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How to Rotate the Kindle Screen

On the Kindle, I stumbled upon a map that looks much better in landscape mode. Here's how I rotated the Kindle screen along with a few handy tips.

Steps to Rotate the Kindle Screen

1. Open the book or document that you would like to rotate.

2. Go to the settings panel by pressing on the top edge of the screen.

3. Tap on the 'Aa' option in the menu.

4. Select the 'Layout' tab.

5. Under 'Orientation', select either the portrait or landscape icon. This corresponds to the vertical or horizontal layout.

6. The screen will change right away, there is no save button.

7. Click anywhere in the background to go back to the book.

This is how the map looks like on landscape mode.

Kindle on landscape. In Around the World in 80 days, this is the route taken by Phileas Fogg and company, departing from London. Except there's an error. 3 cities in the map weren't part of the actual itinerary. Can you identify them?

Let's call this Exhibit A, and the first clue: They never left the Northern Hemisphere.

The same map on portrait mode.

Tips to consider when rotating the Kindle screen

Not all books have this feature.

Some books don't have this orientation option. You might see something like this instead:

We do not know of any workarounds as of now. But if you find one, please let us know.

Locked by default.

The Kindle screen's layout is always locked. Unlike that of a tablet or phone, it doesn't automatically switch orientation based on how you hold it. So you can move the Kindle around without worrying that the screen will turn sideways:

Kindle lying on its side.

It's quite useful if you like to read lying down. But it also means you can't quickly alternate between layouts.

There is no setting to make it automatically rotate like tablets and phones do.

Setting is global across all books and documents

The Kindle will use the same orientation across all books. So if you switched to right side up for a particular a book, and then you open another book, that book will also display in landscape mode. At least until you switch the screen back to portrait mode.

It would have been ideal if you can save this setting per book. But that feature isn't available yet. I tried to ask Amazon support about this, but have not yet received a response. Amazon recommends sending feedback to: kindle-feedback@amazon.com

UPDATE 16 JAN 2021: I tried this again, but I'm still getting a message saying that inbox isn't monitored. I will update this post once we get more information.

Kindle on landscape. And another clue for Exhibit A: They crossed the Suez canal towards Bombay.

Some books and documents look much better in landscape

Some books are hard to read in a portrait or vertical orientation. Specially those with lots of pictures, tables and charts. The landscape mode can help both in enlarging the pictures and moving across different sections of the page.

The orientation doesn't affect the font size.

Either landscape or portrait won't change the font size for regular text. But for text that was presented as a picture, the landscape mode usually magnifies the texts by about 30%. This is a significant enlargement and could mean the difference between small text images being readable or not.

You can combine this orientation setting with other display settings to form a theme.

These include the font, font size, text alignment (whether justified or left-aligned), margins (space on the left and right sides of the screen), and line spacing (spaces between lines of text).

Using themes will save time in applying multiple display settings quickly. Specially if you switch between various books often.

Under 'Manage Themes', clicking on 'Edit' allows you to rename the theme. To update the settings comprising that theme, you need to make the changes first to whatever theme you are on. And then when you Save, it will ask you if you want to overwrite a particular theme or save a new one.

Some Kindle cases need a specific layout

There are cases that transform into a stand like that of tablet cases. They can keep the Kindle upright on top of any solid surface. And depending on the configuration of the case, whether it's vertical or horizontal, you'd need to match the layout for the Kindle screen.

Home screen stays in portrait mode

Regardless of what layout you choose for reading, the home screen will always be in portrait mode. This could be a bit bothersome if you need to switch between books often.

Holding the Kindle with one hand

The default Portrait mode is the most natural way to hold the Kindle. Landscape mode shifts the center of gravity slightly away from your hands, which means your fingers would need to work a little bit more. This is not a big deal given how light the Kindle is. And every so often you can always hold with both hands to give your right hand a rest.

Kindle on landscape. Last clue for Exhibit A: Upon reaching the United States, they landed in California's largest city at that time.

Rotating the Kindle app in your phone or tablet

The Kindle app will automatically follow the orientation of your phone or tablet.

To lock the app from rotating, press the padlock icon on the lower right of the screen. If you don't see the padlock icon, just tap once and it should appear. Or you can also go to the 'Aa' menu and find the 'Orientation Lock' option near the bottom.

However, some devices such as the iPad don't have this option (last checked: Kindle for iPad version 6.37). In this case, you would need to lock the rotation of the device itself by dragging down from the upper right side corner. The Kindle app will follow.

Like the Kindle device, the Kindle app also has customizable reading display options under the 'Aa' menu. Including margins, line spacing, and text alignment. If you are on landscape mode, you will also see an option to display two columns if you wish.

That's how we handle rotation in the Kindle eReader and Kindle app. Do you have a Kindle or eReader question you need investigated? Please don't hesitate to drop us a line.

Finally, here's the correct map of the route in Around the World in 80 Days:

Answers to clues:
i. Bali is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator.
ii. If they crossed the Suez Canal, they wouldn't have passed Abu Dhabi.
iii. Largest city in California at that time was San Francisco not L.A.

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