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Electronic Publication (EPUB)

Definition - What does Electronic Publication (EPUB) mean?

An electronic publication (EPUB) is an e-book file format that has the extension of .epub. Electronic publications can be downloaded and then read using devices like smartphones, tablets, e-readers and computers.

It is also a technical standard that is published by the International Digital Publishing Forum and replaced the former Open eBook standard in September 2007. The Book Industry Study Group backs EPUB 3 as the official format for the packaging of content. EPUB is used in several popular software readers such as iBooks for iOS and Google Books in Android. However, it is still not used for Amazon Kindle.

Techopedia explains Electronic Publication (EPUB)

EPUB is a format for distribution and interchange for documents and digital publications based on web standards. EPUB lays out the method for the representation, packing and encoding of web content (such as CSS, XHTML, images, SVG) that is structured and semantically enhanced in order for it to be distributable in a single format. It allows customers the option of interoperability between software and hardware for unencrypted digital books and publications.

Essentially, EPUB is a ZIP archive that has, effectively, a website containing HTML files, CSS, images and metadata. Using HTML5 means that EPUBs can also contain audio, video and other interactive elements. EPUB offers various features like reflowable document, inline raster and vector images, bookmarking, highlighting and note taking, resizing of fonts and changing of text and background colors.

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