I'll tell you clearly and loudly: I don't like Calibre! So, how can I convert PDF to ePUB without it?


We know you don't like Calibre... but have you tried its CLI conversion tool?

The Calibre install provides the command ebook-convert that will handle what you want, and there's no need to run Calibre.

ebook-convert file.pdf file.epub

is all that's required.

If the output looks a little wrong - try this

ebook-convert file.pdf file.epub --enable-heuristics

It will try a "smart" way to convert. Not perfect, but can work well in most conversions.

  • 1
    Any way to make it work with 2 column documents? The --enable-heuristics flag does not work well with those.
    – zakkak
    Nov 20 '14 at 15:55
  • 1
    According to their website, multi-column PDFs are not supported.
    – Drac Noc
    Dec 23 '14 at 17:13
  • 4
    Wow thanks. For multiple PDF files within a folder I used this after cding to the directory: find ./ -iname "*pdf" -type f | while read f; do echo -e "\e[1mConverting file $f \e[0m" ; ebook-convert "$f" "${f%.pdf}.epub" --enable-heuristics ; done
    – Wilf
    Apr 24 '15 at 12:14
  • 1
    note that if you don't have the ebook-convert command, you may have installed calibre through flatpak or snap. Uninstall your existing calibre through the software center, or flatpak remove, or snap remove and then install with apt
    – Ace.C
    Apr 11 '19 at 6:16
  • 1
    @PrashantTapase - I don't see why you should have any trouble. The GUI offers the same options as the CLI. The GUI has more of a per-device set of rules. You can opt on how files are converted when they are transferred according to what reader you plugged in. A Kobo reader uses epub, Kindle has mobi. Calibre should pick that up automatically, but you can always use the convert icon to fine tune what you have in your library.
    – Drac Noc
    May 3 '19 at 18:00

LibreOffice has an epub exporter extension, so you can install the LibreOffice PDF importer extension, import your PDF, and then export to epub.


Have a look at www.convertfiles.com, you can easily convert .pdf to .epub using their free online conversion tool.


2epub.com - the same online converter with batch processing and output compression files


This is not a direct answer to the question, but for people who want to read PDFs on an e-reader and are finding it cumbersome, one solution may be to crop the margins of the PDF, and read in landscape mode. That works acceptably well for me on my e-reader in any case. There are many PDF croppers out there. Just search for "pdf crop" or "pdf trim".

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