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flag_green        Key Information

Keep your eBook projects simple. Avoid complex layouts and formatting, only use simple tables and don't use invisible topics. Only a..z, A..Z, 0..9 and _ are permitted in topic IDs in eBooks!

The ePUB format

The ePUB format is completely open. An ePUB eBook consists of basic XHTML for the book content, XML for descriptions, and a zip archive file with the extension .epub containing all the files.

Apple iBooks® ePUB eBooks:

The ePUB eBooks generated by Help+Manual are fully compatible with the Apple iBooks® reader on the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. iBooks® is different from other readers in many ways and has a number of special requirements.

Features and pros and cons of ePUB eBooks:

File extension:



A single zip archive file containing the XHTML and XML files and other components. Additional configuration files and special settings are required for compatibility with Apple iBooks® on Apple's iOS devices (iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch).


Viewable on any platform or device for which an ePUB reader is available. Apple iBooks® on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, Sony Reader, Windows, Apple OS X, Linux, Unix, Sony Reader, mobile phones and many more.

Typical use:

Reading books on hardware eBook readers. Although a large number of software readers are available, only a very small number of users actually read books on computers. The huge majority use mobile devices like the iPad to read eBooks.


ePUB eBooks can be distributed directly. Even if you are targeting Apple iBooks® devices, you can distribute your ePUB eBooks directly to your customers and they can install them on the device themselves.

Easiest distribution method:
Put the eBook file online and post the URL to the file as a QR code, which can be generated by Help+Manual. Users then scan the QR code with their device camera and the book is downloaded and loaded automatically by their ePUB eBook reader app.

Table of contents:

Yes, not supported by all readers

Keyword index:


Full text search:

Yes, but search functionality depends on reader

Context-sensitive help:

No support for context-sensitive help, you cannot make direct calls to specific topics in the help




Video is supported in iBooks® on Apple iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch). Some other devices may support video but don't depend on it. Most don't.

Printable by user:

Yes, but print functionality depends on reader


Single-file, universal cross-platform format already supported by many software and hardware readers. Large number of ePUB eBooks already published, already a universal standard. Generally intuitive handling (depends on reader).


This is really a dedicated format for books in electronic form. Best for books that users read in the same way as a printed book. Search but no index, simple formatting only, video only in iBooks®.

See also:

Kindle/Mobi and ePUB 3.0 (Configuring for Publishing)