eBook Conversion

eBook conversion for Kindle and ePub readers


The good news is that the Kindle format supports tables. The bad news is it only supports them in the most rudimentary way.

Some things to bear in mind about tables on a Kindle:

1. There is nothing you can do to stop a table breaking across a page. Whether it does or not will depend on how big it is and  on individual users’ font settings
2. The fairly narrow width of the screen means you can only really include simple tables, with a few columns
3. Only use tables to display tabular data. Do not use them as a formatting tool
4. Table options are pretty much non-existent. You can change the alignment in the cells (left, right or centre) and turn the grid lines on and off. The headings will be bold. That’s about it.

How to add a table

As I advised in this post it’s highly recommended that you separate tables and images from your main document.

Copy your table from MS Word and convert it to HTML using cKEditor, as I have outlined already. Copy the source code into a new Notepad++ file.

In Notepad++, use Find & Replace to get rid of all <p> and </p> tags. Then delete everything before the <tbody> tag.

Paste the code <table border=”1″> before the <tbody> tag if you want gridlines or <table border=”0″> if you don’t. Then delete everything after the </table> tag at the end. You can then paste the completed code in your final document where you want it to appear.

Here is a sample HTML file containing a simple table:

Sample table.htm

Using graphics as tables

If your tables are fairly large of complex, another option is to include them as images. You can do this in portrait format, to the width of the page, or in landscape format, where you can use the full height of the screen (although the user must of course turn the reader sideways.

The maximum size, according to Amazon, for an image is 500 pixels (width) x 600 pixels (height). This, however does not fill the whole screen – apparently only the cover is allowed to do that.The best image format to use for tables is probably GIF, whose compression will result in clearer text than something like JPEG or PNG.

Amazon’s formatting guidelines state that a letter ‘a’ should be no smaller than six pixels. I don’t know how to test for this rule, but please think of your readers; some of them may have worse eyesight than you and others may be reading your book on a smartphone. In Kindle Previewer go to Devices in the main menu and see what it looks like on different reading devices.. You can always split a table across two images.

Generating table graphics

There are many ways to do this. The most obvious would be PowerPoint, which lets you save individual slides as GIFs. However, for some reason, GIFs exported from PowerPoint look awful. I’ve had much better results using the same technique using Impress in Open Office or Libre Office. You’ll need to adjust the page size – in Format > Page, setting the page width to 13.23cm gives you 500 pixels width when you export a GIF using File > Export. Deselect the Save Transparency option in the subsequent dialog box.


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