eBooks are available in several different file formats. Some are open formats that can be read on multiple devices, while others are proprietary and can only be viewed on a specific device, such as an iPad or Kindle. Commercially available publications often include some kind of digital rights management (DRM) that prevent the content from being viewed on unauthorized devices. For example, many books available through Amazon's Kindle Store and Apple's iBookstore are copy-protected using DRM protection.
While there are many types of eBook formats, all major ones support text, images, chapters, and page markers. Most formats also support user annotations, such as highlighted text, drawings, and notes. For example, the Sony Reader includes a handwriting feature that allows you to underline specific text on a page. The Amazon Kindle includes a highlighter pen used for highlighting text. Some e-readers allow you to share your annotations with others online and view what text other readers have highlighted or commented on.
NOTE: An eBook may be a novel, magazine, newspaper, or other publication. However, the electronic versions of magazines and newspapers are often called "digital editions" to differentiate them from electronic books. View a comprehensive list of eBook formats.
Updated: January 29, 2013