Create Your Own Kindle NCX and OPF Files

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Links To NCX/OPF Mini-Tool Help:
Videos  |  Sample Docs to Download, Unzip and Use for Practice

    Important Terms to Know


  • NCX Navigation Control file for XML applications.
  • OPF is the Open Packaging Format that is defined by idpf.
  • MOBI is the format used by the MobiPocket Reader and Amazon Kindle.
  • KindleGen is a proprietary tool provided by Amazon to be used to convert source files to AZW format be used on the Amazon Kindle reader. Note: A simplified KindleGen is built into the Kindle Previewer application and serves as a very light weight UI to use KindleGen.

    Why Create NCX and OPF Files?

  • Without an NCX file your Kindle eBook will most likely NOT have a fully working Table of Contents (TOC). The NCX file aids navigation and is called the "logical" TOC. You need both an NCX file and the hyperlinked Chapters to have a fully working TOC. Without an NCX file, the TOC will NOT appear in the Kindle Menu.
  • Without an NCX file your Kindle eBook will most likely NOT have Navigational tick marks. NavPoints in the NCX file appear as tick marks in the Progress Bar. 'The tick marks provide cues about the location of book segments along the Progress Bar and their relative size. The Bar also indicates "percentage read" and amusing, if not easily interpreted, statistics about the number of locations in the book and your current location.' Source:
  • "Readers can quickly move from one tick mark to the next (that is, from Chapter to Chapter, etc.) using the 5-way controller on the Kindle device." Source:
  • The OPF File lists and correctly links to all the elements that make up your eBook including the Meta Data, images, chapters, stylesheets as well as the NCX file.

Follow These Steps To Create Your Own Kindle NCX and OPF Files

  1. Make sure you have a correctly prepared HTML file using either Word or Google Docs. If your HTML is not prepared correctly, Kindlizing will not be able to generate the files for you. For best results, create a completely new document and follow these steps.

    • Before adding any text and styling, Copy-and-Paste the following three tokens into your document to mark where the TOC and the Start location will be placed in your eBook. Make sure these tokens use the regular text style and are on their own line. These tokens will be removed when the final html is generated.

      The Three Tokens You Need To Add

    • Add all your content (text, images and other elements) as needed. Note: It is best to leave the styling and TOC creation until after all content is added and you have the content the way you want it.
    • Place the {BOOKMARK-START} token at the top of the chapter you want your eBook to "start" right above the Title. Again make sure the token is regular text style and it is on its own line. Note: Start and Begin are considered different in Kindle.
    • Make sure you correctly use the Heading 1, 2 and 3 styles to successfully generate your TOC.
    • Make sure you insert a Page Break (Ctrl-Enter) between chapters.
    • The last step should be to insert your TOC. Place your cursor between the two TOC Tokens {TOC-START}, {TOC-END} then insert or generate your TOC.
    • Download or save your document as a Web Page (.html, zipped). Note: If you have any images in your document they will be placed in the document_file_name_files folder (Word) or the images folder (Google Docs). Very important: make sure you leave your images in that folder after you unzip your files.
    • Locate the downloaded zip file and unzip it in a location you can easily find.

  2. You will need the current Access Code to be able to use Kindlizing. You can only get the Access Code by special invite when you sign up.
  3. Make sure you have a cover image ready to go and it is located in the same folder as all the other images you have in your doc. Make sure you add your cover file name ie. cover.jpg below so it is found correctly.
  4. Add as much of the Meta Data Information as you can below.
  5. Open the html file in Notepad or another text editor. The Word html is readable, but the Google Docs html is all crunched up and not at all easy to read. Don't worry, your html will soon be cleaned up.
  6. Select and copy all the html and paste it into the last textarea field.
  7. Make sure you select the correct Document Source and Hit the Submit button. The HTML, NCX and OPF Files will be generated for you and be ready for you to download.
  8. Download your zip file.
  9. Locate the zip file you just downloaded and unzip all the files to the same location you saved the images folder.
  10. Now you are ready to create your Mobi file using the newly created HTML, NCX and OPF Files.
  11. Use the Kindle Previewer to build a V8 Mobi file. Very Simple and Easy: Drag-and-drop the OPF file onto the Kindle Previewer and KindleGen will generate the Mobi file for you. The OPF file points to all the other files needed to correctly build the Mobi file. Make sure there are no errors or warnings. If you have errors or warnings you will need to correct them. It is a good idea to view the generation report to be sure the Mobi file was made correctly.
  12. Upload your Mobi file to the Kindle Marketplace and start promoting.

Frontmatter: The pages at the beginning of a book before the body of the book.

  1. Half title
  2. Frontispiece
  3. Title page
  4. Copyright page
  5. Dedication
  6. Epigraph
  7. Table of Contents
  8. List of Figures
  9. List of Tables
  10. Foreword (usually written by someone other than the author)
  11. Preface (written by the author)
  12. Acknowledgments
  13. Introduction
  14. Prologue
  15. Second Half Title

Body: The main portion or body of the book.

  1. Part Opening page
  2. Chapter Opening page: (Body) Most fiction and almost all nonfiction books are divided into chapters for the sake of organizing the material to be covered.
  3. Epilogue
  4. Afterword
  5. Conclusion

Backmatter: The sections at the end of the book.

  1. Postscript
  2. Appendix or Addemdum
  3. Chronology
  4. Notes
  5. Glossary
  6. Bibliography
  7. List of Contributors
  8. Index
  9. Errata
  10. Colophon

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