Hooray! You can now install your favorite TrueType or OpenType fonts on recent Kindles by way of new firmware updates.

Kindle owners could once import their favorite fonts, but then Amazon went into a Putin mode on this issue and did its best to thwart font hacks. Oh, the horrors! Thanks for the change, Amazon.

Update 5.9.6  lets you create a special folder in your Kindle for your custom fonts. As a test, I picked up several fonts from my desktop PC. I just hit the Windows key, searched for “Fonts” and clicked on the desktop’s fonts folder. Voila! There the fonts were. Mac owners presumably can do something similar.

The screenshot you see is near the start of Philip Roth’s Patrimony: A True Story, as displayed on my Paperwhite in Dark Courier. Blessedly, I could change not only the size but also the degree of boldness.

If you don’t want to wait until your Kindle updates automatically via WiFi, you can download the improvement and get the new capability going now.

Check out Fire & Kindle Software Updates and Important Kindle E-Reader Software Update. Follow the links and see if your device is covered, and what you need to do. My sixth-gen Paperwhite and ninth-gen Oasis are among those able to use custom fonts. Same for the Voyage and eighth-gen Kindles.

A quick tour of the related documentation suggests that the the install-your-own-fonts feature will be AWOL from devices older than the my sixth-gen Paperwhite, but your Kindle in some cases may actually need an update in the near future for other reasons, such as improved connections with social media services. The “important” update page includes a helpful explanatory video.

More how-tos

The update’s font folder for your Kindle comes with a readme, which, for your convenience, I’ll reproduce almost in full so you don’t have to open up the file on your laptop or desktop:

…Any font you install must be either an OpenType (OTF) or a TrueType (TTF) font. All other font formats are unsupported. Also, fonts are usually available as a font family and may consist of several files for different font styles—one each for Regular, Italic, Bold, BoldItalic, etc.  For the best reading experience, we recommend you install all the files in the font family. Supported font files will have .ttf, .otf, or .ttc file extensions.

How to install fonts on your Kindle:

1. If the font is packaged into a compressed file (such as a ZIP file), uncompress the files using your favorite file extracting program

2. Copy the font files into the “fonts” folder on your Kindle

3. Disconnect your Kindle from the computer

4. You can now choose a custom font in addition to the Kindle fonts from the Display Settings (Aa) menu

Once you choose a custom font from the Display Settings (Aa) menu, your Kindle will render the book content using that font for most books. If the font is not able to be used for rendering the book’s content, your Kindle will use the default system font instead. This can happen if the font does not support the characters in the book or if the font is damaged.

Amazon respects the intellectual property of others. You are responsible for ensuring you have obtained the necessary rights and permissions to use any fonts you upload to your Kindle. By using the font upload functionality on Kindle, you agree that your use of the fonts you upload will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party, and that you will indemnify Amazon for all claims resulting from your use of the fonts you upload.

In another welcome improvement, the newest updates for recent Kindles enable them to display books in Arabic. Books had been available in that language since last year.

Via The Digital Reader.  Also see Font Squirrel and other sources of free fonts. A few reminders: Avoid pirated fonts and be wary of viruses. And keep in mind that due to limited storage space, your Kindle may have room for only so many fonts.