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Revision as of 13:06, 3 December 2017 by Vincent (talk | contribs) (→‎Configuration: Add Count Pages plugin)

Calibre is an eBook management software. It allows you to copy you books from / to your eReader, edit metadata, search your library…


  • A Window or Linux computer. MacOs should work as well but was not tested.
  • A Kobo eReader. While Calibre will work with any eReader or even as a standalone, this page assume that you are using this one. The instructions should work for any Kobo of the Touch, Glo, Mini and Aura families.



When the firmware of your Kobo is updated, you usually need an up-to-date Calibre to be able to synchronise your eBooks. For this reason, it is recommended to not install from your Linux distribution but directly from their website.

To install, go to and follow instructions.


The first time you run calibre you will be asked a few question. The most important is the location of your library. Calibre will use this folder to store al the eBooks that you add to it.

I recommend creating a folder named calibre somewhere in your computer and inside this one create a folder named library and use this last one as library location. There are two reasons for this. First Calibre will use the name of the folder as the name of the library in the interface. Having your library called library make things easier. Secondlly, Calibre will complain if you add any file to it's library folder. The parent folder allows you to store additional files related to Calibre.

Kobo Setup

Calibre will allow you to send ebooks to your Kobo without any configuration. However, the following plugins will enhance your experience.

To install them, go to PreferencesPlug-insGet new plug-ins, select the plugin in the list and click Install.

KePub Metadata Reader / KePub Metadata Writer

These two plugins don't provide any features. They are just used as dependency by KePub Output and KoboTouch Extended.

KePub Output

Kobo readers are using Kepub files. Those are similar to standard Epub files but support additional functionalities.

This plugin allows conversion of ebooks to the kepub format.

KoboTouch Extended

This plugin replace the kobo driver that comes with Calibre, it allows the conversion to Kepub format transparently when you synchronise with a Kobo eReader.

After installing it, it is recommended to disable the default in plug-in to avoid Calibre choosing the wrong plugin. Go to PreferencesPlug-ins → Device Interface plug-ins and disable KoboTouch.

KoboTouch Extended - plugin list.png

Kobo Utilities

As its name says, this pugin provide various utilities to use with your Kobo eReader


  • Plug your Kobo eReader to your computer
  • Click the KoboUtilities button
  • Select the Devices tab
  • Click the Add connected device

Read Percent

This allow to store reading status from your eReader to you Calibre library.

First step is to create columns in you library to store the data.

  • Go to Preferences → Add your own columns
  • Add the following columns {| class="wikitable" !Column header !Lookup name !Type !Description |- |Complete |complete |Integers |Percent of the book that is read on device |- |Read |read |Date |Last date where the book was read on device |}
  • Validate & restart Calibre

Now you can configure KoboUtilities

  • Click on KoboUtilities
  • In the Profiles tab, set the Custom columns and Store on connect sections
    Calibre - Read columns.png


The plugin can do backups of the database on your eReader. In case something goes wrong with your device, this might come handy.

Click the KoboUtilities button, select the Devices tab and setup the backup section.

Calibre backup settings.png

Block Analytics

The kobo eReaders are including an analytics feature. In particular, they collect the infos on all the books that you put on your reader — including the ones that you didn't purchase from them.

This plugins allows to block analytics events

  • Connect your eReader to your computer
  • Click on the arrow near the KoboUtilities icon and select DatabaseBlock Analytics Event
  • In the window that opened, select Create or change trigger and click Ok

eBooks with DRM

When you buy an eBook from most major online book stores, they are likely to be protected by DRM. This has two major consequences.

  • You won't be able to convert your eBooks to the Kepub format. This mean that advanced features not be available unless you buy your books on the Kobo store
  • You might not be able to read the book on the device of your choice
  • If the book store ever stop its operations, you might not be able to read your eBook at all

Fortunately it is possible to remove DRM from books you to use the file that you legally purchased.

Warning Warning: Removing DRM from the eBooks you purchased is illegal in some countries. Check the law before doing it. Do not share your eBooks illegally. Tagging technologies allow publishers to find the original purchaser of an eBook. You have been warned!

eBooks from Kobo

Install Plugin

Download the zip file from

In Calibre go to PreferencesPlug-ins → Load plug-in from file, select the file that you just downloaded and validate.


Simply click the Obok DeDRM button. The plugin will import and strip DRM from files.

Depending if your eReader is connected to your computer, the obok plugin will try to load book either from the eReader or the Kobo Desktop application.

eBooks From Other Book Stores

You can buy eBook from any book store that sell them in ePub. When those books are protected with DRM, you will need to use Adobe Digital Edition to download them.

Adobe ID

The first thing you need is an Adobe ID. If you don't have one, you can create one on

Install Adobe Digital Edition

Warning Warning: You need to use version 1.7 or 2.0.

Linux: Run the following commands

$ sudo apt install wine32 winetricks
$ winetricks adobe_diged

Windows: Download version 2.0 from

Authorize Adobe Digital Edition

Before opening a book in Adobe Digital Edition, you need to authorize it.

To authorise the computer go to LibraryAuthorize Computer (1.7) or HelpAuthorize Computer (2.0).

Select Adobe ID as provider, and enter your adobe account info.

Install DeDRM Plugin

Linux Only: Check official instructions, section Linux Systems Only. You don't need to install Adobe Digital Editions since you just did it. You can also skip anything related to Kindle unless you want to buy books on Amazon.

All: Download the zip file from

In Calibre go to PreferencesPlug-ins → Load plug-in from file, select the file that you just downloaded and validate.

Import Books

Note: You can test the procedure using sample files from Adobe. Make sure you test files with acsm extension.

When you buy an eBook protected by Adobe DRM, the file you download is not the eBook but a license file with the acsm extension.

The first thing to do is to open this acsm file in Adobe Digital Edition to retrieve the actual eBook.

To import the eBook in Calibre and remove the DRM, simply click the Add books buttons. The files are in a folder named My Digital Editions in you Home or My Documents folder.

To make sure that the DRM where correctly removed, right-click on the book in Calibre and choose view. If the book displays, there is no more DRM.



The default icon theme is not very consistent in terms of colour / style.

To change it, go to PreferencesLook & feelChange icon theme. I recommand the Monstre theme which is quite complete and look nice.

Show pages / words count

Install plugin

Go to PreferencesPlug-insGet new plug-ins, and install plugin Count Pages. When asked, you don't need to restart calibre.

Add Column

Go to PreferencesAdd your own columns, and click on Add custom column.

Fill the info:

  • Lookup name: words
  • Column heading: Words
  • Column type: Integer
  • Description: Number of words in book
  • Format for numbers: {0:n}

Click OK, repeat for page count and restart calibre.

Configure plugin

You should now have a Count Pages icon in the main toolbar. Click on the down arrow next to it ans select Customize plug-in….

In the Statistics tab, select the columns that you just created.

In the Other tab, untick Prompt to save counts. If you want to make sure that all your book pages are computed the same way, you can also untick everything in the Download options section.

Count pages / words

Select the books for which you want to count pages and click the Count Pages button.

Buy Books

Calibre allows you to search and buy books directly from the interface. This has a few advantages:

  • Calibre will search several shops and compare prices
  • Some shops are paying back a percentage from your purchase to Calibre developers. You can sponsor development without paying more.


Right click on Get books and go to Choose stores. In the list of stores unselect the ones the don't sell in ePub format (Amazon & Barnes and Noble). Also unselect the stores that are in languages that you don't speak (while they might have interesting books, you will need to go to their website to complete the purchase).

Buy Books

  • Click the Get books icon.
  • Enter search criteria and click on Search
  • Double click the book you want to buy
  • Process to payment and download on the shop website
  • If you downloaded a .acsm file see the section on DRM above
  • Otherwise, in Calibre, click on Add Books select the file on your disk