Talk:Comparison of e-book formats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Books (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Books. To participate in the project, please visit its page, where you can join the project and discuss matters related to book articles. To use this banner, please refer to the documentation. To improve this article, please refer to the relevant guideline for the type of work.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
WikiProject Software / Computing  (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Software, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of software on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Computing.


Why is the old Sony EB format not in this list? See [1] for details. 22:12, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I think it's too old and obscure to be worth mentioning. Quillaja (talk) 12:34, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


After reading this article, I found this page: This article seems to be a verbatim lift off of this page, or the other way around. (Personally, I think compassrose lifted it from wikipedia). Jspr (talk) 00:46, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Iriverbook2.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Iriverbook2.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 23:33, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

ipod ebook creator[edit]


a link to the ipod ebook creator has been part of ipod notes format description for a long time. however, AlistairMcMillan deleted the link after i have changed it to new website (still free and non-commercial, just on its own domain) of the ipod ebook creator. he is also pointing to the rules and saying that "linking your own website is never acceptable."

well, blindly following rules does not seem acceptable to me, too. anyway, since this utility is online and free and helped over 250.000 people since 2004 with conversion of longer texts to ipod notes format (and it links notes together as well, so it feels like reading a true book on ipod...), i think the link should be a part of the ipod notes format description as it used over last few years.

just to support my argument - it has been mentioned numerous times at the internet with mentions in guardian (uk newspaper), o'reilly's tutorial on hacking ipod and many other websites and printed newspapers (just google for "ipod ebook creator" and see for yourself...)

i think the website adds enough value to be mentioned here.

the new website is at: and has many new features beside the regular conversion... still free and open.

--dusoft (talk) 09:15, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

complex HTML?[edit]

The article states that HTML "offers an additional learning hurdle before one can write in it." Yet other formats seem as complicated to use (or are perhaps even more complex) as HTML. Further, information on how the different formats are created/edited is not given in a way that can be used for comparison. Perhaps by explaining that process a bit more, the statement about HTML's complexity would be better understood. Either that, or provide a citation (talk) 18:45, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

That section read as complete bollocks. copyedited with prejudice. (talk) 15:47, 27 October 2008 (UTC)


Why not use a feature table? (talk) 07:25, 15 November 2008 (UTC) p.s. Serious books in technical fields are almost always written in LaTeX, ConTeXt, or TeX, which is why wikipedia prefers equations formated in LaTeX over MathML. So a critical feature is conversion from these formats. If an ebook format doesn't offer such conversion, then you'll never easily any texts in math, physics, chemistry, or engineering. You may have pdf converters, but such pdf converters work on well formated documents, only basic crap spit out by Word.

I fully agree that there needs to be a feature table. As it stands, there is no "comparison" of e-book formats here at all -- just a series of short, mostly unrelated blurbs. After reading this article, an average person should be able to answer a series of very simple questions about each format: Does it support images? Does it support DRM? Is it an open or a proprietary standard? What devices support it? A table, I think, is the best way to 1) present the information to readers and 2) make it clear to writers what data needs to be included. I've added two tables that are woefully insufficient, but hopefully they will inspire others to improve upon them. mcs (talk) 06:19, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
I strongly agree that the Feature table should be worked on. As a big fan of "Hypertext books" I suggest adding the column with definite YES for HTML, PDF, EPUB, Plucker and Mobi formats. Would you please add this column? Thank you. Ildar.mulyukov (talk) 05:12, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
The table should note if embedded bookmarking is supported. Mobi's bookmarks are not, TealDoc's are - at least in non-DRM books. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bizzybody (talkcontribs) 03:57, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

This has devolved into an incomplete comparison of e-book readers[edit]

OPS is not given its own section, for instance, but only mentioned in the sections of reader programs who want to push that format.

{{Cleanup|date=January 2009}} please. (talk) 15:50, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree, and why is the ipad included in the table? It doesn't have an epaper display, which is probably the defining characteristic of an e-reader. If the apple product is included then why not include all other tablet computers made by other manufactures such as panasonic? In fact why not include ipods, netbooks and laptops by other manufacturers in the table? Is it just because the ipad is cool? If you want to show compatibility with devices/platforms maybe more useful would be entries for 'iphone os devices', 'windows devices' 'symbian' etc (talk) 12:48, 5 March 2010 (UTC) Anon

TealDoc[edit] TealPoint Software has versions for Palm OS and Windows Mobile.


The Eveda article was deleted via this AfD debate - you guys might want to assess whether it belongs here too. -- samj inout 18:44, 22 March 2009 (UTC)


Shouldn't the CBR/CBZ/CB7 family of formats be mentioned as well, as they are the dominating formats for comic books and other books with a significant image content? (talk) 07:13, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

That seems like a good idea to me. Comic books can be ebooks too. Why don't you write that and add it to the article? Quillaja (talk) 12:31, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Those are just ZIP files of numbered page images in PKZIP or 7ZIP format with the extension changed. Easy to create by naming the images as required, ZIPping them and changing the file name extension. Bizzybody (talk) 03:34, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Embedded Annotation Support[edit]

Need a definition. 'Embedded' to remove as seems superfluous. I think HTML is based on tags that can be also called annotations... Interesting features are: links, full text search, notes, highlighting, index. --ThomasWasHere (talk) 22:57, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

If you're referring to the "supported features" table, then 'embedded' is needed. For example, many ereaders support the epub standard, and many of those ereaders also support annotations. However, the epub format itself does not specify any method to add a person's annotations to the epub file itself (i.e. embedding). Those readers keep their annotations in separate files in the device. Now, HTML is based on tags, but I don't think you can call them "annotations" because they don't annotate; they describe the actual structure of the HTML document. I do think, however, that HTML could support "embedded annotations" if a reader would insert the annotation into the document itself. I doubt that will happen, though. I hope that clarifies things, though I may be wrong on some points, and other points are my opinion. Quillaja (talk) 12:30, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


What about the Unix manual formats? "man" (tron/troff), and Emacs help format....

Or publication formats? EPS, DVI? (talk) 07:36, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it's reasonable to call those "ebook formats." Although they contain text and are electronic, they contain only very specific content for a very specific purpose. You're never going to find a best seller in those formats. Quillaja (talk) 12:22, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
agree -- and that gets me wondering: why is "ps" in there? Never seen an ebook in ps... Hugo. (talk) 14:21, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Word wrap in PDF?[edit]

AFAIK it is - at least in theory - possible to produce a tagged PDF file: A pdf file that in order to enable barrier-free access contains all information needed to wrap the text in a different way. In theory, since I have never seen an tagged PDF file, and - even if somebody has the ability to produce them - I'm not completely sure if any reader is able to take advantage from this.

--Peterpall (talk) 21:05, 14 March 2010 (UTC)


I see somebody wants the full deletion of the article, so maybe my words are useless, however, I would like to ask, somebody deleted one of my edits - ebookswriter's AEH format, that I added just under desktop author's DNL format (with maybe too long or too much similar description?) Apart from similarities and other differences (I tested both and it would be long to list everything; I am unable to find reliable usage statistics) it is noticeable that AEH can be transformed in EXE but also in EPUB and MOBI, I did not see something like this before, and this is worth mentioning within this comparison (and could indicate some convergence / stability to the e-babel - ok I am a dreamer!). What do you think? By the way I find this article maybe imperfect but very useful (otherwise I wouldn't have lost my time!), I don't understand all this "appetite for deletion" :). --Iron999 (talk) 14:29, 10 October 2009 (UTC) Also, I know that I shouldn't, but I am a bit discouraged. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Iron999 (talkcontribs) 14:34, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


I noticed that on the supporting hardware secton it said Kindle. Obviously only the kindle will have that should we delete that?Tennispro45 22:37, 2 November 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tennispro45 (talkcontribs)

Kindle books can be read with MobiPocket Reader. Non-DRM Kindle books can be read or converted by several readers and other software that can open MobiPocket books. Bizzybody (talk) 04:00, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

International Digital section header changed to EPUB[edit]

I changed the section header of "International Digital" to "EPUB" because:

  1. The format is never called "International Digital". It is always referred to as "EPUB."
  2. "International Digital" isn't even the full name of the IDPF (the organization that created epub).

If someone were to glance at the table of contents while looking for epub, they'd probably never even notice that it's mentioned in this article. So, renaming the section to "EPUB" is more clear. Quillaja (talk) 12:16, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Reverted video link[edit]

I just inserted my video link previously reverted by Ckatz (talk) where he removed a link to an educational video tutorial specifically about the .epub format with resources found no where else. Video: Format overview of the .epub file I invite him and the community to discuss further reversions here. jk (talk) 09:34, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Note: link removed per WP:EL; discussion comments changed from "keep" to "add" to reflect action under discussion --Ckatzchatspy 23:35, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Add because this educational video tutorial is specifically about the .epub format with resources found no where else jk (talk) 22:49, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Keep out per WP:EL; note that the contributor is seeking to add this link to several articles, not just this one; why is this link any more deserving than oterh avaiable links? A better choice would be to link to the Open Directory service (per the linking guidelines) and then let anyone post their links to that site.) --Ckatzchatspy 23:35, 22 April 2010 (UTC)


Mobipocket Reader's annotation and other features store the data in an .mbp file with the same name as the book. That's also where the reader's current position in the book is stored. The .mbp file must always be kept with the .prc or .mobi file or all that stuff will be lost. It's like an electronic version of a piece of notepaper you'd use to keep notes and use as a bookmark in a paper book. In contrast, TealDoc embeds user bookmarks and the current location in the book file so they can't get lost. Does any other reader software do that?Bizzybody (talk) 03:38, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

DJVU is not a book format[edit]

DJVU is really an image format, just like PNG, JPG, TIFF -- pure useless binary. I presume the intent of this article is to compare book formats, not presentation formats. A book format should be one by which the text parts of the book can be found. If I type in the word "help" in front of a DJVU image, nothing will emerge. Thus, it is not really a "book" format. Elcidia (talk) 17:45, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

True, but it's specially designed to compress printed documents and is therefore particularly suitable for presenting scanned documents in raster formats and is frequently used in ebook readers for this purpose. Chris55 (talk) 09:43, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

AMR-WB+ format missing/NLS books for blind[edit]

I was looking at the audio format used by the Library of Congress Digital Talking books for the blind, described at, which is a variant of the AMR-WB+ format, and it is not listed here. The new Digital Talking book for the Blind supports MP3, AMR-WB+ in various forms, WAV, and unencrypted DAISY2. See for a description of the NLS gadget that plays audio books in these formats.

One suggestion for this page: subdivide the formats into those that are visual only, those that are audio only, and those formats that support both. Jaearick (talk) 01:13, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

mobipocket with android[edit]

As I noted that there is the possibility to read kindle format, I guess that mobipocket without drm should be readable as well —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

.XPS format[edit]

Per my comments at Comparison of e-book readers we need to add .XPS here also... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:01, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

For parity if DjVu, .ps is included then should really include XPS, MDI (precursor to MDS--an extended TIFF format) -- (talk) 14:19, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Need to specify MIME types[edit]

This article ought to specify registered MIME types for the different formats as the "official" denomination of the media type, e.g. text/plain —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mortenhattesen (talkcontribs) 22:24, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:EPUB logo.svg[edit]

The image File:EPUB logo.svg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --07:55, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Interactivity Support?[edit]

Nowhere in the article is "Interactivity Support" defined.

Depending on what "interactive content" is defined as, I would assume that many more formats (azw, mobi) should be indicated as "supporting" that feature, or that fewer (epub, pdf) should. (talk) 21:34, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree. What the heck does it mean? If it can't be clarified that column should be removed. Chris55 (talk) 23:08, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

FictionBook format[edit]

Not only free reading software available for this format (additionally to FBReader, Haali reader and STDU Viewer - CoolReader( and AlReader(, but also free editing software most popular of which is FBEditor ( and free conversion software from Open Office document to FictionBook - OOFBTools ( VadimVMog (talk) 18:01, 24 March 2011 (UTC)— Preceding unsigned comment added by VadimVMog (talkcontribs) 07:56, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

What does “Library Compatible” mean?[edit]

In the list of features supported by e-book readers, one of the columns has the heading “Library Compatible”. Can someone please add an explanation of what this term means? If it means “support for the EPUB format” then it might be better to rename the “Library Compatible” heading to read something like "EPUB supported".

W.F.Galway (talk) 20:37, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

At least this: includes the possibility of access to a transferred book 'timing out' and so becoming a borrowed ebook. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:26, 2 January 2012 (UTC) (talk) 08:27, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

supported formats misleading[edit]

In the table of ereader device vs supported format it shows text being supported by all devices. I've been researching ereaders and according to what I've found so far the nook and kindle do not support text. You can convert text to a supported format, but the devices themselves do not support text. There should be a note indicating that external software is needed to convert the indicated format to a supported format. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:16, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Previous Windows phone Operating System versions (Windows Mobile 6.x and below) to Windows Phone 7[edit]

A request for anyone with the knowledge of the software and formats support of earlier versions of Microsoft Windows operating system for phones to Win Phone version 7: Can you add this into the table about ebook format support in the article, please? I visit the article because of my desire to find out what formats would be supported in Win Mobile 6.x, but I see that more previous versions of the operating system should be included here. Particularly because the program used is likely to be Microsoft Reader, which has been a popular ebook reading program for many for years. I don't know if the Microsoft Reader ebook format support changed per version of release of Windows OS for mobile phones over the years. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lecochonbleu (talkcontribs) 06:30, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Mobi format discontinued Jan 2[edit]

Can someone edit the main page, make it more relevant, indicate which formats are modern and most standard?

From eBookMall: Amazon (the current owner of Mobipocket) discontinued the Mobipocket eBook format on January 2, 2012.

Amazon has stated that past purchases will remain available to customers. eBookMall will keep your Mobipocket eBook downloads available to you for as long as we possibly can, but we recommend that you download them as soon as possible to avoid complications.

We do not know how long Amazon will continue to offer downloads for the Mobipocket Reader program that allows you to read Mobipocket eBooks. We recommend that you download it right away if you don't currently have it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:49, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

In the Kindle Reader app for Android, since adding PDF support it has stopped supporting the original Mobipocket format, which originally used the .prc file name extension. Those books will show up in the book list but will open to a blank page at location -1 of 1. Very annoying when one has hundreds of old Mobipocket books! PalmDoc format (.pdb files) support was also broken. They also open showing location -1 of 1 but will display the first few screens of text then either it turns to gibberish or the app crashes. Also very annoying when one has many hundreds of old PalmDoc books! Contact Amazon and ask them to fix the old Mobipocket format and PalmDoc support. Better yet would be an open source, cross platform reader app that works with as many formats as possible. Bizzybody (talk) 09:08, 23 March 2012 (UTC)


The Mobipocket paragraph has a reference to a dead link about a .mobi book of German wikipedia. Does anyone know another link? OxygenBlue (talk) 10:26, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Should Adobe Digital Editions (.acsm files) be included here?[edit]

It's possible to purchase books in the Adobe Digital Editions format, which gives you a small .acsm file which is used for authentication when you want to read the book, and the contents are downloaded/displayed in the reader program (or in your ereader if it supports ADE). It seems to me that this is a valid and well-known format that should be described along with the others. I was surprised by its omission. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:32, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Kindle Fire / ePub and others[edit]

ePub can be read on Kindle Fire - it is an Android tablet so presumably all Android formats should be set to yes. Does anyone have a problem if i do this? (ePub specifically as apparently the Overdrive reader is available in the Amazon app store). Jtowler (talk) 17:13, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Indented line I just reverted removal of my update to the above effect. Just to add discussion here - the Kindle fire has a system setting to allow instal from sources other than Amazon. Changing this means that a multitude of ePub readers can be loaded, thus the KF is ePub capable ( A more interesting point is whether 'jail breaking' a device is actually something that should be excluded anyway - presumably if this were the case then the answer would still be yes, but with the ref that this would have to be done. Jtowler (talk) 18:37, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Amazon_Kindle#Format_support_by_device does not mention ePub as being supported. de:Kritik says ePub is not supported. Could somebody verify whether the normal models sold today can read ePub as is or using an easily installed application? The apps referenced above are apparently no longer available. --Theosch (talk) 15:23, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

hitp format ([edit]

I have developed this format at with these advantages:

  • (html5) no need for special programs to read it. All machines have the needed browser (= html reader).
  • (id) anyone can refer to ANY PART of it, because all html-elements have IDs.
  • (toc) automatically created expandable table-of-contents makes reading easy.
  • (preview) link-preview makes reading fast.

Because I do not want to be accused that I promote myself, IF anyone find it interesting, you could put it on the list in this page. Synagonism (talk) 19:09, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

GNU/Linux, Windows…[edit]

GNU/Linux and Windows and other OSes listed as eBook readers? Is that a joke? I hope it is! --Hibou57 (talk) 20:06, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on Comparison of e-book formats. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

N Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 04:23, 21 January 2016 (UTC)