Generating EPUB documents with a click

Metamorphosis

Article from Issue 155/2013
Author(s):

The writer2ePub plugin for OpenOffice Writer converts formatted files to compatible data for many of the popular e-book readers at the press of a button.

The Open/LibreOffice suite of programs owes its popularity to the stability of the software and its extensibility through plugins. Thanks to its modular design, you can customize the program to suit your needs in just a few simple steps. In addition to a plugin for importing simply designed PDF files [1], OpenOffice also has an extension that lets you convert text from Writer to the open EPUB format [2]. With the right choice of software, these documents are then available for PCs and smartphones.

Approach

Standalone programs for generating EPUB documents are of very limited use for composing text. They usually offer only basic functions for designing a cover page and formatting the text. Programs like eCub or Jutoh fail if the document to be edited contains hard line breaks or you want to use a justified layout. Automated functions such as search and replace are not available or, in many cases, are only rudimentary. Thus, you have to consider preparing the files that need to be converted to EPUB format with a word processor up front; then, when you save the data, you must make sure to store it in a readable format for EPUB-building software to keep as much formatting as possible.

The OpenOffice writer2ePub [3] extension takes a completely different approach. This OpenOffice Writer component converts an existing document directly from ODT to EPUB format, removing the need to use a separate program and eliminating that annoying post-editing work. Similarly, you have no need to learn the details of the EPUB format and its many tags.

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