Monday, March 02, 2009

Convert LIT to PRC for Kindle

Amazon's electronic-ink reader is catching fire, har har, but a lot of ebooks out there still using other formats like LIT by Microsoft. For example, I have a bunch of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books on my shelf but I can't seem to find Kindle-friendly digital copies. Here's a free way method to get to reading some LIT files on the Kindle after converting them.

  1. Download ConvertLIT and extract its ZIP contents into the same directory as your LIT file(s). Thus you should end up with clit.exe (yes, ha ha, funny), LitConverter.exe, and some other files.

  2. Next you'll need to explode the LIT file, e.g. extract its contents. It's basically a container, like a ZIP archive, which contains multiple files within it. I like to use the command-line to do this so here's those instructions:
    1. Open a command prompt.
    2. Change to the directory with the LIT file.
    3. Enter: clit.exe filename.lit exploded/

    You'll end up with a directory (named exploded if you followed the instructions above) full of HTML, images, and importantly an OPF file (an Open eBook Package File).

  3. Install Mobipocket Creator, a utility for creating PRC files.

  4. Double-click the OPF file in the exploded directory (or whatever name you chose); this will launch Mobipocket Creator. Chances are everything is in basically the right order so at this point all you need to do is click Build and you're done!

  5. Lastly, plug your Kindle into your computer and copy the PRC (it will have the same base name as the OPF) you created into its documents directory.

Hopefully the number of steps will go down as better utilities come out!


Optikmike said...

Did anybody else notice the executable is named clit.exe? I laughed so hard...

Michael said...

Do you know if it is possible to retain chapters, etc. When I followed the instructions my chapter markers were lost.

Neil C. Obremski said...

Michael: normally yes, at least it did in the cases I used it. However, I don't have a deep knowledge of the LIT format and it's easily possible there are scenarios in which the converter just can't figure something out. The results of that program, all the files in the directory, can be edited by hand to add your own chapters should you feel strongly about adding them. It's too bad Amazon doesn't just support the format!

tehLivi said...

Thank you for this blog.
If you find a converter that will directly convert .lit to .prc will you let us know?

Terrie Farrell said...

I know this is an old site but wonder if anyone can help. I've unzipped to the same folder as my .lit files and go through to the command prompt. I assume where it says 'filename' i name one of the .lit files I want to convert?

I've tried this and the next thing in the command prompt says
Error reading file "filename"..
Unable to open file.
LIBC Reports:No such file or directory.

I've not really used the command prompt before so wonder if it's something i'm doing wrong. I've managed to change directory ok.

Neil C. Obremski said...

Terrie, you must replace the text filename with the actual name of the LIT file. For example, if I had "banana.lit" then I would type clit.exe banana.lit exploded/.

Anonymous said...

@ Neil
your command line has me laughing so much
clit banana exploded hahahaha

great comments tho


Marcroman SNK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jacksmith said...

lit is the format for MS reader I too has it but converting was not so easy until when contacted they had many idea and suggestions for this

Marin said...

I did everything as described, but when I tried to "build" the file, it failed. It said something about not being able to recognize the language. Any suggestions?