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eBook Formats

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The Mobipocket e-book format based on the Open eBook standard using XHTML and can include JavaScript and frames. It also supports native SQL queries to be used with embedded databases. There is a corresponding e-book reader. A free e-book of the German Wikipedia has been published in Mobipocket format.

The Mobipocket Reader has a home page library. Readers can add blank pages in any part of a book and add free-hand drawings. Annotations — highlights, bookmarks, corrections, notes, and drawings — can be applied, organized, and recalled from a single location. Images are converted to GIF format and have a maximum size of 64K, sufficient for mobile phones with small screens, but rather restrictive for newer gadgets. Mobipocket Reader has electronic bookmarks, and a built-in dictionary.

The reader has a full screen mode for reading and support for many PDAs, Communicators, and Smartphones. Mobipocket products support most Windows, Symbian, BlackBerry and Palm operating systems. Using WINE, the reader works under Linux or Mac OS X. Third-party applications like Okular and FBReader can also be used under Linux or Mac OS X, but they work only with unencrypted files.

The Amazon Kindle’s AZW format is basically just the Mobipocket format with a slightly different serial number scheme (it uses an asterisk instead of a Dollar sign), and .prc publications can be read directly on the Kindle.

Mobipocket has developed an .epub to .mobi converter called KindleGen[13] (supports IDPF 1.0 and IDPF 2.0 epub format, according to the company).

Notably, Eastern European letters with diacritical marks are not supported.


The .epub or OEBPS format is an open standard for e-books created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). It combines three IDPF open standards:

  • Open Publication Structure (OPS) 2.0, which describes the content markup (either XHTML or Daisy DTBook)
  • Open Packaging Format (OPF) 2.0, which describes the structure of an .epub in XML
  • OEBPS Container Format (OCF) 1.0, which bundles files together (as a renamed ZIP file)

Currently, the format can be read by the Kobo eReader, Apple iBooks, Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony Reader, BeBook, Bookeen Cybook Gen3 (with firmware v. 2 and up),COOL-ER, Adobe Digital Editions, Lexcycle Stanza, BookGlutton, AZARDI, Aldiko and WordPlayer on Android and the Mozilla Firefox add-on EPUBReader. Several other reader software programs are currently implementing support for the format, such as dotReader, FBReader, Mobipocket, uBook and Okular. Another software .epub reader, Lucidor, is in beta.

Adobe Digital Edition uses .epub format for its e-books, with DRM protection provided through their proprietary ADEPT mechanism. The recently developed INEPT framework and scripts have been reverse-engineered to circumvent this DRM system.

DSLibris, a Sourceforge.net project, is able to decode e-books in .epub and .xht format for reading on Nintendo DS systems.

Hypertext Markup Language

HTML is the markup language used for most web pages. E-books using HTML can be read using a Web browser. The specifications for the format are available without charge from the W3C.

HTML adds specially marked meta-elements to otherwise plain text encoded using character sets like ASCII or UTF-8. As such, suitably formatted files can be, and sometimes are, generated by hand using a plain text editor or programmer’s editor. Many HTML generator applications exist to ease this process and often require less intricate knowledge of the format details involved.

HTML on its own is not a particularly efficient format to store information, requiring more storage space for a given work than many other formats. However, several e-Book formats including the Amazon Kindle, Open eBook, Compressed HM, Mobipocket and EPUB use one HTML file for each book chapter and then Zip compress the files, along with images, metadata and style sheets into one file.

HTML files encompass a wide range of standards and displaying HTML files correctly can be complicated. Additionally many of the features supported, such as forms, are not relevant to e-books.

Flip Book

A “Flip Book” is a type of E-Book distinguished by virtual pages that actually “flip”, much like turning pages of paper in a real book or magazine. The first dynamic Flip Book Reader was developed in 2003/2004 by Interaxive Media for Nishe Media (Canada) and was therefore called “Nishe Pages”. The first version was produced in part by Cybaris (Canada) and was first publicly showcased in August 2004. Soon thereafter, many copycat “flip books” started appearing thanks to technological advances in Macromedia Flash, mostly hard coded using Flash components.

The original software remains unique in that it is powered by a complete server-based CMS system that allows the books to be created, published, and viewed remotely from a web server without requiring any custom software to be installed. Nishe Media went defunct in 2004, leaving the unfinished software to Interaxive Media who continued its development in Hong Kong. Though not widely used outside of Asia, it is now at version 3.0 and can be a server-based E-Book platform. It remains privately held by the original developer, Ryan Sutherland, owner and founder of Interaxive Media.


If you have downloaded any files like tutorial ebook which has some unknown file extension with a yellow question mark on them then it is a a CHM File.CHM files are actually “compiled HTML” files used for most Windows help-files format,a CHM help file has a .chm file extension.

The definition of CHM may alter but still it is better to say that CHM files are some-what a set of Html type web pages which has a table of content that are hyperlinked.Nowadays CHM files have been used very less compared to the PDF files as adobe PDF market and application for grew huge in short time.There are different application for viewing chm files on platforms like windows,Linux and mac.

You can also find some browsers which are available to view CHM files.Popular web browser like firefox also has addon which can open the CHM files right from the browser.

CHM reader addon extension for Firefox browser

You can read the CHM file right from your browser by using a firefox addon called as “CHM reader”,this works with firefox 2 and firefox 3 web browser.just download the addon,restart your browser.Next time when you open a chm file format you can be view with Firefox directly with table of content residing on the left hand sidebar.CHM reader supports linux and Windows operating system.

The CHM file format is commonly used as “Help” files on our products. The format is however suitable for all kinds of documents, as it offers a small interactive file. For this reason, the majority of our documents are provided in CHM format.

If you use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to browse the world wide web, the CHM files can not be opened directly. If you attempt to do this, the file will appear empty. This is a safety feature implemented by Microsoft, and we can not do anything with it.

In order to open the CHM files, observe the following procedure:

  • Click the right mouse button on the file link.
  • Observe the short-cut menu.
  • Click Save target as… (or similar)
  • Download the CHM file to your own harddisk.

Once the CHM file is placed on a local drive, you can easily open it.

Other web browser (typically Opera and Firefox) will download the CHM files automatically.

Please note that CHM file will not open on computers offering other operating systems than Microsoft.

Portable Document Format

A file format created by Adobe Systems, initially to provide a standard form for storing and editing printed publishable documents. The format derives from PostScript, but without language features like loops, and with added support for features like compression and passwords. Because PDF documents can easily be viewed and printed by users on a variety of computer platforms, they are very common on the World Wide Web. The specification of the format is available without charge from Adobe.

PDF files typically contain brochures, product manuals, magazine articles — up to entire books, as they can embed fonts, images, and other documents. A PDF file contains one or more zoomable page images.

Since the format is designed to reproduce page images, the text traditionally could not be re-flowed to fit the screen width or size. As a result PDF files designed for printing on standard paper sizes are less easily viewed on screens with limited size or resolution, such as those found on mobile phones and PDAs. Adobe has addressed this by adding a re-flow facility to its Acrobat Reader software, but for this to work the document must be marked for re-flowing at creation, which means that existing PDF documents will not benefit unless they are tagged and resaved. The Windows Mobile (aka Pocket PC) version of Adobe Acrobat will automatically attempt to tag a PDF for reflow during the synchronization process using an installed plugin to Active Sync. However, this tagging process will not work on most locked or password protected PDF documents. It also doesn’t work at present (2009–10) on the Windows Mobile Device Center (the successor to Active Sync) as found in Windows Vista and Windows 7. This limits automatic tagging support during synchronization to Windows XP/2000.

Multiple products support creating and tagging PDF files, such as Adobe Acrobat, PDFCreator, OpenOffice.org, iText, and FOP, and several programming libraries. Adobe Reader (formerly called Acrobat Reader) is Adobe’s product used to view PDF files; third party viewers such as xpdf are also available. Mac OS X has built-in PDF support, both for creation as part of the printing system and for display using the built-in Preview application.

Later versions of the specification add support for forms, comments, hypertext links, and even interactive elements such as buttons for forms entry and for triggering sound and video. Such features may not be supported by older or third-party viewers and some are not transferable to print.

PDF files are supported on the following e-book readers: Mobipocket, iRex iLiad, iRex DR1000, Sony Reader, Bookeen Cybook, Foxit eSlick, Amazon Kindle (1, 2, International & DX), Barnes & Noble Nook, the iPad, PocketBook Reader, Bebook Neo and the Kobo eReader.

Formerly Palm Digital Media/Peanut Press

eReader is a freeware program for viewing Palm Digital Media electronic books. Versions are available for iPhone, PalmOS, WebOS, Android, Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile Pocket PC/Smartphone, desktop Windows, and Macintosh. The reader shows text one page at a time, as paper books do. eReader supports embedded hyperlinks and images. Additionally, the Stanza application for the iPhone and iPod Touch can read both encrypted and unencrypted eReader files.

The company’s web site – ereader.com maintains a wide selection of eReader-formatted e-books, available for purchase and download, with a handful of public domain titles available for free. Those books that aren’t free are encrypted, with the key being the purchaser’s full name and credit card number. This information is not preserved in the e-book. A one-way hash is used, so there no risk of the user’s information being extracted.

The program supports features like bookmarks and footnotes, enabling the user to mark any page with a bookmark, and any part of the text with a footnote-like commentary. Footnotes can later be exported as a Memo document.

The company also offers two Windows/MacOS programs for producing e-books: the Dropbook, which is free, and the eBook Studio, which is not. Dropbook is a file-oriented PML-to-PDB converter; eBook Studio incorporates a WYSIWYG editor. Both programs are compatible with simple text files.

There is also support for an integrated reference dictionary (with many options up to and including a 476,000-word Merriam-Webster Dictionary, including pronunciation keys) so that any word in the text can be highlighted and looked up on the dictionary instantly. Commercial fonts can also be individually purchased and downloaded at the company’s web site, ereader.com.

On July 20, 2009, Barnes & Noble announced that the eReader format will be the method they will use to deliver e-books. Updated versions of the Palm Digital programs for Apple iPhone/Touch, Blackberry, Mac OS X, and Windows platforms were made available on the Barnes & Noble eBooks website.

On October 20, 2009, Barnes & Noble announced that their Nook Reader will support the eReader format. eReader format is also supported by the discontinued eSlick, an e-reading device from Foxit Software. It is not currently supported on Barnes & Noble’s NookColor.

Multimedia eBooks

A multimedia ebook is media and book content that utilizes a combination of different book content formats. The term can be used as a noun (a medium with multiple content formats) or as an adjective describing a medium as having multiple content formats.

The ‘multimedia ebook’ term is used in contrast to media which only utilize traditional forms of printed or text books. Multimedia ebooks include a combination of text, audio, images, video, and/or interactive content formats. Much like how a traditional book can contain images to help the text tell a story, a multimedia ebook can contain other elements not formerly possible to help tell the story.

With the advent of more widespread tablet-like computers, such as the smartphone, some publishing houses are planning to make multimedia ebooks, such as Penguin.

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