Another way to defeat the dreaded DRM

I’m at the stage in my Italian learning now where the most important part for me is reading Italian literature. Naturally I want to be able to do it in Lingq. Up to now I’ve been able to get rid of the DRM in Kindle with Epubor Ultimate about 90% of the time. But now I need to read Nook ebooks as they have many more Italian titles than Kindle does, and getting Epubor to work on Nook titles on Apple devices has proved so far impossible. (It may be easier on Windows.) My method is laborious, but it does the trick with both Kindle and Nook. Here’s how it works.

I make screenshots of all the pages from either Kindle or Nook. This is the laborious part, but to make the job go faster, I put two pages on screen at once and make the type and line spacing as small as possible before I take the shot.)

Then I convert the pages with OCR in PDFElements and voilà I have text. I import the text into Lingq and also into my word processing program so that as I read in Lingq I can still underline and make comments,which is exactly what I want. I hope this helps!

1 Like

I have done similar. I have a German ebook…short stories for learning. I wanted to create a lesson per story, so every so often I would add one or more lessons into lingq by simply copying and pasting from Kindle. At some point there was a number of words copied limit that I hit. Although I can remove the DRM now and do the cut and paste from the DRM free book, I had found an OCR tool called Capture2Text on Windows that worked pretty good. The controls are a little confusing, but essentially you just put the selection box around the text you’re interested and it will capture it, and then you can paste it into lingQ.

Just curious, have you tried to search for the same titles on Kobo or Google Play book store? The reason I ask is because I think those two are easier to import with Calibre and its DRM plugin.

I haven’t studied Italian but for Spanish and Norwegian I usually buy my ebooks from Spanish or Norwegian book websites. A good example is for Norwegian. You might want to search for something similar in Italian. Sites like this normally sell the ebooks in Epub format, so you can just google the title of a book you want with the word epub and you should find some Italian sites that sell that book. You can import epub files into Lingq and Calibre has always worked for me for removing drms or converting them to other formats if needed.

Thanks very much for this suggestion. I’ve tried to buy Kindle books from Italy but have been denied on the basis that I’m in the USA and not in Italy. But I hadn’t thought of other vendors.

No, I’ve only looked on Kindle and Nook, but I certainly will check these. Unfortunately, however, I’m one of the people who no matter how hard I try–and I once got a computer engineer friend to help me–has never been able to make Calibre work. That’s why I was glad to find Epubor Ultimate because that usually works for me.

Very interesting. Do you mean that with Capture2Text works to defeat the copy limit in Kindle? If so, I might try and find it for Apple.

It does, but only because you aren’t selecting and copying text. The tool is essentially screenshotting the text and performing OCR on it to get the text itself. So you have to go page by page. It can be a little tedious. Also, at least for German, I would have to go through the text a bit to correct a couple of things. For example it would often mess up “für” putting in fiir along with an invisible character, so lingq would end up having weird issues as I went through lessons until I corrected. Wasn’t a huge deal. Maybe a different font would help.

No problem. I haven’t had any problems buying ebooks through Norwegian websites even though I’m in the US so hopefully you won’t have any problems. If you do you can just try using a vpn.

I’ve found epubs to be easier to work with too. I think the DRMs on kindle books must be a little more complex and harder to remove. You can also easily convert the epubs to another format like mobi if you want to read them on a kindle later.

This is interesting, thanks for sharing. Although PDFelements PRO in quite expensive for Mac, around 130€.

I have one question though, if and when you have time could you make a test with comics? If it’s able to extract very well, and in comprehensible manner, all the text from comic books? I’m thinking about it for German.