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Different Ebook Formats Explained

Mar 15, 2008
Ebooks can be produced in a wide variety of formats, and each has its own special features. The special features make the it suitable for certain publications and styles, which makes sure that the necessary information is conveyed in the must suitable and economical way possible. Ebook titles include both fiction and non fiction, and can be for professional, academics the general public and children alike. Ebooks are proving to be a time and money efficient way to provide information and entertainment around the globe. The following is an explanation of the types and uses of the most common formats.

The most easily recognisable type of ebook is one that uses a DNL reader. The DNL reader is available at small or no cost and is easy to download. These ebooks usually replicate the page turning format of a regular book, transferring that information onto the digital page. Therefore, this has the feel of reading a real book and is often used in children`s story telling ebooks. The other easily recognisable format is the plain text format. This needs Microsoft windows or DOS to read and as these are the most commonly used operating systems, the format used is familiar. These options are designed to take up little storage memory and so are best used for text only ebooks.

Image format ebooks are used to display information through a sequence of images. Therefore, this type of ebook is excellent for the production of children`s picture books, art and comic books, and graphic novellas. They require more memory space than other ebooks formats, but are the only real option for people wishing to publish lots of photographic or pictorial information. The down side of this format is that the text cannot be selected for amendments or notes. Also, only certain applications support them and so specific readers may need to be purchased.

HTML ebooks are commonly used as they are accessible on any standard browser. The bonus of this is that no special reader is required and so the it is more accessible and can reach a wider audience. HTML formatted ebooks can include search features, images and sound and so provide an al round experience. However, HTML language is complex, written in specific codes which act as formatting commands and so for publishers they can be difficult to produce as specific training is required. However, these are the most functional for readers.

Open Electronic Book Packages known as OPFs have the best multimedia content. The video and search facilities are quick and stable and the interactive element makes them an excellent choice for publishers of encyclopaedias and children`s interactive learning ebooks. For portability, an they needs to have a JavaScript format, such as Libris, as this is compatible for PDAs and Smartphones, and any Windows, Blackberry and Palm operating systems. These formats can add blank pages for additional notes; create free hand drawings, and also annotations and corrections with inbuilt dictionary and bookmarks features. OPFs are set to become popular for academic research texts in universities and colleges. For recreational and sporting users, iPod ebook creators can create small text file ebooks for the iPod.

And finally, another common format is the Portable Document Format, saved as a .pdf file and read by Adobe. The PDF ebook can be read on and printed from various platforms on the internet and so this is a commonly used format as the audience is wide reaching and no extra equipment is needed. The PDF is mainly associated with text, tables, indexes, hyperlinks and simple drawings so the ebooks most commonly found using PDF include short literary pieces, papers, reports and journals.

However, the PDF format can also include extra fonts and images, plus sound and video clips. Therefore, for the competent user this is an excellent choice for e-zines and flyers advertising ebooks, plus interesting articles. The main disadvantage with this format is that the pages do not always fit computer screen width, and they are difficult to adjust and so have to be scrolled both vertically and horizontally to be read.
About the Author
This article can be accessed in portuguese from the Article section of page www.polomercantil.com.br/livros.php
Roberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for www.PoloMercantil.com.br
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