EPub files (short for electronic publication) are books in electronic format that use an open standard, based on XML, to provide the user with dynamic texts optimized for viewing on e-book readers, tablets and PCs. If you have downloaded some from the Internet and before transferring it to your e-book reader you would like to be sure of its content, know that you have come to the right place at the right time.
Today, in fact, I will give you some "tips" on how to open ePub on the PC using some free software that allow you to read ePubs directly on your computer, but also to organize them, manage them, modify their information (title, author, year of publication, etc.) and, if necessary, convert them starting from other file formats.
We will also see how to open books in ePub format on tablets and smartphones without having to first transform them into other types of files. But now let's not dwell too much in small talk and let's take action. Take a look at the applications that I am about to recommend, choose the one that seems most suitable for your needs and start using it by following the instructions below, I assure you that everything will be much simpler than you imagine!
Read EPub on Your Computer
Let's start with a series of applications that allow you to open ePub files on your computer. Whether you have a Windows PC, a Mac or a Linux-equipped computer, you will surely find the one that's right for you.
Caliber (Windows / Mac / Linux)
Be vuoi scoprire how to open ePub on a computer I can only recommend Caliber. Haven't you ever heard of it? Bad, because it is quite simply the best program for viewing and managing e-books on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
It is free and open source. It allows not only to open all the most popular e-book formats but also to convert them between them, edit all the information about the books and synchronize the e-books with the e-book readers. To try it, connect to its website and first click on the flag of Windows or on the apple of OS X and then on the voice Download Caliber to download it to your computer. If you are using a 64-bit Windows system you can also download the 64-bit version, the procedure to follow remains the same.
Once the download is complete, if you use Windows, open the software installation package (eg. caliber-2.18.0.msi) and, in the window that opens, click on Run. Then put the check mark next to the item I accept the terms in the License Agreement click her cousin install and then Yes e Finish but I will complete the setup.
If you are using a Mac open the package instead dmg you downloaded from the Caliber site, drag the software icon to the folder Applications of OS X and that's it.
At this point, all you have to do is start Caliber and complete the brief initial configuration of the program. During the procedure you must choose the language in which to use the program (Italian is included, do not worry), you must indicate the folder in which to save the ebooks and you must select the model of ebook reader in your possession (if you have one). Then click on the button Add books located at the top left, select the ePub files to import into the application and double click on its title to read it directly on your computer.
Please note: if you still use Windows XP (you shouldn't, it's an outdated and insecure operating system!) you must download the old version 1.48 of Caliber, which is the latest compatible with this edition of the Microsoft operating system. Find it here.
Not interested in Caliber's functions dedicated to organizing, editing and converting ebooks? Then you could also turn to software like FBReader.
FBReader is a free ebook reader that allows you to do just one thing - view e-books on your computer - and do it well. It is compatible with all major operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, although at the moment the version for OS X is still a bit too immature.
To download FBReader on your PC, connect to its official website and first click on windows flag placed at the bottom right and then on the item FBReader xx setup file present on the page that opens. Once the download is complete, start the executable FBReaderSetup-xx.exe and complete the FBReader installation process by clicking on first Yes and then Next, install e Close.
Once setup is complete, start FBReader, click on "+" button located at the top left and select the book in ePub format you want to read on your computer. To change the color, size and type of fonts, click on thegear and adjust the preferences available in the tabs Styles e Colors of the window that opens.
That's all! If you use a Mac, you can download FBReader by clicking on the icon first apple which is at the bottom right of the program's website and then on the item the installation package of FBReader xx present on the page that opens. After that you need to open the package dmg which contains FBReader, extract the software icon to the folder Applications of OS X and that's it. The operation of the program is practically identical to that shown above on Windows.
If you have a convertible device equipped with Windows 10 or Windows 8.1, I highly recommend you try Freda. It is a free application optimized for use via touch-screen that allows you to open ePub files, FB2, HTML and TXT and to read them very comfortably. It is only compatible with Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and Windows Phone.
To install Freda on your device, connect to the Windows Store page that hosts the application and press the button Free. When the download is complete, start Freda, click on the icon Folder (top right) and select the book to read. Alternatively, double click on the ePub file you want to open and choose Freda from the list of applications that is proposed to you.
To change the viewing style of the ebooks in Freda, press the button (...) located at the bottom right and choose one of the themes available in the application. To change the size and font of the text, click the button instead Settings which appears at the top.
All newer versions of Mac OS X ship with iBooks pre-installed. iBooks is Apple's official application for reading ebooks on Mac, iPhone and iPad. It is very easy to use and thanks to iCloud it synchronizes books on all devices in a completely automatic way.
To open a book in ePub format with iBooks, usually just double click on its icon. To change the size of the text or visual theme, instead, you have to click on button "A" located at the top right.
If iBooks is not set as the default application for opening ebooks, you can solve the problem by right-clicking on any file in ePub format and selecting the item Get information from the menu that appears. After that we need to expand the menu Open with in the window that opens, you have to select iBooks from the drop-down menu below and click on the button Edit everything.
Read EPub on Smartphones and Tablets
Now let's see some apps to read books in ePub format on smartphones and tablets. The choice is at least as wide as that available in the desktop environment. Good fun!
iPhones and iPads come standard with an application called iBooks which, in addition to allowing the download and reading of books available on the Apple digital store, allows you to transfer ePub and PDF files from your computer via iCloud e iTunes.
To transfer your books from Windows to iBooks, select the entry Books from the iTunes menu (the icon with the three dots located at the top left), drag the books of your interest into the program window and start the synchronization of data with the iPad or iPhone. If you do not know how to do it, you have to connect the device to the computer, then you must select its icon from the iTunes menu (always at the top left) and select the item Books from the left sidebar. In conclusion you have to check the item Synchronize books and click Apply to start transferring books to iBooks.
If you are using a Mac, you can sync your books to iPhone and iPad by simply copying them to the library of iBooks and accepting content sync via iCloud.
Universal Book Reader (Android)
If you use an Android tablet or phone you can open ePub using one of the many ad hoc applications available on the Play Store. Among the free ones, I suggest you try Universal Book Reader which has a very nice interface, allows you to highlight books and also supports Adobe DRM protected ebooks.
After installing Universal Book Reader on your terminal, to import the books to read into the application, transfer the ePub files to the memory or microSD of the device and answer All the books to the message that appears when the app is first started. In this way Universal Book Reader will examine the memory of the phone (or tablet) and will automatically import all the ebooks in its library.
Later, you can use the button to import the books into the application Import which is at the bottom left: this is easier to do than to say.
FBReader for Android is the mobile version of the application for open ePub we talked about in the desktop environment (Windows, Mac and Linux). Its operation is rather intuitive. After installing it on your smartphone or tablet, log in to yours Library by pressing the appropriate icon and choose the criterion based on which to view the ebooks available on the device: by title, by author, etc.
FBReader should automatically import books from your phone or tablet memory. If this does not happen and the "library" is empty, press the icon File tree and browse "manually" in the folder that contains the books of your interest.
The presence of the function should also be emphasized Network library which allows you to legally download books from various Internet sites, such as the ones I told you about in my post on how to download books for free.
Read EPub on Kindle
If you have a Kindle you cannot copy ePub books directly to your ebook reader as they would be unreadable, but fear not. Thanks to Clibre, the ebook management software I told you about in the initial part of the post, you can convert ePub books to MOBI or AZW (formats compatible with Kindle) in a handful of clicks.
All you have to do is import the ePubs into Caliber as I explained to you before, select them using the combination Ctrl+click (cmd+click on Mac) and click the button Convert books which is located at the top left. In the window that opens, you must therefore set the item MOBI o AZW3 from the drop-down menu located at the top right and press the button OK to complete the conversion.
Once this operation has also been completed, all you have to do is connect the Kindle to the computer and transfer the MOBI or AZW files obtained with Caliber to its memory. You can discover the exact paths in which to find ebooks by simply selecting the books from the main window of Caliber and clicking on the item Click to open located in the right sidebar.
For more information on the whole procedure you can consult my tutorial on how to download books on Kindle, in which there is a chapter dedicated to the conversion of ebooks through Caliber.
The DRM Problem
If you can't open some of the ePub files you downloaded on your PC (or even on your smartphone / tablet), you are probably dealing with a protected book. DRM. DRMs are “digital locks” that companies apply to ebooks to prevent them from being viewed on devices and software other than those “blessed” by themselves.