EPUB to PDF – Convert with Original Print Formatting


I really hate .epub format. I have tried several online and downloaded tools to convert some .epub books I have to PDF, but it still is unsatisfactory as the original page breaks are not preserved and the formatting always messes up, text is too big, fonts are lost, colors missing, graphics poorly preserve and sometimes fall on a page break, special symbols and non-English alphabets look like a botched OCR job, random chunks of text are inserted, etc. I have tried Calibre, Epubor, Zanzar, etc. The output always seems unusable.

My question: .epub files preserve the original page break locations, if I am not mistaken. Is there any .epub to .pdf converter that can simply break the pdf pages where the original print book broke the pages, and resize the text and graphics to fit (I am assuming .epub does NOT preserve the original text size data?). I want a pdf which looks as close to the original print book as possible, pulling upon any data which a .epub file might store about the original print book. I already have a .epub file, so I would rather not manually scan the entire book and compile to a PDF, if at all possible 😛

Calibre seems the most flexible of the various .epub to .pdf converters I have tried. If it is possible to do this by setting certain configuration settings with Calibre (or any other software), I would appreciate anybody showing me how as I don't really know what I am doing with those settings yet. Thank you in advance!

EDIT: I have tried numerous .epub readers and Adobe Digital Editions, Sumatra pdf, and Calibre are the best I have tried by a longshot. However, only Calibre seems able to print those .epubs to a pdf, or print .epubs at all! One big problem I have is that large images that take a whole page in the print book are broken down into chunks in the ebook, regardless of the font and margin size, even when the larger image would fit on screen! one! two! same deal across e-readers

Best Answer

I have now experimented with numerous, numerous tools to convert epub to pdf, but none do what I was hoping to accomplish. I have also experimented with numerous e-readers in general, hoping to display my files as I wanted them and then "print" them directly to a software pdf printer. The newest version of calibre's e-book reader allows printing directly to PDF. Unfortunately, those pdfs do not resemble the text as you are viewing it in the e-reader window. Regardless of the font size of the e-reader text, the pdf is built using font sizes specified elsewhere. This would be a suggestion for future releases of calibre to implement: print as-you-see-it from the e-reader window.

Of the various e-readers I used, epubreader extension for firefox is by far the best and most stable (calibre used up all 2GB of my ram before hanging and crashing multiple times). The display settings of epubreader allow great flexibility for displaying the text "as defined by the book settings," although the e-book settings do not always perfectly preserve the exact appearance of the print book. For all of its strengths, however, epubreader does not seem able to print to a pdf or to print from firefox at all. When I contacted support, I was referred to calibre.

As it stands, calibre is still the tool that comes closest to accomplishing my original goals. Hopefully future releases of calibre or epubreader will implement a print-as-you-see it option, allowing their ebook readers to double up as a live "print preview." Until then, I will have to make do with editing the epub raw data with calibre epub editor, and/ or building dozens of pdf books before I find the most acceptable settings for producing a suitable pdf.

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