Last year, Apple updated its word processing program Pages to enable the creation of EPUB files. Now it’s offering similar functionality as a standalone feature in its new OS upgrade, reports the website Mac OS X Automation:

Mac OS X Lion includes an Automator action, named Text to EPUB File, that is designed to make it very easy to convert selected text or text documents into EPUB books, ideal for transferring to iPads and iPhones. Additionally, the created EPUB books can include images, MPEG audio, or MPEG video files.

NOTE: If the source documents for the action are in Rich Text Format (RTF), any formatting they possess will be preserved, and display correctly in the EPUB document. Also, the action includes full Unicode support, so Asian and Arabic characters are preserved as well.

At present the operating system doesn’t include any services that use this action, so you won’t see it in the drop down menu of any apps. However, if you visit the above website you can download four ready-to-go Text to EPUB Automator services that you can integrate into your own copy of Lion—and then turn pretty much anything you can copy and paste into an ebook if you like.

(Thanks to Benn!)


  1. Epub export in Text-Edit was one of the first things I look for when I upgraded to Lion. I was disappointed that it wasn’t as built-in as PDF export has been from the beginning but I’m glad to know it can be done. Apple is talking about a “post-PC” era, but it doesn’t seem to realize that the era we’re entering isn’t post-anything. It’s increasingly multi-device, with the devices being radically different. Hopefully, within a few point releases OS X will include a Media option in the File menu that knows what other devices you have and has user-defined options such as: * Send document to my iPhone as ePub * Send document to my iPad as PDF * Send document to whoever as whatever (some apps native format) and have the sending be as automatic and effortless and an ebook bought on Amazon is with a Kindle.

  2. Mike, In Lion you can send to iPhone or iPad as PDF or EPUB automatically. They’re easy-to-create Automator workflows saved as a Print Plugin and as a Service. Check out the services referenced in the article.

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