Which e-book file format (EPUB, PDF, DjVu, XPS, CBT, CBZ, FB2, PDB, HTML, DOC, MOBI, etc.) allows inserting a hyperlink to another e-book file in the same folder in an e-book reader?

I want to make an offline Wikipedia by storing every article in a separate e-book file.

2 Answers 2


That is very absurd way of doing it, because essentially when you are reading an e-book, you are using an application/software to do that so lets say when you are reading a PDF in a PDF reader then you cannot add a hyperlink to a PDF to open in the PDF (if that makes sense), what you can do is add link to the file and then it gets opened in a reader (as separate file) which is basically like hyperlinking to a link.

It is like saying can a text file open another text file? (Answer is NO) because a text file is primarily dependent on a Text Reader to open. And hence an e-book is a file not an application

Another way of seeing at it is an e-book cannot open or read or run an e-book, but e-book reading software/application can do.

To make more sense, when you simply browse in your mobile phone, then you do notice that certain links open in certain applications installed in the mobile phone (Like play.google.com links open in Play Store application automatically). Similarly when you click on a hyperlink (of some website) within some application then it opens up in a browser if there is no dedicated application for that to open/read it.

Summing Up

e-book cannot link to a file (another e-book) to open it because that is an application/software's functionality (interacting with running OS on a target device) and e-books aren't made or designed to directly interact or work with OS, they depend on an application

You can explore this conversation for more insights

But if we come to solve your purpose of doing you can look for another approach and explore this

  • I am not asking about opening another e-book INSIDE an e-book like embedding, I was asking about hyperlinking FROM one e-book TO another one in the same folder, just like one HTML document can link to another HTML document using <a href="...">. Do you know any e-book reader which allows it?
    – niutech
    Nov 17, 2021 at 16:13
  • you should more focus on building such software rather than how to do it in ebooks, because its the reader that has to infer what file it has to open based on the reference link provided, by that the very format of hyperlinking (<a href ... >) would work in all ebook formats. You can take inspiration from here
    – MJK618
    Nov 17, 2021 at 16:48

Consider this: some formats indeed support such (HTML!), but: you added the requirement that it should work on an e-ink reader. And these, if hardware, tend to be products by a vendor. They have their own internal (or proprietary) schemes of how they store the data, and the title list/menu might be entirely virtual (is there to bind it to their integrated shops), or referencing other local resources not supported (read: removed/redirected from their internal browser engines).

Another problem is that your e-books would need to come with references that are relative to your reader's storage arrangement, because independent e-book producers might add Web URLs in there, but they can't possibly reference other materials in a way that's specific to the devices of a single vendor, or even custom to your personal setup. There's of course ways to update remote/global references to a retrieved local equivalent, but usually vendors just use existing browsers/renderers and customize these a bit, and what you want is unfortunately not well supported by the sad state of today's Web browsers. It's another thing of course if the e-books are produced by yourself or if you can modify these before loading them onto the device. You also should then not move them around again later, as it would break links, and Web browsers as well as e-ink devices may not support recognizing such and updating references :-(

I guess it's less about asking for a format to support it (HTML!), but to ask for an e-ink device vendor, as you're probably excluding the option of a software reader (like a Web browser referencing/accessing local or remote Web documents).

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