Wondered what the difference is between eBook formats? Here’s a quick summary, so you can pick the right one for you…
PDF format – best for computers
The PDF format is best for reading on a desktop or laptop computer. It’s a fixed format, so it’s laid out like the paperback book.
Adobe Reader is already installed on most computers or can be freely downloaded. The table of contents/bookmarks can be shown down the side of the book. That’s found under the View menu in most software. Most PDF software also includes search functionality. Other free PDF readers, such as FoxIt Reader for Windows or Skim for Mac, allow you to highlight and annotate your book.
PDFs can also be used on iPads and Android tablets, but as PDF is fixed format, it’s not ideal on small devices.
ePub format – best for tablets/phones/eReaders
The ePub format is ideal for tablets and phones. It has a reflowable format, so it adapts to small screen sizes.
On the iPad, I’d recommend using the free iBooks apps (instructions here). For Android, try Play Books (instructions here). It also works on other ePub compatible eReader devices, such as Nook and Kobo.
Kindle format – best for Kindle eReaders
The Kindle format has a mobi extension. It has a reflowable format, so it adapts to small screen sizes. It’s designed primarily for Kindle eReaders (instructions here).
It’ll also work on the Kindle app for tablets and phones, but the quality of the photos in the ePub format is slightly better due to compression levels.