Calibre 3.0 ebook manager released

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 16, 2017

Calibre 3.0 is the latest version of the popular cross-platform ebook management software that lets you download, read and convert ebooks among other things.

Calibre 3.0 is a major new release of the program; this means that it ships with a bunch of new features and improvements that all users of previous versions benefit from.

The major features, which we will take a closer look later on in this article, are support for high resolution displays, and a complete rewrite of the Content server.

The underlying functionality has not changed however, so that you can pick up right where you exited the program the last time.

New users may want to check out our review of Calibre 1.0 and Calibre 2.0 by clicking on these links.

Calibre 3.0

As far as new features are concerned, there are two that stick out. First, users with high resolution displays will benefit from support for these displays in the new Calibre 3.0.

Calibre 3.0 adjusts the look and feel automatically for different screen resolutions. You can turn the feature on or off explicitly in the Preferences under Look & Feel > Adjust for high resolution screens. This requires a restart.

The second big feature is actually a rewrite of an existing feature. Calibre's Content Server makes ebooks available in a local area network. This means that you can run the content server on your desktop PC or notebook, and access all the ebooks stored on the server from other devices such as your smartphone or tablet.

All you have to do for that is to load the http://localhost:8080 address and be done with it. Note that the content server does not run by default, and that you can start it up with a click on the Connect/Share toolbar icon, and selecting the Start Content Server option of the icon's context menu.

Please note that it is no longer possible to run the server or database executable files together (calibredb.exe, calibre-server.exe or calibre.exe), as they are capable of modifying data.

Another new feature that users may like is that Calibre 3.0 supports icon themes. You can load icon themes in the application which the program will make use of. You find the option to do so under Preferences > Look & Feel > Icon theme.

Last but not last, Calibre 3.0 supports converting ebook formats directly to Microsoft's Word docx format.  Docx is one of the many available output formats that Calibre supports.

Several issues have been fixed in Calibre 3.0 on top of that:

  • Kobo driver: Fix for detection of some devices, with SD card not working on macOS
  • Tag browser: Fix preservation of state when recounting and the visible categories have changed.
  • CHM Input: Handle CHM files that have missing or empty root files.
  • Fix Page flips options box in viewer preferences bot being laid out properly
  • Fix initial down arrow in search box jumping two places
  • Fix editing the authors via the book list not respecting the tweak to control author name splitting
  • E-book viewer: Fix external links not working in the footnote popup panel
  • Fix a regression that broke command line completion in bash


Calibre 3.0 introduces several new features to the ebook management software -- Word docx conversions, Retina support, and icon themes support -- and ships with a rewrite of the content server.

All features can but don't have to be used, as they can be disabled in the options or simply ignored.

Now You: How do you manage your ebooks?

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  1. austin said on September 3, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Can it remove the current DRM
    on kindle books

  2. Reggie said on June 19, 2017 at 2:53 am

    Thanks for the update on this, Martin. I’ve used Calibre for years and love it. I’ll definitely download the latest version.

  3. Phylis Sophical said on June 17, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Best e-book manager, hands down. Been using it for years.

  4. DhulK said on June 17, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    IMO, the most important functionality still missing in this application is a built-in update function. The author regularly updates Calibre which is praiseworthy, but, for some reason, refuses to simplify or automate the update process, requiring the user to re-download the setup file for every new minor release and run it through the standard Windows installation routine.

    What’s even more interesting, Calibre has an update check already built in, but it can only notify the user about new updates, yet it will not download or apply them.

    1. Doc said on June 20, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      Try Calibre Portable from – the app *will* automatically update Calibre (and every other portable app) on demand. Unfortunately, Calibre 3.0 is not (yet) available, but will be in a few days.

    2. A different Martin said on June 17, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      Well … if you click on the link in Calibre’s update pop-up, it loads the download page in your default browser, so at least that part is pretty easy. I just wish Calibre’s installers would allow you to choose which Start Menu folder to install program shortcuts in and remember that choice in subsequent installs.

  5. Jason said on June 16, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Those of us using Linux are familiar with discussions about which closed source programs we can’t live without. But Calibre is one of those cases where the open source option is absolutely the best in the business. It’s the gold standard – maybe not as a reader but definitely as an ebook manager. No wonder it has become so popular even amongst Windows users.

    So, if any of you haven’t used Calibre yet, do yourselves a favour…. :)

    1. Jeff said on June 16, 2017 at 10:38 pm

      You convinced me. Thanks.

  6. Henk van Setten said on June 16, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    I use and will keep using Calibre 0.9.38. The last truly good version, before this versatile lizard began to bulge into an over-complex, top-heavy dinosaur.

  7. jasray said on June 16, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Yes, I like Calibre–the old, the new. Wonderful program.

    “Ces techniciens ne sont pas du même calibre.”

    1. A different Martin said on June 17, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      How on earth did you come up with that sentence? Before you posted it here, there was one hit for it in Google. And also, who you callin’ a subpar technician? ;-)

  8. chesscanoe said on June 16, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I normally use Kindle for Desktop software to read ebooks, but I used Calibre 1.0 in the past. I’ll have to learn Calibre 3.0 x64 and play with the huge number of free books available.

  9. TianlanSha said on June 16, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    The metamorphosis .. I remember that one xD

    I see they changed the icons or I’ve just been looking at old screenshots. I miss the glossy icons of all programs… around Vista/7 it was considered nice and I still do. ;(

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