EBook Formats

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Created by AbiWord [1]. Also available in compressed format (ZABW). AbiWord is a free word processing program similar to Microsoft Word. It is suitable for a wide variety of word processing tasks.

AbiWord is unique among word processors in its drive to become a fully cross-platform word processor. The source code is carefully written so that AbiWord will run on virtually any operating system with a minimum of time spent on porting. This combined with its support for internationalization (the ability to run AbiWord in many languages) enables AbiWord to provide Word Processing for everybody. It can import several file formats including OpenDocument ODT.


Used to provide DRM on Adobe eBooks PDF en EPUB.

When you start to download a protected Adobe PDF or ePUB a small file with the extension .acsm is first downloaded. This is used by Adobe Digital Editions to send the activation ID to the delivery server which will use that ID to generate an encrypted PDF or ePUB eBook, which is then downloaded to your PC. If your computer is asking you where to save the .acsm file then your Adobe Digital Editions may not be installed correctly or not yet authorized. Often you can solve this issue by simply setting your computer to always use Adobe Digital Editions to open this type of file (in Windows XP, for instance, right click on the file and choose Open With, select Adobe Digital Editions and tick the box to tell Windows to remember the setting; for other operating systems please read your documentation).

Many eBooks have built in security, DRM, in order to protect the eBooks copyright. You are required to activate your software before downloading to identify that you are the rightful owner of the book. In the case of Adobe Digital Editions you can opt not to authorize the software, but if you do this you will not be able to transfer the eBook(s) to other devices you own and in the event of having to reinstall Digital Editions it may not be able to open your existing eBook(s).


AEH is the file extension used by eBooksWriter [2]. The file begins with the letters ALDO which are followed by metadata and finally the raw text from the file interspersed with format data. The data is not compressed.


AZW, probably standing for Amazon Whispernet, is an eBook format used exclusively on the Amazon Kindle and compatible Kindle software on PC's or iPhones. It is basically the MOBI format using the high compression option. The AZW extension is used on eBook files that are protected with DRM and files that are not protected.

  • MobileRead AZW
  • AZW1 is an eBook in the Topaz (TPZ) format that has been delivered via Whispernet (See Amazon Kindle).
  • TPZ is an eBook in the Topaz format that that been delivered via Internet download.


Also Amazon proprietary format in a TPZ format always with a custom DRM.


Broadband eBook is a Sony proprietary format. Also know as LRF because of the file extension.


Compressed container for images based on RAR (CBR) or ZIP (CBZ). The name CB stands for Comic Book ans is mostly used for pictural books.


Compressed HTML as used in Microsoft Helpfiles.


Lizardtech format is used in scientific publications. The compression is much better than in PDF (10x) with the same quality. At this moment the best system for B&W text and pictures.


Desktop Author [3] digital web book format.


Microsoft Word document.


Microsoft Office latest version open XML format for Word (2007 and later).


ePub [4] is an open format defined by the Open eBook Forum of the International Digital Publishing Forum (idpf [5]). It is based on XHTML and XML along with optional style sheets. Its predecessor was the OEB standard. Specifications are found at the idpf [5] web site.


Palm database format for the eReader reader. The ER is used to distinguish this format.


Executable format used to include the program to display the book.


Fictionwise book format based on XML.


Franklin eBook format.


Ganaxa Publishing Format, allowing hot spots and embedded rich media content. See also GPX


Protected Ganaxa document. See also [[#GPF}GPF]].


Hyper Text Markup Language is the backbone of the World Wide Web. Many texts are distributed in this format. In addition, some eBook readers support Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) that are basically a master style guide for HTML pages.


eBook Technologies format, which is considered a terminal format.


HieBook format.


Microsoft native format for the Microsoft Reader.


Sony proprietary format. See also BBeB.


BBeB Books source format. See also: BBeB, Xylog and XML. The source is compiled into the LRF format for BBeB books


MobiPocket format is usable with MobiPocket's own reading software on almost any PDA and Smartphones. Mobipocket's Windows PC software can convert .chm, .doc, .html, .ocf, .pdf, .rtf, and .txt files to this format.


Newspaper download format used by NewspaperDirect for their PressDisplay product.


Open eBook format is an ebook format used by EBookwise-1150, MobiPocket, and Microsoft Reader. This standard is an older version of EPUB.


Open Office document format.


An XML Schema definition for Bibles and other Biblical research texts.


Palm Database file can hold several different e-book formats targeting Palm-enabled devices, commonly used for PalmDOC (AportisDoc) e-books and eReader formats as well and many others.


Adobe Portable Document Format initialy used in Acrobat Reader. It is the defacto standard for document interchange. Software support exists for almost every computer platform and handheld device. Some devices have problems with PDF since most content available is scaled for either A4 or letter format, both of which are not easily readable when reduced to fit on small screens. Some Readers can reflow some PDF documents, including the Sony PRS505, to accommodate the small screen. Some e-book readers, including the iRex iLiad, have a pan-and-zoom feature that aids readability, but extracts a price in ergonomics.


Apple's Newton format.


See PNPd.


Palm-eReader format. Very popular also known as PML


Palm Resource File often holds a Mobipocket eBook but occasionally holds an eReader or AportisDoc eBook. Most often it is a Palm executable.


Rocket eBook format made for the Rocket eBook device and the Gemstar RCA REB 1100.


Rich Text Format is a document interchange format available supported by some e-book readers, and also by many Word processing applications including MS Word and OpenOffice. It is the preferred format for many users who create their own content for the Sony Reader.


SGF is the native format for Sigil, a direct editor for ePUB.


STAReBOOK's proprietary format.


eBook for EPOC


Tiny Ebook Reader format also used by Fictionwise.


Topaz file extension used on Amazon Kindl.


Text is the base type, with no formatting applied other than space, paragraph, end of line, new line, and tab. It is usable in many e-book devices.


ome Raider file. Tome Raider is an eBook format that features support for very large books such as reference books, encyclopedias, and dictionaries. Their latest format is called TR3.


eBook format from VitalSource that features graphics support.


Dictionary exchange format based on XML.


format used by Apbi eBooks in Chinese primarily.


specialized version of HTML designed to conform to XML rules of construction. It is the standard format for epub data.


general purpose markup language for exchange of data. In the context of eBooks it is generally confined to XHTML and RSS feeds although some other formats have been defined.


Proprietary format used by HanLin eBook in their V2B, V3, and V8 eBook readers. Usually a .wol extension is used. Also used by JCNIP on their Dr. Yi ebook reader.


AbiWord [1] compressed version of ABW.


format used by the WeaselReader on Palm devices. Has a .pdb extension.


proprietary format for Zinio electronic subscription magazines. These magazines include multimedia material like photos and videos. It is rumored that the format is based on DJVU.

See also[edit]




  1. 1.0 1.1 AbiWord AbiSource
  2. Visual Vision eBookWriter is a program to write eBooks on a Windows PC
  3. dnaml, Desktop Author is an authoring program to create eBooks in DNL.
  4. MobileRead EPUB
  5. 5.0 5.1 International Digital Publishing Forum, (IDPF), is the trade and standards association for the digital publishing industry. Quotation: "'.epub' is the file extension of an XML format for reflowable digital books and publications. '.epub' is composed of three open standards, the Open Publication Structure (OPS), Open Packaging Format (OPF) and Open Container Format (OCF), produced by the IDPF. '.epub' allows publishers to produce and send a single digital publication file through distribution and offers consumers interoperability between software/hardware for unencrypted reflowable digital books and other publications. The Open eBook Publication Structure or 'OEB', originally produced in 1999, is the precursor to OPS."