Fixing Kindle Previewer on OS X Yosemite

  • Sumo

Apple’s newest OS X release, Yosemite, seems to be breaking Kindle Previewer. Here’s how to fix it.

Install Java

Download the Apple supported version of Java here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1572?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

Install xQuartz

Install xQuartz from here: http://xquartz.macosforge.org/landing/

Once both of these applications are installed you should have no issues opening EPUBs and other file types in Kindle Previewer.

A big thanks to @elmimmo_ and @BNGOBooks on the #eprdctn Twitter hashtag for their help in resolving these issues.

27 Responses to “Fixing Kindle Previewer on OS X Yosemite”

  1. Rotten, now I won’t have an excuse not to look at that vile Java app. It’s by far the ugliest thing on my Mac.

    Amazon is the biggest retailer and the largest seller of ebooks on the planet and yet all they give for previewing is a dreadful Java app. Reminds me of baby chickens: “cheep, cheep, cheep.”

    Even worse, they haven’t updated their InDesign plug-in or helped Adobe create one for us. They won’t spend money, so all of us get stuck with spending more time that we ought creating Kindle books. If we want to create the KF8 equivalent of fixed-layout, they expect us to pay some large sum to a third-pary company. Amazon does seem intent on become replacing Comcast as the most hated company in America—at least among writers. Who else has an entire organization dedicated to criticizing them?

    And for what? Amazon pays the worst royalties in the ebook industry, just 35% on ebooks retailing outside the $2.99 to $9.99 range that they have fixed at the ‘proper’ price for ebooks. That’s not much better than the 25% that’s the ebook standard for traditional publishers and those publishers edit, proof, layout and market an ebook. Amazon does nothing but pocket 65% of the retail price for an credit card transaction and file download that costs it pennies.

    They also want to squeeze publishers and authors from another direction. As we speak, Amazon is busy strong-arming the larger publishers to pay it to give their books more publicity, which of course means that everyone else’s books gets less visibility and may disappear altogether for search results. “Never trust Amazon search,” and Amazon programmer told me. That’s going to get even worse.

    Thanks to Derrick for these handy links. No thanks to Amazon for continuing to be a jerk.

  2. Hone Melgren says:

    I reinstalled the Kindle for Mac software from the App store and it appears to have a built in Kindle Viewer.

    I’ve been able to use it to open .azw & .mobi files with no trouble – just by right clicking an ebook and going Open With -> Kindle

    It does add them to your library though. But it’s better then having to install two bits of software you may never need again.

    • Utz says:

      Could you please tell me what version of OS X you are using and which version of Java is installed?
      I guess you can’t be higher than Java 6 which is in 32 BIT. Since Java 7 a 64 BIT system is required…

      • Hone Melgren says:

        java -version gives me :

        java version “1.7.0_25”
        Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_25-b15)
        Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.25-b01, mixed mode)

        OS X Yosemite 10.10.1

        Please I’m talking of using the Kindle.app program not the Kindle Previewer.

      • Hone Melgren says:

        Please note I’m talking of using the Kindle.app program not the Kindle previewer

  3. Fr. Martin says:

    Did the above a bajillion times. Uninstalled Kindle. Reinstalled. Still broke.

    Kindle app works fine. But Kindle Previewer is Kaputt.

  4. John says:

    Same for the lastest Maverick update here. Won’t run.

    Not to mention that when it worked, you had those freaking sidebars on Mac, even if you had a freaking 27″ screen.

    It’s time we sue Amazon for hiring bad developers….

  5. Utz says:

    I am working on a mac with yosemite and newest java installed (Java-Version 8 Update 25).
    The above explained method didn’t work for me!

    But I found an easy way to solve the problem at http://www.adam-bien.com/roller/abien/entry/if_the_kindle_previewer_won

    You just need to change one line of text in the file
    /Applications/Kindle Previewer.app/Contents/MacOS/Launcher

    With the help of a text editor like “textedit” you need to open the file “Launcher” with a Control-Click and find this line:
    export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=.

    Change that line into:
    export JAVA_HOME=”/System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home”

    Then just save “Launcher” and try to start “Kindle Previewer” again. (Don’t forget the Control-Click for the first time you open the app)

    This worked out for me with Java 7 and/or Java 8.

    GOOD LUCK!

    • Tobol says:

      It works! Thanks!

    • Liza says:

      Hi Utz, well this instruction was more do-able for me than the instructions given on your linked page…

      I did all of this any the Kindle Previewer won’t launch. sigh. 6 months ago I found the linked page you referred to on my own, and had troubles and left a comment but no reply. Now I’m back with an EPub that I would like to Preview in Kindle but even with a whole new installation and your instructions and the Quartz installed. It just starts to launch and then dies.

      I doubled checked the path referred to in your Launcher edit…and the Java Files are as specified in that path.

      Can you think of anything else?

      • Utz says:

        Hey Liza,
        many possible issues. What text-editor did you use, for example? Did you make sure to make it work with the correct character encoding…? If not, you might have changed some letters without recognizing it. You need do the editing in text file in pure text mode, NOT formatted text.

        F I R S T, please make sure, that the directory:
        /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home
        exists on your mac!

        If it does exist, I made it easy for you and transferred my kindle previewer app to a dropbox account.
        You can download it from there and then expand the zip-archive with a double click and move it to your Application folder to replace your version that seems to be not working right.
        I just checked my version – it works on my system Yosemite 10.10.3.
        click here to start the download.

        Please let me know if that worked out right for you that way.

        Best regards, Utz

      • Liza says:

        Yay! That is the first time I’ve ever seen the Kindle Previewer work. For whatever reason, your copy is working brilliantly. I can’t tell you what a relief for me this is.

        6 months ago (or more) I simply wanted to test converting from EPub to .mobi for a client, and I went round and round in circles trying every online help resource to figure out the problem with Kindle Previewer,(including that page that you reference in your original post).

        Hallelujah! I can now at least get started on some conversion fine-tuning. Now why don’t the Amazon developers fix the dang app too! ?

      • Liza says:

        Hello Utz,

        You may have missed I already double checked the path—it does exist on my mac…so it wasn’t that. I was using Coda, too, and just now checked for any introduced invisible characters and it’s clean.

        But I will try your version of Previewer and test. As it stands, I decided to try Calibre, which introduces more options that I want at this time.

        Will let you know my progress. I appreciate your help!

      • Utz says:

        Hi Liza,
        your success makes me happy, too (normally it’s not so easy for me to make a woman happy).
        It took me also half a day to find out, why this program refused to work. And i swear that the download is the original program with just that one line of text modified.

        As i am not quite sure, if it is legal, to provide my version as a download, i might have to erase that link again.

        I wish you good look with your work.

        Best regards from old Germany, Utz

      • Lara Smith says:

        Hi Utz,

        Thanks so much! You really helped me out.
        Lara

    • Tiffany says:

      Hi Utz, I’m hoping you can help. I can’t seem to get your version shared above to work in El Capitan. I installed xQuartz. I installed Java. I restarted. I am now out of ideas.

  6. Hi everybody:

    It doesn’t necessarily solve your OS X Mavericks woes, but I’ve kept archived DMGs of previous versions of Kindle Previewer for Mac. Sometimes, the old versions work when the new versions don’t; the old versions also emulate older Kindles such as Kindle DX and Kindle Keyboard. You can download them here: goo.gl/YyKjgd

    I hope this helps,

    Yellow Buick Review
    (A fake poetry journal solving real formatting problems in the digital age)

  7. SBO says:

    OS X YOSEMITE is operating system suitable for working more than playing the game.
    I have a problem Wi-Fi if open distributed Wi-Fi. The machine will find, but if the first Wi-Fi machine will find nothing.

  8. George Grenley says:

    I found the java runtime files in /Kibrary/Java, not /System/Library, on Yosemite.

  9. del says:

    didn’t work for el capitan…any ideas

  10. Louise says:

    For El Capitan, the above steps didn’t work for me. I also tried several other things that were suggested online, but in the end this patch that Amazon released earlier this year worked: https://s3.amazonaws.com/kindlepreviewer/Kindle+Previewer+Patch.zip

  11. Doug says:

    Louise you are the best! I’ve tried a 1000 things and couldn’t find the right solution. The link you shared finally worked! Thank you!!!

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