Calibre Gains eBook Editor in New Update

What calibre-logowith the news in September that the Sigil Epub editor might not be getting any major updates in the near future (or ever again, for that matter) I have been quietly looking for an alternative (free, preferably, and open source). Luckily for me, one fell in my lap this week.

Calibre, the leading ebook management/reading/library/conversion app, is now also an ebook editor. This new feature was added in a weekly update about 2 weeks ago, but it only came to my attention this week.

While calibre has long enabled users to edit a book's cover image and metadata (title, author, etc), it wasn't until recently that users had the option of editing the contents of the book itself. And as you can see in the screenshot below, calibre can now edit any DRM-free Epub or Kindle (AZW3) ebook:

calibre ebooke ditor 2

Users can edit the HTML source, delete and add files, swap out the cover image, and then run a check to see if any of the files in the ebook aren't mentioned in the spine. It's not yet possible to work with the fonts or draw a cover image, but users can edit the TOC as well as the manifest and other ancillary files found in an ebook.

I haven't had a chance (or a need, for that matter) to use the editor myself, so I would love to read what you think about it. The editor is included in the latest update on the calibre website. After you install it, you can open the editor by right-clicking on a title and selecting the edit option.


Initially launched in October 2006 as libprs500, Calibre has become the leading open source ebook management tool - and more. This app, which reached 1.0 in August 2013, now supports 3.6 million users in 236 countries who use calibre to both convert ebooks to a wide variety of formats and transfer the ebooks to an unbelievable number of ereaders and ebooks. It now works with most Android tablets and smartphones, iOS devices, and more ereaders than you can even conceive of (seriously, there have been ereader which i first discovered when they were mentioned in the calibre changelog).

About Nate Hoffelder (11222 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

7 Comments on Calibre Gains eBook Editor in New Update

  1. Ah, that’s helpful. It would be nice to be able to make minor tweaks to my books after my conversion company sends them back to me. Like links to other books in the series. Thanks! I usually pay close attention to the Calibre changelog, but I missed this one.

  2. The editor can also be used as a standalone, when calibre is installed Edit E-Book should be add to the Windows Start menu. See this post. Under Ubuntu it will be added to Applications/Office/Edit E-book.
    Works real nice have used it to fix a couple of book already.

  3. Great news. Thanks a lot for making me aware of this useful new feature. Therefore I will dump Sigil.

  4. I only have tried it once, but I found it introduced a lot of data when you try to edit the book I don’t know if it only introduces your metadata or if it adds some styles just by opening the book, I think for small tweaks I’ll stay just uncompressing the epub and editing manually, I don’t like the way ebooks converted with calibre have all the same look and feel, I find it horrible….

  5. @Ana: You are confusing the Edit Books function with the Convert Books function. The latter was already there and indeed makes changes to your book. The new Edit Book function does not introduce any data at all but leaves this completely up to you. It is perfect for small tweaks (or big tweaks, for that matter), and you do not have to do the uncompressing yourself.

  6. Thanks for the news, Nate. This one passed me by as well. I usually hand-code all my ebooks but shall give this a try. It’ll certainly cut down on the time spent in formatting and would be wonderful if I could create my MOBI copies on Linux without resorting to using my Windoze machine.

    Happy New Year!

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