What are the Differences Between .epub and .mobi?

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As the popularity of eBooks in the publishing industry has been growing rapidly in recent years, different e-book formats have emerged, which can be quite confusing for the public in general. Some of these formats include EPUB, MOBI, AZW and PDF eBook formats. The purpose of this blog is to analyse the difference between two of the most common e-Book formats .epub and .mobi.

Guiding Tech.com provides some useful information on e.pub and .mobi formats which is available in full at this link.


Considered by many experts as the most common of all the formats, .epub is widely supported across all platforms. Thus, most e-Reader devices and Apps like Apple’s iBooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Adobe Digital Editions, Aldiko on Android among others (in total there are nearly 300) support .epub files. Amazon Kindle is an exception as it does not support .epub files thus far.  The EPUB format is an open standard. That means it is free and publicly available though there are specific rules for its usage. The EPUB standard is maintained by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), a global trade and standards organization. EPUB can display re-flowable content (that can adjust its presentation to the output device) and also fixed width layout. It is very similar in appearance to HTML rendered pages with images.


Short for the Mobipocket e-book format was bought by Amazon. It is also cross-platform. E-Books in this format can have the .prc or .mobi extension.MOBI formats can take complex content, include advanced navigation controls, supports indexing and a high degree of compression. For instance, readers can add their own pages, freehand drawings, annotations, highlights, bookmarks, corrections, and notes if devices support it. It can also include a dictionary. MOBI formats are suited for smaller screens because the image size limitation of 64K. The image size and image format (GIF) puts the format at odds with larger display devices like tablets. MOBI can also display re-flowable content and fixed width layout.


As many formats are available, it can be confusing to understand the difference and identify which one will be more appropriate for your publication. The good news is that there are some useful tools to assist you in the process! 3D Issue converts your PDF publications to .epub, .mobi for Kindle, Sony, Nook and other eReader device, and to HTML5 for iPad, Android tablets and SmartPhone devices – you can sign up for the free trial using the form above for a taster!


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