SharePoint documentation as e-books: tell us what you think


We’ve been hearing from some of you at conferences and in email that you want to be able to take TechNet content offline on your e-readers (Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and so on). We’re starting to figure out how to do that, and we’d love more input.

Please leave a comment about which e-reader you use and what content you’d most like to read on an e-reader.

If you’re looking for something to read offline immediately, here are some resources.

CHMs updated monthly

These compiled help files won’t work on your e-reader, but any computer running Windows should be able to open them. After you download a .chm file, you don’t have to be connected to the Internet to read the content. (If you open the .chm file and see no content, unblock the .chm file as described in this KB article.)

Downloadable books

These books are compilations of TechNet library articles in .doc, .pdf, and .xps format. Most e-readers can open .pdf files – just connect your Barnes & Noble Nook or Sony Reader (video) to your computer to transfer a .pdf file. If you use an Amazon Kindle, you can send .doc files to your Kindle.

Comments (60)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great idea. Like many of these here, I'd like to see these in native Kindle format. I'd pay for them in that format.

    I've tried sending these as .doc and .pdf files to my kindle and they don't really work for me. .mobi and .epub may work better, but I love the way the text flows in the native Kindle format best.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Kindle format please

  3. Anonymous says:

    We've released some more books, including Governance, Profile Sync, and Deployment, in .mobi and .epub formats. Check technet.microsoft.com/…/cc262788.aspx for the latest list.

  4. Anonymous says:

    ePub is a very good choice, followed by PDF

  5. Anonymous says:

    The existing books (technet.microsoft.com/…/cc262788.aspx) are available in PDF, plus there's a new TechNet feature (blogs.technet.com/…/export-your-own-technet-book.aspx) with which you can compile your choice of topics into a PDF.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have to echo the PDF views on this, that'll be great.  Either that or come up with a Microsoft endorsed iPhone Application that'll act as a reader.

  7. E Edwards says:

    I'd be interested in having the docs available for the kindle.

  8. DW says:

    iBook or Amazon Kindle reader are my preferred formats.  I'd love to see all TechNet Content downloadable and able to be consumed offline to be honest.

  9. Grant says:

    PDF is great but ePub would be even better, it would certainly create an improved reading experience.

    But any solution that allows offline access to docs on a mobile device would be great!

    Thanks

  10. Kp says:

    Would prefer a native kindle version of the doc so I can scale the font size up and down.  A subscription service would be amazing.

  11. Dean says:

    I use the Kindle. This is a great idea. Please be sure to test out any tables, i have several books in which the tables are very difficult to read on my Kindle.

  12. Scott says:

    Having content available offline for the Kindle would be awesome. It would make studying for certs so much easier and enjoyable.

  13. MP says:

    Nook Color would be excellent.  Also the nook software on iPad.

  14. Brandon Ryan says:

    The "Calibre" application is free and can convert documents between CHM format and the EPUB format, which can be used on both the Kindle and the Nook.

  15. Dave says:

    Kindle for me for now, but epub would be a great help to many I'm sure.

    As for which content, I would like to see all TechNet/MSDN content. I'd like to be able to select an item in the menu tree and export that item and all of its children.

  16. IB says:

    Kindle (or epub) format would be great. Converting from doc is not always successful, the table of contents get almost always mostly wrong.

  17. J Minnerly says:

    I'm definitely interested in Kindle formatted content.

  18. Mike Walsh says:

    An earlier poster wrote:

    >The "Calibre" application is free and can convert documents between CHM format and the >EPUB format, which can be used on both the Kindle and the Nook.

    The Calibre application can convert from epub to most other reader formats including .mobi (Kindle). In the case of the Kindle, Calibre can also send the file to the Kindle device (using the e-mail method which can be defined in Calibre so only a click is needed).

    Calibre is donation supported. So free unless you want to contribute to further development. (I have nothing to do with anybody connected with Calibre but use it regularly)

    My own view is that while the Kindle is fine for heavily text-oriented things such as newspapers or magazines, it is quite poor for technical reference material which include diagrams / screen shots because of the size of those images. This makes it fine for typical TechNet information (no diagrams!) but poor from MSDN articles.

  19. Tony Harris says:

    ePub would be wonderful, as I believe it can be used on the Nook (which I have) but also the Kindle, Kobo, or other readers.  PDF would be a good second choice.

  20. HKVan says:

    Kindle would be excellent!

  21. DJ says:

    It would also be great to be able to signup for updates to technet articles or new articles for specific products.

  22. Bob says:

    Kindle preferred. I agree with Scott: "Having content available offline for the Kindle would be awesome. It would make studying for certs so much easier and enjoyable."

  23. Alex Burton says:

    I would love content for the Kindle, but also keep the chm's up, they are very useful on my laptop.

  24. Glenn Wilson says:

    Would love to see the content in epub and other ereader formats, Kindle and such.

  25. Naoki Kato says:

    Kindle formats is Best for me 😉

  26. Jenny Day says:

    Kindle please! :)

  27. Gary A Bushey says:

    Nook format would work best for me followed by PDF

  28. Justin Meadows says:

    Kindle here but iBooks would be OK too.

  29. Eric Fintel says:

    I would like to see full support for the Nook Color.  I too would like to see all content available for offline consumption. Second to that would be reference material,  best practice guides, code walk throughs.

  30. Andrew Walmsley says:

    Kindle please.

  31. Adrian Bennett says:

    ePub or DRM PDF or PDF. I use a BeBook. Thanks

  32. Webpage4SP says:

    Kindle format works best for me. In addition to the Kindle, I am able to load it onto a computer and my cell phone.

  33. vs2010junkie says:

    I have both an Amazon Kindle as well as a Barnes and Noble Nook Color.  However, for everyday reading, I have to say, I highly prefer the Amazon Kindle over my Nook.  The Nook is much better for reading magazines.

  34. Wes Hackett says:

    Kindle please, that way i can read it on Kindle, Phone and Laptop in the same format.

  35. Anders Rask says:

    just today when i saw the new CHM downloads were ready I thought "damn, i want those for my iPad" so greatly appreciate the initiative. ePub would be optimal but PDF would work too.

  36. Chris woodill says:

    Keep in mind the PDF readers on some ebooks are very slow especially with any rich content like graphics or non standard font ends up being very slow to render.  If you can reformat the content so that it's large size font, simple layout, very lite graphics (eg like an ebook) the performance will be a lot better especially on older generation ebook readers…

  37. Herman says:

    PDF would be the best for me.

  38. David McCollough says:

    Nook ePub format would rock!!

  39. Aclark says:

    Kindle please, many thanks

  40. Wor Tony says:

    Kindle format for me

  41. MAL says:

    ePub, but …

    1) I would like live web links to outside content

    2) Having the books pre-classified as a shelf on my Nook saves me the trouble of organizing what Microsoft already organizing.

  42. John Newton says:

    If you provide ePub and mobi formats you will cover allmost all devices.  ePub will work for everything except Kindles.  Mobi will work for Kindles.  Please do not use PDFs for supporting mobile devices.  They simply do not work well on mobile devices.  Heck they're not even that great on desktops or laptops.

  43. Jennifer Jones - SharePoint Service Manager says:

    Kindle all the way, please.

  44. Jose Noguera says:

    1. Kindle, thanks.

    2. Do you have any self-imposed date for letting the audience knows which format you are working on and when the eBooks will be available?

  45. BarryB says:

    Kindle

  46. Iswar Mistry says:

    Kindle format please!

  47. Nesh is Best says:

    Kindle please.

    :)

  48. Nesh United says:

    kindle please.

  49. TC says:

    Kindle please

  50. Venu Japa says:

    Kindle would be great for me.

    Thanks

    Venu Japa

  51. SFQ says:

    Kindle 3 or compatible format

  52. Downloadable ebooks nice, Kindly thanks

  53. Dylan Cave says:

    KINDLE!

  54. Charles L. says:

    Would like to have them in Kindle 3 format, too.

  55. Steffen Koch says:

    I own a KindleDX and I'd love to have the "donwloadable content" from TechNet and MSDN on my Kindle.

  56. DGT says:

    +1 for ePub

  57. Jamie Kent says:

    Great idea!!! Kindle or PDF format would work for me.

  58. Tomas says:

    Kindle or ePub would be great!