Are you new to PDF and Mobi file formats?
When publishing an e-book, one of the first things that a publisher will have to decide is the format that will be used for publishing. The most common and popular e-book formats are PDF, EPUB and MOBI (which is used in Kindle e-book reader devices).
PDF Files and Their Drawback
Portable Document Format (PDF) is an e-book file format that can be read by computers independent of the computers’ Operating System, software, or hardware. Computer hardware is the visible and touchable parts of a computer such as the mouse pad and the screen, computer software are applications that control how the hardware operate such as opening an e-book, and computer Operating System is a set of programs that controls how the hardware and software function, such as the speed of opening an e-book by a given software in a computer.
Most of us are familiar with the PDF as this is the file format which is used with Adobe Acrobat Reader, installed on almost all computers today. So you might think that this is a safe bet since everyone with a computer will know how to open a PDF file. But think again.
You will see the problem once you try to open a PDF e-book on your phone. Text on PDF files is static. This means that if you create a page with 250 words in it, these 250 words will appear on your phone screen as well. This will obviously create problems since the text will be too small to be seen and the page will have to be enlarged. Once the words are enlarged, all the words on this page will not be visible at the same time. Then the page will have to be moved around with the finger so that you can read everything that is on the page.
Text on EPUB books, on the other hand, is not static. The books display only that much text which can be displayed on the screen depending on what text size the reader has selected. So the reader has only to read a page and flip it as he finishes it, unlike PDF files where he has to keep using his finger to move the screen all the time.
And What Are MOBI files?
Technically EPUB and MOBI files are very different but for a reader, there is hardly any difference. EPUB formats the books accordingly to what the author had initially set up, especially the spacing. But not so with MOBI files. MOBI is an e-book file format with the extension.MOBI that was designed by the MobiPocket Company to be viewed on MobiPocket Reader and Kindle application software. A file extension is a metadata of the given file format (for instance, .MOBI file extension is the metadata about the MOBI file format). On the other hand, metadata is information (data) about the stored data; for example, MOBI metadata is data about how information in the MOBI file format has been structurally stored and coded. Coding is putting information into a language that can be understood by computers.
Methods of converting PDF to Mobi file format
So it can be quite annoying to read PDF format books on Kindle; they might display well on devices which have large screens, but as far as a Kindle screen goes, PDF formats are an absolute no-no. After all which reader would want to keep dragging the PDF file, zooming, and scrolling so that it fits on the small screen when he is avidly following a story. Sometimes, the Kindle might come up with “not enough memory” error message when you are desperately trying to access the file.
The best way to overcome this problem is to convert the PDF file into the Kindle format (.azw)
There are some methods that can be used to change PDFs into MOBI files. These methods can be categorized into:
i) The first method is use of online PDFs to MOBI converters
The pdf4kindle.com is one online converter which can be used to convert any portable document file format to the Kindle-supported.MOBI format. The good news is that this site need not be downloaded into your computer to be used. You can do the conversion online itself. The services are also free. It is also Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux compatible. If you have good internet connection, just upload the PDF file to the site, have it converted into a.MOBI file, download the converted file and send it to your e-book reader device, in this case, your Kindle.
Use of online site converters tools is good for personal work but not for commercial purposes. Despite most online converters being free and open source, they are associated with a number of disadvantages such as; distortion of the original content in the PDFs files while converting to MOBI files leading to losing of data, and only limited sizes of PDFs can be converted to MOBI files using the online conversion tools i.e. Online converters limit the size of PDF documents they can convert to MOBI documents. For example, a converter specifies that the maximum size of a document to be converted should not be more than 10 megabytes.
ii) Whereas The another method is Use of desktop software applications to convert PDFs into MOBI files
Use of computer desktop applications is the best technique to consider while converting PDFs to MOBI files on a commercial basis or when one wants to distort very minimum percentages of the original content. Care should, however, be taken on which application tools to use and which method to use to convert the PDFs to MOBI using the desktop application tools.
The best method of obtaining clean MOBI files from PDFs is, first of all, converting the PDFs into EPUB files, and then converting the EPUB files to MOBI. It is however quite an involving process and needs patience and a lot of publishing skills and experience at hand.
It is therefore encouraged for those wishing to publish PDFs into MOBI e-books to consider employing publishing labor in the publishing process since professional publishers will go beyond using desktop applications in the converting of PDFs to MOBI. Publishers understand the codes of different file formats and know how to manipulate these codes to fit into different e-book file formats such as PDFs to MOBI; codes are languages that can be understood by computers to perform various tasks such as opening a MOBI file.
iii) The use of desktop applications to convert PDFs to MOBI files
The only best method, that perhaps those interested in maintaining quality MOBI files output from PDF files is, first of all converting the PDF file into EPUB files followed by converting the EPUB files to MOBI files. This is quite an involving process but produces the best results.
Step 1: Convert your PDFs into EPUB files
There are some tools which achieve this. The tools and their uses in the conversion processes are:
1. Adobe Acrobat Reader Pro: This is a software application used for opening and converting the PDF file into Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) file format. HTML is a computer language used to edit web pages. So first save the PDF file as HTML and them convert it into either EPUB or MOBI document.
Go to “File,” then “Save as.” From “More Options” select “HTML Web Page.” If you are having trouble saving the file as HTML, ensure that you have unchecked the “Run OCR if Needed” option in the “Save As” screen under “Settings” option.
Sometimes Adobe PDF Pro fails in applying font formats such as bold and italics to the text. So, all that you may have is plain text. In such cases, you can use Mobipocket Creator or Calibre.
2. Sigil: This is a software application free open-source editor for editing PDF into HTML. Using Sigil, one removes the unnecessary data in the HTML format that had been obtained from the source PDF. Sigil allows the addition of chapter breaks, editing of the table of contents and also updating the metadata. It enables one to edit some characters in the HTML file such as font size and adding chapter breaks. Sigil finally allows one to save the HTML documents as an EPUB documents after edition.
3. Calibre: This is a software tool that allows for the further version of the now already produced EPUB file format. One can view the EPUB files obtained using Calibre to make any further changes depending on taste and preferences.
So if you are opting for Calibre for conversion of the file format then do the following:
- Download Calibre and install it.
- Drop your required PDF file into Calibre using the “Add Books” button.
- Once it is added, the book will show in the list. Right-click on it and choose “Convert Books” option. From there click on “Convert Individually.”
- The Convert Window will have the “Input Format” option where you can select “PDF.” In the “Output Format,” there will be various options such as EPUB, FB2, HTMLZ, MOBI, PDB, PMLZ and much more. Select the format required and click on “OK”.
- The conversion would start. The converted file is saved in the Calibre Library Folder by default. The time taken for conversion would depend on the size of the file.
4. International Digital Publishing Forum’s EPUB validator
Once an EPUB file has been created, it has to be sent through IDPF’s EPUB validator (http://validator.idpf.org/). This is a tool that allows one to check on whether the EPUB files have met publication standards and allows for the adjustment of any errors made. An up to standard EPUB publication will ensure an up to standard MOBI publication. This can be a very frustrating process if, after hours of tinkering with the code, you are now told that something is wrong with the file.
Some of the most obvious slip-ups might be the missing of an “alt tag” while inserting images or when images appear in the text already. Another common error occurs while linking locations in the e-book which require specific end points. In the absence of an endpoint, an error message is generated. The metadata has to be checked as well. Some information is necessary such as the title, which if found missing, throws an error message.
5. EPUB to MOBI converter desktop applications
Now that a nice clean EPUB file is in your hand, it can be converted into MOBI. An example of such an EPUB to MOBI converter application and the best one for that matter is Kindle and Kindle Previewer software. These are software that was specifically made to view MOBI files though they view other file formats such as EPUB file format.
Kindle Previewer software can be used to convert some other e-book formats such as EPUB to MOBI. The software uses KindleGen generate a MOBI file from an EPUB. All that one needs to do is:
- Open Kindle Previewer using the search menu.
- Change the necessary settings such as language, and default orientation of files in the Kindle Previewer software.
- Copy and paste or drag the EPUB file obtained from the PDF file into the Kindle Previewer Software and click on the convert menu to run the EPUB file through a series of conversion processes into a MOBI file.
- The shortcut to the final MOBI file will appear on the desktop.
- After converting the EPUB to MOBI files, one can do some other few editions we desire on the MOBI file using the Kindle Previewer software.
- The newly published MOBI is ready for viewing using the Kindle software and is automatically saved in the software.
- One might get a very common message here if the cover design is not designated. In such cases, right-click on the cover image in Sigil, select “Add Semantics / Cover Image.”
Since this is a highly involving process for converting PDFs to MOBI files, it is always recommended that professional publishers do commercial based conversion.
Iii) Using Amazon’s “e-mail to Kindle” feature
For all Kindle users, Amazon develops an email address. This unique Send to Kindle email address has to be registered by the users before they can start using their devices. To get the address, users need to go to “Manage Your Kindle” page on the Amazon site. Here, in the “Manage Your Devices” section, the user has to add the email account from where the books will be sent in the “Approved Personal Document Email List” so that it can be sent to the Kindle e-mail address. The file can now be attached and sent to the Kindle device.
For file conversion, the user would just have to place the word “convert” in the subject box of the email. Amazon will now convert the sent file into.MOBI format for reading on Kindle devices. If no conversion is required, then the subject box should be left blank.
How long will you keep looking for a publishing company to manage you PDFs into MOBI files?
Don’t keep looking further anymore! We are a team of highly experienced publishers with the latest technology which can convert PDFs into quality MOBI files offering many other publishing services to suit your publishing needs. You can also contact us using our office email addresses, phone number, and social media platforms. Find a home for your quality and affordable publishing services by discussing your publishing needs with our top-notch publishers. Welcome!