What is an FB2 File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert FB2 Files

Illustration of an open book and bookmark

A file with the FB2 file extension is a FictionBook eBook file. The format was built to cater to fictional writings, but can of course be used to hold any type of eBook.

FB2 files are DRM-free and can contain footnotes, images, text formatting, Unicode, and tables, all of which may or may not be supported in different FB2 readers. Any images used in the eBook, like PNGs or JPGs, are converted to Base64 (binary) and stored within the file itself.

Unlike other eBook files like EPUB, the FB2 format is just a single XML file.

Note: Some FB2 files are held in a ZIP file and are therefore called *.FB2.ZIP.

How To Open an FB2 File

FB2 files can be opened on a computer with many different programs, including Calibre, Cool Reader, FBReader, STDU Viewer, Athenaeium, Haali Reader, Icecream Ebook Reader, OpenOffice Writer (with the Ooo FBTools plug-in), and probably some other document and eBook readers.

Some web browsers support add-ons that enable the viewing of FB2 files too, like this one for Firefox and this one for Chrome, both of which are called FB2 Reader.

Since many FB2 files are contained within a ZIP archive, most FB2 readers accommodate this by reading the *.FB2.ZIP file directly without having to extract the .FB2 file first. If not, you may need to use a free file extractor to get the FB2 file out of the ZIP archive.

Most popular e-readers, like Amazon's Kindle and B&N's Nook, don't currently support FB2 files natively, but you can always convert your FB2 eBook into one of the many formats supported by your eBook device.

See How To Convert an FB2 File below for more on that.

The PocketBook is an example of an eBook device that does support the FB2 eBook format.

If you read a lot of e-books on your computer, you probably have at least one of the already mentioned programs installed. If that's the case, and you double-click on an FB2 file but it opens in program that you'd rather not it open in by default, please know that you can change this.

See my How to Change File Associations in Windows for a completely tutorial. It's very easy to do.

Note: If you can't open your file in the programs I mentioned above, double-check that you're reading the file extension correctly. You might be confusing other formats with FB2, like FBC, FBX (Autodesk FBX Interchange), FBR, FB! (FlashGet Incomplete Download), or FBW (HP Recovery Manager Backup).

How To Convert an FB2 File

Converting an FB2 file can be accomplished with a free file converter like the online converter Zamzar. This website can convert FB2 to PDF, EPUB, MOBI, LRF, AZW3, PDB, PML, PRC, and other similar eBook and document formats.

Another option for converting your FB2 file is to use one of the FB2 viewers I've already mentioned, like Calibre. In Calibre, you can use the Convert books button to choose between many different eBook formats to save the FB2 file to.

In other programs, check for Convert or Save As or Export options and then choose from the list of formats you're given as options. Every program does this a little differently, I'm sure you'll find it if you dig around a bit.

More Help With FB2 Files

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more.

Let me know what programs you've already tried to open the FB2 file in, assuming that's the problem. If you're trying to convert one, or get one to work with your e-reader device, let me know what tools or hardware you're using.