The E-book viewer¶

calibre includes a built-in E-book viewer that can view all the major e-book formats. The E-book viewer is highly customizable and has many advanced features.

Starting the E-book viewer¶

You can view any of the books in your calibre library by selecting the book and pressing the View button. This will open up the book in the E-book viewer. You can also launch the E-book viewer by itself from the Start menu in Windows. On macOS, you can pin it to the dock and launch it from there. On Linux you can use its launcher in the desktop menus or run the command ebook-viewer.

Highlighting text¶

When you select text in the viewer, a little popup bar appears next to the selection. You can click the highlight button in that bar to create a highlight. You can add notes and change the color of the highlight. On a touch screen, long tap a word to select it and show the popup bar. Once in highlight mode you can tap the Adjust selection button to change what text is selected, using touch screen friendly selection handles. Drag the handles to the top or bottom margins to scroll while selecting.

You can use the Highlights button in the viewer controls to show a separate panel with a list of all highlights in the book, sorted by chapter.

You can browse all highlights in your entire calibre library by right clicking the View button and choosing Browse annotations.

Finally, if you use the calibre Content server‚Äôs in browser viewer, you can have the viewer sync its annotations with the browser viewer by going to Preferences‚ÄČ‚Üí‚ÄČMiscellaneous in the viewer preferences and entering the username of the Content server viewer to sync with. Use the special value * to sync with anonymous users.

Read aloud¶

The viewer can read book text aloud. To use it you can simply click the Read aloud button in the viewer controls to start reading book text aloud. The word being currently read is highlighted. Speech is synthesized from the text using your operating system services for text-to-speech. You can change the voice being used by clicking the gear icon in the bar that is displayed while Read aloud is active.

You can also read aloud highlighted passages by adding the Read aloud button to the selection bar in the viewer preferences under Selection behavior.

Note

Support for text-to-speech in browsers is very incomplete and bug-ridden so how well Read aloud will work in the in-browser viewer is dependent on how well the underlying browser supports text-to-speech. In particular, highlighting of current word does not work, and changing speed or voice will cause reading to start again from the beginning.

Note

On Linux, Read aloud requires Speech Dispatcher to be installed and working.

Note

On Windows, not all installed voices may be visible to the SAPI sub-system that is used for text-to-speech. There are instructions to make all voices visible.

Customizing the look and feel of your reading experience¶

You can change font sizes on the fly by using Font size in the viewer controls or Ctrl++ or Ctrl+- or holding the Ctrl key and using the mouse wheel.

Colors can be changed in the Colors section of the viewer preferences.

You can change the number of pages displayed on the screen as well as page margins in Page layout in the viewer preferences.

You can display custom headers and footers such as time left to read, current chapter title, book position, etc. via the Headers and footers section of the viewer preferences.

More advanced customization can be achieved by the Styles settings. Here you can specify a background image to display under the text and also a stylesheet you can set that will be applied to every book. Using it you can do things like change paragraph styles, text justification, etc. For examples of custom stylesheets used by calibre’s users, see the forums.

Dictionary lookup¶

You can look up the meaning of words in the current book by opening the Lookup/search word panel via the viewer controls. Then simply double click on any word and its definition will be displayed in the Lookup panel.

Copying text and images¶

You can select text and images by dragging the content with your mouse and then right clicking and selecting Copy to copy to the clipboard. The copied material can be pasted into another application as plain text and images.

Zooming in on images¶

You can zoom in to show an image at full size in a separate window by either double clicking or long tapping on it. You can also right click on it and choose View image.

Non re-flowable content¶

Some books have very wide content that cannot be broken up at page boundaries. For example tables or <pre> tags. In such cases, you should switch the viewer to flow mode by pressing Ctrl+m to read this content. Alternately, you can also add the following CSS to the Styles section of the viewer preferences to force the viewer to break up lines of text in <pre> tags:

code, pre { white-space: pre-wrap }