As of 20th December 2013, the popular free and open-source ebook management software Calibre has been released in version 1.16, just in time for Christmas! There are a decent number of bug fixes as well as new features that keep advancing the power of this ebook software. Calibre is available for Linux, as well as the Windows and Mac operating systems.
After my article about Steam and DRM it seems fitting to be covering news on Calibre, as it's particularly quite popular amongst those who much prefer DRM-free offerings of ebooks, especially for it's format conversion abilities.
The software not only acts as a library for your favourite ebooks, but also has the ability to convert ebooks to a large number of other formats, so long as the ebook in question isn't laden too deeply with DRM. Not only that, the program can sync your library to a large number of e-reader devices, automatically download news and RSS feeds from the web and convert them to an ebook form and features an internal ebook viewer - though you may use any viewing program you wish (such as Okular, even) - and much more.
Here's the features and bug fixes new in version 1.16:
- Edit book: Add a tool to browse all images in the book with their thumbnails. Useful for visually locating an image. To launch it, use View->Browse images in book.
- Edit book: Allow creation of new, empty books via File->Create new book
- Edit book: Add buttons to easily create formatting such as bold/italic/colors/etc. when editing HTML files
- Edit book: Add button to easily insert <img> tag while editing HTML
- Edit book: Add options to change the default font families/sizes for the preview panel
- Edit book: Allow customizing which dockable windows occupy the four dock corners via Edit->Preferences. You can now also choose to have more than one row of windows in a given dock area.
- Edit book: When editing AZW3 files with no images in them, do not incorrectly display a number of binary records from the AZW3 file as 'unknown' miscellaneous files
- Edit book: Fix marking image as cover not working for AZW3 files if the file did not previously have a cover
- AZW3 Output: Do not refuse to create the ToC if it has only a single entry
- Edit book: Fix crashes when processing some books that contain malformed markup on OS X and windows 64bit machines
- Edit book: Fix error when renaming the html file currently displayed in the preview panel and that file is not the file being currently edited
- Edit book: Fix crash when editing books that have links to absolute paths.
Closes tickets: 1261337
- Edit book: Fix book not being marked as modified after editing the ToC
- Edit book: When syncing the position of the preview panel to the cursor in the editor and the cursor is at or before the <body> tag set the position of the preview panel to the top of the file, so that the top margin of the body tag is seen easily.
- Edit book: Fix trying to import an html file/css file via the add new file button always resulting in a blank file
- Edit book: Fix replacing a file with another file with exactly the same filename causing an error.
Closes tickets: 1260822
- Edit book: Have the ToC view refresh itself after any major operation on the book
- Edit book: Fix pasting in the image editor not working
Improved news sources
- Spiegel Online
- Daily Mail
Head on over to the Calibre download page if this impressive piece of software is of interest to you or if your existing Calibre is due for the update.
Something that might be a bit surprising however, is that the developer recommends for us Linux users to NOT use a distribution provided package, as "as those are often buggy/outdated". Instead, you are advised to install the binary directly from the Calibre download page or (if you wish) compile the entire program from source.
Thankfully the binary install is very easy, just make sure to follow the instructions on the aforementioned download page.
Finally, for those who prefer DRM-free ebooks, the Calibre project also has a database of non-public domain DRM-free ebooks from various sources, which is available here.