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 eBook Formats  
eBook formats are probably the most confusing aspect of eBook reading/publishing. This is because while you may have a file that ends in .pdb like so many other eBooks that you have it doesn't necessarily mean that the reader you normally use will open it. This is because while .pdb is the extension, when dealing with eBooks you are more interested in formats. An example of this is often confusing situation is shown in figure 3.1.

Figure 3.1

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The .pdb extension can mean several things. The following is a list of all the formats that .pdb encompasses:
iSilo
DOC
TomeRadier protected files
Palm Reader protected files
ImageViewer Image
TealDoc
TealPaint
TealMeal
TealInfo
Wordsmith
 
For one file extension, that is quite a few different formats.

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NOTE: You may have noticed that this document treats DOC and .doc as two completely different things. A DOC file is a format that is used on Pocket PC, Palm and Desktops as a popular medium for eBooks whereas .doc is a file that Microsoft Word creates. They are in no way related.

 

Some extensions, thankfully, offer a very straightforward explanation of what they are. These tend to be completely proprietary and therefore limited to the software that the vendor provides however discerning what format a file is becomes a much simpler process. Below in figure 3.2 there is a listing of all the major proprietary formats and their associated reader.

Figure 3.2

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Common Proprietary Formats:

Microsoft Reader - *.lit TomeRadier - *.tr
Adobe Acrobat - *.pdf
HandStory eBook Reader - *.hsb
Any DOC Reader - *.prc

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While the aforementioned formats are very recognizable there are, as was stated, many that are not - a prime example is .pdb. There are methods though, for determining what format your file is. To do this you can either take the manual or automated routes. Since the automated route is very easy regardless of your platform we will not delve into it save for saying all you need is the program pdbhdr from Richard Hartman.

The manual route is a little more complicated and will take the user a little more time. This process involves taking each .pdb file and opening it in a text editor, such as Notepad and finding a specific word. Through using the list in figure 3.3 you will be able to determine just what type of format this is.

Figure 3.3

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Reader Type Code
DOC TEXtREAd
DB (Database program) DB99DBOS
FireViewer/ImageViewer vIMGView
HanDBase PmDBPmDB
InfoView InfoINDB
iSilo ToGoToGo
iSilo 3 SDocSilX
JFile JbDbJBas
JFile Pro JfDbJFil
LIST DATALSdb
MobileDB Mdb1Mdb1
Plucker DataPlkr
QuickSheet DataSprd
TealDoc TEXtTlDc
TealInfo InfoTlIf
TealMeal DataTlMl
TealPaint DataTlPt
ThinkDB dataTDBP
Tides TdatTide
TomeRaider ToRaTRPW
WordSmith BDOCWrdS

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While this may seem terribly complicated at first it is much easier than one might think. For example, if you were to open Macbeth.pdb in a text editor and found a word that reads BDOCWrdS it could then be assumed that it is a WordSmith document and that to open it you would need the WordSmith program. (See figure 3.4)

Figure 3.4

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