This guide explains how to convert a PDF file to an EPUB file using completely free software that works in Windows, macOS and Linux.
This guide was initially called “How to convert PDF files to ePub files to read with iBooks” but Apple Books now supports PDF files natively, so this guide doesn’t include the iBooks part and now it just explains how to convert a PDF file to an .EPUB file.
Note: the screenshots in this guide are from a Mac, but if you’re using Windows or Linux you’ll have absolutely no trouble following along since the steps are identical and the app looks the same across all platforms.
- First things first, so you’ll need to download calibre. calibre (yes it starts with a lower-case “c”)is an eBook management app that lets you keep organize, edit and work with your eBook collection in all sorts of cool ways – one of which is converting eBooks from one format to another. It’s open source which means it’s free and safe to install since the code can be viewed by anyone. It’s not a very big download so it shouldn’t take too long.
- Run the file once the download completes. During the installation you’ll be asked which physical eBook Reader you use (eg. an Amazon Fire or Kindle) – it doesn’t matter what you select. You can choose Apple and then iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch if you have one. If not, select Generic and then Smartphone. Click Next once you’ve made your selection.
- Depending on which device you selected in the previous step, you may be asked to enable a feature or install additional software. For the time being don’t bother, you can always enable the various features later.
- Click Finish when the setup wizard is done.
- calibre will automatically launch once the installation has completed.
- In order to convert the PDF you’ll need to add it to calibre. Click the Add books button.
- Navigate to the PDF, select it and click Open
- Before you convert it, confirm all of the metadata is correct and choose the cover you want to use by clicking selecting your book from the list and then click the Edit metadata button.
- Towards the bottom of the Edit metadata window there’s a button titled Download metadata – click it.
- calibre will search through Google and Amazon to find all of the available publications of your book. Select the one you want to use and click OK
- Now choose the cover photo you want to use for your eBook and click OK
- Confirm everything is correct and make any changes you see fit. When you’re done, click the OK button.
- Finally! Select your eBook from the list and this time click the Convert books button and choose Convert individually from the menu.
- Click the menu next to Output format: found in the upper-right corner of the Convert window. It will probably say MOBI by default.
- Choose EPUB from the list of eBook formats.
- Click the OK button and let calibre do its thing. The conversion itself shouldn’t take more than a few moments.
- Once the process has completed you’ll be taken back to the main calibre window. Select your eBook from the list and take a look at the Formats field in the summary panel – you’ll see EPUB in addition to PDF. Click the Click to open link next to Path:
- This will open a Finder window (or File Explorer if you’re using Windows, or your default file manager in Linux) where you’ll find your newly created .epub file.
- That’s it! You now have an EPUB copy of your eBook.