately 6 inches.)

Possible solutions:

  • Don't forget you can make pinch and zoom to make text bigger. Zoom levels are predefined and you need to use your finder to navigate manually.

  • View the pdf in vertical(landscape) mode. Now the text is almost twice big and easy to read and navigate.

  • If you can view the full article in your browser, then you can use amazon extension, namely send to Chrome. Now you can read the text and have any deliberate zoom level. The only downside is Latex math formulas are not appearing sometimes.

  • Almost all academic papers are written in Latex format. You can convert the PDF to Latex then modify it to have better zoom level or even change the number of columns for kindle and then convert it back to PDF and finally send it to Kindle. For similar solutions and approaches, take a look here.

  • You can use wide range of other devices available with additional functionalities. I suggest to take a look at this great review.

  • If you can jailbreak the kindle, then you can use any sort of viewer.

Finally, if you want, send me an example and I can test it in my kindle.

  • This was really helpful, I'll explore the suggestions you made and if I need any more help then I'll ask you. Also, I'll explore other e-readers as you suggested. I mentioned Kindle as it's the most popular e-reader!
    – Sourdough
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 10:24
  • Ah yes, will do. I don't think I can upvote as I don't have enough reputation points but I'll accept the answer.
    – Sourdough
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 10:27

Actually you can have a try on this service I made recently. It will optimize the layout into a kindle readable format using k2pdfopt, with additional two column paper format support. Link: http://wooya.me/post/kindle-pdf-optimization-service/

  • What worries me is that you only warn not to send classified documents, on your service page, but do not state that you actually delete all the original materials and converted PDFs. Do you gather those, possible paid for and watermarked, PDFs?
    – Anthon
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 9:16
  • Actually I just delete them in place, no worries. I ask people do not send classified documents to me in order to avoid legal issue. It's just a protection of myself. @Anthon
    – Young Woo
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 3:27
  • To clarify, the pdf copies do exist in the gmail trash for several days and gmail will purge the trash automatically. If something goes wrong, I will replay the attachments for debugging usage. @Anthon
    – Young Woo
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 3:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.