Tools for creating EPUB 3 files

Original Author(s): Amit Verma

Updated 14 January 2016

A brief description of some of the popular tools used for creating EPUB 3 files is given below. These tools have also been compared on the basis of input file formats, requirements for technical knowledge and cost of the tool.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is the leading page layout software. This software has been improved over the years to export production ready EPUB files. It can export reflowable as well as fixed layout EPUB files. If you use InDesign to lay out the pages of print books, you can export the same file to EPUB with some modifications. If best practices are followed, there is no extra work involved to make the output accessible.

The document types which can be imported are Word document, RTF and Text. It is available for both Windows and Mac.

Downside: The software is expensive ($19.99 per month for individual use). If you are not familiar with page layout software, there is a learning curve involved with using this tool.

Sigil

Sigil is a free, open source editor for EPUB e-books, developed by Strahinja Marković in 2009. As a cross-platform application, Sigil is distributed for the Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platforms under the GNU GPL license. Sigil can be used to create new EPUB files as well as edit the existing EPUB files.

The primary input type for Sigil is HTML, although text files can also be used. Sigil suggests converting the document to HTML before importing the document. The cleaner the HTML, the better output you will get.

Downside: Knowledge of HTML and CSS is required.

Calibre

Calibre is a free open source e-book library management application. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Calibre can also be used as an eBook reader. Calibre has an integrated eBook editor which shows a code view for HTML.

Calibre can import HTML, Word document and Text files. It can also create several eBook formats including .epub and .mobi.

Downside: Knowledge of HTML and CSS is required for effectively using this tool.

oXygen

oXygen is a leading XML editor which supports EPUB file editing. OXygen is primarily used as an editor rather than a creator of EPUB files although there is a feature for creating empty EPUB. New HTML documents can be added to the empty EPUB file.

Downside: Knowledge of oXygen as well as HTML and CSS are required. The software is pretty expensive ($19.08 per month) even if you do not need XML editing capabilities.

DITA for Publishers EPUB Plugin

For content authored in DITA, the DITA for Publishers EPUB plugin for the DITA Open Toolkit can produce EPUBs from any DITA content, including EPUB2, EPUB3, and dual EPUB2/3.

The plugin is available from GitHub: https://github.com/dita4publishers/dita4publishers/releases.

Whichever tool you use, it is recommended that you validate your EPUB files using the EpubCheck validator. An overview of EpubCheck is available on DAISYpedia.

See also

DAISYpedia Categories: 


This page was last edited by VLuceno on Thursday, January 14, 2016 20:37
Text is available under the terms of the DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy, Licensing, and Working Group Process.

Comments

Apple's Pages app exports ePub 3 compliant documents and is very easy to use so should be included in this listing. It also comes bundled with all new Macs.

We'll definitely update this article, most likely will also include a link to the Apple website - Creating EPUB files with Pages.

For content authored in DITA, the DITA for Publishers EPUB plugin for the DITA Open Toolkit can produce EPUBs from any DITA content, including EPUB2, EPUB3, and dual EPUB2/3. The DITA for Publishers main site is here: http://www.dita4publishers.org

The plugin is available from GitHub: https://github.com/dita4publishers/dita4publishers/releases

Thank you so much for this information. I have added DITA for Publishers EPUB plugin to the article "Tools for Creating EPUB 3.": http://www.daisy.org/daisypedia/tools-creating-epub-3-files.

  • Sigil is for EPUB 2 only; in addition, development stopped around April 2014.
  • Calibre is also designed only for EPUB 2. See the developer's comment at https://bugs.launchpad.net/calibre/+bug/1339766 : "calibre does not support EPUB 3 in any form whatsoever". That said, I think it's a great tool. I used it to clean up edit an ugly EPUB 3 file (generated by InDesign CC 2014.2) with only minor problems: it made minor modifications to the metadata (title, author) in the content.opf file such that it failed validation in ePubCheck. I was able to fix them by looking at a valid example.

Namo Author is the perfect tool for creating digital contents which applicable with EPUB2, EPUB3 and HTML. Anyone can easily use cause similar to PowerPoint-to-use.
It can create content efficiently with easy without HTML5, CSS, such as users programming skills.
Text content, as well as using a variety of objects input function makes it easy to publish to easily create multimedia e-books. By providing a license for the license and the company or user group for individual users can be purchased to fit your type. General users can easily create an multimedia e-book you want by using the various graphical UI. It can create an e-book effectively with PDF and recycle existing content. You can create e-books that can be sold through a global distributor
and abroad likes Apple Store and Google Play.
Namo Author works on MS Windows PC. If you want to have OS independent version, Namo supplies the cloud version which is web browser based authoring tool. Send an e-mail to sbkim@namo.co.kr to request the trial version of Namo Author. Namo will provide it for you.

I've created a simple Java utility to do font obfuscation. This will be used very soon in the DITA for Publishers EPUB transform to enable embedding obfuscated fonts.

The code is on GitHub here: https://github.com/dita4publishers/epub-font-obfuscator

It is provided as a standalone Java jar that you can run directly with the Java command (no additional classpath configuration is required).

It implements the IDPF font obfuscation algorithm.

Check out this article about EPUB reader development http://scand.com/blog/2017/04/17/epub-reader-development-now-easier-ever-epubear-new-epub-sdk/. It's based on epuBear SDK created by SCAND software development company.

Thank you, Poline for posting!