How to Convert PDF to EPUB, MOBI or HTML

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Few days ago, I talked about setting up and reading free ebooks on Kindle For PC. It’s a cool software actually because not only it provides a great interface for reading ebooks, it also has dictionary lookup and ability to highlight text and add notes. So you could use it for reading all the PDF books and manuals you have got, but how do you go about adding them to the tool?

By default it only accepts some formats, one of which being .MOBI. Hence we’ll need to convert PDF to MOBI and then add it to the My Kindle Documents folder. In this article we’ll talk about that, and also talk about how to convert PDF to EPUB and HTML. We’ll use a free software called Calibre and also look at an online tool called Zamzar that gets the job done.

Calibre is a nice ebook management tool that provides a neat interface for managing your ever increasing collection of ebooks and PDF docs. It also has PDF conversion features and can help you convert PDF to EPUB, MOBI, HTML and other such formats.

Using Calibre to Convert PDF to EPUB, MOBI or HTML

The first step in this process is obviously downloading Calibre and installing it. The interface would look like what you see below after you are done installing.

Using Calibre to Convert PDF to EPUB, MOBI or HTML 1

There’s an Add Books button on the top left (or top right of the window). You’ll first need to add the PDF file that you intend to convert to a different format.

Using Calibre to Convert PDF to EPUB, MOBI or HTML 2

The book will show up in the list once you have added it. Now you can right-click and select the Convert books option. Click on Convert individually.

Using Calibre to Convert PDF to EPUB, MOBI or HTML 3

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The Convert window would have the input and output options at the top two corners, and you can use them to decide the output format of the book.

Using Calibre to Convert PDF to EPUB, MOBI or HTML 4

Click OK and the conversion should start. If you didn’t select a different output folder during the setup process, the converted file would be saved in the Calibre Library folder in C:\Users\Username folder. The time taken to convert would depend on the size of the file. The larger the PDF file, the larger the time taken to convert it to MOBI, EPUB or any other format.

Using Zamzar to Convert PDF to EPUB, MOBI or HTML is a cool online file conversion tool that can convert a variety of file formats from one format to another. And that includes converting PDF to EPUB or MOBI or many more such formats.

The interface of the tool is simple, and you just need to upload the file, select the output format, enter your email and click convert. The converted file will be delivered to you via email.

using zamzar to convert PDF to EPUB, MOBI and HTML

If you want to read the MOBI books on your Kindle, you’ll have to manually drag  them to your My Kindle Content folder which you’ll find in your My Documents folder in Windows.

my kindle content

That’s about it. If you know about more such tools that can effortlessly convert PDF books or manuals to other formats like the .mobi for Kindle, .epub and more, let us know in the comments.

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Show archived comments (33)

Archived Comments

  1. James Warriner says:

    Watch out for the limitations inherent to the pdf format. Those pdf files that are essentially images of printed pages will not convert comfortably to ebook specific file formats; page flow, margins, type size, etc. do not convert readily and make reading reformatted versions quite unpleasant. Text-based pdf files, on the other hand, will, more or less, will convert to more readable ebook formats. Pdf files are generally recognized among ebook aficionados as not nice to work with and better executed as pdfs in pdf reading applications than they are in the ebook formats.

  2. Tech Tricks says:

    This is quite interesting. I have used zamzar but didn’t know about others. Thanx for sharing this.

  3. Chad says:

    If images from a PDF are not as easy to convert to an ePub, then how are you supposed to get images onto an ePub format?

  4. sandy says:

    Convert pdf to epub can use PDF to Epub converter,
    of course if you worry about PDF DRM,PDF DRM removal can help you,enjoy!!

  5. dongdong1980 says:

    pdf is a complex layout format, epub is the reflow format like html, so the conversion does not necessarily 100% accurate. Calibre is a good software, but not good enough to convert complex pdf. Some billing software might be better. Such as this. Pdf to epub converter

  6. Berksgal says:

    I just scanned an out-of-print, difficult-to-find, and highly desirable resource book to share with a small circle of friends. I saved and distributed the scanned book to our circle of as a PDF, but one researcher jokingly requested a “Kindle” version. A search engine led me to this tech guide and the Calibre software, which worked admirably for converting the PDF to a MOBI file that could be used on the Kindle. I do not have a Kindle, but tested the file on the PC Kindle reader. It looked fine. We are quite pleased with this discovery.

  7. Tiby says:

    Many Thanx! It was very useful. I had this program, but I had no idea about this function.

  8. tez says:

    what format do i need for kindle touch

  9. i use it can convert from pdf to epub quickly.

  10. sally says:

    you can easily convert pdf to mobi or pdf to epub with this online converter tool kit

  11. Mary says:

    This was helpful, thank you.

  12. Abigail Michel says:

    When I have a PDF I want to read on my Kindle, I just copy the file and paste it onto my Kindle and read it as the PDF, no converting needed

  13. Iman Oldgeek says:

    When it works, Calibre is good. I just wish it would work more often. Lots of bugs, and 100% CPU usage for the entire conversion? You’d think it was being asked to translate Sanskrit to Klingon.

    • Kelly says:

      And why would you want less than 100% CPU usage? Would you want your car’s engine to not use all its cylinders?

      • mhz0282 says:

        Because 100% CPU usage makes your computer unusable for anything else while it’s converting and may cause the program to close unexpectedly (which happens often with Calibre).

  14. Hienlly says:

    Thanks ! This is so timely for me. The other day I was looking
    for a PDF to ePub converter to read books on my Android. After a few
    minutes of googling, I found some converters, but I hadn’t started
    trying them out. It’s good to know about the PDF -> HTML -> ePub
    step. I’m going to try your recommendations soon.

  15. Collyfucsy says:

    When you send a book to the reader, calibre
    will add the book to collections based on the metadata for that book. By
    default, collections are created from tags and series. You can control what
    metadata is used by going to Preferences->Advanced->Plugins->Device
    Interface plugins and customizing the SONY device interface plugin. If you
    remove all values, calibre will not add the book to any collection. I try Vibosoft PDF to ePub converter tool,

  16. Njliily says:

    If Amazon supported EPUB, that might actually have some effect on the cost of e-books too. Because as it stands, designers have to create two formats (EPUB and MOBI) — well, a *minimum* of 2 formats but you get the point. And more work costs more money of course. I’d be thrilled if I could just make an EPUB version and be
    done with it. I start with the EPUB, but there are all kinds of things I have
    to clean up when I change to MOBI format so it’s definitely more work, I like to use Coolmuster ePub Converter tool and iStonsoft mobi to ePub converter:

  17. Ibnsssy says:

    My favorite way is a roundabout way for PDF
    files. I first save it as a Microsoft Word DOCX file using Adobe Acrobat. And
    then I use EPUBgen from Google which converts DOCX to EPUB. The EPUB file looks
    spectacular with correct formatting and graphics. Then I can tweak the EPUB
    metadata with Calibre so that I can sort by author, title, etc. on my Kobo Wifi
    eReader, but now I
    use a program named iStonsoft PDF converter tool, it is not free, but I think it
    is worth.

  18. Nisfllly says:

    i am trying to convert filess into mobi files but everytime i click
    convert it pops up saying “can not convert because no suitable source
    format found… does anyone have any idea why? and I used a tool named Vibosoft ePub converter app, it works but not free!

    I think I need to buy it, but can you please make some suggestion for that?

  19. rehan mustafa says:

    I have found the following blog about converting PDF to Epub format and vice versa and it includes code snippet also:

  20. zakir says:

    Any one know about free plugin to convert doc format to Epub(kindle)?

  21. spock says:

    I’d like to convert epub/mobi to pdf (so the opposite of waht you did). Why? Because pdf is much easier to handle when you want to take notes, underline etc. Of course the output should be something like an A4 with properly sized fonts and image. Any hints of the settings I should use (Calibre is the sw)? Thanks

  22. Nick Lan says:

    Maybe the article below may help you, I think.

    How to convert pdf to mobi format for friendly reading on Kindle

    The step has been provided. So you will see as soon as you read it.

  23. Alen says:

    I would like to share one more website to convert different formats to Epub and from Epub,

  24. AR says:

    If I have a PDF file that is 100 MB for example, and then convert it to the .mobi Kindle format, how big will the resulting mobi file be? Most native kindle books are under 2MB so I was wondering if that would be true even if you convert it from PDF to mobi using Calibre.

  25. Jullie says:

    I haven’t tried Calibre yet, but

  26. kamal says:
  27. Reah says:

    Well, I have not yet found a software that does a good job while converting PDF to epub. Calbre is overall great but I have never had luck while converting PDF files to epub. Same goes with Zamsar. The other software are worse than these two,- don’t waste your time. . As some have already mentioned here, PDF files not meant for converting….

  28. peterjohn936 says:

    i tried converting pdf to mobi because of the size of the font and page navigation issues. My problem is that the resulting MOBI file is ten times larger. That I did not expect. Am I doing some thing wrong?