How to Convert an EPUB File to PDF for Free

By Fred Decker

E-books from any source other than Amazon typically come in EPUB format, a file type specifically designed for books. At times you might wish to convert an EPUB-formatted book or document into Adobe's Portable Document Format, or PDF, which provides greater control over the look and placement of elements on the page. Free online converters can change your document with just a few mouse clicks. If you'd like more control over the output file, you can download a standalone program such as EPUB Converter or Convert EPUB to PDF. If you already use Calibre to manage your e-books, it has a potent conversion utility built in.

Online Conversion

Step 1

Search your computer for the target EPUB file or files, and make a note of their locations. This step is optional, but saves time when you arrive at the conversion site. It's especially useful if you wish to convert multiple EPUB files during your session.

Step 2

Navigate to the online file conversion site of your choice. Zamzar, Online-Convert and Convert-Files are fairly typical examples. EPUB Converter can be used online, or downloaded for use on a PC or Mac.

Step 3

Click the "Browse" or "Choose File" option to select your EPUB file for conversion. Sites differ in their interface and the names they use for these functions, but the selection will be obvious.

Step 4

Choose output options for your PDF file, if available. Some sites permit you to specify a default font for the PDF document, or even to format it for a specific reading device.

Step 5

Enter your email address if prompted, and then click the "Convert" button. Some sites email you the finished PDF, while others -mail a download link for the finished file. A few simply provide a download link on the conversion page itself when the conversion is complete.

Conversion With Calibre

Step 1

Download and install Calibre from the developer's website, if you don't already have it installed. Launch the program from a shortcut icon, if you opted to set one up. Otherwise swipe from the right on Windows 8 or 8.1, or click the Start menu on earlier versions of Windows, and type "Calibre" into the search box.

Step 2

Select your EPUB file from the Calibre library, if you've already been using Calibre. If not, Click the "Add Books" icon to add either a specific book you wish to convert, or an entire folder filled with book files. Once your EPUB is visible in Calibre's library, you can select it and proceed with the conversion.

Step 3

Click the "Convert Books" icon. A dialog box pops up, showing the cover of your selected book if applicable as well as numerous editing options. Calibre will automatically select EPUB as the correct input format, but you'll need to click "Output Format" and select PDF from the drop-down menu.

Step 4

Apply tags to your book, or identify it as part of a series, using the data fields in the conversion dialog box. You can also change the book's cover in this box. For additional functions, such as changing fonts, adding headers and footers or specifying page size, use the icons in the left sidebar to browse Calibre's advanced editing options.

Step 5

Click "Okay" to begin the conversion, once you're satisfied with your editing selections.