The Kindle finally gets typography that doesn't suck

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Super excited about this on my Voyage. It’s worth noting that it won’t come to the eInk devices until later this year.

Oh thank God! Why oh why is typography so horrid on devices in general? I never understood that.


Breaking words across lines is better than full justification? Will I be able to turn that off?

In that screenshot, I definitely prefer the ‘before’.

I’d just like real page numbers, consistently, please.

I think I have my Kindle font set to Helvetica, so I’m probably beyond saving.


Yeah, of all the things that annoyed me about my old Kindle Keyboard 3G (or whatever the hell it’s called), the font and justification was never something that bothered me much.

Looks blurry on my 5K screen…

Reportedly full-justification only switches off at particularly large font sizes and is still active at all smaller sizes when left-justification would be wholly desirable.

Click through to the article and look at the original image. It isn’t as blurry.

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The Kindle ^App for iOS finally gets typography that doesn’t suck

FTFY. Actual Kindles won’t be getting this update for a while still.

I have a Kindle 4 (the last generation before their backlit model). I wonder if there’s any chance I’ll get the new font and layout engine?

It looked super horrible on my MacBook’s retina display, but looking at the images used, BoingBoing used a small image and blew it way up in the article, while the original used a beautifully-large image.

BB’s image:

Original image:

BoingBoing has bills to pay, they can’t waste it on big images!


According to Amazon’s internal tests, that means it’s about 2% easier on the eye. That may seem like a small improvement, but spread that 2% across millions of Kindle users and it all starts to add up.

I’m not really certain what “2% easier on the eye means,” and I’m even less certain why they get to multiply that across all the readers of Kindles.

How does it affect any reader at all how much you “add up” a tiny improvement by multiplying it by the number of readers?

I don’t doubt that this might be more pleasant to read, but this seems to be playing with numbers.

This is very welcome. I found it annoying to see their ever-increasing claim for highers resolution in the last year but no word on improving their circa-1995-html (you know, before CSS) level of finesse over typographic basics like letter and word spacing. Not being able to left align text even as an option is incredibly stupid.


I don’t know. I prefer sans-sarif fonts when reading on a screen. With blurry vision, the serifs confuse letters for me. Does Kindle let one choose a font-face?

It does-- from a selection of inbuilt fonts. My kindle 3g is out of power, again. but my ipad’s kindle app supports 5 typefaces, plus “Publisher”, which may be simply whichever one of those five the layout artist thought most appropriate. I have not yet checked to see if the app has been update with the new fonts.

I generally select sepia as my color scheme…

Helvetica is the sans serif selection.

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This is my number one beef with my Kindle 3G. I read on my phone, my tablet, and my Kindle, whichever device is handy, and it’s annoying to have to turn networking on and off to keep it synched, but if I leave the networking on for more than a couple days and come back to it, it is invariably dead dead DEAD. So more often than not it ends up sitting in a drawer.

I seem to recall that MacWrite, bundled with the original Macintosh, came with a little essay by Steve Jobs about how serif fonts were easier to read on the screen than sans fonts. Does anyone else remember this?

I wish they had a fixed width font.

Just got the update on my IOS phone and opened up my bibliotherapy homework to see how it rolls.

Damn… that is a smooooooth font.

I can’t place exactly what’s better about it, but my eyes like it.

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I would wish all these devices would adopt Knuth’s algorithm for balancing paragraphs, as used in TeX. It’s been open source for 30 years, people.