Creating an EPUB eBook with Sigil

Sigil is free software that can be used to create EPUB format eBooks. These directions describe the creation of a small eBook about Jupiter and Mars, with text taken from Wikipedia. The eBook contains text and two images and serves as an example of the procedure for making an eBook with Sigil.

1. When you open Sigil there will be a blank page in the right panel with the name Section0001.xhtml. If your book contains chapters, it is convenient to place the text of each chapter on a separate .xhtml page. In our example, we will create two .xhtml pages, one for Jupiter and one for Mars.

2. Add the text to the .xhtml page (copy and paste from a text source is a convenient method, or you can enter text using the keyboard). In the illustration below, the text for the chapter on Jupiter has been added to Section0001.xhtml.

image

 

3. Suppose we would like to put an image of Jupiter after the first paragraph. Position the cursor in the text between the first and second paragraphs and then open the Insert menu. Select Image in the Insert menu and select the image file to be inserted.

image

 

4. The image should now appear on the page under the first paragraph. The chapter on Jupiter is now complete.

image

 

5. Place the cursor at the end of the text for Jupiter. Open the Insert menu and select Chapter Break. A new page will be added, named Section0002.xhtml.

image

 

6. Add the text and photo for Mars.

image

 

 

 

7. Books are usually divided into chapters, so we will do so in this example as well. Each chapter should be added to the Table of Contents (TOC) and this is accomplished by adding a heading to the start of each chapter. Place the cursor at the top of the text for Jupiter and add the word Jupiter. Then set that text to be formatted as Heading 1. Repeat this procedure for the page on Mars, using Heading 1 again (Heading 1 is the top level heading and the largest text size - don't confuse the heading numbers with chapter numbers, i.e. Heading 2 is not for chapter 2).

image

 

8. Open the Tools menu and select TOC Editor

image

 

9. The TOC Editor will list all headings you have applied in the eBook (in this case just two). For those headings that you wish to appear in the Table of Contents of the eBook, make sure a check mark is applied under the Include column.

image

 

10. We are nearly finished creating the eBook. All books should have a title and author and we will add these now. In the Tools menu select Meta Editor.

image

 

11. Add the title and author of the book and then click OK. All that remains now is to save your eBook.

image

 

12. Open the File menu and select Save. Name the file and click the Save button. The eBook is now ready to be copied to the iPad.

image

 

The following three images are the eBook displayed by iBooks on the iPad. In the case of the image for Jupiter, the size is too large to be displayed on the first page along with the first paragraph of text.

image

 

The image below is the top of the second page of the eBook. The Table of Contents can be viewed by touching the TOC button (just to the right of the Library button).

image

 

Touching one of the chapter listings in the Table of Contents will cause iBooks to display the first page of the chapter.

image

 

Adding Audio and Video to an EPUB eBook

It is possible to embed audio and video in an EPUB book, but only for the iPad (as far as we know).

Check this page to learn how to add audio and video.

 

Back to main page