History of the .EPUB file.
The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) developed the .EPUB format and released it for use in 2007. It soon superseded the older Open eBook (OEB) standard, which had been launched in 1999.
.EPUB 2.0.1 was approved in 2010, with the .EPUB 3.0 specification arriving in 2011. It was superseded in 2014 by 3.1 and the current version, 3.2, came out in 2019.
The release of the .EPUB format coincided with the rise in popularity of eBooks and eReaders. The most popular eReader, Amazon’s Kindle, was - however - unable to display these files until 2022, when the Send to Kindle service was introduced.
What are .EPUB files used for?
.EPUB files are primarily used in the viewing of eBooks. You can download and open them on eReaders such as Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), as well as smartphones, tablets or computers. The latest version, .EPUB 3.2, supports HTML, CSS and SVG, with built-in support for video, audio and even interactive features. However, people still use it primarily as a platform to read eBooks they’ve bought and downloaded, through online shops such as Apple Books and Google Play Books.
You can create eBooks with a wide range of software. Adobe InDesign, Calibre on Windows and Apple’s Pages are just some of the programmes you can use to export to .EPUB format. Or, if you are comfortable with creating websites, you may be able to hand-code an .EPUB from scratch. You can do so with Calibre or webpage editing software such as Adobe Dreamweaver.
Many organisations use .EPUB to publish legal, judicial and parliamentary papers, research studies and other types of official documentation.
Discover more document file types and eBook file types.