calibre (software)

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Calibre logo 2.png
calibre main interface
Original author(s) Kovid Goyal
Initial release October 31, 2006; 9 years ago (2006-10-31)
Stable release 2.50.1 (January 29, 2016 (2016-01-29)) [±][1]
Development status Active
Written in Python, C (Qt), CoffeeScript, JavaScript
Operating system Linux, Mac OS X, Windows
Platform Cross-platform
Available in 37 languages (fully or partially translated)
Type E-book management utility (utility software)
License GNU GPL v3

calibre, a free and open-source e-book computer software application suite which runs on multiple platforms, allows users to manage e-book collections as well as to create, edit, and read e-books. It supports a variety of formats (including the common Amazon Kindle and EPUB formats), e-book syncing with a variety of e-book readers, and conversion (within DRM restrictions) from different e-book and non-e-book formats.


Kovid Goyal started developing "libprs500" on 31 October 2006, when the Sony PRS-500 was introduced. The main idea was to enable the use of the PRS-500 on Linux. Goyal, with support from the MobileRead forums, reverse engineered the proprietary file format LRF.[2]

In 2008, the program's name was changed to "calibre", written in lowercase even at the beginning of a sentence.[3]


calibre supports many file formats and reading devices. Most e-book formats can be edited, for example, by changing the font, font size, margins, and metadata, and by adding an auto-generated table of contents. Conversion and editing are easily applied to appropriately licensed digital books, but commercially purchased e-books may need to have digital rights management (DRM) restrictions removed. calibre does not natively support DRM removal but may permit DRM removal after the installation of plug-ins with that functionality.[4][5]

calibre allows users to sort and group e-books by metadata fields. Metadata can be pulled from many different sources (e.g.,; online booksellers; and providers of free e-books and periodicals in the US and elsewhere, such as the Internet Archive, Munsey's, and Project Gutenberg; and social networking sites for readers, such as Goodreads and LibraryThing). It is possible to search the calibre library by various fields (such as (author, title, or keyword, though as of May 2011 full-text search had not yet been implemented.[6][7]

E-books can be imported into the calibre library, either by sideloading files manually or by wirelessly syncing an e-book reading device with the cloud storage service in which the calibre library is backed up or with the computer on which calibre resides. Additionally, online content-sources can be harvested and converted to e-books. This conversion is facilitated by so-called "recipes", short programs written in a Python-based domain-specific language. E-books can then be exported to all supported reading devices via USB, calibre's integrated mail server, or wirelessly. Mailing e-books enables, for example, sending personal documents to the Amazon Kindle family of e-book readers and tablets.[8][9][10][11]

The content of the calibre library can be remotely accessed. This can be accomplished via a web browser, if the host computer is running and the device and host computer share the same network; in this case, pushing harvested content from content sources is supported on a regular interval ("subscription").[citation needed] Additionally, if the calibre library on the host computer is stored in a cloud service, such as, Google Drive, or Dropbox, then either the cloud service or a third-party app, such as Calibre Cloud or CalibreBox, can be used to remotely access the library.[12][13][14][15][16]

Since version 1.15, released in December 2013, calibre also contains an application for creating and editing e-books directly, similar to the more full-featured Sigil application, but without that application's WYSIWYG editing mode.[citation needed]

At every launch, calibre connects to, in order to check for updates.[citation needed]

Associated apps[edit]

Several third-party developers offer apps to help calibre users manage and sync the e-books or e-files on their mobile devices with those loaded in calibre. Examples include
  • Calibre Cloud (free) and Calibre Cloud Pro (paid), apps by Intrepid Logic that let one "access your Calibre e-book library from anywhere in the world. Place your calibre library in your Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive folder, and be able to view, search, and download from your library anywhere".[17] As Jane at Dear Author and John Jeremy at Teleread observe: This tool can be used to "create [one's] own Cloud of eBooks"[18] and thereby read and permit downloads and emails from one's Calibre library via the Calibre folder in Box, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Because the Calibre-generated local wireless feed (OPDS) can only be accessed on devices sharing the same network as the Calibre library, this feature of the Calibre Cloud apps is particularly useful when away from one's home network, because it allows one to download and read the contents of one's Calibre library via the Calibre folder in Box, Dropbox, or Google Drive.[19]
  • Calibre Companion (paid), an app by MultiPie, Ltd., recommended by calibre's developers, "brings complete integration with calibre on your desktop, giving you total control over book management on your device."[20] John Jermey at Teleread notes this app can manage Calibre/device libraries as if one's mobile device were plugged into computer; however, unlike Calibre Cloud, Calibre Companion requires one to be at a computer and use the Calibre-generated local wireless feed (OPDS).[19]
  • Calibre Library (paid), an app by Tony Maro that allows one to "Connect wirelessly to your Calibre e-book library or other Stanza source. Browse and download your e-books on the go."[21] This app's operations and benefits are similar to those offered by Calibre Cloud.[19]
  • Calibre Sync (free), an app by Seng Jea Lee that "seamlessly connects to your Calibre Library and shows up as a connected device on Calibre. If Auto-Connect option is enabled, your device will attempt to connect to the Calibre Library when it is within the home Wi-Fi network. This allows Calibre to automatically update your device with the latest newspaper or magazines you have scheduled for download!"[22] As with Calibre Companion, this app requires the device to be on the same network as the Calibre library.
  • CalibreBox (free) and (paid), an app by Eric Hoffmann that, like Calibre Cloud, accesses Calibre libraries from cloud storage.[23] Unlike Calibre Cloud it is limited to Dropbox, but CalibreBox supports more than one library at a time, as well as flexible sorting and filtering. Custom column support for the book detail view, sorting and filtering by custom columns, and adding more than two libraries are retricted to paid users. The app is built around the design principles of Google's material design and is under active development.[24]
Third-party apps that are no longer available
  • Leger Calibre (free) and Leger Calibre Donate (paid) apps by J.A. Escobar that provide a browsable interface for calibre libraries saved on an SD card.[19][25] As with Calibre Cloud, one could browse and download from one's Calibre library even when away from the network on which the Calibre library resides. As of May 2015, these apps are no longer available at Google Play.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Goyal, Kovid (2016-01-29). "calibre - What's new". Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  2. ^ "Mobileread Forums". Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "calibre – About". 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  4. ^ Sorrel, Charlie. "How To Strip DRM from Kindle E-Books and Others". Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Zukerman, Erez (December 28, 2012). "How To Break The DRM On Kindle eBooks So You Can Enjoy Them Anywhere". MakeUseOf. 
  6. ^ "User named kovidgoyal on fulltext search in TODO list". 2010-08-01. 
  7. ^ "User named Kovid Goyal (kovid) on fulltext search request". 2011-05-23. 
  8. ^ "Transferring Kindle Books to Calibre" Check |url= value (help). 
  9. ^ "About Calibre". 
  10. ^ "EBook Software: Calibre". MobileRead Forums. 
  11. ^ "Featured Tips n Tricks: How to Use Dropbox to store all your ebooks in the cloud". TouchMyApps. December 5, 2011. 
  12. ^ Wallen, Jack Wallen (February 28, 2011). "How to Use Calibre to Access Your eBook Collection Online" Check |url= value (help). TechRepublic. 
  13. ^ Biba, Paul (February 18, 2010). "How to Create Your Own Cloud of eBooks with Calibre, Dropbox, and Calibre OPDS". TeleRead. 
  14. ^ "Calibre2OPDS". MobileRead. 
  15. ^ Slangen, Simon (August 5, 2013). "How To Manage Your Ebook Collection For The Amazon Kindle With Calibre". MakeUseOf. 
  16. ^ Jane (July 24, 2011). "Create Your Own Cloud of Ebooks with Calibre + Calibre OPDS...". Dear Author. 
  17. ^ Intrepid Logic. "Calibre Cloud". Google Play. Retrieved June 2014. 
  18. ^ Jane. "Create Your Own Cloud of Ebooks with Calibre + Calibre OPDS...". Dear Author. Retrieved June 2014. 
  19. ^ a b c d John Jermey (September 30, 2012). "Calibre Tools For Your Android Device". Teleread. 
  20. ^ MultiPie, Ltd. "Calibre Companion". Google Play. Retrieved August 2013. 
  21. ^ Tony Maro. "Calibre Library description". Google Play. Retrieved August 2013. 
  22. ^ Seng Jea Lee. "Calibre Sync". Google Play. Retrieved August 2013. 
  23. ^ Eric Hoffmann. "CalibreBox". Google Play. Retrieved April 2015. 
  24. ^ "CalibreBox - New Cloud-Based App". MobileRead Forums. Retrieved April 2015. 
  25. ^ J.A. Escobar. "Leger Calibre". Google Play. Retrieved August 2013. 

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Further reading[edit]