If you are an author and want to publish a professional eBook from Microsoft Word, the eBook Toolkit is your ideal choice. Please read these frequently to learn more about the eBook Toolkit.
I create a separate file for each chapter of my eBook, so it is easier to manage and collaborate with my editor. Does the eBook Toolkit support combining these files into one large eBook? Yes. This is an essential feature of the eBook Toolkit and one that separates it from other apps you can purchase on the market. The number of files and words you can output is defined by the edition you buy.
Some online stores have strict requirements. How does the eBook Toolkit meet those needs? The eBook Toolkit is designed to follow industry standard best practices. Unlike many other eBook conversion products, the eBook Toolkit outputs to the industry standard XHTML format. At Optical Authoring, we test your content files by verifying they pass the W3C Validator. We test ePub files by validating them with the ePub Check tool, which is recommended by the IDPF (industry standards body that maintains the ePub format). Some websites require you conform to additional standards; for example, as of this writing, Smashwords does not support tables. If you are submitting your eBook to a particular site that has unique requirements, then you must modify your original Microsoft Word files.
How do I receive updates to new versions? The eBook Toolkit frequently checks for updates and automatically installs them. When new updates become available, they are usually available to you immediately or within the following day of the announcement.
Do you guarantee the eBook Toolkit will convert my Microsoft Word documents to ePub or Kindle? We make every effort to provide the best functionality possible. There are certain features, like columns, free-form graphics layouts and other features within Microsoft Word that do not always convert as you might expect. If you do encounter issues, please let us know in our user forums.
What versions of Microsoft Word do the eBook Toolkit support? Currently, the Windows versions of Microsoft Word 2013, 2016, and any full desktop version of Microsoft Word you download from Office 365. Technically, the eBook Toolkit should work with Microsoft Word 2010, but we do not test or support this version.
What versions of Microsoft Windows do the eBook Toolkit support? Windows 8 or greater and Windows 10 or higher. Older versions may work, but if there are specific problems with the version of Windows you are using, we may not be able to provide support.
What if I want to edit my eBook after the output is complete? The eBook Toolkit outputs the entire eBook to a folder you specify. In that folder, you will find all the components that make up the eBook, like your XHTML content (originally in Microsoft Word documents), the table of contents, stylesheets, and all other eBook files. You are free to modify these files, but you will require knowledge to add those changes back to the eBook after the fact.
Is there anything special I need to do before building my eBook? Minimally, your book must have one at least one chapter using Microsoft Word’s Heading 1 style. The eBook Toolkit can only create a table of contents for your eBook if you use the Heading 1 style. You can also use Heading 2, Heading 3, Heading 4, Heading 5, and Heading 6 if you desire multiple sections within the table of contents.
I carefully created a layout and style for my book. Will I lose all this formatting when I run the eBook Toolkit? eReaders like the Kindle, Nook, and iBooks use XHTML to display files. XHTML and eReaders rarely display information exactly as you would see it in Microsoft Word, so it is best to avoid using advanced formatting.
Is there a Mac version? You can open a Microsoft Word for Mac file in Windows and use the eBook Toolkit. You may be aware that some eBook conversion tools run on the Mac, but the advanced features of the eBook Toolkit require to use the Windows version of Microsoft Word.
Will you do the conversion for me? Optical Authoring will not convert your eBook as part of the process, but we do provide paid conversion services. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Are there any known problems? Not at this time. The most common issues come down to how you write your book. For example, if you use tables, special formatting, font background colors, or vector images, the eReader (like a Kindle or Nook reader) may not display correctly.
On what eReaders do you test? We primarily test with various versions of Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Nook, and Kobo.
Does the eBook Toolkit support all the features that ePub provides? Aside from publishing words and pictures, the latest versions of ePub support scripting, audio, and video. As of this writing, not all eBook readers support this functionality. As more support becomes available, we will look to add this feature.
Can the eBook Toolkit output vector (non-bitmap) images? All vector images will rasterize to a PNG file, which is a bitmap image.
Does the eBook Toolkit support bulleted and numbered lists? Yes. Keep in mind some eReaders do not support specialty fonts, like, say, a checkmark or other symbols you may use for bullets. Where applicable, you should use standard, round bullets.
Does the eBook Toolkit support embedded fonts? In Microsoft Word, you define the fonts you want to use. If the eReader supports that font, it will use what you specify; otherwise, the eReader will select a default.
What are the differences between ePub 2, ePub 3, and Kindle Formats? ePub is an open format used by most eBook resellers, like Google’s Play, Apple’s iBooks, and Barnes & Nobles Nook. ePub evolves over time to add more features. ePub 2 only required you use html files to build your eBook, and had a limited approach to managing the navigation of your eBook. ePub 3 calls for strict adherence to standards, adopts xhtml and provides a superior approach to managing the navigation of your eBook. Amazon’s Kindle Format (also referred to as MOBI, AZW, and PRC) does not support as many features as ePub, so they remain independent. Fortunately, the ePub and Amazon Kindle formats are nearly identical.
Is there anything special I need on my computer to run the eBook Toolkit? All you need are the requisite copies of Windows and Microsoft Word. If you want to create a Kindle eBook, you must download Amazon’s free Kindlegen app. While not required, Amazon’s free Previewer allows you to see what your eBook looks like on multiple Kindle devices (feaures are limited, but the app is still useful). After you purchase the eBook Toolkit, it will install any special software from Microsoft that may be required. When you run the eBook Toolkit for the first time, it will create a special folder in your My Documents folder. If you change the security requirements on that folder, the eBook Toolkit may not run properly.