Best free Office Programs

Office Programs
image by iBrand Company

Working on a computer means that you have to not only deal with the internet but different programs for writing, creating presentations, or structuring different tables in spreadsheets. Microsoft as well as Apple have their native Office programs pre-installed on a new computer, or available for payable download on their websites. And of course, they come with special features, individual design, and many different file formats (check out this article for information about native apple files).

Yet, there are open source solutions out there that work just as good as the paid versions! In this article, we’ll have a look at such open source office programs and all the different file formats for documents, presentations, spreadsheets, or drawings you create when using them.


Probably best known open source program pack for working on your computer is the creation of OpenOffice. The software creation was developed by Apache and is available for Linux, OS X, and Windows – including ports to other operating systems as well.

The most important programs included in the office pack are Writer (a word processing program), Calc (a spreadsheet program), Impress (to create presentations), and Draw (a simple drawing application).


Less known and yet just as strong as OpenOffice is the open source office suit LibreOffice, developed by The Document Foundation. LibreOffice is most popular among Linux users, yet the software also runs on Windows and OS X.

Linear to OpenOffice, LibreOffice includes a word processing program, a spreadsheet program, a presentation program, and a drawing application – all with the same names as their OpenOffice cousins; Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw. What distinguishes it from OpenOffice is that it’s support of Microsoft Word files works better than when using OpenOffice’s programs. Furthermore, LibreOffice provides compatibility with Microsoft Offica via various import and export filters.


Another versatile office suit comes from the developers of Planamesa Software: NeoOffice. Contrary to the software packs listed above, NeoOffice was developed to utilize almost all features of the OpenOffice software to run on OS X platforms. Popularity of these programs shrank once OpenOffice was developed to be supported by OS X as well.

Since it has been forked from OpenOffice, NeoOffice consists of the same programs as it’s predecessor; a word processing program, a spreadsheet program, a presentation creator, and a drawing application. Since it was especially developed for usage on Mac computers, NeoOffice inherits the typical Apple design, as well as native Mac OS X text highlighting and file locking.

Office Programs

Native File Formats

All three office suits save their files in the OpenDocument standard which is an XML file format. In the following, we listed the most important file formats for Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw of all three previously names office program packs.

Word Processing

  • ODT, OTT
  • SXW, STW


  • ODS, OTS
  • SXC, STC


  • ODP, OTP
  • SXI, STI
  • ODG
  • SXD


  • ODG, OTG
  • SXD, STD
  • FODG (LibreOffice)

Improve your Presentations!

Image by University of the Fraser Valley
Image by University of the Fraser Valley

Presentations are key in many fields nowadays.

In school, you have to present certain topics to the class, in university you are asked to present your research findings, and in your company, sales numbers and marketing strategies have to be presented to your boss or coworkers. Talks, speeches, workshops… Even when showing off your vacation photos to your family and friends, all thee things involve presentation skills.

But not everyone is skilled in presenting themselves, their findings, or their current work. Following, we listed some tips how you can improve your presentation skills on a personal as well as on a technical level.

The part of Speech

The most important part of a presentation is of course the oral one. Presentations can be handed out as notes or books or in PDF format, but what you have to say about the facts presented, side information and explanations, those information come from you personally and are given to your audience via speech.

For most people, that’s the most tricky part. Excitement, uncertainty, stage fright; all these things can come in between your and your successful presentation. There is no magical solution to make stage fright disappear, but there are methods you can use to feel less nervous and more confident while presenting.

1. Practice

And by practice we do not exclusively mean that you should practice to go through your presentation beforehand. This is a crucial part to show you how much time you need, and a small audience can already point out where you need to explain a few things more in depth. But practicing presentations in general is just as important. The more often you speak in front of people, the more self-secure and confident you become. Present interesting newspaper articles or something that happened to you during the day to your friends, or volunteer to give a little thank you speech in your local sports club or some other club you may be in.

2. Speak freely

Holding on to cards or scrips may add some security to your speech flow, but you are more likely to avoid eye contact with your audience that way, your eyes being glued on the paper. Learn to present your contents freely. This way, you are more open to clues from your listeners as well, noticing very fast when they get stuck and you have to do some more explaining.

Are you fearing that you could get stuck? Use your presentation slides as keywords and clues what to say. They can function just as well as notes, make no extra work, and won’t distract you from presenting your findings instead of simply reading them out loud.

3. You’re the Expert

Whether you are presenting a topic in school or university, or your current work in your business, keep one thing in mind: You are the expert! You read several articles and books about your topic, and you’ve been working in your field and with your method for years. In most cases , that means that you know far more about the topic than your audience does. Don’t fear questions, rather take them as interesting clues or to spark a discussion (if allowed/appropriate). Reminding yourself that you are the expert in whatever you present is an extra confidence boost as well.

The Visuals

Getting better at the speech part of a presentation requires training. Improving the visual aids is, in this term, a lot easier. Tools like Microsoft’s PowerPoint made it easier to present visual data like graphs, images, and short text compared to scrolling through a very text-heavy  Word document. However, soon, PowerPoint became a synonym for boring. But it doesn’t have to be like that!

1. Avoid common Mistakes

There are many lists throughout the net that explain what and what not to do when creating a PowerPoint presentation. Avoiding bullets and a confusing background design are just a few to name. Yet, the best judge are you yourself. How many bad presentations did you have to sit through in school or business meetings? Instead of taking notes of the content only, take notes of what you didn’t like about the presentation style as well – and avoid such “mistakes”. It is more than likely that things you don’t find appealing in a slideshow are boring or annoying to sit through for others as well.

2. Save your Time

Sure, a slideshow can be nice to look at, but instead of spending hours tweaking your design, it’s the content that should matter. Don’t waste valuable time with wrecking your head about the presentation when there are tools that can help you. Creating slides in your preferred word processing software may come a lot more natural than working with slideshow programs. Use the program you are most familiar with! Because converting your document into PPT or PPTX is done very quickly afterwards.

3. Avoid technical Issues

That’s something everyone knows. You want to hold a presentation and your laptop is not compatible with the projector, or the PPT presentation you sent looks crooked and weird because the operating system handling it uses OpenOffice or some Apple native program. It’s annoying, takes time to fix, and can destroy the whole presentation’s flow. We say: Rather be safe than sorry! Saving your presentation in different formats limits the risk of the target computer messing things up. Want to be on the safest side? Convert your presentation to PDF as well, since PDF documents are readable on any computer with any operating system. Besides, having your presentation saved in this format makes it easier for printers to keep the set formatting in case you want to hand out the slides or publish your presentation online.

4. Be different

If your struggling to get your audience’s attention, maybe it’s time to do something entirely different. Be brave, be experimental. How about a presentation without any text, only with graphs and infographics that underline your words? A slide with one essential keyword may help you get the attention you wanted a lot better than showing a long and boring list of features or do’s and don’ts. Or have you ever thought about converting your presentation to video? You can even add music, sound effects or additional audio comments to publish it online, upload it to YouTube, or simply impress and stick out on a conference.

Files supported by Android

There are a few ongoing battles in the world of (digital) media.

image by Rob Bulmahn

In the gaming world, there had been Sega vs. Nintendo, and now it’s PlayStation vs XBox. Which is better? Which features the better games, the better graphics? Which is more user friendly? Which has the better price? And so on, and so on… Both sides always come up with striking arguments why to buy the PlayStation 4 or the XBox One, and at the same time, both sides provide even better arguments why to NOT by the opposition’s product.

The very same happens in the world of computers and smartphones, but with respect to either hardware or operating systems. In an earlier blog post, we have talked about native file formats for Apple computers. This time, we dive deeper into the topic of mobile operating systems. Precisely, we’ll check out which file formats are supported by your phone if you have an Android based device!

Audio Files

Depending on the codecs used, Android phones can support and play several audio file types. It may be that a music file won’t play on your phone even though the file type is supported though. This is due to the codecs used to compress the audio file in question. If your phone doesn’t play a specific file, you may want to convert it into another audio file format that is more likely to be supported.

The most commonly used codecs supported by Android devices include AAC, AMR, FLAC, MIDI, MP3, PCM/WAVE, and Vorbis. The following audio file types using the codecs mentioned can thus be played on your Android phone:

  • 3GP
  • ACC (raw data)
  • FLAC
  • OGG
  • M4A
  • MID
  • MP3
  • XMF
  • WAV


Video Files

The very same that has been true for audio files applies to video files in terms of codecs. Depending on the codec used to compress the video container format, it may still not play on your Android phone even though it generally is supported. To watch your videos still, you can convert the video into another format or choose an Android compatible conversion right away.

The codecs supported by Android phones are H.263, H.264, MPEG-4, and V8. This leads to the following video container formats to be supported by Android devices:

  • 3GP
  • MKV
  • MP4
  • TS
  • WEBM


Image Files

Contrary to video and audio files, image files can not be generated using different codecs. This means that if a format is supported by an Android phone, it will be able to open all files with this extension (unless they are corrupt). The following rater image files are supported:

  • BMP
  • GIF
  • JPG
  • PNG
  • WEBP



This article has been written on the basis of knowledge at the time Android 5.0 Lollipop was the newest version available.

Extract Text from Pictures

In one of our former blog articles, we talked about Cross Conversion and about the possibilities of cross converting different file types like images, documents, audio data, or videos back and forth. This time, we’re concentrating on how to extract a text document from image files in much more detail.

For this, we will have a look at what this feature can be useful for, explore into the topic of optical character recognition (OCR), and show how it is done using the’s document converter.

Image by University of the Fraser Valley
Image by University of the Fraser Valley

What do I need this for?

So first, lets see what the practical use of such a image to text conversion would be.

Blind and visually impaired people

Looking at images with written text on them, whether you found a funny sign you want to show around or took a photograph of a presentation including slides with text on them,  is stressful for visually impaired people – completely impossible for blind people even. Extracting the text from the picture or image will enable visually impaired people to change the font size and make it easier for them to read the resulting text. Likewise, they could now proceed to convert the text file into an audio format. This way, heavily visually impaired and blind people can receive a reading of the text in question.

Presentations and lectures

Usually, when attending a lecture or listening to a presentation, you are handed out presentation notes that go along with the content of the slides presented. This way, you only add additional information to the sheets you already have.

Sometimes, however, there are no lecture notes handed out, and the speed of the presentation is just too fast for you to copy the content on the screen. In the age of every cell phone having a camera, there is always the possibility to take a picture of the slides and copy the notes later on – by hand.
Extracting the text from the images saves time since it works a lot faster than copying it by writing down the content of every single slide. This way, lecture notes or presentation summaries are created a lot faster, and all you need to do is format your document and maybe restructure it a bit.

Scanned text

Another important utilization of this tool is to gain editable text from a scanned document. Preserving the content of older stories and letters written on a typewriter, or scanning a document or pages from a book to work with the text later on can be reasons for why this may be important. Found an old story typed by your grandmother? Writing an essay about the contents of a book? By extracting the text from the scanned image it is possible to edit, merge, or electronically use it. Mail, business cards, invoices, receipts, or passport information can be digitized this way and used for further, electronic storing and editing.

Furthermore, when building up a collection of this digitized data, it enables you to search for certain keywords or phrases on top of the editing that can be applied to the now extracted text.

Optical Character Recognition

But how does the process of extracting the written information from an image work? The method applied here is called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). It extracts the single characters into mechanical fonts. Earlier versions had to be trained beforehand, only recognizing one font type at the time, but the modern versions support not only different font styles, but – to an extend – even formatting, resulting in the output closely resembling the photographed or scanned text.
Furthermore, OCR is able to support the most common writing systems like Latin, Arabic, Cyrillic, Bengali, and more.

There are several types of text recognition. Optical Word Recognition targets one word at the time, working for languages that use blank space to divide words, while Optical Character Recognition targets one character or graph at the same time. Both work on typewritten text only. Intelligent Character or Word Recognition even targets words or characters in hand written or cursive text.

How to use OCR

Now that you know why you may use image to text conversion and learned something about the process behind it, it’s time to find out how to actually do it!

The easiest way is to use an online document converter that supports OCR. After picking your desired target file type (whether it’s Microsoft DOCX, PDF, or some other) you can choose the image that you want the text to be extracted from. Before hitting the “Convert File” button though, make sure that you tick the box where it says “Use OCR”. This way, the process of OCR will take place in your conversion, giving you the result of your scanned or photographed text in a document file.


Editing Videos using a Video Converter

Video editing
image by mobilechina2007

The basic usage of an online video file converter is – as the name most probably told you already – converting different types of video file formats. From MOV to MKV, from AVI to MP4, or any other possible combination. But there are several other features a video converter can offer!

In earlier blog entries we have looked at how to extract a still image from a movie, or how to rip music from a video clip very easily. But that’s not all you can do by using an online video converter!

This article will give you an overview over what is possible using the video converter in the means of editing video clips or movies.

Changing the Screen Size

Some videos are recorded with a very big screen size to make it appealing to watch it on a big or wide screen. Yet, if the screen size is too high, there may be problems when watching the clip on a smaller laptop screen or on a phone. It may stop, stutter, or even be unable to play at all.

Changing the screen size is an easy way how to avoid such problems. On our website, you have the option to enter the desired screen size in pixel for the converted video. Simply add a smaller number than the original screen size in the form width x height and the converted video will have the inserted dimension in terms of screen size.

Change the File Size

Another problem occurring when transferring a video from a computer to a phone, or even more evidently when sending a video clip over the internet, is the file size of the video file in question. Large files can’t be attached to an email because they exceed the sending limit of your email provider. Equally, videos that are too large in file size take up too much space on a phone or can possibly even exceed the space available on the SD card or the internal memory.

Our service provides a few options on how to reduce the file size of the target video.


By changing the average video bitrate by using the optional parameter available when converting a video, you automatically reduce the file size of your video. Sure, by lowering the bit rate, the quality of the video will be lessened as well, yet when watching it on a smaller screen (like on a phone), it doesn’t fall into account that much.

Audio Quality

Likewise, the quality of the audio data of the original video can be altered to have a resulting file with a lower file size. This parameter gives you a variety of options, ranging from 8 to 320 kbps. The resulting and converted video will have the audio quality chosen.

Change File Size directly

Another way to decrease the file size of a movie or video clip is to enter an approximate value in MB. During the conversion, our service will try to reduce the file size to the set parameter as closely as possible without applying great changes to screen size and bitrate.

Change the Frame Rate

There are several reasons why you may want to change the frame rate of your video. Cameras record videos in different frame rates, depending on the setting. When editing videos and merging two videos that have been recorded in a different frame rate, this could become a problem. Furthermore, there exists a difference across digital television broadcast standards. The American standard ACTS supports an approximate frame rate between 24 and 60 pictures per second, while the standard DBV-T which is used especially in Eruope, or DTMB which is common in China, use different frame rates.

To change the frame rate in general or to get the same frame rate for several videos, all that has to be done is to fill in the desired number of pictures or frames per second for the conversion of the video.


A very easy and fast way to cut your video or to only select a certain part of a longer video is converting it while using the according parameter. Filling in the start and the end time of the target video in the form 00:00:00 will result in the converted video only containing the content of the section you selected in this way.

Rotating, Mirroring, and Flipping

Especially with the new phones, it can happen that videos are recorded vertically even though they shouldn’t. Or sometimes, videos come out upside down because of the preferences of the camera. Instead of having to install some editing software just to rotate or flip a video, toggling the preferences with our online video converter can do the trick.

For rotation, you have the options of rotating the video to 90°, 180°, or 270°.
Or you can flip your video horizontally or vertically.

Cross-Conversion – What is possible?

The basic and general features of a file converter, whether it’s a software tool you have to install on your computer or whether it’s an online service, are mostly the same: You upload a file and convert it into another format, either because you can’t open the initial file, because you want to reduce the file size to send it over the internet, or because you want to send it to people that may not be able to open the original file format.

Image by desertdarlene
Image by desertdarlene

These conversions mostly happen inside a certain category or type of file formats, e.g. from one image file format to the other, or from one document to a different type of document. Yet, there is something else our online converter service can do for you, and it all falls under the term Cross-Converting.

Cross Converting entails that you can not only convert your audio file into another audio file, but that you can actually convert across file types. Converting a movie file into music, or an image into PDF are only a few possibilities. This article will show you many different options of cross converting your files, creating many new possibilities for you!

Extract audio from a video

Sometimes, it’s hard to get your hands on certain movie background music, or the tracks on the OST or Score do not really convey the feel they had when heard in the movie because certain background sounds have been missing. Or maybe there is an interesting part of a speech or monologue from a recorded lecture or speech you want to extract.

The Solution: If you are just interested in the audio data from a video, you can easily extract it by converting the movie file into MP3, WAV, or some other audio file like Apple iTune’s AAC.

Create audio from a document

There are different ways to learn, and next to reading and repeating, listening is a big part of the remembering process. Furthermore, at times it’s difficult to find the time to read your lecture notes, online articles, or even longer correspondence that include a lot of information – especially when you’re on the road a lot.

The Solution: Convert your PDF or Microsoft Word documents into an audio file format, preferably MP3 because it’s supported by most audio playing devices and mobile phones. This way, you can listen to your notes and writings, rewind, repeat, and memorize the information even better.

Extract text from a picture

Another very popular way of taking notes is taking a quick photo of blackboard notes or presentation slides. But what if you want to use the text to alter or insert somewhere? There is an easier way than copying the text from the picture by writing it down yourself.

The Solution: Depending on the quality of the photo you have taken, it can be converted into a TXT or DOC file which gives you the text of whatever has been on the picture.

The easy way to make a presentation

Holding a presentation is so much easier when you have just one file with all the information on it instead of having to switch in between pictures, texts, audio, screenshots, and video.

The Solution: If you have your notes already prepared in a text document or even saved as PDF, you are only one click away from converting your document into a PowerPoint presentation.

Also: It works the other way round as well though. By converting PPT or PPTX files into PDF, you can get not only a printer friendly version, but you can also ensure that most people are able to open and vie your presentation.

Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs are one trend on the internet that will never completely die out, being revived again and again. Yet, not everybody is skilled in the art of creating such animated pictures, and not everybody has the programs necessary to make them.

The Solution: A very easy way of creating an animated GIF is to convert your MP4 or other video file. If you upload a larger movie file, only the beginning will be converted into an animated GIF, so the most convenient way is to cut the video into the portions you want to be “giffed” and upload them individually, creating an receiving the animated pictures you wanted.

From document to eBook

Another great way of memorizing your notes and rereading them is a very paper saving one as well. Most people take notes in lectures, talks, or meetings on their laptop nowadays, but it can be annoying and impractical to carry it with you whenever you want to re-read on what has been talked about. Printing all the notes isn’t a very convenient option either.

The Solution: Convert Microsoft Word or OpenOffice documents into an eBook format. The purpose of eReaders is to store books and other papers in a space and paper saving way. Furthermore, they re very light and easy to take with you, with a library option to quickly find the notes you need.

Present your Design projects

Creating a design project for your customers is linked to quite some struggles. One is faced when you want to present your progress or suggestions to your customers. It is very likely, that they can not open your vector graphic or EPS, PSD, or DWG file.

The Solution: Converting your special image files into JPG or even PDF makes it easy and convenient for your customers to look at the design you made for them. Furthermore, the conversion will leave your original file untouched!

And there’s more…

These are only the most common and most popular Cross Conversion features online conversion tools can offer. If there are any more features you would like to see implemented concerning Cross Conversion, feel free to contact our support team. We are constantly striving to better our service for you, and suggestions made are always welcome.

Encoding, Encryption, and Hashing

Encoding, encryption, hashing…

Image by
Image by

Those three can easily be confused since they serve roughly the same purpose. Yet, there are drastic differences between them. This article will serve the purpose of telling you, which method to use for which purpose, and what distinguishes them from one another.

Yet, all differences aside, encoding, encryption, and hashing do share some similarities:

  • All three methods transform data into another format
  • Encoding and encryption are reversible, while hashing is not

Now, let’s have a look at the three methods of data transformation one by one before you will presented a short summary of the differences and when to use which method.


Encoding is mainly used in data storage, computation or the sending of data in form of texts.

It is used to transform a set of characters (numerals or letters) in a way so another system is able to read the information contained in the encoding. Publicly available encoding systems are used to do so, transforming the initial data into bit patterns, numbers, electrical impulses, or any other kind of code. The encoded messages can easily be decoded by using the algorithm that has been used to encode the data.
Thanks to internationally deployed encoding standards, an exchange of textual information worldwide via email or cloud storage is possible.

Encoding does not serve the purpose of keeping the encoded data private! Since the different algorithms are available to the broad public, encoded data can easily be read in many systems. It’s purpose is to transform data into a format that is readable by many systems.

Examples of Encoding include: ASCII code, Unicode, base64, or sending files via email


Encryption is a special kind of encoding that is used to send secret data like letters and passwords over the internet, using a secret key that ensures that only the people intended to read the content can access it. Thus, contrary to encoding, the purpose of encryption is to keep data secret from those that are not supposed to see or read it. Thus, the usability does not play a major role in encryption.

The data that is subject of the encryption is referred to as plaintext, the result generated by using an algorithm is known as being the cyphertext. During the encryption process, data is transformed into another format as well, using a special key. Without using the exact same key, the ciphertext, and the alogrithm used, the recipient of the secret data can not reverse the encryption process. The encrypted message is not safe from interception, yet the content of the message is.

Popular algorithms for encryption are: AES, RSA, or Blowfish


Hashing or the resulting hashes are widely used in computer software since they simplify the lookup of big data to detect duplicate strings. It is used in cryptography as well since it provides a fast and easy way to ensure that some kind of input data matches the value stored in the hash. Hashes can also be used to validate the integrity of data, by comparing two hashes and looking for obvious and drastic differences which would define two input contents as being different as well.

Reconstructing the data used to generate a hash is near impossible. Furthermore, two hashes created from almost the same data will always differ from one another and not generate an identical hash. Since the same input will always create the same output though, create a hash from a large set of data allows you to check if this set of data has been altered by creating a new hash after some time, and comparing both hashes. Thus, if a change has taken place in the input data, the second hash differs drastically from the first one.

Examples for Hashing include: BlowFish, SHA-3 and other hash generators


Now that we know what each method does and what it’s used for, it’s time to give a quick overview and comparison of the functions:

Encoding Encryption Hashing
Data Security Not secure Secure Secure
Reversibility Reversible Reversible Not reversible

Files Supported by Your eBook Reader

eBook Reader File Formats
Image by

eBook readers have a lot advantages over books in a printed paper-form. They are lighter, multiple books can be stored on one device, you don’t need any bookmarks because the reader remembers the page you read last, and so on. Yet, once you decided that you want to buy an eBook reader, you have quite the variety to choose from.

Following, we have listed some of the most popular eBook readers and the different file formats they support. Whether your can open and view PDF documents, MOBI files, or even PNG images on your mobile reading device can help you to choose the right one for you.

Amazon Kindle

The most well-known of all eBook readers isthe Amazon Kindle, as well as the Kindle Touch and Kindle Paperwhite versions. The one file extension most commonly associated with the Kindle is the eBook format AZW3 (or AZW for earlier versions). Other files the Kindle can open and display are:

  • eBook Files: AZW and AZW3MOBI and PRC (unprotected)
  • Document Files: TXT and PDF

Other files are supported by the Kindle as well, made usable on the device through conversion:

  • Document Files: HTML, DOC, and DOCX
  • Image Files:  JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP
  • Audio Files: AA, AAX, and MP3 (Kindle Touch)

Unfortunately, not all eBook file types can be opened with Amazon’s Kindle devices. The very common EPUB file, which is used by many other eBook readers, is not supported.

Barnes & Noble Nook

The Nook series of eBook readers was developed by and for the American company and book retailer Barnes & Noble. The e-reading devices are based on Android technology, and B&N even offers a service where you can read a Nook Store book for free for one hour per day when connected with the wi-fi connection in the B&N stores.

  • eBook Files: EPUB and PDBCBZ (Nook Tablet)
  • Document Files: PDF; DOC and DOCX (Nook Color and Nook Tablet)
  • Image Files: JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP
  • Audio Files: MP3, AAC, and OGG (Nook 1st gen and Nook Color)
  • Video Files: MP4, 3GP, MKV, WEBM, and more (Nook Tablet)

The Nook does not support Amazon’s AZW3 and books stored in the MOBI file format.

ECTACO jetBook

The jetBook is ECTACO’s mobile reading device which was introduced to the market in 2008. Files supported by the jetBook include:

  • eBook Files: EPUB, FB2, MOBI, and PRC
  • Document Files: PDF, TXT, RTF, and HTML
  • Image Files: JPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP
  • Audio Files: MP3

The built-in MP3 player enables users of the jetBook to listen to music directly on the device while reading.

Amazon’s AZW and AZW3 files are not supported by ECTACO’s jetBook.

Kobo eReader

The Kobo (the name is an anagram to the word “book”) was developed by Kobo Inc. in Toronto, but later on bought by the Japanese company Rakuten. The following files are supported by the Kobo reader:

  • eBook Files: EPUB, MOBI, PRC, and CBZ
  • Document Files: PDF, TXT, and HTML

The Kobo Reader does not support Amazon’s AZW and AZW3 files.


Thee is a huge list of mobile reading devices developed and going under the name of PocketBook. The brand also produces tablet computers with an Android operating system.

  • eBook Files: EPUB, MOBI, FB2, and DJVU
  • Document Files: TXT, PDF, and HTML

Amazon’s AZW and AZW3 files are not supported by PocketBook devices.

Now that you read about the file formats supported by the most popular eBook reading devices, it should be a lot easier to make a choice. But even if you encounter an eBook you can not open with the reader you bought, you can still convert your eBook files into a supported file format.


Native Apple (Mac) Files

Native Apple (Mac) Files
Image by Sean MacEntee

Users of Apple devices like Mac desktop computers, MacBooks, iPhones, or iPads are already familiar with them: the native Apple Inc. file formats. Users of other platforms and operating systems like Windows and Linux however can face difficulties with those formats because they, sometimes, have never heard of them.

This could become a problem for Apple users as well when they try to send assignments, essays or other documents, videos, or audio files from their device to someone working with a Windows computer or an Android phone.

Knowing about this problem is the first step to the solution. Either users of Apple devices or the recipients of those Apple native files can convert their files into a format supported by the operating system and device in question. Yet, before you can attempt a conversion, you will have to know which file formats are exclusive or native for Apple devices.

Thus, we listed some of the most common native Apple file formats for you.

Document Files


Keynote Presentation File – Files with the KEY extension are created with Apple’s Keynote Presentation program. Keynote can create playback presentations containing images, slide animations, set time frames, videos, etc. KEY files can be compared to Microsoft’s PowerPoint presentation files.


Pages Document File – When using Apple’s word processing program Pages, your files – including pictures, formatting, layout and the like – will be saved with a PAGES extension. They work like Microsoft Word files like DOC or OpenOffice Writer text files.

Audio Files


Audio Interchage File Format – AIF or AIFF files are lossless and uncompressed audio files developed by Apple. These files are popular among professional musicians since they can store their music with very high quality using these file types. Converting your files to AIFF can thus be important if you wish to work with your audio files on a more professional level. The compressed versions of the AIF/AIFF files feature an AIFC extension.


Apple Core Audio Format – One advantage of CAF files is that these containers can hold several types of audio and additional metadata. With these new features, it quickly replaced the AIF format since it doesn’t have the same limitations. It can also hold audio data that exceeds the size of 4 GB.


MPEG-4 Audio File – M4A is the common file format used on Apple iTunes. In addition to audio track, M4A files also store additional data like images. What sets these files apart from other audio files is that lossless compression is available for M4A files as well. There’s also the possibility to convert your audio files to M4A.


MPEG-4 iTunes Music Store Audio File – Similar to M4A files, M4P files can be found on Apple iTunes. In addition to the features of the M4A files, M4P files are protected using Apple’s DRM copy protection.


MPEG-4 iPhone Ringtone File – M4R audio files are part of Apple iTunes as well. They are not meant to be “real” music tracks though, but serve the purpose of being ringtones for the iPhone. They have undergone lossy compression.

Video Files


MPEG-4 iTunes Video File – M4V files are very similar to the well known MP4 format. When downloading a video from iTunes, it usually comes in the M4V format and can – but doesn’t necessarily have to – be protected with Apple’s DRM copy protection.


QuickTime Movie File – Nowadays, MOV files are not exclusively usable on Apple devises anymore, but can be opened on Windows operating systems as well. It’s a video file format originally developed for the Apple QuickTime Player, and converting your videos to MOV can be a useful feature.

Other Files


MAC OS X Disk Image File – DMG files usually serve the purpose of installing programs on a Mac computer, contain encrypted and compressed data. Mac computers treat DMG files like hard copy disks.


iOS Application File – Files with an IPA extension are essential for anything downloaded from iTunes, may it be games, programs, or utilities. They contain information necessary for the iOS device to open and/or run the programs they are linked to.


Apple QuickDraw Picture File – PICT files are created when using the Apple QuickDraw program. They can contain vector graphics as well as bitmap images with a big variety of colors. Yet, PICT images are raster images, which means that they are not scalable without loss in quality.