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How to use Calibre

Calibre - How to Install and use it.

Calibre – How to Install and use it.

- How to use Calibre –

Calibre turns your manuscript into an ebook. One of the best free ebook management software you can use.

Calibre – What is Calibre? And how to install it?
You may or may not of come across this amazing piece of ebook management software. It can seem completely bewildering to the novice but it is a very powerful tool in helping you make an ebook. It helps you publish your ebook and helps you convert an ebook to Kindle or to any other ebook format of your choice simply from a drop down menu.

I believe Calibre is going to become more important now more than ever as Kobo is going to allow writers to upload their own ebooks to their platform rather than submit a Doc file that Smashwords demands.

Let me explain first what Calibre is and does.

Calibre will take your manuscript either as a Doc file or as a HTML prepared manuscript. If you want to know more about that, then please look at my other tutorials on how to add HTML and what HTML code you need to add to your manuscript to make it work on every ereader without any errors.

I also provide a free HTML Template for you, in-case you don’t want to add the code yourself. All you do with the template is add your manuscript.

Calibre – What is it?

Calibre was written by Kovid Goyal and he has very kindly given it out to the community. I don’t know him personally but I want to thank him for an amazing piece of software.

The software not only helps you create your final product, but also helps you to organise your ebooks. It has a built in ebook reader to so you can preview your finished product. It will read directly from your Kindle or other ereader. You can add or delete ebooks from your ereader using Calibre.

The creator of Calibre has created a video demo of the product and is worth watching to get an impression of what it can do.

So, Calibre can sink to your ereading device. It can organise and be your library manager. It is a conversion tool. It has a built in ereader. It has a built in webserver so you can email books or access your collection from any computer in the world. It can also fetch news feeds and articles from your favourite websites and convert them an ebook and upload them to your ereading device.

The articles will be full versions and not summaries.

It is a very powerful ebook management software.

Calibre – How to install it?

I am going to show you how to download, install and help you convert your manuscript using only Calibre.

Let’s get started.

First you need the software. Go to this link. Calibre. And click on the blue button – Download Calibre.

Calibre Website

Fig1. Calibre Website

Fig 1. Shows you the Home Page.

You could also click the image on the website and it will take you through calibre’s demo video with vocal instructions by the creator.

When you click on the blue link you will be taken to a screen that gives you the options to choose what operating system you use.

Fig 2. The operating system screen

Fig 2. OS Download Screen

Fig 2. OS Download Screen

After clicking on the OS of your choice, I am choosing Windows, it takes you to another screen just to confirm your selection.

You can see this in Fig 3.

Fig 3. Download file name

Fig 3. Download file name

If you are happy then just click on Download Calibre.

Fig 4. Shows you the pop up download box. The image you see here may be different from what you usually see. I was using Firefox at the time.

Fig 4. Pop up Box

Fig 4. Pop up Box

Whatever browser you are using please remember where you download the software.

Fig 5. Shows you that I downloaded Calibre to my Desktop.

Fig 5. Destination

Fig 5. Destination

It’s an easy place to find my downloads and allows me to later on save the software to another location. But for convenience the Desktop is a good place to save Calibre.

Just to make a note. Depending on the time and date of when you read this article, when you come to download the software the version number will probably be different as the creator keeps improving on the previous version.

Once the software has been downloaded, Firefox will display the downloaded box as you can see on Fig 6.


Fig 6. Firefox Download box

Fig 6. Firefox Download box

You can open the software from the download box or close it and open the software from where you downloaded it to.

If you want install the software from the download box then right click the software as shown in Fig 7.

Fig 7. Right Click and Open

Fig 7. Right Click and Open

Choose Open. You can also choose Open Containing Folder which in this case would open up a folder showing the contents of my Desktop. If you click remove from list, that would only delete the file name from the download box, it would not delete the actual file on the Desktop.

I am going to presume you chose Open.

Fig 8. Security Warning

Fig 8. Security Warning

Fig 8. Shows a Security Warning box. Don’t worry about this as this is normal. The software is safe so just click on Run. If you want me to explain what a Digital Signature is send me a comment.

Fig 9. Simply shows an install box.

Fig 9. Prepare to Install

Fig 9. Prepare to Install

After that Fig 10. Displays the Caliibre Welcome Screen.

Fig 10. Install Screen

Fig 10. Install Screen

You haven’t installed it yet. From here you will be guided so you make a clean install, but I will throw my pennies worth in just to make sure.

If the Next button is not highlighted, then click somewhere on the screen or wait a minute or two. When you see the Next button, click it.

This next page is important.

Fig 11. Is the Public License that the software is covered under. Be my guest and reading. As the software is Open Source you the user have permission to distribute the software but you cannot change the software.

Fig 11. License Screen

Fig 11. License Screen

Pretty good of the creator.

What is important is the next thing you HAVE to do.

Fig 12. Shows you a small box. You have to check it if you want to carry on.

Fig 12. License Agreement

Fig 12. License Agreement

In simple terms, if you check it you agree with the license and you can then carry on with the install.

Notice after checking the box, the Install and Advanced buttons become active. That’s what we need.

If you choose Install, then you will see Fig 13.

Fig 13. Installation of files

Fig 13. Installation of files

A direct install of the software. It takes a few moments and is completely automated. This will install Calibre in the Default Windows Location, something like c:\Windows\programs\Calibre\

If you choose Advance you will see Fig 14.

Fig 14. New install location

Fig 14. New install location

Here it allows you to choose where you want to install.

I always do this as I always install on a different partition or on a separate hard disk.

You can choose the Change button and choose your location or just change the Default C:\ to what I have which is D:\Calibre2\

If you do this you will notice a few more steps to be taken.

Fig 15. Displays Product Features which allows you to install or not install certain features.

Fig 15. Advanced menu

Fig 15. Advanced menu

I would just leave everything as is and click Install.

If you want to play around then you can click on any of the drop down menus.

Fig 16. Shows you what you will see.

Fig 16. Drop down menu on advanced installation

Fig 16. Drop down menu on advanced installation

The drop down menu gives you a clear choice of what you may want to do.

Fig 17. Shows you what you will see when you are happy with you install choices or when you have clicked Install.

Fig 17. Installation of files

Fig 17. Installation of files

This takes a few minutes and is just validating your choices so you can have a working installation.

Fig 18. Will start to copy new files to your installation location.

Fig 18. New files

Fig 18. New files

This will take a few moments and the status bar will show you your progress.

Sometimes it won’t move then suddenly jump. The whole process should not take more than 5 minutes.

Fig 19. Is very similar as Fig 18, but it will remove some backup files that it does not need.

Fig 19. Removing backup files

Fig 19. Removing backup files

This will not affect your installation. My recommendation is to just go away and make a cup of tea.

Computers don’t like being watched!

Fig 20. Is success!

Fig 23. Successful Installation

Fig 23. Successful Installation

See the tick in the Launch Calibre. That is automatic so if you click on Next, Calibre will then load up.

Fig 21. Calibre Home Page

Fig 21. Calibre Home screen

Fig 21. Calibre Home screen

This is the Home Screen and it already has a document installed and ready to read.

It is Calibre’s Start Guide. It’s worth reading.

That’s it for installing Calibre. It really is a breeze to install.

My next tutorial is how to use the Calibre. For now, install the software and read the guide.

Return from How to use Calibre to Home page


Article by Ian S. Rutter


Ian S. Rutter is an indie publisher of a children’s book called ‘The Faeries of Birchover Wood’ He is writing the sequel, a short story and a horror novel. For fun he spends time with his three children and his wife. He loves reading, drawing, walking and daydreaming.

Connect with me on Google+


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  • http://philipparees.com Philippa Rees

    A very generous walk through. Sounds great. Totally safe from bugs and malware? Sounds too easy to believe!

    • http://www.iansrutter.co.uk/blog Ian S. Rutter

      Hello Philippa
      I have installed it on many computers either new installation or an upgrade. I have so far no problems.
      If you go to Calibre’s website and click on the link About Calibre then choose Press the software has had some very good reviews. Those reviews would probably of flagged something.
      No piece of software is bug free and they do appreciate being told of any if found.
      Malware. The legion of fans would definitely defend the software as Malware free.
      Originally Calibre was my second choice. I wanted to use Mobiebook Creator but I could never get it to work, so I chose Calibre and have no problems at all.
      Thanks for the comments.

      • http://philipparees.com Philippa Rees

        Thanks for reassurances Ian. It is time I mastered ebook creation. Really appreciate your generous help. Philippa

        • http://www.iansrutter.co.uk/blog Ian

          You’re very welcome.
          If you need any advice on how to do it then don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m here to help.

  • http://Betrayed.co Greg Clouthier

    I would love to transfer my books on other e-book sites like Nook, Ipad etc. However my documents are all on PDF files. Any suggestions on how to transfer my work?

    Thank you,

    Greg Clouthier

    • http://www.iansrutter.co.uk/blog Ian S. Rutter

      The good news is yes, Calibre can convert PDF. The bad news is that the results can be up in the air. The reason for this is that PDF are the worse files to convert from.
      The problem is they are a fixed page size and text placement format. Meaning, it is very difficult to determine where one paragraph ends and another begins.
      Calibre can try to fix this by unwrapping the paragraphs.

      Taken from Calibre’s manual it states:
      Some limitations of PDF input are:

      Complex, multi-column, and image based documents are not supported.
      Extraction of vector images and tables from within the document is also not supported.
      Some PDFs use special glyphs to represent ll or ff or fi, etc. Conversion of these may or may not work depending on just how they are represented internally in the PDF.
      Links and Tables of Contents are not supported
      PDFs that use embedded non-unicode fonts to represent non-English characters will result in garbled output for those characters
      Some PDFs are made up of photographs of the page with OCRed text behind them. In such cases calibre uses the OCRed text, which can be very different from what you see when you view the PDF file

      To re-iterate PDF is a really, really bad format to use as input. If you absolutely must use PDF, then be prepared for an output ranging anywhere from decent to unusable, depending on the input PDF.

      One good method would be to highlight all the text on the PDF and copy it into MS Word then save as a HTML. Then Let Calibre convert that HTML to an ebook.

      If you have no idea don’t worry maybe if you sent me one pdf then I could send you the result.
      Try it. find out how it works and let me know how you got on.
      Kind regards
      Update. Just remembered. You can go here – Zamzar.com. It is an online converter. Try it out and see how it works. Very easy.

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