From our new course manual ‘An introduction to electronic publishing’
Calibre is an open-source e-book management tool and another free application that you can download from the Internet and which can be used to convert a file to ePub and other formats. It accepts a wide variety of input document formats; however, not all formats can be exported to ePub. In order to convert a Word file, it is recommended that you save your document in rich text format (RTF) before you import. Furthermore, while Calibre will convert text; other objects may ore may not be converted as expected.
The basic steps involved in creating a simple ePub document using Calibre are as follows:
- Finalise your Word document and save it as a rich text file.
- Open Calibre and click on ‘Add books’ in the top left-corner of your screen to add your book to your Calibre library.
- From within the library catalog screen you can, if you wish, add metadata to your book by opening the metadata window (see right and next page). Alternatively you can set the metadata when you compile your eBook.
- To do this, select the book you wish to convert and click on the ‘Convert books’ icon. This will open the screen shown in the image at the top of this page.
- If you wish you can select your own cover image or you can simply use the first page of our source file. You can add comment and/or set additional metadata in the same manner as a standard HTML web page.
- There are a number of other options you can explore including a ‘Debug’ option you can use if your book does not convert as expected (and it never will).
- Finally select your output format in the top left of your window. Aside from ePub there are a wide variety of other formats from which to choose.
- When you have everything ready, click ‘ok’ and wait while your book is compiled.
- When the compilation is completed, you can return to your catalog screen and navigate directly to the ePub file using the ‘Path’ option in the right-hand column of your screen.
- All you have to do now is to open your ePub and review. You can do this from within Calibre as it has its own built-in e-Book viewer.