1. Computing
Jason Hidalgo

The eBook File Compatibility Chart

By October 10, 2009

Follow me on:

Nook Wi-Fi

With a wide range of eBook file formats out there, figuring out which device plays what can be a major hassle. Here's a list of some of the more popular eBooks out there and which files they are compatible with. This list focuses primarily on eBook formats and does not include music and video file information. This list was last updated on Jan. 3, 2010 and will be checked regularly to account for product upgrades and additional devices. Don't forget to check our eReader Hub as well.

kindle dx


With a wide range of eBook file formats out there, figuring out which device plays what can be a major hassle. Here's a list of some of the more popular eBooks out there and which files they are compatible with. This list will be updated regularly to account for product upgrades and additional devices. Don't forget to check out our eReader Hub as well.

Kindle Kindle 2 & 3 Kindle 4 Kindle DX Sony Readers Hanlin V3 Hanlin V5 IREX Iliads IREX 1000 Nook Alex Nook Color Kobo
ARG
AZW
Y
Y
Y
Y
BMP
Y***
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
CHM
Y
Y
DJVU
Y
Y
DNL
DOC
Y***
Y
Y
EPUB
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
FB2
Y
Y
GIF
Y***
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
HTML
Y***
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
JPG
Y***
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
LBR
LIT
Y
Y
LRF
Y
MOBI
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
OPF
PDB
Y
PDF
Y*1
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
PKG
PNG
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
PPT
Y
Y
PRC
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
PS
RTF
Y
Y
TIF
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
TR2
TR3
TXT
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
WOLF
Y
Y
XML

NOTE: The acronyms on the left refer to file extensions. A file called "War and Peace.txt" indicates that you have an electronic copy of the book War and Peace in "TXT" or "Plain text" format. Also, a "Y" in a box means that a device is compatible with the corresponding file format.

*The LRF extension is also sometimes known as BBeB or "Broad Band eBook."

*1-Available through Kindle firmware update 2.3.

**For Sony Reader owners: Sony's Readers indirectly support some files via conversion. Word (i.e. DOC) files are supported indirectly through Sony's eBook Library program, which will convert such files to RTF (your computer must have Microsoft Word installed).

***For Kindle owners: Unprotected versions of the following files can be sent to Amazon via your Kindle e-mail account ("name"@free.kindle.com) for conversion into the Kindle format: Microsoft Word (DOC), PDF, HTML, TXT, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC and MOBI.

****Some "compatible" files won't run if they have DRM or copy protection.

Photo © Amazon

Comments
November 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm
(1) Leona Weaver says:

Thank you so much for this chart!! This is going to help me tremendously!

November 10, 2010 at 3:04 pm
(2) portables says:

You’re welcome, Leona. Looks like it might be time for me to add some of the new eReaders as well so thanks for the reminder =)

December 10, 2010 at 11:19 am
(3) Jeff the Tech says:

Jason, thanks for putting this chart together. It’s farily current but you mentioned an update. How’s that coming?

December 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm
(4) portables says:

Hi Jeff,
Sorry about the delay. Right after I posted that comment, I got deluged by a flood of gadgets and games sent for review for About.com and my newspaper job for the holidays (which, I admit, is a nice problem to have). But I’ll make sure to add some new devices to the list once the holiday rush is over. Let me know if there’s a particular device you’re interested in and I’ll add it first.

December 15, 2010 at 4:37 pm
(5) duke says:

what happened to KOBO readers?

January 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm
(6) portables says:

Happy 2011, folks. Just added the KOBO Reader and the Nook Color as well. Feel free to recommend any other eBook readers you want added.

January 20, 2011 at 12:15 am
(7) Phil says:

Do you know how to unlock a .DRM file? I’m unable to open an E book I downloaded from B&N. I’ve got it loaded to my wifes KOBO but I can’t open it. The vendors (KOBO and B&N) haven’t been much help.

March 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm
(8) Jyn says:

I fa book is downloadable to Kindle, does that mean it will not work on a Nook?

March 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm
(9) portables says:

@Jyn
If you download the e-book from Amazon’s store for Kindle, then it’s going to be in AZW format, which only works on the Kindle unfortunately.

October 21, 2011 at 9:38 am
(10) diane says:

hey, i was hoping you could give me a hand. i need to design an eBook with 2d animated (maybe interactive) illustrations. which platform is the most suitable?
thank you for your help.
Diane

November 10, 2011 at 10:40 am
(11) Cynthia Lorefice says:

I have been considering the Nook Color or Kindle Fire as gifts for my kids this Christmas. I have a Nook. I try to monitor what they read and we sometimes share books. They are 11 & 12. Price is of course a huge factor. They like the idea of Facebook capabilities on the Nook Color. What advice can you give me.

November 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm
(12) portables says:

@Cynthia
My advice is to see if you can try both so you can better decide what fits your needs more. That, obviously, will be a challenge with the Kindle Fire since Amazon doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar store. But you should at least be able to try out the Nook Tablet at a B&N bookstore. Just at first glance, pros for the Fire are a lower price and greater access to media like music and movies. Pros for the Nook Tablet are bigger memory and more than twice the selection of books than Amazon. I’m sure more will come out as the devices get released and tested.

December 4, 2011 at 12:47 am
(13) Sonja says:

I just got a kindle as a birthday gift.Can i only download e-books for my kindle from amazon.com or is there any other store i can purchase or download from.I live in South Africa.

December 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm
(14) portables says:

Hi Sonja,
The Kindle is primarily set up to work with Amazon.com although you can transfer compatible files via computer. Some files are also supported via conversion like HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP. You can check out Amazon’s FAQ page on how to transfer files.

February 5, 2012 at 2:07 am
(15) Roberto says:

Kobo is crap. Their files are not only in an odd format but they have no file extension. This makes it almost impossible to convert since most conversion programs do not recognize them. Better to avoid Kobo at all costs.

April 4, 2012 at 10:42 pm
(16) bsbs says:

My brother has a Kobo and I have a Barnes & Noble Nook. is there a way we can share/lend eachother e-books?

April 25, 2012 at 11:08 pm
(17) .Jack says:

Re the Nook Color. Isnt there legacy, that is can it handle the formats that the Nook did? except they would be B&W

April 27, 2012 at 10:46 am
(18) Beverley says:

You’ve completely missed one of the best e-book readers on the market. Your table shows the ‘Kobo’ completely blank.

You might try to update your thinking and look a little beyond the almighty Kindle (proprietary). The latest Kobo Touch is second to none and I’ve used them all. The price has just been reduced to $99.99 Canadian and they have a bookstore that covers just about everything.

The Sony PRS-300 and the 350 are discontinued. They have just one model now.

I’d think that having 7 fonts plus the ability to add your own fonts is big in the e-book world plus Wifi purchasing and more.

Look up http://kobo.com and then do an updated review!

April 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm
(19) portables says:

@Beverley
I admit that this list hasn’t been updated in a while. But if you cared to do a search of the site, then you’ll see that we reviewed the Kobo eReader Touch Edition a while back: http://portables.about.com/od/ebookreasers/fr/Kobo-Touch-Review.htm
We even have a review of the first Kobo and a profile for the company, which we did not do for Amazon, B&N or Sony.
As for the blank spots above, it’s a coding issue that occurred the last time the list was updated and not some conspiracy to ignore Kobo.

April 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm
(20) portables says:

@bsbs
You might be able to transfer files to or form both devices by using Adobe Digital Editions through your computer.

May 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm
(21) Micah Justice says:

I have a Pan-digital Novel, It supports .pdf and .epub files, as well as .mp3. It is an eink touchscreen, with Barnes and Noble as it’s default bookstore/account. Surprised it’s not on your list…

May 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm
(22) munyori says:

For all those who have format issues, there is a file converter called Calibre which can convert almost any ebook format to any format you want (kindle format to Nook format, or visa versa, pdf to nook, pdf to kindle, etc). Have tried it, and its amazing. Download from http://www.calibre-ebook.com. Very easy to use, very comprehensive user guide.
It cant convert DRM files though. ….

June 17, 2012 at 8:14 am
(23) phenix313 says:

I am after a device that I can read my online study notes with. The notes are downloadable in PDF format. If the readers support PDF does that mean I should be able to save my notes on an SD card and open them on the e-reader?

August 11, 2012 at 3:07 am
(24) Neptune says:

I agree with Munyori regarding the Calibre program. It’s a great way to maintain a comprehensive e-book library. It is incredibly intuitive. The brief, easy to understand demo on the website convinced me to download it. I have over 1500 books on disk and until I installed them on Calibre it was tedious and discouraging to browse my collection. Now I have my own virtual library.

November 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm
(25) AJDEE says:

I down loaded an ebook that just said file type .file
any ideas what would open and read this?
I’d like to see it on my PC
thanks.

November 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm
(26) portables says:

This one’s tricky because unless you know what program was used to create the file, then your computer can’t open it (if you did, then you can manually change the extension yourself so your computer can recognize it and know what to open it with). Here’s a link to a Microsoft forum that discusses this exact “.file” issue: http://bit.ly/TiA4KI

February 26, 2013 at 11:59 am
(27) Roxi says:

My mind is boggled with information and none of it seems to pertain to me. I’m desparately trying to find a program to download to my BlackBerry Playbook that will let me buy (and read) ebooks from Chapters. Can anyone help?
I can’t seem to find out what file format the ebooks from Chapters come in and whether or not it would be compatible with any of the programs available in AppWorld…
Any assistance would be much appreciated.

April 14, 2013 at 10:40 am
(28) Pau says:

Uhmmm hi :) can i ask if what can i use for nokia asha book reader? I try to use epub and pdf but it doesnt work.

May 27, 2013 at 8:28 am
(29) Kerri says:

I received the Jazz Ultratab by office depot as a gift. I have caliber and I have saved a Mobi and Epubs. Sometimes the books will work, othertime there is a Error and it can’t be read. Do you know what will be a good format to use. I have the HTML viewer, editer and something else. I am not connected to Wi-Fi so I can’t use one of them. My books are saved onto a Micro CD card and are opened in an Ereader app that was already installed. Thanks for any help you can give

September 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm
(30) abbey says:

hey! I have plenty of ebooks stored in my laptop which are mainly in the form of pdf. Can I transfer them to the kindle book reader, which I am planning to buy…

September 8, 2013 at 8:05 pm
(31) portables says:

Hey Abbey. You can transfer PDFs to any second-generation Kindle or higher by dragging and dropping files from your computer to the kindle via a USB connection. You can use the “Send-to-Kindle” feature of the reader as well.

January 16, 2014 at 10:53 pm
(32) William says:

“Let me know if thereís a particular device youíre interested in and Iíll add it first.”

I am interested in the Toshiba Thrive 10.1, running Android/Ice Cream Sandwich.
I need to have to find away to convert Kindle eBooks to it.
The app that is offered on Amazon, via the Google Play store does not support this machine, and nothing ellse offfered that does.
Any help on how to convert the Kindle eBooks, to something the Thrive would read would sure fill a big gap for me.
Thank You,
William

February 11, 2014 at 4:50 am
(33) Williaam says:

Even finding out what extension acronym for eBooks readable by the Toshiba Thrive would be extremely helpful.

February 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm
(34) portables says:

Hi William. To convert Kindle eBooks to a more universal file format like PDF, try using Calibre. It’s been a while since I used it but it worked pretty well when I did and it also can be downloaded for free from the Calibre website. Here’s a tutorial on sideloading for added context: http://portables.about.com/od/ebookreasers/a/Ereader-Sideloading.htm

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.