eBook Formats Explained in Plain English - NetLingo The Internet Dictionary: Online Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms, Acronyms, Text Messaging, Smileys ;-)

eBook Formats

The Mobipocket Reader is a free download that makes eBooks readable on the following platforms:

  • PalmOS 3.x, 4.x : Palm (Palm III, IIIx, IIIe, IIIc, V, Vx, Ve, M100/105/125/500/505/515), Handspring (Visor), TRGPro, Sony Clie, IBM Workpad
  • Windows CE 2.x, 3.x : Palm-size PC, Handheld PC, HPC Pro (HP, Compaq, Casio...)
  • Pocket PC 2000/2002 (HP, Compaq, Casio)
  • Epoc32 : Psion Serie 5, Serie 5mx, Serie 7, Revo, OSARIS, Diamond Mako...
  • Franklin : eBookMan Series 900, 901, 911
  • Nokia : 9210, 9290
  • Casio BE-300


The Adobe / Glassbook eBook Reader is a downloadable software program that enables you to read high-fidelity electronic books on your laptop, notebook, or desktop PC. It provides a complete eBook experience:

--Extremely easy buying and downloading of eBooks.
--Your own personal library of eBooks and other e-documents.
--High-fidelity, full-color display of eBook pages, including Adobe 
   PDF eBooks.
--Searching, bookmarks, and annotations.
--Amazing rotating display and controls for use on notebook computers.  

Microsoft Reader  

Microsoft released its eBook reading software, Microsoft ReaderT, in July, 2000.  It's available as a free download from the Microsoft web site. 

Two versions of Microsoft Reader are available. One is for desktop and laptop computers and reads encrypted eBooks and unencrypted eBooks.

The second version is available on Pocket PC devices manufactured by Hewlett-Packard, Casio and Compaq. It reads only unencrypted eBooks. 

Publishing software is available at Readerworks.com (http://www.readerworks.com), and supports Word, HTML, ASCII and OeB files. Free and professional versions are available.




Downloadable eBook reading software is available for your Palm OS or Windows CE computer.  You can also find Palm-formatted eBooks and software to import files and convert them to compatible file formats.

Download the Peanut Reader Here

Palm PCs with Windows CE can read Windows CE compatible eBooks, or you can use the pre-installed Pocket Word to read eBooks in Word, RTF or TXT format. 


ZD PalmPilot Software Award for Best General Utility. Also known as DOC format. Family of applications:

  • AportisDoc Mobile Edition (shareware)
  • AportisDoc Reader (freeware)
  • AportisDoc PDF Converter
  • AportisDoc Professional (soon to be released)
  • MakeDoc, freeware to convert HTML and Text (.txt) files to AportisDoc format.



HTML format is the same thing you're using at the moment to read this page. HTML is also both Mac and Windows compatible, because it takes advantage of your browser to read the book. Newer versions of Word and Word Perfect also open HTML format. You do not have to be online to read an HTML eBook. You can also print a copy from HTML. Also, for you Rocket eBook Owners, HTML also imports directly into the Rocket eBook Librarian through the RocketWriter Program.


Open eBook or OEB

The Open eBook Publication Structure ensures that content can be viewed on any reading system which is OEB-compliant -- as long as the owner of the reading system has the right to read the content on that reading system. An OEB Publication can contain other kinds of files also (e.g., a QuickTime movie, JPEGs).

This format is in the process of becoming an industry standard. Soon even your word processing programs will have a saving option of using OEB format. This means you can save your own documents in OEB format to take with you


The Rocket eBook also supports the Rocket variance of HTML and the Open eBook format.

The Rocket eBookT is a portable device that allows you to download books and magazines, called RocketEditions, from the Internet. Among the Rocket eBook's advanced features is a storage capacity of up to 4000 pages or 10 full-length books. You can annotate texts, search for words or phrases, look up words in the built-in dictionary, and bookmark pages. The Rocket eBook supports audio content as well. With a long battery life, touch screen, and graphics capability, the Rocket eBook is the reading tool of the future.


The SoftBook also supports the Softbook variance of HTML and the Open eBook format.

The 2.9-pound SoftBook is an extremely elegant package about the size of this magazine with a generous 6-by-8-inch screen and a padded leather cover. Text displays in high-contrast black on white (with graphics) and divides into screen-size pages. You never scroll; you "turn" preformatted pages forward or backward using a toggle bar under your right thumb. While reading, you can annotate or search the text and set bookmarks. It may be the most pleasant way to read electronic text yet invented.


Adobe PDF is Portable Document Format. This is a special format for reading eBooks on your computer and PDA's (personal digital assistants). This format makes many eBooks available to people who do not own an eBook reader.

The PDF format is becoming widely used throughout the Internet. The reader software is free to download and offers many unique features. PDF files have the ability to maintain type style and can easily cope with color photographs and charts. It is possible to bookmark pages, search for text and add hyperlinks to different parts of a book. PDF is a "complete" page description language for documents with rich content. It offers high quality reproduction with all special characters, all fonts, mathematical and chemical formulas, color graphics and color photographs.


Rich Text Format The Rich Text Format is common to the majority of word processors available for the PC and Macintosh as well as a number of the latest PDA devices. The advantage of this format lies in its' ability to maintain layouts and style. Rich Text Format does not include graphic files.
ASCII ASCII stands for 100% compatible with all computers and PDA devices. This is also known as plain (Unformatted) text format. ASCII does not include graphic files.