Converting your PDF to a valid ePub file

On devices like iPhone, iPad, Kindle and some other readers, the ePub format is the desired format for books. For some devices it is the only format accepted for a book.

I went on a task to converting one of my PDF books into a ePub so I could use with my readers and I found out that it is a harder task that it really seems, therefore, with some patience and a little validation and bug correction, you can easily fix all issues.

The first step is to download Calibre. There are other conversion tools online to be downloaded but Calibre does a heck of a good job on converting your file.

The next step is to convert the file and check if it is a valid file for iPad. Let’s use Apple’s iPhone and iPad as a base since Apple’s standards are the worst to be met. For checking if your file will work, go to the ePub Validation from ThePress.org. Upload the epub file and wait for the result. If everything works fine you should get a nice passed score, otherwise it will throw a bunch of errors on the page.

Now comes the hard part. If you see errors on the page, then you need to edit your epub based on the errors that you receive. Basic knowledge of HTML and XML is more than enough for fixing the files. Calibre will not let you edit the epub files individually, so we will need a secondary software for this. Using Winrar uncompress the epub file, just like you would do with a .rar file, and edit the files using Edit+ or Notepad. Once all changes are done, just place them back on the .epub file.

Validate the file again, just as a double check and you should be good to go.

Note: Most of the errors on the report will be easy change, but there is one that is quite hard to understand. If you come across an error saying: unfinished element – you need to make sure that all childs under that element are there. This one usually happens on the .opf file that contains the metadata and epub information.

For more info about epub’s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPUB

About mcloide

Making things simpler, just check: http://www.mcloide.com View all posts by mcloide

4 responses to “Converting your PDF to a valid ePub file

  • sharon

    Hi..As per my own experience converting PDF files to EPub using various available converters is without any doubts an easy process but the results are not upto the mark. And for editing the file to rectify the errors we need to possess a thorough knowledge of HTML and XML. I had faced great difficulty to get my files converted unless I learnt about [url]http://www.epubconversion.com/ePub-validator-iBook.jsp[/url. Through this site I got my PDF files converted to ePub in no time. This site not only converted my work but also validated it, which is one of the most important part in publishing the epub files, especially for the Apple’s ipad. It might be helpful in getting your ePub files converted and validated. All my problems related to the formatting were overcome and the results were very much satisfactory.

    • mcloide

      Usually by only using the Calibre it would be enough, but when validating, it thrown a ton of errors, so I needed to fix those small errors to guarantee that it would work for Apple devices. This same concept is used on Lulu.com when you are publishing a book and will submit it to Apple Store.

  • mcloide

    I have just got a feedback over the epub file. With this process the book was correctly accepted on the Applestore books for iPad, iPhone.

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