How to convert documents/books in Ubuntu with Calibre

There are situations when, for various reasons, users have to convert a document, action that can easily and successfully be achieved with Calibre (available via Ubuntu Software Center).

An important aspect of the above choice is Calibre's extended document types coverage, consequently, the user has a broad range of conversion choices.

How do we convert documents/books with Calibre?

First, there is INPUT (the document type about-to-be-converted, automatically detected) and OUTPUT (the document type of the just-converted item).

Calibre 0.8.38 (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS's USC available version) supports, as INPUT and OUTPUT, numerous file types, such as MOBI, LIT, EPUB, PDF, ODT, RTF, TXT, FB2, etc.

Open Calibre-->Add books, locate your document and click Convert books (from the toolbar).

Although the conversion dialog is filled with numerous options (that are to be tweaked for an in-depth conversion), in order to perform a "classic" optimal conversion, there are only couple of steps to be followed:

  • select the OUTPUT format (if various changes are performed, selecting a different OUTPUT format removes the just-made changes)
  • type your desired title, author, publisher, tags, series
  • change (if the situation requires) the cover by simply clicking Browse for an image to use as the cover for this book and navigate to a cover (like for instance, a PNG or JPEG personally created or downloaded from Google Images in various sizes, orientations, etc)
  • in order to obtain a properly arranged document, a very important step is to check Remove spacing between paragraphs (if the option is unchecked, usually produces large spaces between paragraphs that give an unorganized look&feel to the book)
  • click OK
  • open the converted book via Calibre's built-in reader by clicking its format and open its containing folder by clicking on Click to open

Worth mentioning
Converting a DOC document to EPUB (or MOBI, LIT, etc) is not supported by Calibre, nevertheless the action can be easily done by opening the DOC file with LibreOffice-->Save As-->choose ODT and then opening the ODT with Calibre (and following the above steps).