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Convert eBook Formats with Calibre
by Ron Kurtus (revised 3 August 2012)
Calibre is a free e-book library management application that has an excellent e-book format conversion feature. The application supports the conversion of a comprehensive list of input formats and output formats.
After installing Calibre, you can convert from one ebook format to another by adding an existing ebook to the Calibre Library, adjusting input and output features, and finally converting the file to see the output.
Questions you may have include:
- How do you install Calibre?
- How do you add an ebook to your library?
- How do you convert and see the new ebook format?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Calibre can be downloaded from the Calibre E-Book Management website. The application is free, although they do ask for a donation.
Once you have installed and opened Calibre, you can add ebooks to your library in various formats,
Add ebook to library
First of all, you need to have already converted your manuscript to an e-book format. The easiest might be to start with a PDF file.
In order to convert an ebook to another format, you first add the book to your Calibre library by clicking the Add books button. Your computer folders directory will display, allowing you to find the desired file.
You can also get the book from your connected ebook reader or from an online source.
In order of decreasing preference: LIT, MOBI, AZW, EPUB, AZW3, FB2, HTML, PRC, RTF, PDB, TXT, PDF
PDF is a terrible format to convert from. For a list of the various issues you will encounter when converting PDF, see: Convert PDF documents.
Major input formats, in the order of preference, include:
Other formats supported are:
Convert and see new e-book format
You can then select a book to convert from the list in your Library. Highlight the book and click the Convert books button. The Convert window will display.
Select output features
If the book is already in more than one format, you can use the Input format drop down list on the left to select the file type from which to convert.
Then select the Output format from the drop down list on the right of the window.
The output formats, in alphabetical order, are:
You can adjust the conversion features to get the desired output. Selecting buttons on the left column will display dialog windows for the specific feature:
Metadata - inserts the book metadata into a "Book Jacket" at the start of the book
Look & Feel - rescales all font sizes, ensuring the output ebook is readable no matter what font sizes the input document uses
Hueristic Processing - automatic cleaning up book; disabled by default
Structure Detection - automatically detects or creates book structure, like chapters and Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Search & Replace
(format) Output - change output for selected book output format
(I wonder if you can convert into the same file type?)
Convert and see output
Click the OK button to convert the book file. After the file is converted, you can see the output in the Calibre ebook reader.
You can use Calibre to convert from one ebook format to another. The application supports the conversion of a comprehensive list of input formats to output formats.
To convert from one ebook format to another, add your ebook to the Calibre Library, adjust input and output features, and then convert and see output.
Use tools to make your work easier
Resources and references
Calibre eBook Management - Download from Calibre site
Calibre overview - Wikipedia
Review of Calibre - CNET
Top-rated books on Self-Publishing
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Using Calibre to Convert eBook Formats