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Turn a document into an e-book

Many authors self publish and only release their works in digital formats. E-books are also popular formats for publishing houses and booksellers who work with authors to release books in. One of the key formats is EPUB.

LibreOffice Writer can export an EPUB through its versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux distros without the need of additional software. This is a capability that other word processors do not have.

Microsoft Word doesn’t have the capability without a plugin. Google Docs has the option in the download sub-menu in the File menu of a document, but it doesn’t have the same settings as Writer. Corel WordPerfect has the capability to publish EPUB documents, but the office suite is not available to Mac and Linux users. Apple Pages can create EPUB documents specifically for Apple Books. Books on Apple Books are in a proprietary format based on EPUB.

What is EPUB

EPUB is not the format for Kindle books, and Kindle Fire and e-readers can’t read the format. However, other Android devices, Apple devices, and most e-reader applications for desktop computers can read the format. It is an industry standard.

It is a file that combines XHTML documents that contain the content, XML and cascading style sheet documents with metadata, and images that have been inserted in the EPUB file. The file can be opened and its different parts can be rendered by e-book applications. Archive applications allows users to access the XHTML and other document type of documents that compose an EPUB file.

Examples of archive applications in different operating system. These are either already installed or can be acquired through the system’s store.

Writer exports EPUB

Writer has two ways to create an EPUB document: directly or through a dialog. Both can be accessed through the File menu.

The Export As sub-menu is in the File menu. It contains Export as EPUB and Export Directly as EPUB.

  1. Click the File menu.

  2. Move the cursor tp highlight the Export As drop-down menu.

Export as EPUB and Export Directly as EPUB are in the menu.

Direct Method

The direct method skips this dialog and a special export dialog for the EPUB is launched. The same dialog is launched when the OK button is clicked in the EPUB Export dialog.

This is the same dialog that is launched when you click the Export item in the File menu, or it launches when you click the Export item in the menu associated with the Save icon in the toolbar.

One difference between this dialog and the traditional dialog is that the only choice in the File type drop-down is EPUB Document drop-down button.ß The traditional one has several choices, including EPUB Document.

Click here to go to the page that has more information about the Export dialog for Writer and Calc.

Export settings

Writer allows users to control the exportation of an e-book with an EPUB Export dialog. Users, who don’t want to change settings on the EPUB document, can bypass the dialog and directly export it. The EPUB Export dialog has three section: General, Customize, and Metadata. The general section has three drop-down menus. Each menu has two choices.

  1. Version

  2. EPUB 3.0

  3. EPUB 2.0

  4. Split method

  5. Page break

  6. Headings

  7. Layout method

  8. Reflowable

  9. Fixed

The Customize section has two browse buttons. The first one allows you to choose an image stored in your hard drive and connected drives. The images can be in standard formats, such as PNG and JPG.

The second one allows you to add a directory of metadata and links to your EPUB document. The metadata in the document will override the metadata that LibreOffice Writer creates for the document that is about to be exported.

The Metadata section has five fields of metadata that are common in most metadata schema, so LibreOffice Writer can create an EPUB document that is ready to be uploaded to a digital library or bookstore and read by e-book applications.

However, many authors and publishers may use it as a starting point and edit the composing documents to make the book better fit into the desired system.


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