Take EBooks at Your Leisure: E book Formats

Take EBooks at Your Leisure: E book Formats

This is the initially of a sequence of posts all about ebooks. Other in the collection incorporate:

* Ebook Encryption (DRM)

* E-book Looking through Devices

* eBooks and eReaders: Preferred Characteristics

* Book Publishing

* Book Advertising and marketing

* Ebook Stores: Preferred Characteristics

Book Formats

The most strong E book formats are people that are the most flexible, portable and cell.

For illustration, the mainstream E-book reader platforms let a single to read eBooks on focused E book readers (Kindle, Nook, and Kobo), on smart phones and other general objective cell devices (Apple, Android, Blackberry, etc.), and on desktop/notebook desktops (Laptop, Macintosh). They permit customization of the looking through expertise to individual tastes and to the properties (size, distinction, etcetera.) of the certain Ebook reader. They also synchronize attributes these types of as bookmarks, notes, and highlights throughout all consumer reader equipment.

In buy to give these platforms the means to shine, the E book formats will have to be universally adaptable.

In this context, the term “format” refers to the policies, conventions, and syntax that govern how documents are saved and displayed.

Document formats are generally related with software program purposes able of creating documents that obey the policies of that structure.

Other software package programs interpret and exhibit the documents according to the principles of the structure. These “reader” application programs are normally incompatible throughout formats.

For case in point, a document formatted in Amazon’s proprietary MOBI format are unable to be study by Apple’s iBook reader.

The previous various decades have witnessed an explosion of components and software choices for eBooks. We are not heading to discuss about all of them here for the reason that there are about 40 in overall… as a substitute, we will focus on the most popular.

Well-liked E book Formats


To day, the most effective prospect for a universal E-book regular is the EPUB (Electronic Publication) format. EPUB is a free of charge and open up E-book regular made by the International Digital Publishing Discussion board that presents assist for reflowable/resizable text, embedded visuals, bookmarks, notes, tables, audio and DRM (Digital Legal rights Administration). Internally, the EPUB structure utilizes XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language).

Digital textbooks produced in EPUB structure can be examine on several common visitors underneath Windows Computer system and Macintosh:

* Adobe Electronic Editions

* Lexcycle Stanza


* FBReader

* Mozilla Firefox increase-on EPUBReader

* UBook

In addition, the EPUB format can be go through on many mobile gadgets, together with:

* Apple iPad, Iphone and iPod

* BlackBerry

* HTC / Android

* Samsung Tablet

* Barnes & Noble Nook

* Sony Reader

* Kobo eReader

* Bookeen Cybook

* Aluratek Libre

* Iliad

* Nokia

* Hanlin

* Cool-ER

However, the Amazon Kindle does not guidance the EPUB format. Nevertheless there is computer software out there (e.g. calibre) which can transform a non-DRM EPUB file into the unprotected Mobipocket format that the Kindle can read through. Additionally, Amazon presents a totally free application called KindleGen which converts EPUB and several other formats.


MOBI (typically referred to as AZW structure also) is Amazon’s proprietary Kindle E-book format.

The MOBI format is primarily based on the Mobipocket conventional (Amazon obtained the French eReader enterprise Mobipocket in 2005) with the inclusion of Amazon’s electronic legal rights management (DRM) parts. The MOBI structure supports text reflow, bookmarks, notes, tables, embedded illustrations or photos, and DRM.

The kindle file format has gone through several generations. With the launch of the Kindle Fire reader in late 2011, Amazon.com also released Kindle Format 8, their upcoming-technology file structure. The .kf8 file structure supports HTML5 and CSS3.

Other than the Kindle reader alone, the Kindle format is now out there on a wide range of platforms, these as via the Kindle application for:

* Apple iPad, Apple iphone

* BlackBerry

* HTC / Android

* Windows Mobile phone 7

And of study course, it really is also available on Windows Computer and Macintosh.


PDF (Transportable Document Format) is a “web page oriented” format. Formulated in 1992 by Adobe, its primary intent was to make sure that an electronic document shared with a further individual will print for the receiver accurately as the doc creator meant, regardless of the pc and printer getting utilized. Its principal function, thus, is to faithfully reproduce the printed web page, and it accomplishes this extremely perfectly, as it operates on almost all personal computer platforms.

The PDF format has developed in excess of its 20-calendar year existence. Contemporary PDF files can be guarded from unauthorized obtain, modification, printing, etc. They can consist of navigation options and back links to exterior material, can include multimedia parts, and can be employed to accumulate information (types). Adobe unveiled the PDF format to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as an open up conventional in 2007-2008 (ISO 32000). This permitted other software program sellers to enable their purposes to produce and examine documents in PDF format, even though Adobe Reader and Acrobat Pro keep on being the most sturdy and commonly-dispersed PDF applications. PDF paperwork can be considered inside of Web browsers and users can produce a PDF by “printing” almost any World wide web content material to a PDF “printer”.

Considering the fact that the structure is built to reproduce web site photos, the text typically could not be re-flowed to suit the display screen width or size of the new breed of smart telephones and “palm-sized” gadgets. As a result, PDF information created for printing on regular paper sizes are significantly less conveniently considered on screens with limited sizing or resolution, these kinds of as people observed on mobile phones and e-e book readers. Adobe has tried to dealt with this drawback by incorporating a re-move facility to its Acrobat Reader program, but for it to work the document should be marked for re-flowing at generation, that means that current PDF files is not going to advantage except if they are tagged and re-saved.

The most noteworthy functions of the PDF format are its portability (the “P” in PDF) and system independence. PDF data files are supported on Windows, Macintosh, and Unix computers as perfectly as the full assortment of portable functioning units and e-e-book audience together with:

* Apple iPad, Iphone and iPod

* BlackBerry

* HTC / Android

* Amazon Kindle

* Samsung Pill

* Barnes & Noble Nook

* Sony Reader

* Kobo eReader

* Bookeen Cybook

* Aluratek Libre

* iRex iLiad and DR1000

* Nokia

* Hanlin

* Interesting-ER

* Foxit eSlick

* PocketBook Reader

The PDF format supports bookmarks, notes, tables, embedded photos and DRM.


The PDB (eReader) structure is a specification to keep info in a database for Palm OS and other running units. When utilised to depict an Ebook, the facts stored in this database is the textual content of the e book and the commands that command the way it is displayed by its reader.

The application supports options like bookmarks and footnotes, enabling the consumer to mark any webpage with a bookmark, and any portion of the text with a footnote-like commentary. Footnotes can afterwards be exported as a Memo document. Textual content reflow, tables, embedded photographs and DRM are also supported.

In addition to Windows Computer and MAC, the subsequent guidance eReader:

* Apple iPad, Iphone and iPod

* BlackBerry

* HTC / Android

* Samsung

* PalmOS (not webOS)

* Sony Ericsson

* Symbian

* PocketPC (2002 or Earlier)

* Windows Cellular Smartphone and PocketPC 2003 or Afterwards

* Nokia

* Linux (Ubuntu 9..4 or later)


It can be also truly worth noting that the Stanza application for the Apple iphone and iPod Touch can browse both equally encrypted and unencrypted eReader data files. This may possibly be your ideal guess as there are rumors that the itunes eReader application my not be available for a great deal for a longer time.


HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the standard format employed to symbolize Website internet pages. You may perhaps wrestle with the notion that HTML is an E book format at all mainly because it is in reality the core format or program language that will make up a big part of the almost 400 million web sites on the web today. But as the HTML structure supports text reflow, tables, and referenced images, it can indeed be stated as just one of the elite. What’s extra, lots of of the other Ebook formats are based loosely on HTML… making it basic in the evolution of the E book field to date.

HTML files are basic textual content data files with embedded instructions (markups) that specify the way the Net web site will glance. These markup commands also allow a HTML document to backlink to other HTML data files and multimedia documents.

HTML data files can be study by Internet browsers this kind of as:

* World wide web Explorer

* Firefox

* Safari

* Chrome

* Opera

A number of Ebook retailers even now make ebooks accessible (on the web and offline) in the HTML structure.

Other formats truly worth mentioning

Microsoft Reader

Navigation is effective with a keyboard, mouse, stylus, or by means of electronic bookmarks. A person can add annotations and notes, make large-print e-guides with a solitary command, or create absolutely free-variety drawings on the reader webpages. A created-in dictionary also exists.

Microsoft introduced Microsoft Reader will be discontinued on August 30th 2012.


The Mobipocket e-e book format is based on the Open up Book normal using XHTML and can contain JavaScript and frames. Readers can incorporate blank pages in any section of a e-book and incorporate free of charge-hand drawings. Annotations (highlights, bookmarks, corrections, notes, and drawings) can be used, organized, and recalled from a solitary spot. It operates on most platforms and working techniques.

Amazon, the proprietor of mobipocket, has discontinued aid… despite the fact that it is really nevertheless accessible for now.


FictionBook is a popular XML-centered E-book format supported by free of charge readers this kind of as FBReader, Bebook, Haali Reader and STDU Viewer.

Multimedia Ebook

Multimedia ebooks incorporate a combination of textual content, audio, illustrations or photos, movie, and/or interactive written content formats.


Plucker is an Open up Source cost-free cellular and desktop e-guide reader software.

Basic text

Speaks for itself.


As the Ebook market has grown and adapted to the modifications in engineering, we have witnessed a range of E book formats crop up. Some of these formats have now disappeared, some have developed robust with development and assist, and some have hung on irrespective of all attempts to get rid of them.

When you crunch via the info, the Book formats shown in this article could only show a smaller range of the Book formats offered out there, but they are the cream of the crop. There are a wide variety of formats I have not mentioned for the reason that they are just not truly used anymore or probably only in extremely modest niches.

I think it is safe and sound to assume that the previously mentioned detailed E-book formats will sort the main of Ebook reading through for the foreseeable potential.