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Amazon’s New KF8 Format Enriches eBook Designs

Kindle Fire will be released November 15

Last week, Amazon announced its new eBook file format, Kindle Format 8 (KF8), which is based on HTML5. Though there are already eBook formats based on various versions of HTML, such as EPUB and Kindle’s current file format, which is a version of Mobipocket, none of these existing file types can offer the design flexibility of HTML5. An article on the popular tech blog Ars Technia praises KF8 for “bridging the gap” between the design limiting eBook formats and PDF files, which “offer much richer control over presentation.”

“HTML5 features such as CSS3 formatting, nested tables, SVG graphics, embedded fonts, and borders are all now supported. The new format includes much richer layout options, including fixed layouts—essential for accurate reproduction of many children’s books—and panel-based layouts for comic books.”

KF8 will first be supported by Amazon’s new full-color Kindle Fire tablet, which will be released on November 15. According to Amazon’s website, KF8 will be rolled out for the latest Kindle e-ink devices and reading apps “in the coming months.” KindleGen 2, a publishing tool, and Kindle Previewer 2, which allows publishers to preview how content will look on various Kindle devices “will be available soon.”

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