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Even if you have used Calibre for years you may not realize that there’s an entire world of plugins for you to delve into.
These Calibre plugins add extra features, help to streamline the app, and provide additional functionality that ebook lovers will find useful. But which are the best Calibre plugins?
In this article we list the best Calibre plugins all ebook lovers should be using, and explain what they do and how they work.
How to Add Plugins to Calibre
First, a quick revision of how to add plugins to Calibre.
Calibre comes with a built-in library of third-party plugins to install, or you can manually upload a file to install an external plugin.
To add a Calibre plugin, follow the steps below:
- Open the Calibre app.
- Click on Preferences at the top of the window.
- Scroll down to the Advanced section.
- Click on Plugins.
- Either click on Get new plugins to explore Calibre’s list or choose Load plugin from file to install your own.
The Best Calibre Plugins
Now that you know how to add plugins to Calibre, here is our list of the best Calibre plugins. They are all free to use.
If you want to merge ebooks on Calibre, you need to install EpubMerge.
It has lots of use cases. For example, you can merge several books from a series into a single file. You could even combine series to create an entire omnibus of an author’s work. Or you could merge study notes and recipes to create your own compendium.
If you’re a Calibre user with thousands of ebooks in your collection, it might help you cut down on clutter in the library.
The EpubMerge plugin lets you merge an unlimited number of files and provides a way to set the metadata for your new book.
Download: EpubMerge (Free)
EpubSplit is made by the same developer as EpubMerge. It provides the opposite functionality of its sibling, letting you divide your existing ebook files into multiple new books.
If you’ve downloaded an ebook with lots of titles included in a single file, EpubSplit is the tool you’re looking for.
The plugin works by letting the user set Split Lines. You can then preview each divider and set the metadata for each of your new files.
EpubSplit also works if you want to extract some parts of a book while leaving others untouched. For example, in a three-chapter book, you could split off new ebooks for chapters one and three and exclude chapter two.
Download: EpubSplit (Free)
3. Apprentice Alf DRM
DRM casts a long shadow over the ebook market. Books that you buy from some vendors have DRM enabled, meaning some devices won’t be able to read them, you will not be able to make copies of them, and you will not be able to convert your ebooks into other formats.
We’ve written an extensive article explaining how to remove the DRM from any ebook you own, but if you want to install a Calibre plugin to remove DRM, the Apprentice Alf app has been the best option for years.
The plugin lets you remove DRM on your own Kindle ebooks, but you cannot use it to remove the restrictions on rented Amazon ebooks or for any ebooks downloaded into the official Kindle app for desktop or mobile.
Download: Apprentice Alf DRM (Free)
4. Job Spy
The three plugins we’ve looked at so far have all focused on editing the ebook file. Job Spy is different; it’s for anyone who wants to change the way the Calibre app looks and behaves.
There are some tweaks that beginners will find useful. For example, you can customize the User Category, Tag, and Browser icons, increase the number of visible items on the search bar drop-down, and edit the color of the text, background, rows, and more.
However, Job Spy also provides some tools for more experienced users. You can compress the metadata.db file, create a matrix of your customized columns across all your libraries, and send books to a host via FTP transfer.
Download: Job Spy (Free)
5. Kindle Collections
Calibre lets you create customized tags, categories, and other metadata. Unfortunately, there’s no native way to import the data into your Kindle.
Kindle Collections is the solution. You can automatically create collections on your Kindle using the Authors, Series, Tags, or Categories metadata in Calibre, then preview your lists and export them.
The plugin will work automatically with some Kindle devices, but you will need to jailbreak others. Beware that jailbreaking your Kindle will void your warranty.
Download: Kindle Collections (Free)
6. Media File Importer
Many of the common ebook formats support images, video, and even audio (though you’ll need a compatible ereader to see/hear it).
If you download Media File Importer, you can add other media to Calibre then turn it into a book that you can take with you.
Some people even use Calibre as a photo management app. It is capable of showing image previews, you can add your own metadata, and books can play the role of photo albums. If this sounds appealing, you’ll first need to install the Media File Importer plugin.
Download: Media File Importer (Free)
7. English Noun Frequency
If you’re a language nerd—or if you’re currently trying to learn a new language—check out English Noun Frequency.
It scans a book’s text, then add occurrence frequencies for the nouns to the book’s Comments.
The plugin also has a built-in translator, allowing you to convert your list into your target language.
Download: English Noun Frequency (Free)
Fan fiction stories are popular amongst lovers of particular movies, TV series, and novels.
Very few of them are ever published; the world’s various copyright laws are restrictive. As such, the internet has become the primary medium through which fan fiction content is distributed.
The FanFicFare plugin for Calibre scans more than 100 of the most popular fanfiction sites, then provides you with a list of books and short stories that you can download and read.
Download: FanFicFare (Free)
9. Import List
Anyone who wants to add wishlist functionality to Calibre needs to download Import List. You can create lists of books you want to read and also use the app as a central wishlist hub for all the various lists of books you have on different sites.
The Import List plugin can import lists from your clipboard, a plain text file, and more than 100 websites, including Amazon and Goodreads.
The plugin is capable of matching existing books in your library with your list and can create empty books based on your list.
Download: Import List (Free)
10. Smart Eject
Smart Eject makes Calibre automatically scan for missing books in your library if your computer detects a new drive has been connected or disconnected.
For example, if you keep the bulk of your ebook library on an external hard drive or cloud drive and you disconnect it, Calibre will identify which books are currently unavailable using an in-app icon. When the drive is reconnected, they will once again show as available.
Download: Smart Eject (Free)
Hidden Calibre Features to Check Out
There are dozens of Calibre plugins available, of which these are the best we could find. Hopefully those we have introduced you to here will help give you a flavor of what’s available.
And remember, Calibre offers lots of other cool functionality beyond plugins. Read our list of hidden Calibre features to learn more.