My kindle3 will arrive tomorrow, and I have plenty of PDF files that I want to read on it.

I would like to convert them to txt so I can adjust the font size.

Is there any convenient way to do that?

PS: if there isn't, I shall write one by myself.

7 Answers 7


Calibre can convert PDF to txt, or better yet, the .mobi reflowable/resizable format supported by the Kindle. It's great open source software for ebook management, which you might want to have installed anyway, once you own a Kindle.

AbiWord is an open source word processor that can import PDF and save it as .txt (or .html or a variety of other Word Processor formats).

As you probably know, Amazon has its own conversion service.

I can think of quite a few additional options, but they would depend on your operating system.

  • 1
    +1: I have a kindle and I use Calibre for that sort of thing.
    – hotei
    Sep 16, 2010 at 4:48
  • AbiWord 2.8.6 did not import my PDF.
    – Michael S.
    Jan 16, 2012 at 11:48

OK, here is an alternative hacky way to do it, without installing anything on your computer (and just for fun).

If you have a gmail address, send the pdfs to your gmail address, then (using the gmail web interface) do a 'view as html'. (I do this sometimes to extract the images).

  • 1
    smart & geeky! +1!
    – studiohack
    Oct 12, 2010 at 3:20
  • love methods like this. works arounds ftw
    – albert
    Nov 8, 2013 at 0:40

"pdftotext" (from Xpdf).



OpenOffice can also open PDF files.

pdftotext (as others have said) will work. You'll lose a bunch of formatting though.


Ghostscript contains a batch ps2ascii.

It converts ps- or pdf-files to text files.

  • This does not work well at all for me. It produces a binary where no text is readable.
    – Michael S.
    Jun 13, 2012 at 13:45

Google docs does a pretty good job, just make sure to check the OCR button when your uploading the pdf.


If you mail the file to your username@free.kindle.com address, you can put "Convert" as the subject and Amazon will convert it for you.

Source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630 (the last section)

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