Foliate is one of the best ebook readers for Linux and it’s just released a major update.

The app has been “rewritten from scratch with the latest platform libraries, GTK4 and Adwaita, with refreshed interface and improved performance,” says the developer.

As well as being ported to GTK4, Foliate 3.0 also now uses its own library for parsing and rendering ePubs, no longer relying on Epub.js or KindleUnpack. This has the benefit of “greatly reducing startup time and memory usage” since entire files are no longer loaded into memory, in full.

While the adage goes that one should never judge a book by its cover, with Foliate 3.0’s various visual enhancements (courtesy of libadwaita), its hard not to!

Foliate 3.0 uses single, unified window to display the library and the ebook viewer. This small sounding buff makes a big difference by making it easier to focus on reading content, not managing app windows, workspaces, and so on.

Paginated mode now displays more than 2 columns (window width dependant), and intros animations and 1:1 touchscreen and touchpad gestures. Additionally, a new ctrl + m keyboard shortcut makes switching between paginated and scrolled layouts easier.

Library loading is triggered on scroll rather than requiring a button click, the ‘add bookmark’ button moves to the header bar (and bookmarked pages show a ribbon indicator), while a new sidebar houses bookmarks, table of contents, annotations, and ‘find in page’ results (when triggered).

Like to copy text from eBooks to paste elsewhere? There are new options, including the ability to copy text with HTML formatting, “copy with citation” (adding author and book title to copied text), or, if copying from an ePub file, “copy identifier” to copy the CFI for pasting/sharing.

Other changes include adopting Speech Dispatcher for Foliate’s text-to-speech feature (bringing support for pausing, skipping, word highlighting, SSML, and speed and pitch controls); adding timestamps to annotations; the ability to print chapters and selections; and experimental support for PDF files.

Read through official changelog for more details on every dot, dash, and difference in this release.

That said, you may want to hold off upgrading. A few features, including OPDS and offline dictionaries, are yet to be ported to over so aren’t included in the v3.0.0 (though they’ll likely reappear in a future chapter. Support for CBR, CBT, and CB7 files has also been removed, though CBZ remains supported.

NVIDIA users should be prepared to encounter rendering issues when viewing ePub files, mainly in the form of ePubs pages are totally blank. This is down to a known bug in WebKit. A workaround mentioned on the Foliate GitHub is to run the app using WEBKIT_DISABLE_COMPOSITING_MODE=1.

You can get the latest stable release of Foliate on Flathub, or from the Snap Store (though at the time of writing v3.0 is only in the --edge channel).

Thanks Archisman P.

App Updates