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An extremely capable ebook management program by Kovid Goyal.


[edit] Overview

Calibre (previously Libprs500) is an eBook management program, conversion tool, and includes an eBook Reader. It is free, open source and cross-platform in design and works on Linux, MacOS X and Windows. Calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution and thus includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to eBook conversion as well as device sync features. It can convert from HTML, LIT, RTF, TXT, MOBI, and PDF (simple text+few images), and ePUB. Multiple HTML or HTML with images will work if they are zipped up together. It can also automatically download and convert RSS feeds. It can output LRF, ePUB, and/or MOBI.

calibre is a powerful and easy to use e-book manager. Users say it’s outstanding and a must-have. It’ll allow you to do nearly everything and it takes things a step beyond normal e-book software. It’s also completely free and open source and great for both casual users and computer experts.

  • Save time on managing your e-book collection
  • Use it everywhere and with anything
  • Comprehensive e-book viewer (reader)
Calibre can be used as a viewer for all the major eBook formats. Calibre only works with non-DRM versions of all the eBook formats.
  • Download news/magazines from the web
  • Share and backup your library easily
  • Edit the books in your collection
  • Satisfy every e-book need and get support
It’s unlikely, but if you find out there’s a feature you need but calibre lacks it, you can use the built-in plugin explorer. Many users develop plugins to enhance and expand calibre’s features. You can browse through hundreds of plugins directly from calibre and install them with just one click.

[edit] Platforms

Calibre will run on the following OS types.

  • Mac OS X Version 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and higher, earlier versions can be downloaded for older OS's.
  • Linux calibre has a binary install that includes private versions of all its dependencies. It runs on 32-bit and 64-bit Intel compatible machines.
  • Windows - Both 32 bit and 64 bit are supported as well as a portable version. Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10 are supported. A older version is available for Windows XP.

[edit] Conversion tool

Calibre has a GUI interface and a Command line interface. The conversion formats listed here are in the GUI interface.


Output formats available: EPUB, LIT, LRF, FB2, MOBI, PDB, PDF, PMLZ, RB, TCR, TXT

Conversion from PDF can be problematic as it is for most other tools. Simple text with a few images will work fine but a complicated PDF or one that has been edited several times can be a problem. PDF files can sometimes consist of images that look like text. These will remain as images in the converted file. PDF can also represent some two character sets as ligatures using embedded fonts to display. These could be dropped during conversion.

It has been reported that ePub to FB2 conversion loses internal links.

[edit] Comprehensive e-book reader

Calibre has a built-in eBook reader that can display all the major eBook formats. It has full support for Table of Contents, bookmarks, CSS, a reference mode, printing, searching, copying, customizing the rendering via a user style sheet, embedded fonts, etc.

It is possible to start this reader directly without starting the main Calibre program. Simply find the executable in your Program Files folder under Calibre2. It is called "ebook-viewer.exe". Make a short-cut to the executable. You can drag an eBook to the short-cut or start the viewer and use the "Open ebook" command. For a Windows PC both a 32-bit and a 64-bit version are available. It is also possible to have multiple-instances on the screen.

[edit] Library Management

Calibre is primarily a eBook cataloging program. It manages your eBook collection for you. It is designed around the concept of the logical book, i.e. a single entry in the database that may correspond to eBooks in several formats.

Calibre support sorting the books in its database by:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Date
  • Publisher
  • Rating
  • Size (Max size of all formats)
  • Series

It also supports extra metadata fields that can be searched on:

  • Comments: A general purpose field that can be used to describe the book, add notes on it, etc.
  • Tags: A flexible system to categorize books. You can tag any book with any custom tag to indicate subject, read status, category, etc.

The database view also supports filtering by searching on the metadata. You can perform advanced searching on individual metadata fields by clicking the advanced search button to the left of the search bar.

You can export subsets of the books in your collection by using the Save to disk button.

You can fetch metadata from the Internet for a book based on its ISBN number or its title/author, instead of manually entering the metadata. You can also fetch a cover image based on the ISBN number.

[edit] Sharing and publication with Dropbox

With Dropbox, the syncing and publishing tool (free for 2Gb), it's easy to setup Calibre so that your eBook collection is always available on the internet, and synced across multiple computers. This is explained here on the calibre2opds FAQ.

[edit] Generation of OPDS catalogs

The free and opensource calibre2opds can be easily used to generate standard OPDS catalogs that can be read by compatible eBook readers (such as Aldiko, Stanza, QuickReader, and MegaReader). Combined with the Dropbox sharing instructions above, this makes your entire Calibre library accessible on your smart phone, or even a netbook or tablet computer running Firefox and EPUBReader.

[edit] ePub Editor

Calibre now supports an ePub editor. See forum discussion. It has capabilities similar to Sigil but uses a more generalized approach.

[edit] Usage of regular expressions inside Calibre

Calibre supports the use of regular expressions in multiple places including its editor. An introduction to regular expressions and their usage inside Calibre is available here.

[edit] Get Calibre

[edit] Plugins

Calibre accepts plugins that can change its behavior and extend its ability to support more features. Check Custom GUI plugins in our forum for more details. Some are device drivers to allow portable platforms such as eBook readers to hook to a desktop database.

[edit] For more information

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