Does the Calibre ebook app have automation for linking e-books (deep or whole)?

In the linkable applications under the heading Ebook Readers there is no mention of Calibre, which I run under macOS10.14.6
Does Calibre for macOS already feature a reliable automation for linking, which is used by Hook?
Thank you

In the meantime I got a forum statement from the maker of Calibre, in his typically grandiose, arrogant tone, really difficult to bear:

[quote={Kovid Goyal}]{calibre is the leader in its field, used by millions of people. never heard of Hook. Dont know what it does, and from its page can tell its one of those pathetic mac specific apps that would not recognize an API if it was driving a truck that ran over it.

calibre has THE most comprehensive APIs known to man.}[/quote]

On the other hand, it is true that Calibre is by far better than any e-Book Reader I have tried until now.
Can you please have a look, if the Calibre APIs fit into Hook?
Many thanks

By the way, BB coding seems to function here only partially. Can you please help me also with this (much minor) issue? Thank you.

welcome to the Hook Productivity Forum, @adrian. Thanks for bringing this up. FWIW, I’ve used Calibre from time to time – before Hook.

We’ll have a look (but another forum contributor might beat us to it). If Calibre has an API to Get the Address and URL of the current book, and the URL is valid, then it can be added to Hook’s integrations by CogSci Apps or any Hook user who does this kind of thing.

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This would be great.

That is quite some response from Kovid Goyal! :grimacing:

Calibre is great as an ebook manager. I wouldn’t say the ebook reader itself is particularly inspiring.

My workaround for this is with Trickster (which interfaces very nicely with Hook). When I’ve imported a book, it will be in the Trickster list, so it’s easy to link to/from it. Before I thought to do this, I clicked on the ‘click to open path’ link in the right Calibre sidebar so I could see the imported ebook in its location. Of course, this only links to the file itself, not to the entry in Calibre. For me, that’s enough most of the time.

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Calibre 5.5 is out, with a url scheme that allows accessing locations inside books. So now you can actually pinpoint the page reference. I need to see if there’s a way to use this in Hook?

Also, wow. I didn’t know the calibre developper was such a … oh well, words fail me. Especially given the paltry state of the Calibre UI/UX. The only thing it has going for it is the lack of competition …


Ok, so … it seems there’s an API but I’m not sure it exposes the location - and the actual command sequence to obtain a location in the calibre e-book viewer is kafkaesque … better minds than mine need to look into this.
It would be great to link to an actual location in a book, but i’m not holding my breath!

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thanks for looking into all of that. Deep linking in books would be great.

super! That’s a great work-around for a lot of apps that are not yet linkable but that are exposed on file system.

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Thank you so much, @tonywatkins , @seishonagon , (sorry, Luc, I am allowed to mention only 2 forum members).
I have updated to Calibre 5.5 a few minutes ago, and I will give it a go as soon as I can.
Very kind of you.

Dear @LucB
Would you mind maybe renaming this thread, if you deem it fit, to something like «deep linking into e-books»?

I did try to use Trickster as suggested by @tonywatkins but, as he hinself cautioned from the beginning, merely whole files are linked, not at all any blocked (or highlighted) part (not necessarily text) of a readable file (let’s say, of a EPUB file). I am sorry to say, I continue to be frustrated by the lack of really deep linking in EPUB books.

My question now is, if you (or anybody else here) knows of any other books readers/editors to which I could eventually migrate my already existing books in Calibre, and which would allow for really deep lilnking.
A good (or inimate) connection of my future books reader with Bookends would be a definite bonus.
As I use in Calibre tagging really extensively, such a feature would be also welcome.
Thank you.

Thanks for reviving this topic, @adrian . I’ve renamed it to “Does the Calibre ebook app have automation for linking e-books (deep or whole)?” This would provide a context for us to get to the point of supporting the Caliber ebook reader app in the first place (first to files, then deeply).

To generalize it to deep linking any type of ebook apps, I would suggest we start a new topic.

FYI, Historically, and to this date, one of the major uses cases for which Hook was /is designed was/is to enable taking linked notes (in the app of one’s choice) about information one delves (in the app of one’s choice). I referred to such notes as “meta-docs” in my first CP book (Cognitive Productivity: Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective.) That is to say that Hook originally comes out of an educational psychology research programme (but is also more general than that). I wanted a tool that would allow me (and others!) to take use my (one’s) favorite information processing apps and one’s favorite note-taking apps, without having to reinvent the wheel or design a 'jack of all trades, master of none) app. In prior R&D projects we had co-designed and implemented apps of the latter sort.

Calibre 5.9 just released has this in the release notes:

Annotations: Allow exporting highlights and bookmarks in Markdown format, with a link to open the book at the highlight location

I’ve tried this very quickly. Exporting a highlight in MD creates something of this form:

18/01/2021 09:00

I copied the calibre:// . . . URL and pasted it into Hook to link it to something, which worked. I guess a script can extract that and do something with it without me pasting the Calibre-generated markdown and then copying the URL.

This was for an ePub, by the way, and I tried it with a mobi too, so this means that deep linking into all ebook formats has become possible.

Shame the Calibre UI is so awful.

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Wow… I didn’t know this was possible until I actually went in and tried it. You can even get the Url for the current page in view mode. Now I’m wondering if there’s a way to get a highlight’s url without having to export.

Strange that it even took this long for what seems like such an obvious feature to come out

It’s a big steep forward. Shame it’s a rather clunky process, but much better than no process!

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And for the time being @Patrik made a script that works:


In the current version of Calibre you can export hightlights (with your notes) with deep links in markdown:

To add hightlights into a book:

  1. Open the book in Calibre by double clicking it.
  2. Add a hightlight: Select text with mouse. Click the “Add a hightlight” icon in the popup window.
  3. Add your notes to this highlight if you like. Click “Create”

To export hightlights:

  1. In Calibre’s main window right-click on a book and choose “View” → “Browse Annotations”. This will show you all annotations in all your books. But you can choose “Show results from only the selected book” to show the annotations only from the book you right-clicked on. You can also add and edit your notes in this Annotation browser.
  2. Select the annotations you want to export.
  3. Click “Export all selected” button
  4. Select export format. With markdown you get deep links!
  5. Save to a file or Copy to clipboard. You can paste the clipboard to a note-taking app that supports markdown (e.g. Obsidian), and have your your annotations, notes and deep links to the book easily available.