Take EBooks at Your Leisure: EBook Formats

This is the primary of a chain of articles all approximately ebooks. Other within the collection encompass:

* eBooks Encryption (DRM)

* eBook Reading Devices

* eBooks and eReaders: Desired Features

* eBook Publishing

* eBook Marketing

* eBook Stores: Desired Features

eBook Formats

The most effective eBook codecs are those which can be the maximum flexible, transportable and cellular.

For instance, the mainstream eBook reader platforms permit one to study eBooks on devoted eBook readers (Kindle, Nook, and Kobo), on clever telephones and other trendy reason cell devices (Apple, Android, Blackberry, and so forth.), and on desktop/laptop computers (PC, Macintosh). They allow customization of the reading enjoy to private alternatives and to the characteristics (size, evaluation, etc.) of the precise eBook reader. They also synchronize attributes together with bookmarks, notes, and highlights across all user reader gadgets.

In order to give these systems the potential to polish, the eBook codecs must be universally adaptable.

In this context, the term “layout” refers back to the rules, conventions, and syntax that govern how files are saved and displayed.

Document codecs are normally associated with software applications able to creating documents that obey the policies of that layout.

Other software program applications interpret and show the documents according to the guidelines of the layout. These “reader” software programs are typically incompatible throughout formats.

For example, a report formatted in Amazon’s proprietary MOBI format cannot be study with the aid of Apple’s iBook reader.

The past several years have witnessed an explosion of hardware and software options for eBooks. We are not going to speak about they all here because there are about forty in general… Rather, we are able to concentrate on the maximum popular.

Popular eBook Formats


To date, the best candidate for a commonplace eBook preferred is the EPUB (Electronic Publication) layout. EPUB is a unfastened and open eBook wellknown designed via the International Digital Publishing Forum that offers guide for reflowable/resizable text, embedded photographs, bookmarks, notes, tables, audio and DRM (Digital Rights Management). Internally, the EPUB format makes use of XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language).

Electronic books created in EPUB layout may be examine on many popular readers underneath Windows PC and Macintosh:

* Adobe Digital Editions

* Lexcycle Stanza


* FBReader

* Mozilla Firefox add-on EPUBReader

* UBook

In addition, the EPUB format can be study on many cellular gadgets, consisting of:

* Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod

* BlackBerry

* HTC / Android

* Samsung Tablet

* Barnes & Noble Nook

* Sony Reader

* Kobo eReader

* Bookeen Cybook

* Aluratek Libre

* Iliad

* Nokia

* Hanlin


Unfortunately, the Amazon Kindle does no longer support the EPUB layout. However there’s software program available (e.G. Calibre) that may convert a non-DRM EPUB report into the unprotected Mobipocket layout that the Kindle can read. Additionally, Amazon gives a unfastened program called KindleGen which converts EPUB and numerous different codecs.


MOBI (regularly referred to as AZW layout also) is Amazon’s proprietary Kindle eBook format.

The MOBI layout is based totally on the Mobipocket wellknown (Amazon bought the French eReader employer Mobipocket in 2005) with the inclusion of Amazon’s digital rights control (DRM) additives. The MOBI format supports textual content reflow, bookmarks, notes, tables, embedded pix, and DRM.

The kindle record layout has long past via several generations. With the release of the Kindle Fire reader in late 2011, Amazon.Com additionally released Kindle Format 8, their next-era file layout. The .Kf8 record layout supports HTML5 and CSS3.

Other than the Kindle reader itself, the Kindle layout is now to be had on a selection of structures, consisting of thru the Kindle app for:

* Apple iPad, iPhone

* BlackBerry

* HTC / Android

* Windows Phone 7

And of direction, it’s also available on Windows PC and Macintosh.


PDF (Portable Document Format) is a “page oriented” format. Developed in 1992 via Adobe, its unique intent was to make certain that an digital record shared with another man or woman will print for the recipient exactly as the report author supposed, regardless of the computer and printer being used. Its primary cause, therefore, is to faithfully reproduce the broadcast web page, and it accomplishes this noticeably properly, because it works on really all computer platforms.

The PDF format has developed over its 20-year existence. Modern PDF documents may be included from unauthorized get entry to, change, printing, and so on. They can include navigation functions and links to external content, can comprise multimedia components, and can be used to accumulate facts (paperwork). Adobe released the PDF format to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as an open standard in 2007-2008 (ISO 32000). This allowed different software program companies to enable their packages to create and examine documents in PDF layout, although Adobe Reader and Acrobat Pro stay the most strong and extensively-dispensed PDF tools. PDF documents can be considered inside Web browsers and users can create a PDF with the aid of “printing” absolutely any Web content material to a PDF “printer”.

Since the layout is designed to reproduce web page pictures, the textual content traditionally could not be re-flowed to in shape the display screen width or length of the brand new breed of clever phones and “palm-sized” gadgets. As a result, PDF documents designed for printing on standard paper sizes are less without problems considered on displays with restricted size or resolution, along with those located on cell telephones and ebook readers. Adobe has tried to addressed this drawback by adding a re-go with the flow facility to its Acrobat Reader software, but for it to paintings the report have to be marked for re-flowing at creation, which means that current PDF files may not gain except they may be tagged and re-stored.

The most noteworthy capabilities of the PDF layout are its portability (the “P” in PDF) and tool independence. PDF files are supported on Windows, Macintosh, and Unix computer systems as well as the overall variety of transportable operating structures and e-book readers consisting of:

* Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod

* BlackBerry

* HTC / Android

* Amazon Kindle

* Samsung Tablet

* Barnes & Noble Nook

* Sony Reader

* Kobo eReader

* Bookeen Cybook

* Aluratek Libre

* iRex iLiad and DR1000

* Nokia

* Hanlin


* Foxit eSlick

* PocketBook Reader

The PDF layout helps bookmarks, notes, tables, embedded snap shots and DRM.


The PDB (eReader) format is a specification to keep statistics in a database for Palm OS and other running systems. When used to represent an eBook, the information saved on this database is the text of the e book and the commands that manage the way it’s far displayed with the aid of its reader.

The application supports features like bookmarks and footnotes, permitting the user to mark any web page with a bookmark, and any part of the textual content with a footnote-like statement. Footnotes can later be exported as a Memo record. Text reflow, tables, embedded images and DRM are also supported.

In addition to Windows PC and MAC, the subsequent assist eReader:

* Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod

* BlackBerry

* HTC / Android

* Samsung

* PalmOS (not webOS)

* Sony Ericsson

* Symbian

* PocketPC (2002 or Earlier)

* Windows Mobile Smartphone and PocketPC 2003 or Later

* Nokia

* Linux (Ubuntu 9.0.Four or later)


It’s also really worth noting that the Stanza software for the iPhone and iPod Touch can examine both encrypted and unencrypted eReader documents. This can be your satisfactory bet as there are rumors that the itunes eReader app my now not be available for much longer.


HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the same old layout used to represent Web pages. You may battle with the idea that HTML is an eBook layout at all because it’s miles in truth the middle format or software language that makes up a massive part of the almost four hundred million web sites on the net nowadays. But as the HTML layout supports textual content reflow, tables, and referenced images, it could certainly be listed as one of the elite. What’s more, a number of the other eBook codecs are based totally loosely on HTML… Making it fundamental within the evolution of the eBook industry so far.

HTML files are simple textual content documents with embedded commands (markups) that explain the way the Web web page will look. These markup instructions also permit a HTML file to link to other HTML documents and multimedia files.

HTML files can be read by means of Web browsers which include:

* Internet Explorer

* Firefox

* Safari

* Chrome

* Opera

A number of eBook shops nevertheless make ebooks available (on line and offline) within the HTML layout.

Other codecs worth citing

Microsoft Reader

Navigation works with a keyboard, mouse, stylus, or via digital bookmarks. A user can upload annotations and notes, create big-print e-books with a unmarried command, or create free-form drawings on the reader pages. A built-in dictionary also exists.

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


The Mobipocket ebook layout is primarily based on the Open eBook trendy the usage of XHTML and can include JavaScript and frames. Readers can add clean pages in any a part of a book and add free-hand drawings. Annotations (highlights, bookmarks, corrections, notes, and drawings) can be carried out, organized, and recalled from a single location. It runs on most structures and operating structures.

Amazon, the owner of mobipocket, has discontinued help… Even though it’s nevertheless to be had for now.


FictionBook is a famous XML-based totally eBook format supported with the aid of loose readers which includes FBReader, Bebook, Haali Reader and STDU Viewer.

Multimedia EBook

Multimedia ebooks include a combination of text, audio, photographs, video, and/or interactive content material formats.


Plucker is an Open Source unfastened mobile and computing device ebook reader utility.

Plain textual content

Speaks for itself.


As the eBook market has grown and tailored to the modifications in generation, we’ve visible an expansion of eBook formats crop up. Some of those formats have now disappeared, a few have grown robust with development and guide, and a few have hung on notwithstanding all efforts to remove them.

When you crunch through the facts, the eBook codecs listed in this article may handiest show a small wide variety of the eBook codecs available obtainable, but they’re the cream of the crop. There are a selection of codecs I have not mentioned due to the fact they’re just no longer definitely used anymore or perhaps handiest in very small niches.

I think it’s far safe to expect that the above indexed eBook formats will shape the core of eBook analyzing for the foreseeable destiny.