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Creating e-books.

  One of the major advantages of the Web is its ability to disseminate content in the form of e-books. The concept of an e-book is not new but one must understand the process by which an e-book can be created. There are different e-book formats which have come into use today. Proprietary formats cater to reading information on specific handheld devices but formats such as the basic "html" or 'Portable Document Format (PDF)" are general in nature and can be used with most computer systems in use today. Of the two, the PDF methods offers specific advantages since additional requirements such as special software or fonts can be dispensed with.

  The software tools developed at the lab may be used to create e-books in Indian languages which may be distributed on standard media or deployed through the web. The utility to create PDF files from a document prepared using the Multilingual Editor, is a particularly easy one to use. The features incorporated into this utility allow hypertext links (local links as well as URLs) to be embedded in the document. Multilingual information can be handled effortlessly since the editor allows direct and immediately visible text in all the scripts including Urdu (in the right to left version of the editor).

  E-books prepared using the IITM software tools can be read on virtually any system that has an appropriate reader (viewer) for pdf files. The Acrobat reader or "xpdf" under Linux are examples of viewers that are are freely available. Hence reading an e-book will be quite straightforward on most systems.  We have an example of an e-book created using the IITM software tools. This ia a manual on using the IITM software tools to create e-books. Click on the link below to read the manual.

Using IITM Software tools to create e-books in pdf format.

The local language file which was used to generate the above PDF document may also be downloaded.(manual.llf)

General Note on E-books.

  The concept of an e-book is deeper than what one might initially surmise, as a document deployed on the web. The specifications for e-books include strict controls on the manner in which such a document can be created on the web itself, honouring copyrights and protecting the interests of the author, publisher and the distributors. the proprietary formats are used with books that are sold and users will get specific authorizations to download and read the book. The utility from IIT Madras does not incorporate any of these special features and is useful only for distributing content freely. 

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