How to Convert PDF to ePub

Make an ebook by converting file types

This article explains how to convert a PDF to an ePub file using Calibre for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Before you get started, make sure the PDF is properly formatted.

How to Convert PDF to ePub

Download Calibre for free and install it on your operating system, then follow these steps to convert a PDF file into ePub format:

  1. Select Add books and choose the PDF file you wish to convert.

    Add books in Calibre

    To convert multiple PDFs in a ZIP/RAR file, select the down arrow beside Add books, then choose Add multiple books from an archive.

  2. Select the PDF file, then select Convert books.

    Convert books in Calibre
  3. Select the Output format drop-down menu and choose EPUB.

    EPUB in Calibre
  4. Edit the title, author, tags, and other metadata fields as needed, then select OK.

    OK in Calibre

    Select Look & feel on the left side to change the font size and paragraph spacing.

  5. Select the arrow next to Formats in the left pane, then select EPUB to find the ePub file.

    Down arrow and EPub in Calibre
  6. Select the ePub file, select the View down arrow, then select View with calibre E-book viewer to open the file.

    View with calibre E-book viewer in Calibre
  7. Review the ePub file output, then close the viewer to return to the Calibre library.

    Select the Next page and Previous page icons to review the ePub file output in Calibre.
  8. Right-click the ePub file in your library and select Open containing folder to see where the file was saved on your computer.

    Open containing folder in Calibre

It is also possible to convert an ePub to a PDF.

How to Format the PDF Correctly Before You Convert PDF to ePub

The first step to making an ebook is creating a PDF file. Almost any document can be converted to PDF format. Most PDF files are created in a word processor such as Microsoft Word.

The trick to creating a PDF file that converts properly into ePub is to set up the pages in a way that can be read by an e-reader and to use the word processor’s built-in formatting styles. Here are a few tips:

  • Use styles to format headings, indented paragraphs, numbered lists, and bullet lists.
  • Use page breaks when you intentionally want a page to stop at a particular spot (for example, at the end of each chapter).
  • Choose an 8.5” x 11” page size with a portrait orientation and .5-inch margins.
  • Left align or center align the paragraphs.
  • Use a single font for the text. Recommended fonts are Ariel, Times New Roman, and Courier.
  • Use 12 pt font size for body text and 14 pt to 18 pt for headings.
  • Create images in JPEG or PNG format with a maximum size of 600 pixels tall and 550 pixels wide. Images should be in RGB color mode and 72 DPI.
  • Do not wrap text around images. Use inline images where the text is above and below the image.

If you use Microsoft Word, select File > Export to create a PDF file from a Word document.