Are you new to PDF and EPUB?
There are different e-book file formats and PDF is one of the e-book file formats which is independent of computer operating system, hardware or software. Computer operating system controls how computer hardware and software work whereas computer hardware are the visible parts of a computer such as a screen and a keyboard; computer software is application programs that control how computer hardware operate such as increasing brightness in the display. PDFs are therefore readable on many computer devices since their readability doesn’t depend on computer software, hardware or Operating Systems.
EPUB is also an electronic book format with the extension e.pub. The extension is the metadata about the e-books file format whereas metadata is information about the data in a given e-book format. E-books in EPUB file formats are readable on different computer devices only when such devices have software applications that are made to read the EPUB e-books correctly.
The PDF file format, with file extension .pdf, has been developed by Adobe Systems. This file format is used to represent documents in a way which is separate from the original application, hardware or operating system where it was created initially. The file can be of any length and can contain any number of fonts as well as images, but it is designed for printing output.
This open-source format has been developed by International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). It is based on XML, XHTML, and CSS and performs equally well with many applications. This has lead to its popularity as an e-book file format but, the various rules that one has to adhere to while creating these types of the file has attracted much criticism of the file format.
PDF vs. EPUB
PDF or Portable Document Format is one of the most popular and standard file formats which find use in publishing e-books. This is the file format which is used with Adobe Reader and Adobe Reader, as we know, is installed on almost all computers. So, it is only natural that we presume that it is the best bet since anyone who has a computer will be able to open a PDF file. But, this is where we are wrong.
Try reading a PDF e-book on your phone, and you will realize what we are talking about. PDF files contain text which is static. So, however, small or big the number of words, they all have to be fitted on the small phone screen. Since the text will be too small to be read, the page will have to be enlarged. Then comes the problem. The enlarged page will have to be moved around, and you will have to keep scrolling sideways and downwards to be able to read all the words on the page. Now for an avid reader, who is following an interesting story or is in the midst of a fascinating article, nothing can be more distracting than having to use the fingers all the time to move the page.
Now try reading an EPUB e-book on your phone. Here lies the difference. Text in EPUB files is not static, and the format allows the content to flow. Depending on the text size chosen by the reader, EPUB books display as much text as can be indicated on the screen. So the reader needs just to finish and flip the pages, which is so much easy.
There are many ongoing debates as to which of the files are easier to read on an e-book reader device – PDF or EPUB . Since PDF files produce the pages exactly as they are saved and are devoid of the adjustments which have been made for the font sizes, images, and other aspects, many believe that these files lead to less of eye strain and are also aesthetically more pleasing experiences.
On the other hand, many readers prefer the EPUB files where the text sizes to adjust to the screen size of the reader device but at the same time retaining their original layout and formatting.
Though there are devices like the iPads, which provide native support for EPUB files, there are no devices which support PDF files. Also, there are many situations where EPUBs are preferred over other file formats. So, readers might come under circumstances where they have only options for EPUB files or where they might want to convert a PDF to EPUB file.
1. The best method on how to convert PDFs to EPUB files
Keeping these in mind, here are some ways which will guide you on conversion of PDF to EPUB file methods. There are different ways of converting PDFs to EPUB files. However, the non-disturbing methods which ensure that information is saved are to be used.
- Calibre is a free and cross-platform management tool for e-books, which works on OS X, Windows, and Linux. Download Calibre and install it.
- The first time that you run Calibre set your “Device Type” to default, though you have the option to be more specific if you want to.
- Drag and drop the PDF file that you want to convert to EPUB format. You can edit any metadata according to your choice – right click on the book, select “Edit Metadata Information,” edit the metadata individually, click on the “Convert E-books” button which is available on the toolbar.
- Now you need to verify the input and output data – the “Input Format” is available in the Convert window at the far left and the default would be the structure of the e-book that you have selected. The “Output Format” button is to be found on the far right of it which is to be selected as EPUB from the drop-down menu.
- Now the file is ready to be converted – click “Ok” and let the conversion begin.
- Your converted EPUB book is ready to be moved to your device – once the conversion is over, right click on the newly converted book and select the “Open” containing folder which will contain your newly formatted e-book. You can now drag and drop this file to your device.
- Time to enjoy your converted e-book!
ii) We need some tools to get a valid PDF file from an EPUB file.
The tools are as follows;
- Adobe Acrobat application; this is used to view the PDF and convert it to Hypertext Markup Language- (HTML). HTML is a computer programming language used to create web pages.
- Sigil; this is a What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) open source application for editing PDF into HTML. An open source application is a software application that is free for access and use by the general public. Sigil is used for the creation of EPUB e-book file formats from other file formats such as PDF.
- Calibre; this is for viewing the EPUB file already created by Sigil. Calibre is a free and open source software application that allows the publisher to edit and create e-books in a variety of formats such as EPUB.
- International Digital Publishing Forum’s (IDPF’S) EPUB validator; this provides validation information for the EPUB for example, whether the EPUB file has met the required standards set for publishing EPUB e-books.
Steps followed in converting PDFs to EPUB files
Step 1: Open and convert PDF file to HTML using Adobe Acrobat Pro
- Use Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the PDF file and then select file followed by saving as other, select HTML web page file.
- In the Settings dialogue, choose whether you want to produce a single HTML page or multiple pages.
- After selecting which pages to create, choose whether you want to split the PDF into HTML files documents by headings or bookmarks depending on whether the PDF file has headings, or bookmarks or both.
- After choosing on how to split the PDF files, select whether to include images and detect and remove headers and footers.
- The last setting called OCR setting is dependent on whether the PDF document under conversion originated from a scanned document and can always be selected in either case.
- After this, click okay and save. Adobe will run the process of converting the PDF file/ files into HTML.
Step 2: Edit the HTML file using Sigil
After converting the PDF into HTML files, open the HTML file using Sigil. You will see the form in which the document is likely to appear in an e-book reader, at this point the document is usually very unpleasant (messy).
- Click on the split screen mode which will separate the document into text and HTML codes. Codes are texts that can be understood by the computer to perform specific functions.
- You will see .css codes at the top of the HTML codes that controls text formatting. There are .css codes that are needed and the ones that are not needed. The two types are – long .css code and the short one. Delete the long .css code since it is not required.
- When the long .css code is removed, the text will look the same apart from some headers. All the information in the more extended .css code came from Adobe Acrobat reader, and it is unnecessary. An EPUB is supposed to be made up of some raw text and therefore remove any unneeded formatting.
- Based on preference, you can add images, cover files, italics, and bolds.
- You can also edit the table of contents, add chapter breaks, and update the metadata using Sigil.
- The addition of and links to Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF files while have linked a table of contents that appear at the beginning of the HTML file throughout the book where the headers are located. This is unnecessary because anytime something is included as a header in the HTML document it will appear on the table of contents. As a result of this, Sigil will create chapter breaks as well as navigation for the HTML file.
- Whenever you create anything new in Sigil, it will refresh the HTML code when switching to book view. It is advisable to save changes as many times as possible. When saving the already edited HTML file for the first time, Sigil will ask you to save it as an EPUB.
Step 3: View the EPUB file using Calibre
- After converting the HTML to EPUB using Sigil, you can see the EPUB document using Calibre application. This will allow you to make any further necessary changes on the EPUB.
Step 4: Validate the EPUB
Validating is the last step of creating an EPUB file from a PDF. It can take a lot of time especially when one is inexperienced in publishing e-books with EPUB file format. Publisher of EPUB e-books are the ones who can easily handle this step and achieve much success and good output from it.
- The step involves the use of International Digital Publishing Forum’s (IDPF’S) EPUB validator to check whether the EPUB documents satisfy and meet the required publishing standards. It involves the changing of different codes associated with the EPUB until the validator indicates the EPUB is error free. After validating the EPUB, you are done with the conversion.
2. We can convert your PDF content to EPUB
Publishing services company with well-trained publishers ready and willing to work with you in managing your publishing works. We can convert your bulk of PDF content into EPUB files at an affordable cost; the best thing with employing our labor is the quality output that will always meet your required publishing standards. Our doors are open to you and therefore feel free to take advantage of the different publishing affordable opportunities we offer, knock on our different offices during the working hours and days to hold further discussions with our team of publishing experts.