Opening a Command Window Directly

As I’ve been exploring how to use Kindlegen to prepare my new fantasy novel, The Unexpected Traveler, for upload to Kindle, I made a couple posts (see here, here, and here) about the Kindlegen experience. Reader Ellie O. sent me a great tip.

  1. Prepare a directory where you’ll do all your work. Copy (don’t move, but just copy) all the relevant files to this directory, such as your original DOC or ODT file, and any images you plan to add to what’s already in the DOC file. Your OPF and NCX files go here too.
  2. Copy kindlegen.exe from wherever you downloaded it to the same directory. You can go to your download directory, locate kindlegen.exe, right-click on it, and select Copy. Then go to your working directory, click in the white space, and right-click again. Select Paste.
  3. Prepare your HTML as usual. Make sure that the html file and all associated images end up in your working directory.
  4. Now, here comes the tip. Click in the white space in the working directory. Then, hold down the Shift key and at the same time right-click on the white space in the working directory. This gives you several options. The one you want is the option to Open command window here. Click (normal click) on this option. A command window (DOS window) opens right there, already pointed at your working directory, so you only have to type kindlegen myhtmlfile.html into the command window to invoke it.

That may sound a titch complicated, but actually it’s easier than the convoluted Amazon instructions. Give it a try! And thanks to Ellie O.!

(BTW, I’ve discovered that in Windows 7, this works only if you’ve navigated directly to your working directory. Getting to your working directory via a Library seems to keep this trick from working.)

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