Modern technology has allowed the individual to share his ideas and stories more easily. It has also given people low-cost or free access to more books.
Readers can enjoy their favorite books on any device, and they can read them on the go. Literature students can start Hamlet on their tablets in their dorm rooms and continue reading it on their phones in between classes.
A computer engineer, at his first job after graduation, can read “The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary” during lunch breaks on his laptop and continue reading on his phone during the train ride home.
Ebooks have changed how humans interact with books. They have been around for decades, but they became popular when Amazon released the Kindle in 2007 and Kindle apps in 2009. Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, and others released e-readers later.
New file formats, designed for e-books, were created at about the same time as these devices were released. One of the most widely used formats for e-books is EPUB (Electronic Publishing). Many e-book stores accept publications directly in this format, or they will convert the submissions to a proprietary format based on EPUB. Amazon uses a file format that is similar to EPUB, and will accept author submissions in the format.
Books are best converted from their original formats to EPUB through special software. Recently, several word processors have been released with basic export features to EPUB. LibreOffice Writer 6.0 has this as a new feature. Previous versions required an extension to be installed.
Another popular application, for Apple users, however does. Apple Pages allows users to export their documents to the EPUB format.
Microsoft Word 2016 does not have an EPUB export feature. However, Amazon has created a plugin for Word, so authors can format a book before submitting it to the Kindle store.
This article will give a brief overview of the format, then compare Writer and Pages capabilities of exporting to the format.