Convert to EPUB – How to convert PDF, HTML, Word DOC, and more to EPUB format
EPUB stands for ‘electronic publication’ and it’s the accepted standard format for digital book publishing. If you want to make an ebook that can be read on a digital device, you’ll need it in this EPUB format.
You can convert virtually any text containing document to EPUB format, which is the preferred format for reading on many ebook readers, including the Barnes & Noble Nook, Android, and the Apple iOS iBooks platform that runs on iPhone and iPad (note that the Amazon Kindle currently favors .mobi format which Calibre can also publish to). Here are the exact steps to convert a file to EPUB.
How to Convert to EPUB
For the purpose of this conversion walkthrough, we are going to use a free application called Calibre. It’s open source (meaning free) and cross platform compatible with WIndows, Mac OS X, and Linux clients available to download and use.
- Download Calibre (it’s free) for whatever OS you will use it on
- Open Calibre, make note of the “Calibre Library” folder it sets, and open the file you want to convert to EPUB format – the interface is a little unusual but look for the Book icon in the upper left toolbar with a + on it
- In this “Open Book” dialogue, you’ll want to select ‘All files’ to make it easy on yourself when finding your file to be converted to EPUB
- Now you will want to convert this open file to EPUB, click on the Book icon with the recycle arrows on it
- On this conversion screen, you can adjust the table of contents, metadata, author name, publisher, comments, and change the ebooks cover image. When you are finished making these changes, double check that the Output format is set to EPUB and then click the “OK” button to start the conversion
- Conversion is usually pretty quick and the newly converted EPUB book will be placed into the Calibre Library folder that you setup when you first opened the program. By default this is set to “~/Calibre Library/” in Mac OS X and “\My Documents\Calibre Library” in Windows.
- Locate this newly created EPUB file, which will be named something like “Name-of-book.epub” and you are finished
That’s all there is to it. If you have any intention on self publishing, or you just want to read a book on your iPad, iPhone, Nook, or Android, EPUB is the best possible format. EPUB is also the standard format you’ll download when you receive a digital book on the aforementioned devices, it is the accepted standard for publishers and conversion houses for digital book distribution and sales. Remember that the Amazon Kindle prefers MOBI but using the same process as above you can convert to Kindle formats easily.
Converting PDF, HTML, Word DOC, etc to EPUB
Calibre supports EPUB conversion from the following formats without any modification: CBZ, CBR, CBC, CHM, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LIT, LRF, MOBI, ODT, PDF, PRC**, PDB, PML, RB, RTF, TCR, TXT.
Word DOC to EPUB conversion
You’ll notice that the Word DOC format is missing from the above initial compatible format list, but this is not a problem. Just save the Word DOC file to an HTML or RTF file from within Word and you can then convert that RTF or HTML compatible file into EPUB.
Using PDF, TXT, and RTF to convert to EPUB
PDF files will convert fine but you may lose some images in the process if they are in the vector format. TXT does not maintain any styling so your EPUB will look remarkably bland if you use TXT as your source format, RTF retains better but still limited styling as well.
Converting HTML to EPUB is preferred
Note that HTML is a preferred source format because EPUB supports the use of CSS styling and inline images, this helps maintain styling consistency when creating and styling your ebook.