View Full Version : Print version of ePub

09-08-2011, 01:05 AM
I'm working on converting my 500-page textbook from LaTeX to ePub. It's a programming book, so has lots of computer code, math, and figures. This is an "interesting challenge." Learning a lot about css as I go.

Right now I provide the book in two pdf formats, one optimized for printing (nice margins, gutter for double-sided printing, etc.), the other for eReading (very small margins, no gutter, etc.). Our students can download the eReading file, and our campus bookstore prints the other one on demand. Some students prefer eReading, others a print copy. (BTW, it took a little planning to synchronize the pagination between the two versions!)

How easy is it to print from ePub? In particular, I would like to find a place that would allow me to submit the ePub version to them, and they would sell it either as an eBook or a print-on-demand version. Can anyone point me to such a place?

I have spent a few minutes with Calibre, converting a short ePub book to pdf. Perhaps that is the best approach for me.

09-08-2011, 01:30 AM
I am not sure that you can successfully print from EPub (although I'd be interested to hear if anyone has done this.) When I have to load documents with lots of symbols I "print" them as as a PDF (using Primo PDF) but make the page a small size (about 9 x 12 cm for my Kobo). This fits nicely into the ereader screen. This is also a good way of converting PPT slides - just make a small page size and set to "fit to paper size".
If you already have a PDF version, would it really be necessary to print to paper from an EPUB? I would just print from the PDF.

09-08-2011, 02:08 AM
If you already have a PDF version, would it really be necessary to print to paper from an EPUB? I would just print from the PDF.

Good question. The problem is that the current pdf formatting does not translate to ePub (actually, html). For example, I use a "pretty printing" package in LaTeX for computer code that numbers each line and does syntax coloring (all the keywords are on color, the comments are another, etc.). It's done automatically by the LaTeX package. I don't think there is anything like this for html. Doing it "by hand" for about 200 computer code listings would be nearly impossible.

The bottom line here is that I think the ePub version of the book will look very different than my current version. I have learned that there is no reasonable way to convert it from pdf to ePub, but I was hoping that there was a good way to convert it from ePub to pdf (which could then easily be printed).

09-08-2011, 04:51 AM
If you want to convert ePUB to PDF, you can use this little script, which in turn uses Prince ( for the real conversion.

You can even add some specific CSS file that is only used when converting to PDF with this script. See here for details.