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Having accumulated tons of Kindle notes throughout the years, I wanted an easy way to review them on printed paper. Here's what I found.

Kindle notes can be printed by exporting them through the Kindle eReader device or the Kindle app. Another way is to print directly from the Kindle notebook webpage. More customizations are possible by using the exported .csv file, such as filtering, fonts and page formats.

Printed notes and Exhibit A: a puzzle based on Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie. Clues are marked with {!}

In this article we'll talk about the common ways to print Kindle notes. Their limitations, and an alternative method that provides increased flexibility and formatting controls.

Print with the Kindle cloud reader

This is one of the easiest options available. It's fast and available across all platforms. However, it only works for notes and highlights on Kindle books, not on personal documents.

To begin, open your favorite browser and go to:
https://read.amazon.com/notebook

Select a book on the left side, which will make your notes appear. 

{!} 

To print, hit Ctrl + P to trigger the browser’s print function. Or you can also click on the Print option from the browser menu. 

The print dialog will open, and you can select common printing options. But there's not much customization you can do regarding the content format itself.

All your notes and highlights should appear on the page. If you recently added a note and it is still not appearing, try manually synchronizing the Kindle device. You can do this by tapping on the top menu, then Settings > Sync your Kindle.

With the Kindle cloud reader, you can also add notes and highlights directly without the need to open the Kindle device. You can also edit or delete them. But to star or un-star items, you would have to use the Kindle app on your mobile device or PC.

If you need to find a specific word within your notes or highlights, hit Ctrl+F and use the browser’s find tool. The search bar on the left only searches the book titles.

Export Kindle notes to .pdf and print

To Export notes, tap near the top of the Kindle eReader screen and click 'Go To'. Tap on the Notes tab and then the Export Notes option near the bottom.

Afterwards you will receive 2 files in your email inbox. One .pdf and one .csv file. The pdf file is well formatted, and ready for printing.

Here’s a sample pdf file.

You can open the pdf file in your computer and print as normal. 

Given that it's already a static file, it's not possible to change the content format anymore. But you can still change basic printing options from your computer. Such as portrait or landscape mode, black or white, margins and so on. 

Both this pdf file and the output from the Cloud Reader will combine notes and highlights together. And for now, there isn’t an automatic way to print them separately.

Notes vs. highlights

In most cases, when we refer to “Kindle Notes”, we are actually referring to both notes and highlights. This is because the Kindle device uses the word “Notes” more often in its screens. i.e. “Go To > Notes”, “Export Notes”. 

But for printing, there is a difference in terminology between the two, as shown in the exported files.

First you highlight a passage, and then you’ll have the option to add a note to that highlight. So the note is actually a further explanation of the highlighted text.

Here’s how they look like:

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Notes can also be added to highlights much later and from a different device such as the Kindle app and even the Cloud reader. In fact, this might be an easier way to add detailed descriptions, as typing on the Kindle device itself isn’t usually the easiest way.

This printable format combines notes tightly with highlights. And if we need to separate the typed notes from the highlights, we would need to look into the .csv file that was exported alongside the pdf.

Customize Kindle notes in .csv for printing

The Kindle notes .csv file gives loads of printing flexibility to the content itself, not just the basic printing options. Unlike the other methods, we can modify the list of notes, apply filters, customize colors, font sizes, and so on.

Here’s an example of a printed .csv file.

This example uses Google Sheets to modify the .csv file. But you can use any spreadsheet editor such as Microsoft Excel, or Libre Office to apply the same concept.

I prefer Google Sheets as it’s cross platform, and free for everyone.

And to make it easier, I prepared a spreadsheet template that you can just copy. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use this Google Sheet template.

Step 1 - Export Kindle notes 

If you haven’t already done so, Export the Kindle notes from the Kindle device. Then download the .csv file that you will receive in your email inbox.

Step 2 - Create a copy of this Google Sheet template.

Using your Google account, open this spreadsheet on your favorite browser. 

Link to Spreadsheet

Then click File > Make a copy. Enter a new filename and select which folder you want to save it in.

By default, your copy is only accessible to you. You can double check this by clicking on the ‘Share’ button.

Step 3 - Import to Google Sheets

Go to the first sheet named ‘Imported’, then click on File > Import.

Click Upload and select the .csv file from Step 1.

The Import file dialog will open. Select ‘Replace Current Sheet’. 

Once the import process completes, you will see all your notes and highlights appear.

Step 4 - Customize the template

The ‘Template’ sheet will automatically update based on the rows of the ‘Imported’ sheet. You can change the fonts and colors in this sheet to suit your preferences.

I’ve also created multiple ‘Filter views’ that you can access by pressing Alt +D +W or going to the menu Data > Filter Views.

These filter views are what allows you to separate notes from highlights, among others. Try to switch between different filter views to see how the content changes.

This sheet also has several conditional formatting rules such as alternating row colors. You can see these rules by clicking on any cell in the table and going to the menu Format > Conditional Formatting.

Feel free to modify these rules or add your own. Changes you make to your copy will not affect the original file.

Step 5 - Print the template sheet

After selecting the filter view you want, hit Ctrl +P or go to the menu File > Print. You’ll then be presented with the usual printing options. 

You can also create new Filter views. For example, show only notes with a certain keyword, or those that start with a certain word, or even the length of the note itself. You can do this by applying your own filtering criteria.

Aside from Filter views, you can make changes directly to the text in the ‘Imported’ sheet. Perhaps you quickly want to remove some items, or change the sorting behavior. 

Note though that changes to the ‘Imported’ sheet will be overwritten every time you upload a new .csv file. So if you want your changes to persist, you need to change the ‘Template’ sheet by modifying the filters. Don’t edit the actual text as it automatically pulls those rows from the ‘Imported’ sheet.

With this custom .csv method, you have a lot more flexibility in both the content and format of the notes you want to print. But since we rely on the Kindle’s ‘Export Notes’ feature as the source, it would only include notes and highlights from Kindle books. Not your personal documents.

Export notes from personal documents and print

Currently, notes and highlights on personal documents do not appear in the Cloud Reader. And there is no “Export Notes” option from within the Kindle device for these documents.

The alternative is to use the Kindle app on your mobile device to “share” these notes. You can highlight as normal in the kindle device and when ready, open the kindle app.

Click on ‘My Notebook’ and then the ‘share icon’. Then click on ‘Export notebook’.

For the citation style, you can just choose the default option. Finally, select the destination on where the file would be uploaded. 

The Kindle app will generate an .html file that is ready for printing.

Export from Kindle for PC and print

Another alternative is to use the Kindle for PC software. It’s available for both Mac and Windows. Download it from the Amazon website: 

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/fd/kcp

Once installed, select a book and click on the ‘Show Notebook’ button on the upper right. You will then see an `Export` option. 

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This would generate a .html file that can be printed right away.

Unfortunately though, the Kindle for PC also does not display notes from personal documents.

These are the common methods to print Kindle notes and highlights. If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to drop us a line.

P.S. Here’s the answer to Exhibit A (click on the image for the full text).

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