Calibre features
#249 Henry, Tuesday, 28 April 2015 10:04 AM (Category: Books)
(Tags: calibre epub)

I use Calibre to manage my library and check and update books. It's a great tool. Regular updates. It often seems that every time I start up Calibre, there's a new version available.

The tool I have used the most in Calibre is Convert. This takes a book in one format, converts it to an epub and sets up the metadata.

If your book is not already epub, it will convert it to epub, and do a really good job of mimicking the original formatting. It will create new CSS for the formatting. It will create the epub metadata.

If your book is already epub, it will still convert it. It will change the CSS. It will flatten it, simplify it, but try and keep it looking roughly the same. It will use new CSS. It will modify the epub metadata.

Some books from the publishers arrive with the metadata messed up. The author names are wrong, or the title contains series information, or there is no series data at all. Sometimes the title and author have been switched. If I want these books to be easily findable when I put them on my device, I have to fix the metadata. Up till now, the only tool I had to do that was to Convert the book. This fixes the metadata, but it also changes the formatting and the CSS.

I have long wanted the ability to simply change the metadata without affecting the book content and formatting at all.

Last weekend, I found that Calibre has this ability. It's called Polish books. Polish as in polishing, making smooth, putting a fine finish on. Not books written in the Polish langugage. I found this while reading some forums about converting books. The ability is in Calibre, but it's not obvious. If you want it obvious, you should put it on the toolbar. I took the opportunity to clean up and customise the Calibre toolbar and give Polish books a high profile.

Modified Calibre Toolbar

Now you have the Polish books on the toolbar, and you can polish your books. Clicking this lets you select what actions you take. The only ones I use are to change the metadata and change the cover. It will change only those things and leave the rest of the book completely unchanged. This is great, this is exactly what I wanted. I wish I had found this earlier.

Polish books options