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Quick guide to eBook Formats
An open e-book standard created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF).
Features reflowable text, inline images, and supports DRM (Digital Rights Management) protected e-books, similiar to ADE (Adobe Digital Editions).
The ePub format is the most widely used, being supported by the largest number of eReaders. Amazon Kindle is the exception, having its own proprietary format in AZW and the new KF8. Other commonly used formats such as doc, txt or rtf can also be converted to eBook formats such as ePub so as to be able to access them on eReaders.
PDF, or Portable Document format, was created in the early 90s as a document sharing format. It is best for highly formatted content, images, and has the ability to support DRM (Digital Rights Management) content.
Amazon's proprietary, DRM-restricted format. It is for use solely on Kindles.
The Kindle Format 8, Amazon has indicated that fourth generation Kindles will be made KF8 compatible. It has some support for HTML5 and CSS3, built in dictionary index and fixed layout.
Fiction Book eBook file. Not currently supported by many of the popular eReaders such as Amazon's Kindle or B & N's Nook. Files can be accessed by using conversion software tools such as Calibre.
Includes information on some of the major eBook formats and when it is most appropriate to use them.
Comprehensive survey of the variety of eBook formats available with quick descriptions of each. Includes table of all the dfferent formats with their technological specs.
Some formats are not compatible with certain eReaders. For example, ePub files cannot be read on an Amazon Kindle. When this happens, you will need to use an eBook converter to be able to read the eBook.
The leading eBook converter tool is Calibre.
Calibre is a free eBook format converter. It allows you to organize, re-format, and manage your eBook collection on your computer.
- Calibre is compatible with devices from over fifteen different manufacturers including Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble etc...
- It allows for formatting features like bullet points and images.
- Coversion of texts is quick- under a minute!
- Allows for modification of metadata such as the title or author's name.
Note: Calibre does not remove DRM protection from eBooks
Another option is 2ePub.
2ePub is a free online tool which converts files to various eBook formats including ePub or MOBI.
- Users can select five files (25MB max) at any one time to convert.
- Can convert only those document which, intentionally or not, were made suitable for onversion into another format.
Note: 2ePub is primarily for use in converting text files; image heavy files do not convert well.
*Demonstration Video for the Calibre Converter Tool