Check out my first novel, midnight's simulacra!


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EPUB (in version 3.3 as of 2023-12-21) is a container for ebooks using ZIP for its archive and compression. Most of the content is XHTML or media (usually graphics).


  • There must be a file mimetype in the toplevel containing the string application/epub+zip
  • There must be a directory META-INF in the toplevel containing:
    • container.xml specifies one or more rootfiles, using their locations relative to the toplevel:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<container xmlns="urn:oasis:names:tc:opendocument:xmlns:container" version="1.0">
  <rootfile full-path="PATHPATHPATH" media-type="application/oebps-package+xml"/>

EPUB-specific markup

Ensure you've referenced xmlns:epub=" in your html tag.

When using reflowable EPUB, there's no real concept of a page, and thus no real concept of footnotes. One can move them to the end of a chapter, but an arguably better solution is a popup. Enclose the footnote text in an aside tag ala:

<aside hidden="hidden" epub:type="footnote" id="SOMEID">
 <div class="footnote"><a href="#CALLSITE">*</a> Footnote text.</div>

Use of epub:type="footnote" ought result in the text being hidden, but you might need hidden="hidden" in your aside tag. Unfortunately, this latter causes problems with the popup text in Calibre (at least version 7.4). Wrap the callsite with an a tag:

<a role="doc-noteref" epub:type="noteref" href="#SOMEID" id>Callsite text.</a>

Without role="doc-noteref", you will not get a popup in Calibre.


EPUB3 eliminates all but a few HTML entitites.

  • &nbsp; ↦ &#160;

See also