IBOOKS, Multi-Touch iBook File (.ibooks)

The IBOOKS eBook file format

The IBOOKS file format was developed as an eBook format specifically for devices (computers, phones, tablets, and more) that run on one of Apple’s operating systems; macOS or iOS. Like other eBook files, IBOOKS files can contain not only text but also image and video information, as well as 3D objects, presentations, and other types of media. IBOOKS files are known as multi-touch iBook files, because they support interaction via multi-touch gestures, creating an easy and interactive user experience. They can easily be created using the iBooks Author program from Apple. It’s a free program to design and publish eBooks, however, it is likely that files with the IBOOKS extension may only be accessible after paying a fee.

Technical details of IBOOKS files

IBOOKS files were developed by Apple on the basis of the ePub 3 format. However, Apple has added some proprietary specifications. The iBooks Author program allows users to export their books either in the IBOOKS format, as plain text files or as PDF documents. Books saved as IBOOKS files can then be published on iTunes for users of all kinds of Apple devices to download and read. They can be found in the ~/Music/iTunes Media/Books/ folder on the iPad, iPhone or Mac device. Initially, the IBOOKS format used the “iBooks 2” format and was only meant to be used for creating textbooks. However, nowadays it is used for creating all kinds of digital books, not only educational ones.

More information about the IBOOKS file format

File extension .ibooks
File category eBook
Associated programs Apple Books (Windows & Mac)
Apple iBooks Author (Mac)
Useful links More about IBOOKS
Developer Apple