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E-books in plain text exist and are very small in size. For example, the Bible is about 4 MB. The ASCII standard allows ASCII-only text files (unlike most other file types) to be interchanged and readable on Unix, Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, DOS, and other systems. These differ in their preferred line ending convention and their interpretation of values outside the ASCII range (their character encoding).


FictionBook is an open XML-based e-book format, which originated and gained popularity in Russia. It is supported by e-book readers such as FBReader, AlReader, Haali Reader and Okular under Linux. The FictionBook files have the .fb2 filename extension.

The FictionBook format does not specify the representation of a document, describing its structure instead. For example, there are special tags for epigraphs, verses and quotations. All the ebook metadata, such as the author name, title, and publish information, is also present in the ebook file. Hence, the format is convenient for automatic processing, indexing, and ebook collections management. Moreover, it allows automatic conversion into other formats.


A file format created by Adobe Systems, initially to provide a standard form for storing and editing printed publishable documents. The format derives from PostScript, but without language features like loops, and with added support for features like compression and passwords. Because PDF documents can easily be viewed and printed by users on a variety of computer platforms, they are very common on the World Wide Web. The specification of the format is available without charge from Adobe.
PDF files typically contain brochures, product manuals, magazine articles - up to entire books, as they can embed fonts, images, and other documents. A PDF file contains one or more zoomable page images.
Since the format is designed to reproduce page images, the text traditionally could not be re-flowed to fit the screen width or size. As a result PDF files designed for printing on standard paper sizes are less easily viewed on screens with limited size or resolution, such as those found on mobile phones and PDAs. Adobe has addressed this by adding a re-flow facility to its Acrobat Reader software, but for this to work the document must be marked for re-flowing at creation, which means existing PDF documents will not benefit unless they are tagged and resaved. The Windows Mobile (aka Pocket PC) version of Adobe Acrobat will automatically attempt to tag a PDF for reflow during the synchronization process using an installed plugin to Active Sync. However, this tagging process will not work on most locked or password protected PDF documents. It also doesn't work at present (2009-10) on the Windows Mobile Device Center (Active Syncs Successor) as found in Windows Vista and Windows 7. This limits automatic tagging support during synchronization to Windows XP/2000. Multiple products support creating and tagging PDF files, such as Adobe Acrobat, PDFCreator, OpenOffice.org, and FOP, and several programming libraries. Acrobat Reader (now simply called Adobe Reader) is Adobe's product used to view PDF files, with third party viewers such as xpdf also available. Mac OS X has built-in PDF support, both for creation as part of the printing system and for display using the built-in Preview application. Later versions of the specification add support for forms, comments, hypertext links, and even interactive elements such as buttons for forms entry and for triggering sound and video. Such features may not be supported by older or third-party viewers and some are not transferrable to print. PDF files are supported on the following e-book readers: iRex iLiad, iRex DR1000, Sony Reader, Bookeen Cybook, Foxit eSlick, Amazon Kindle DX and Barnes & Noble nook.


eReader is a freeware program for viewing Palm Digital Media electronic books. Versions are available for iPhone, PalmOS, Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile Pocket PC/Smartphone, desktop Windows, and Macintosh. The reader shows text one page at a time, as paper books do. eReader supports embedded hyperlinks and images. Additionally, the Stanza application for the iPhone and iPod Touch can read both encrypted and unencrypted eReader files.
The company's web site - ereader.com maintains a wide selection of eReader-formatted ebooks, available for purchase and download, with a small number of titles for free. (Public domain) The paid-for books are encrypted, with the key being the purchaser\s full name and credit card number. This information is not preserved in the ebook. A one-way hash is used, so there no risk of the user's information being extracted.
The program supports features like bookmarks and footnotes, enabling the user to mark any page with a bookmark, and any part of the text with a footnote-like commentary. Footnotes can later be exported as a Memo document.
The company also offers two Windows/MacOS programs for producing ebooks: the free Dropbook, and the paid-for eBook Studio. Dropbook is simply a file-oriented PML-to-PDB converter, and eBook Studio incorporates a WYSIWYG editor. PML (Palm Markup Language) is basically text with embedded formatting tags, so feeding a pure text file into eBook Studio or Dropbook also works.
There is also support for an integrated reference dictionary (with many options up to and including a 476,000-word Merriam-Webster Dictionary, including pronunciation keys) so that any word in the text can be highlighted and looked up on the dictionary instantly. Commercial fonts can also be individually purchased and downloaded at the company's web site, ereader.com.

.prc; .mobi

The Mobipocket e-book format based on the Open eBook standard using XHTML can include JavaScript and frames. It also supports native SQL queries to be used with embedded databases. There is a corresponding e-book reader. A free e-book of the German Wikipedia has been published in Mobipocket format.
The Mobipocket Reader has a home page library. Readers can add blank pages in any part of a book and add free - hand drawings. Annotations - highlights, bookmarks, corrections, notes, and drawings - can be applied, organized, and recalled from a single location. Mobipocket Reader has electronic bookmarks, and a built-in dictionary
The reader has a full screen mode for reading and support for many PDAs, Communicators, and Smartphones. Mobipocket products support most Windows, Symbian, BlackBerry and Palm operating systems. On Linux and Macintosh applications like Okular and FBReader can be used to read non-encrypted files.
The Amazon Kindle's AZW format is basically just the Mobipocket format with a slightly different serial number scheme (it uses an asterisk instead of a Dollar sign). Mobipocket is working on an .epub to .mobi converter called mobigen.


The .epub or OEBPS format is an open standard for eBooks created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). It combines three IDPF open standards:
Open Publication Structure (OPS) 2.0, which describes the content markup (either XHTML or Daisy DTBook)
Open Packaging Format (OPF) 2.0, which describes the structure of an .epub in XML
OEBPS Container Format (OCF) 1.0, which bundles files together (as a renamed ZIP file)
Currently, the format can be read by the Sony Reader, BeBook, Adobe Digital Editions, Lexcycle Stanza, BookGlutton, AZARDI, Aldiko and WordPlayer on Android and the Mozilla Firefox add-on OpenBerg Lector. Several other reader software programs are currently implementing support for the format, such as dotReader, FBReader, Mobipocket, uBook and Okular. Another software .epub reader, Lucidor, is in beta.
Adobe Digital Edition uses .epub format for its e-books, with DRM protection provided through their proprietary ADEPT mechanism. The recently developed INEPT framework and scripts have been reverse-engineered to circumvent this DRM system


High text compression in iSilo format documents result in a 50% to 60% decrease in size, which is about 20% better than the Palm Doc format, allowing you to store more and larger documents on your handheld.
Hyperlinks make it much easier to navigate through a document.
Images add visual richness to documents, especially photo-quality color pictures.
Tables allow the display of tabular data.
Formatted text gives style to text for controlled emphasis.


The Rich Text Format (often abbreviated RTF) is a document file format developed by Microsoft in 1987 for cross-platform document interchange. Most word processors are able to read and write RTF documents.
RTF is an 8-bit format. That would limit it to ASCII, but RTF can encode characters beyond ASCII by escape sequences. The character escapes are of two types: code page escapes and Unicode escapes. In a code page escape, two hexadecimal digits following an apostrophe are used for denoting a character taken from a Windows code page.