Converting PDF ebooks to iBooks epub

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by djrobsd, May 12, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    #1
    I'm not sure if this is considered a "hack" but I would say it's hacking around Apples system to be able to view non iBooks books inside of iBooks... But I know Apple kind of allowed for this by design. ;)

    Anyway, I've been downloading PDF files of books that are not yet available in the iBook store (wow you'd be AMAZED at how many books are on Kindle but not on ibooks!!!) and I convert them with a program called Calibre. It's pretty simple to use, but there are a LOT of options.

    The only option I've selected thus far is under "outbook profile", I select "iPad".

    Unfortunately, I have yet to find a book that turned out good. The page breaks are wrong, one of the books I converted every other page is blank, and of course the table of contents doesn't work (i'm assuming that won't work since PDFS usually don't have them!) ...

    Just curious if Calibre is the best program for doing this, and also if there are some setting changes I can look for to help the book convert more accurately (i.e. making sure the page breaks are in the right place every time and the text is not garbled, etc).

    Let me know your thoughts :)
     
  2. macrumors G4

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #2
    Converting PDF to other formats almost never works well no matter what conversion program you use. Kindle books, on the other hand, turn out almost always perfectly into ipub once the DRM has been removed. I think I found out how by googling something like "kindle, drm, remove."
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    #3
    As far as I know, that's the best option right now
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #4
    why dont you just a pdf reader? what does ibooks have thats so must use.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    ngenerator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    USG Ishimura
  6. macrumors 68000

    gwynne

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    #6
    What kind of books are these that the source is in PDF? PDF conversion is always troublesome.
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Ask Apple
    #7
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B367 Safari/531.21.10)

    The problem with the program is that it cannot handle multiple column PDF files, which are the typical format of the scientific journals I read and would want to convert to epub. What can I say, it's free, so it's more of an observation and not a complaint. Would love a program that could do that , I'd pay good money, very very good money to have the option to read my journals in iBook.
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #9
    At least to me Pdf is a more rich format than epub, could you explain a bit more what you mean by can not handel multiple column pdf?
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Location:
    SoCal
    #10
    Problem is, I can't turn a page. It scrolls only up/down which is a bit wonky. I like iBook/Kindle and would love to convert some PDF files into one of those forms.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    ngenerator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    USG Ishimura
    #11
    Good call (I guess, if that's really what's holding you back). I'm perfectly content with just tapping (not dragging vertically) on the bottom 1/2 of the screen to turn a page :) I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually update it with that option, but it's sooooo worth the dollar.

    *and no, I'm not the dev or a friend thereof. it just really is that awesome of an app ;)
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #12
    Try cloud readers it's free.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    BergerFan

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #13
    It would be good, if you could also choose to view your photo albums in iBook style as well.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #14
    I have good luck with PDFs if I convert them to HTML first. I have Acrobat, so I can do it right from there, but Adobe has an free online converter, too, at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/access_onlinetools.html. As long as the PDF wasn't made from images, converting it to HTML usually fixes the strange lines breaks. I had one file that was formatted with two columns, and it converted that just fine, too.

    Once you have an HTML file, use Calibre to convert it to epub.

    Good luck!
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #15

    wow , every time you download a PDF you do that, wow and what are the benefits of iBooks, seems you have the patience of a saint.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    #16
    I like iBooks with its Dictionary feature.

    I use iPDF for my PDFs on the ipad but it does not allow you to search on words but it displays images.

    I used Calibre but it would not convert images from PDF to ePUB. The only program that seems to do this is one from ANYBIZSOFT. But I was wondeing of there was a free program that works as well as the one from ANYBIZSOFT.
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #17
    It's, like, a few clicks of effort for something I'm going to spend hours reading (I only bother doing this with book-length PDFs.)--big whoop. I also strip the DRM from Kindle books and convert them to epub (also not a big deal after the first time), so I can have all my books in one place. It's not much more effort than ripping a CD or DVD so you can enjoy them how you want.
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #18
    Ok you have a point!
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    ipodtoucher

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Cedar Park, TX
    #19
    http://calibre-ebook.com/

    Try that... I've used it once, it was pretty easy but messed up the chapter, but that doesn't bother me.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #20
    Glad i found this thread. Personally I love GoodReader, but not for reading PDF's. I'll most likely test out my PDF books in Calibre and see how it looks like on the iPad. GoodReader houses almost a 1GB of my files in there...which have come in handy...including my college transcripts, which whenever we gotta speak with a counselor at my school we gotta print them out to show him/her but was in a hurry, forgot but just opened GoodReader and looked exactly the same. Of course my counselor wanted to play around with the iPad for a bit too. ;)
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Carinay

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    #21
    I don't agree that. As most of the portable devices, including Kindle and iPhone, iPad and etc, supports .epub format, so I still think you can convert your .pdf ebooks to .epub ebooks and then view your ebook on Kindle or iPhone.

    As far as I know, Calibre can help you convert. pdf format to .epub format, but the application can only work on Mac OS. Another way, you can view your PDF ebooks using Good Reader. If you use Windows OS and wanna convert PDF to EPub, I suggest you AnyBizSoft PDF to EPub Converter, I have used it before and feels good. Google is good buddy and may help you.:)
     
  22. macrumors G4

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #22
    Well, you *can* convert, I never said you couldn't. But most of the time, the converted file turns out formatted very badly. Have you actually tried converting pdf files to epub yourself?

    There is Calibre for windows, and I also believe for linux.
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #23
    So, weeks later from last posting in this thread...

    I'll just say I've been using Calibre for converting PDFs to ePub and though the formatting isnt perfect, it's good enough for me to read a book. I thought the conversion process was going to take a long time but the truth is a book like The God Delusion took less than 5 minutes to convert. That and the file size of the ePub was less than a MB, while the original PDF was more than 5MBs.

    My one small qualm is that some of these PDF books have images in them and are referenced in the reading but Obviously don't show up at all in the ebook.

    Oh well....

    ...but I do love the note taking feature, along with the built in dictionary.
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #24
    As others have said you can convert them using Calibre. It is a great application. I do know that you can read pdf in iBooks but you do not get the extra functions, such as tap a word to get a definition, or to copy and paste elsewhere. I've just converted all my Open University Text books to iBook format for this main reason. I had them all as PDFs but it was a hassle looking up stuff. Also iBook format is 'a nicer experience' and more like reading a book book. Sometimes the formatting can go a bit wrong but I find that happens a lot less than I've been warned about.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #25
    I cannot understand why people need to bother themselves in converting PDF to epub when you can open a PDF file in iBooks...
     

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