Microsoft Reader Marks New Era For eBook Tools and Creation Technologies

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 25, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the release of two new tools focused on eBooks. The Dictionary Authoring Kit (DAK) 1.0 enables publishers and enthusiasts to quickly and easily produce Microsoft® Reader-compatible dictionaries or reference guides in multiple languages. An updated creation tool for consumers, called Read in Microsoft Reader (RMR) 1.1, lets Microsoft Word 2000 and Word 2002 users easily create and publish their own Microsoft Reader eBook content. The update includes some key new features to make it easier to produce a higher-quality eBook. These new tools represent significant strides in enabling the creation of great content in Microsoft Reader format. The announcement was made at Seybold San Francisco 2001.

The Dictionary Authoring Kit 1.0: Dictionaries Get Digital Makeover as Enhancements for Microsoft Reader eBooks

A Microsoft Reader dictionary is a specialized eBook that allows users to look up word meanings through the built-in Lookup functionality. Now users can download more than one dictionary and simply select between them at Lookup time.

DAK 1.0 will give users a rich choice when they look up a word. It will be like having a stack of reference guides only a mouse click away.

“Publishers are excited about this new convenience for creating reference materials, but people who read eBooks are really the winners here,”
said Dick Brass, vice president of Technology Development at Microsoft.
“The possibilities are limitless, from travel guide references to wine and cooking references to character guides. A student studying literature, for example, might be able to toggle from a modern dictionary to an Old English dictionary, a thesaurus and a guide to Latin phrases. It’s a powerful new option that will make eBooks more attractive.”

The Dictionary Authoring Kit is a collection of tools, data files, documentation, the build engine, and sample files and projects used by publishers to create dictionaries. DAK 1.0 supports one-way dictionaries (such as English to English or German to English dictionaries) for English (U.S.), German, Spanish, French and Italian languages.

Read in Microsoft Reader 1.1 Tool for eBook Creation

The RMR 1.1 tool includes a new Convert to Microsoft Reader Formatting feature that automatically removes formatting in Word (such as some font sizes and line heights) that conflicts with Microsoft Reader. The update also includes an easy, new way to publish custom cover graphics for eBooks, giving them a more finished, professional look. Similarly, improved graphics support allows any image included in a Word document to be transferred to the eBook. The RMR add-in will even generate a table of contents in an eBook from a table of contents in a Word document.

“This add-in is about simplicity: making it as easy as possible for anyone to create fun, interesting eBooks,”
Brass said.
“If you can create a Word document, you can create an eBook.”

Installing the tool automatically adds a new Read button to the toolbar of the user’s Microsoft Word program. Clicking on the button will create an eBook file (.LIT) that can be sent directly to Microsoft Reader’s built-in library. Simple eBook creation from the familiar Word format is intriguing to consumers, especially for longer documents.

Microsoft Reader was designed from the ground up for extended reading, offering a familiar book-like user interface and ClearType® display technology.


Both tools are scheduled to be available at the time of the release of Microsoft Reader 2.0 in early October.

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