yael (Yet Another EPUB Library) is a Python library for reading, manipulating, and writing EPUB 2/3 files
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Use setuptools instead of distutils.
Latest commit e561123 Jun 9, 2015



yael (Yet Another EPUB Library) is a Python library for reading, manipulating, and writing EPUB 2/3 files.

This library is currently in development. The reading part is essentially complete, while the editing/writing is missing. Please do NOT use this code in production until it reaches v1.0.0.

Feedback (especially on the lib interface) is welcome at any version number! (Please use the GitHub issue tracker.)


from yael import SimpleEPUB

ebook = SimpleEPUB(path="/tmp/bierce01.epub")

ebook.manifestation # 'compressed'
ebook.size # 7281362
ebook.version # '3.0'
ebook.unique_identifier # 'urn:uuid:2722b0eb-a4f9-4b05-97f9-9123381e58b3'
ebook.release_identifier # 'urn:uuid:2722b0eb-a4f9-4b05-97f9-9123381e58b3@2014-06-06T00:00:01Z'
ebook.title # 'A Horseman In The Sky'
ebook.language # 'en'
ebook.author # 'Ambrose Bierce'
ebook.date # '2014-06-06'
ebook.description # 'This Audio-eBook was crafted by ReadBeyond ...'
ebook.publisher # 'ReadBeyond'
ebook.internal_path_cover_image # 'OEBPS/Images/cover.png'

# print a JSON string representation

# print the TOC with resolved paths

# print the spine
for i_p_spine_item in ebook.resolved_spine:

# extract cover image to /tmp/extracted_cover.jpg
cover_image = ebook.cover_image
if cover_image != None:
    output_file = open("/tmp/extracted_cover.jpg", "wb")
    print("Cover image extracted to '/tmp/extracted_cover.jpg' ...")

See yael/examples/publication_examples.py, yael/examples/simpleepub_examples.py, and yael/examples/epub_to_gv.py for more complex, commented examples.


Online: http://www.albertopettarin.it/yael/

Generated from the source (requires sphinx):

$ git clone https://github.com/pettarin/yael.git
$ cd yael/docs
$ make html


yael is released under the terms of the MIT License. See the LICENSE file.

Supported Features

Parsing nearly all of EPUB 2 and 3 OCF/OPF specifications, including:

  • EPUB 2 <meta> and <guide> OPF elements
  • EPUB 3 <meta> (including refines)
  • EPUB 3 Media Overlays (SMIL files)
  • EPUB 3 Navigation Document (including <nav> elements other than toc and landmarks)
  • EPUB 3 Multiple Renditions
  • Asset obfuscation with either Adobe or IDPF algorithms

Other useful stuff:

  • Loadind/saving publications in compressed, uncompressed, or in-memory form
  • Retrieving viewport information from Content Documents in FXL EPUB files
  • Building sub-objects from strings
  • Outputting a JSON representation of any object
  • Resolution of MARC Relator values
  • Conversion of SMIL clip times from string to seconds

Limitations and Missing Features

  • EPUB OCF elements not parsed: manifest.xml, rights.xml, signatures.xml
  • EPUB 3 OPF elements not parsed: <bindings>, <collection>
  • No EPUB CFI support
  • No editing of SVG Content Documents

Similar Libraries


Many thanks to:

  • Yael, of course.