Q:

How do you use an .epub file?

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Quick Answer

EPUB files are books intended to be read on electronic devices, and are used by opening the files in an e-reader program. These programs are available on e-reader devices, tablets, smartphones and PCs. EPUB is an open standard that all publishers and software developers can use for free, making it the most popular e-book standard in current use.

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Full Answer

Popular e-readers that support EPUB files include the Barnes & Noble Nook and all Kobo and Sony e-readers. Many smaller brands also support the format, due to its wide adoption and free license. Amazon's Kindle e-readers do not support EPUB files, which must be converted to a Kindle-compatible format prior to opening on the Kindle.

Libraries, schools and other institutions that require digital rights management on EPUB files use Adobe's OverDrive platform to distribute books. Borrowing these books requires a login, usually tied to the user's library card number or student login information. These books have time limits, restrictions on lending and other rights-management features.

Tablets and smartphones running Android, Blackberry and Windows all support EPUB files via third-party software apps. Apple iOS devices do not require third-party software to use unlocked EPUB files; support for the file format is included in the stock iBooks application. Third-party software is still required to access OverDrive books on iOS.

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