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How to Add a Plugin to Calibre

Kovid Goyal is probably the most generous man of the ebook publishing era.   He has created, maintained and supported a software program called Calibre and distributes it for free.   Without Calibre, my enjoyment of ebooks would be greatly diminished.   This is primarily because I like to shop for ebooks at more than one place and Calibre helps me track and maintain my burgeoning ebook library.   Plus, as I have blogged about before, you can use Calibre as a catalog for even paper books.

Kovid has written Calibre so that it accepts other programmers’ improvements by allowing plugins to be added.   These plugins can increase the functionality of Calibre.   This is how you add a plugin to the Calibre program.

Step 1: Open Preferences

Preferences Calibre

Preferences icon is found in the upper right hand corner of the main navigation bar.

Step 2: Open Plugins.

Once the Preferences screen is open scroll to the bottom and click on Plugins:

Plugin button Calibre

Step 3:   Browse for Plugin.

Click on the little blue icon on the bottom right.

blue icon dialog box navigate Calibre plugin

This should launch a dialog box where you can navigate to find your plugin. Highlight the plugin you want to add.   Click the “open” button and then the dialog box will close.   In the long space to the left of the blue icon is the file path to your plugin.

file path to plugin Calibre

Step 4:   Add your Plugin.

Once you have your plugin selected and the file path is in the long box, click “add”.   There is no confirmation that the add is complete.   You can go up and click on the gray arrows to see if your plugin has been added:

File Type plugins Calibre

Step 5:   Customize Plugin.

Sometimes, albeit rarely so far, you will have to customize your plugin.   You do this by locating your plugin in the main box.   Then highlight the plugin. In the middle bottom is a button that says “customize”.   Click that.   Another box should open allowing you to customize your plugin.

Customize plugin

Once you are done, hit Apply (upper left corner)

Preferences apply button Calibre

and then Close at the next screen (lower left corner)

Close preferences Calibre

Here is a thread at MobileReads for the new Custom GUI plugins such as adding internal search features to perfect the metadata of your books.   I suspect that there will be more plugins in the future.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Tae
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 05:54:17

    I love Calibre. As a MAC user, it was really frustrating when I purchased my Sony reader until I discovered Calibre. I love using the cataloging feature so much that Calibre is on my list of yearly charitable contributions now

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  3. RachelT
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 08:52:20

    Jane, I couldn’t agree more with your remarks about Kovid Goyal. I use Calibre everyday and think it is marvellous. I am sure that Kovid could have made a lot of money commercially from this application, but has chosen to share it with others freely because of his belief in encouraging others to read. I am really happy to support him in this endeavour.

    Thank you for your really helpful guides. Although I regularly use Mobile Read forums, and find people really helpful, I do struggle with the technical language used. Once I have instructions spelled out in everyday language I am quite capable of following them. I suspect I am missing out on much of the functionality of Calibre because I haven’t understood what is on offer. So thank you very much for your help.

  4. Janet P.
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 09:06:57

    contributions are a great idea.

    I’ve sent some money a couple of times now but it is probably way past time I send some more. This is a piece of software that I use on a daily basis, he’s certainly earned my love and respect – might as well send some cash too.

  5. TKF
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 09:43:37

    Calibre seemed like a great idea . . . until I discovered what a bear it was going to be to get my 200+ eBooks into it, sorted, etc. I gave up out of sheer frustration.

    I’m sure it’s great if you’re just getting into eBooks though.

  6. RachelT
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 10:08:22

    @TKF: I didn’t start using Calibre until I had quite a few book on my laptop. I added them all quite quickly,but I think I sorted them out over time – as I learned more about Calibre’s functionality. It was so helpful just to have a list of all my books which I could put into alphabetical order – even if I didn’t have all the meta data (didn’t learn about that for ages!). Is there anyway to encourage you to try again?

  7. library addict
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 11:57:19

    Kovid rocks!

    I downloaded Calibre when Jane first posted about it here, but didn’t think I would use it since, at the time, I did not have an ereader.

    I already had over 100 ebooks. Yes, it can be a pain to get your library set up. But that’s mostly because so many books (particularly those from the earlier half of the decade) have HORRIBLE metadata. Once you learn how to download and correct the metadata to display the way you prefer, you will wonder how you ever got along without this wonderful program.

    I don’t use that many tags. I mainly just tag my books as contemporary, historical, futuristic, or time-travel, with a few extras like paranormal, novella, Christmas, etc.

    I think my favorite feature is the ability to label the books in a series. Being able to make the books .x really comes in handy with those pesky 2nd epilogues in the Bridgerton series. My helpful hint to newbies, you put the series number in the box below (at first I was adding the number to the series name).

    Since I had Calibre all set up, it was a total breeze to add the by now 200+ ebooks I had to my Sony when I got last week.

    I use Mobile Reads, too. But love that Jane explains things in a way I can easily understand. I even tackled the dreaded PDF to ePub conversion yesterday using Jane’s post. It did take some trial and error, but once I halfway understood what I was doing, it went pretty smoothly.

  8. TKF
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 12:23:59

    You all clearly have more patience than me! My main wish is that the program I do use (MobiPocket Reader) would start supporting files (esp on my CyBook itself) and that it would add an option to sort by author.

  9. TKF
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 12:56:10

    . . . and I finally figured out how to do just what I said I wanted above. Yea!

  10. Jennifer U
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 13:47:38

    Jane, Thank you so much for this post! I found a plugin that will let me convert my Kindle books to epub and I am over the moon! I’ve already converted 3! I’m so excited to start reading these books on my Nook.

  11. orannia
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 15:40:19

    I have Calibre, but…I’ve only used it a couple of times and I think it worked in spite of me.

    I’m just not quite sure where to start with it, but since the number of eBooks I own is increasing (and I’m worried that if something happens to Fictionwise or AllRomance eBooks I’ll lose my library) I should probably learn. Can anyone suggest a good place to start with learning to use Calibre please (e.g. tutorial or similar) or should I just jump right in?

  12. library addict
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 16:05:40

    I would start with the demos on the Calibre website

    There are grand tour, video tutorial, and screenshot tabs which all have valuable info.

    And read the original 2 posts Jane had about the program.

    Though it’s evolved somewhat since 2008, those two posts are a good overview.

  13. Lucha Lori
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 17:42:43

    @Jennifer U: Would someone email me a link to a/the plugin?

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  15. meoskop
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 09:49:14

    Wait – why haven’t I been using plug ins? Perhaps I LIKE doing things the difficult way? It is to ponder.

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  21. Ginny
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 18:53:14

    Each time I try to install a plugin for Calibre I get the message “Invalid Plugins –Error: unhandled exception..” I have no idea why it is invalid ands what I should do. I want so much to convert my books do that I can open them and also send them to my Sony reader
    I think I will like Calibre once I can use it.

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