Amazon brings HTML5 support to Kindle

Kindle Format 8 to usher in rich formatting and improved design

KF8's new HTML5 and CSS3 support should improve the formatting in Kindle books

KF8’s new HTML5 and CSS3 support should improve the formatting in Kindle books

Amazon has revealed its next-generation file-format for Kindle books. Kindle Format 8 (KF8) will replace Mobi 7, and it brings support for HTML5 and CSS3. This, according to Amazon, will enable publishers to create better-looking books with rich formatting, including fixed and floated elements, embedded fonts and drop-caps, text on background images, numbered and bulleted lists, and more. In all, Amazon says KF8 has over 150 new formatting capabilities, which are outlined in full on its website.

Amazon cites a number of genres that will potentially benefit from the changes. It says children’s books will now “come to life” with imagery, fixed layouts and pop-ups; comics and graphic novels will benefit from ‘Kindle Panel Views’; technical and engineering books will be boosted by superior diagrams, through the use of CSS3 formatting, nested tables, boxed elements and SVG; and cookbooks will be able to boast richer designs.

According to Amazon, upcoming enhancements to Kindle Publisher Tools will “make it easier and faster for publishers to create high quality Kindle books. KindleGen 2 (available soon) creates Kindle content from a wide variety of sources including HTML, XHTML, and EPUB. Kindle Previewer 2 (available soon) provides an easy way for publishers to preview how titles will look on Kindle devices and apps so they can be confident that their Kindle books look great”.

In terms of support, Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet will be the first device to support the new format, although the company promises support on its latest generation of e-ink Kindles “in the coming months”, along with its free Kindle apps for other platforms.