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Old 05-24-2010, 09:06 AM   #1
bruc79
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Convert Epub and Msreader formats to Kindle formats

Hi. I have been using Calibre for a few months and it has been a great help in organizing my free library to read it in my Kindle.

For the paying books I have not been too happy with the prices practiced by Amazon, and recently discovered that www.bookdepository.co.uk sells e-books at more interesting prices, which are compatible with many formats except Kindle because they come in pdf, Epub and Msreader formats.

Excluding pdf which is not a kindle-friendly format, does Calibre guarantee a good conversion from Epub and Msreader to MOBI or PRC?

If not, is there a better application to try this conversion.

I wouldn't want to buy an e-book in Epub or Msreader and find out the conversion was totally incompatible for Kindle Reading.

Thanks for any help on this
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:31 AM   #2
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I would not say that you could get a "guarantee" of a good conversion. Having said that MSReader (LIT) and Epub should both convert well. Note that you have to have any DRM removed (if originally present) before books can be converted.

Mobi and PRC are effectively the same format. Normally mobi is now used as the extension for Kindle books.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:54 AM   #3
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In general Calibre converts both formats very well. My favorite format to convert from is ePub so I usually convert LIT's to that first and then if needed (I'm picky sometimes) I tweak the ePub in Sigil and then convert the ePub to Mobi. If you put a TOC in your ePub (depending on the source file Calibre will often auto generate it) then your Mobi conversion should even have the chapter marks in the progress bar that a lot of Kindle books have.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Excluding pdf which is not a kindle-friendly format, does Calibre guarantee a good conversion from Epub and Msreader to MOBI or PRC?
Quote:
Originally Posted by itimpi View Post
I would not say that you could get a "guarantee" of a good conversion.
Agreed. More generally, you can't get such a "guarantee" for any conversion software.

If I might ask from those who have Kindles, I thought one of the big draws of the Kindle was a large screen that could handle pdfs. Why isn't the pdf format kindle-friendly? Moreover, I've seen more and more pdfs that have reflowable text. Don't pdf ebooks come with reflowable text? I'd think that would be kindle-friendly even if older non-reflowable pdf texts aren't.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bruc79 View Post
...does Calibre guarantee a good conversion from Epub and Msreader to MOBI or PRC?
Yes, calibre comes with a double-your-money-back guarantee. If it ever fails to convert a file, you can return it for a refund of twice the purchase price.

Of course, given that twice 0 is still 0, you might not be able to buy a cup of coffee with that ....

But on a less snarky note, the conversion should go fine. I have a Sony Reader, so naturally I'm converting the other way -- mobi/prc to epub -- and I've never had a problem. The only conversion that ever seems to give me grief is pdf to, well, anything else, but that's pdf for you.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:16 PM   #6
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Thanks for the great suggestions. I'm thinking of asking bookdepository if they sell their Epubs without DRM, and if so will probably try to buy one and convert it to MOBI through Calibre.

From all replies I see that the PDF to MOBI conversion is something that nobody is happy about. This is a shame because I have "many" free pdf e-books in my Calibre library and I still don't know if there is a Conversion software worthwile.
For the comics I have literally given up trying to convert them to try and make them readable in my kindle. Lots of limitations on this supposedly wonderful device, which still makes it great, were it not for the monopolization by Amazon on kindle-friendly formats.

Any suggestions on conversion solution for PDF or should I just give up and delete all PDF files (more than 3000) from my e-book library?

Tks
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bruc79 View Post
Any suggestions on conversion solution for PDF or should I just give up and delete all PDF files (more than 3000) from my e-book library?
Don't delete. A new Calibre conversion engine is in progress, just temporarily delayed. Plus, you never know when you'll get another device that will handle PDFs better. Currently, you can often get a good PDF conversion, it's just not guaranteed, and the settings to get a good conversion may differ from PDF to PDF. if you just want to read the book, you can often export to text format.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:24 PM   #8
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Any suggestions on conversion solution for PDF or should I just give up and delete all PDF files (more than 3000) from my e-book library?
IIRC the next version of Calibre is slated to have some improvements in conversion from PDF.


I've had a fair amount of success, without to much work, by taking the PDF and using Acrobat Pro to export as HTML (I've used Mobi Creator to get HTML too) and then use either Sigil or Book Designer on the HTML to create and ebook which can then be converted in Calibre if need be. A lot of it will depend on how the PDF was made, the above applies to text based PDFs.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:31 PM   #9
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...

Any suggestions on conversion solution for PDF or should I just give up and delete all PDF files (more than 3000) from my e-book library?
I've used ABBYY FineReader to convert PDFs. It's... okay. Not perfect, but I can live with it. In general, the converted file tends to have paragraph breaks where none should be (in the latest, perhaps once about 10 page shifts or so) but usually not any other errors. AFAIAK, FineReader is among the best OCR programs currently available.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:11 PM   #10
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if you just want to read the book, you can often export to text format.
I will certainly wait for the new Calibre. In the meantime to solve the most difficult pdf's what do you mean by "export to text format". Export the pdf to txt?
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:22 PM   #11
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I will certainly wait for the new Calibre. In the meantime to solve the most difficult pdf's what do you mean by "export to text format". Export the pdf to txt?
Yes. Calibre can do this, and so can Adobe Acrobat. Often that's the easiest conversion, just export to ascii txt.
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:33 PM   #12
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Just be aware that by exporting to txt you lose most of the formatting.
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:34 AM   #13
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Just be aware that by exporting to txt you lose most of the formatting.
In Calibre what would be the best conversion option from pdf, guaranteeing the least loss of formatting from the original pdf file? If not txt, which format?
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:35 AM   #14
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Don't delete. A new Calibre conversion engine is in progress, just temporarily delayed.
When you mention temporarily delayed, when can we expect this new version? June, July or later?
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:07 AM   #15
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I would not say that you could get a "guarantee" of a good conversion. Having said that MSReader (LIT) and Epub should both convert well. Note that you have to have any DRM removed (if originally present) before books can be converted.

Mobi and PRC are effectively the same format. Normally mobi is now used as the extension for Kindle books.
No good news from bookdepository. This was their reply.
"All of the e-books we sell feature DRM, the only exceptions to this will be the free Dodo press e-books at the link below:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/free"

This means I shouldn't buy any epub book with DRM because they will not convert, right?
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