Amazon Kindle Scribe tips and tricks: 14 must-try features


With the Kindle Scribe, Amazon entered its popular e-reader range into the digital paper/ E Ink tablet market, giving us a much bigger screen than before and the ability to write on a Kindle for the first time.

It’s not a complicated device to use, but learning some of the new features and making the most of its capabilities can take a tiny bit of digging. In this guide, we’re going to show you some of the tips and features we found to be most useful and worth knowing if you want to get the most out of the Kindle Scribe. Either read through our written guide or watch the video below to master your new digital notebook.


Erase an entire section of writing

When you’re scribbling notes or doodling, there will come a time when you don’t just want to erase by scribbling over it. In some instances, it’s quicker and easier to erase an entire section from the page. Drop down that floating menu on the side, tap on the eraser tool to select it, then tap on it again and select ‘Rub out selection’ from the pop-up window. Now you can use the pen to draw around the area you want to delete. You’ll see a dotted line appear, and once you close the loop, anything inside it will vanish.

If you want to delete the entire page, choose ‘rub out entire page’ from that same menu. If you want to delete the page and remove it from your notebook, tap near the top of the screen and select the three-dot menu in the corner and choose ‘Delete current page’ from the drop-down box.

Use a Pen shortcut

If you have the Kindle Scribe with the Premium Pen, you’ll notice there’s a clickable button on the side. You can program this to launch specific functions if you press and hold it, and then tap the pen on the screen. To configure it, swipe down from the top of the screen and choose ‘All Settings’. On the list, find ‘Pen’. Choose ‘Pen Shortcuts’ from the next screen, and you’ll see four options: Highlighter, Pen, Eraser and Sticky Note. We found it most useful for creating Sticky Notes in an e-book, but it’s equally useful as a highlighter in notebooks and saves you from needing to go to the tools menu every time.

By default, the pop-down floating tool menu – where you select the pen or erase tools – lives on the left side of the screen. However, you can have it on the right side instead if you want. Just drop down the menu, tap the three dots at the bottom and choose ‘Move to the right side’.

Change your pen thickness

This one’s pretty basic, but an essential tool to know. You can change the pen or highlighter tool thickness by tapping on the pen, highlighter or eraser tool and then tapping again to load the thickness. Choose the thickness you want.

Add a sticky note to a book

Another simple, but essential, tip for the Scribe is adding a sticky note to any book page or word. You can use the Pen shortcut method mentioned above if you like, or if you want to, open the tool menu and choose the little sticky note icon and tap the word or area of the screen you want to add the sticky note to. Now write with the pen, or choose the text option to type with the on-screen keyboard.

If you ever want to see all the handwritten or text notes in any particular book, just tap near the top of the screen and choose the icon that looks like a notebook. You can scroll through the notes in that book, or, just tap on the one you want to see, and it’ll take you to the page it’s on and show you the note.

Delete a sticky note

If you’ve decided you don’t want a particular sticky note you can remove it easily. Open the sticky note you want to delete, tap the little tool icon and select “rub out page” then tap the cross to exit and confirm that you want to delete it.

Share a notebook via email

If you want to share your notebook to other devices, you can do so via email, and it’ll attach it to an email and send it to you as a PDF. With your notebook open, tap near the top of the screen to bring the notebook menu down. Now tap the share button that looks like a square with a little curved arrow. At the bottom, you’ll see two options – one for quick-sending to an email address you’ve already added, or the ‘Share via email’ option. If you tap the latter one you can add type in a different email address. It’s useful if you want to send something to a work account, rather than a personal one, as an example.

Send documents to your Kindle

The Kindle Scribe is a document-reading tool as well as an e-book reader and notebook replacement device. It supports most popular document formats, including doc and PDFs, and with the latter, you can easily annotate with the pen. It’s great for signing documents and filling out forms by hand. First you do need to send those documents to your library, and there are a few ways to do it.

The easiest two methods we’ve found are the ‘Send to Kindle’ tool and the mobile app. If you open and then sign in to your Amazon account, you can drag and drop any supported files and it’ll upload them to your Kindle library in the cloud. Then, they’ll automatically appear in the ‘Library’ tab of your Kindle Scribe (or any other Kindle).

With the mobile app, all you need to do is make sure you have the Kindle app on your smartphone or tablet and that you’re signed into your Amazon account on it. On Android, open the PDF or document you want to send, then choose to ‘share’ and select the Kindle option from the share sheet. The process is the same on iPhone near enough, just open the document, hit ‘share’ and find the Kindle option (it may be in the ‘More’ list). Once you’ve added a file name, you can share it to your library.

Change your notebook style

When you create a new notebook you get a choice of different template styles to choose from. If – however – you decide you want to change that template after you’ve already started writing in it, you can. You’re not stuck with your original choice. Open the notebook you want to change, then tap near the top edge of the display, you’ll see a little notebook icon with a tiny cog on it. Tap this and you access the notebook settings. You can change the name, change the cover page and change the template, choosing from any of the available options from the beginning.

Organise your notebooks

When you open your Notebooks screen showing your entire library of notebooks, the default organisation puts the most recently accessed book first. If you want to, you can change this sorting method to a different one. Just tap the three lines icon in the top right, and you can choose to have the notebooks sorted by title or type, or even date created or modified instead. What’s more, you can switch from ascending to descending or even have them in a list instead of a grid if you find that easier to manage.

Schedule warm light

Like some of its other high-end Kindles, the Scribe features a warm light setting which changes the colour temperature of the front lighting system. Of course, you can switch it on manually and adjust its warmth using the sliders on the drop-down shade. However, if you tap the ‘Schedule’ you’ll get to a Warmth Schedule menu. Toggle it on, and then you can choose to have it automatically change gradually with sunset and sunrise in your location, or you can set it to come on at a specific time and manually set your preferred warmth level.

Adjust the overall display size

When you’re in any book and simply reading, you can change the font style and size anyway and anyhow. It’s a standard Kindle feature. But you can also change the display size to increase text size in the Kindle user interface as well, making it easier to read. Open the ‘All Settings’ menu and go to either ‘Device Options’ and then ‘Display Settings’ and ‘Display Size’, or go to ‘Accessibility’ and then ‘Display Size’. On the Display Size screen choose ‘Large’. Now the text size will increase in every menu of the Kindle Scribe.

Add device passcode

You may want to protect your Kindle Scribe with a passcode, especially if you don’t want the contents of your notebooks being accessed by others. To enable one, just drop down the shade from the top, go to ‘All Settings’ and then ‘Device Options’. Choose ‘Device Passcode’ and in the pop-up window type in a numerical PIN that’s at least four digits long, type it in again and tap ‘OK’ to set it.

Manage your storage

It’s unlikely you’ll ever need to be super careful about the amount of storage being used in the Kindle Scribe since the types of files it reads are generally quite small. However, if you want to manually remove items from storage or offload older stuff to the cloud, you can. Just open settings and find ‘Advanced Settings’ and then ‘Storage Management’.

To manually delete stuff, choose the ‘Manual Removal’ option. What’s more useful to us is the Quick Archive. Tap on that and here you can choose to remove and offload anything you’ve not opened for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. Choose whichever time period you want, then tap ‘Remove’.

Open the web browser

One lesser-known feature in Kindle e-readers is an experimental web browser. It’s been there for a couple of years and is accessed simply by hitting the ‘More’ tab at the bottom of the home screen. You’ll see ‘Web Browser’ on the list. Be warned, it can be quite a ropey experience, so you probably only want to use it when absolutely necessary.

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Brian Jones

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