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eBooks from Boreham Library: Adobe Digital Editions

how to find, use and download eBooks from the Boreham Library

Why Use Adobe Digital Editions?

What is Adobe Digital Editions and Why Do I Need It?

Adobe Digital Editions is for Apple Macs and Windows computers and laptops.

Special Warning: at this time, our information is that Windows RT or Windows S may not run Adobe Digital Editions; however, regular Windows devices should be compatible.  

Special Warning: The Overdrive app offered through the public library is NOT compatible with UAFS ebooks but both public library and UAFS ebooks can be read using other programs such as Adobe Digital Editions and Bluefire.  You do not need to use the Overdrive app if you get ebooks from both places.

Special Warning: The Ebscohost ebook app may have problems with our system at this time.  We do NOT recommend using it right now, and don't know if it will allow you to read ebooks from anywhere else.

Downloadable ebooks come in different file formats. To read each format for a downloaded ebook, you will need software to read and manage your ebooks.

If you want to read on your own computer (desktop or laptop), you need this.  If you want to read on a tablet or phone (Android, iOS), then you don't -- you only need an Adobe ID and an ereader app (we recommend Bluefire, but you can use others).  Go to the Apple iOS or Android tab.

Some of the Library's eBooks come in .epub or protected .pdf format and can be downloaded and read on Macs or Windows by Adobe Digital Editions, which is free. (You will need something else for tablets or phones, however.)
While this is an Adobe product, these protected ebooks can not be read by Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat -- you must have Adobe Digital Editions or a compatible product that reads Adobe DRM-protected files.  



Very Important Tip #1

You do not need Adobe Digital Editions on a library or other campus computer.  Just read the eBook from the screen.

If you want to download in order to transfer the eBook to another device (such as a flash/thumb drive) or to read on your own computer, then you need Adobe Digital Editions on your own computer.  That will let you transfer the eBook to another device (such as a tablet/pad/phone/ereader) using Adobe Digital Editions.

Adobe Digital Editions is only for use on your own computer (Windows or Apple Mac OS)

Very Important Tip #2

If you want to use Adobe Digital Editions on your own computer/laptop for the first time:

  1. First, obtain an Adobe ID.  Click on "Don't have an Adobe ID?" and set it up.  Don't worry, it's free.  Be sure to save this email and password! This works on any device you have that can read ebooks.
  2. Download and install the free Adobe Digital Editions on your own computer/tablet/phone.
  3. Set your Adobe ID in Adobe Digital Editions before you download your first ebook to your own computer/laptop/phone. It should make it much easier to get started!  

You only need to do this the FIRST TIME you use this computer/tablet/phone.

Very Important Tip #3

Adobe Digital Editions also works for ebooks from other sources, including Google Books, the Fort Smith Public Library (if you have a valid card there), and many free and pay sources that use the .epub or "Adobe DRM" or "Adobe epub" format. Adobe Digital Editions can also be used with ebooks in .pdf format, including some free eBooks. 

However, Adobe Digital Editions cannot read eBooks in Kindle format (Amazon prefers you to use the Kindle software or device for those).


How to use Adobe Digital Editions

How Do I Get Adobe Digital Editions?

These instructions are for Windows and Mac OS computers.  For Linux, other instructions apply.

Bear in mind: the exact instructions on the Adobe page may change at any time -- read those instructions and don't depend on matching these exactly.

  1. First, obtain an Adobe ID. Be sure to remember the information!
  2. Go to the Adobe Digital Editions page.  (Please do not do this on a library computer -- you can't install it unless it is your own computer.)
  3. Find the version for your Mac or Windows computer/laptop and click on it.
  4. Install the software.
ADE download

        5.  Open the Adobe Digital Editions and click on Help.ADE authorization

        6.  Click on Authorize Computer.

        7.  Enter the Adobe ID information.  You will only need to do  this once for this computer/laptop.


Once Adobe Digital Editions is installed, it assumes that any Adobe Digital Editions file is something you may want to read, and your computer will usually offer to open the ebook with Adobe Digital Editions.

If not, right-click on the ebook file and select Open With. Adobe Digital Editions should be one of the choices, so select that.



How Do I Download Ebooks?

Remember: we have more than one vendor for ebooks, and our vendors are still upgrading their eBooks service, so some of the steps and wording may vary from these instructions.  You should be able to follow any new directions easily; if not, please contact the Library.

In the Boreham Library catalog, you can find ebooks.  There will be a link in the record to click on to go to the database for that specific ebook.

However, some eBooks may offer you different options once you are on their web page, even if you didn't see that in the catalog.  If you can download the ebook, that will be one of the options.

The first link (Accessible online) is to the eBook page.

This is just one example of what you might see when you click on the link to the ebook:

1. Click on Download this eBook in the left column. Download this eBook
2. A popup may appear.  Click on Sign In Now. popup

4. If you don't yet have a EBSCOhost login, Create a new account by filling out the free form.  You only need to do this once, normally. This will NOT send advertising spam; it is a safe registration.

If you already have a login, use that.

5. Once you are logged in, it should go back to the ebook you wanted.

Click on Checkout & Download.

Download this eBook

6. You may need to check your browser before downloading the first time!

Internet Explorer should offer an option to Open or Save in a popup window.  If you need to save to a flash/thumb drive, change the Save to that location.

Firefox may need to be set if it doesn't offer this option by itself:

  • Click on Tools.
  • Click on Options.
  • Click on the General or Main tab.
  • Check Downloads.
  • If it is selected to Save files to then change to Always ask me where to save files.
  • Click OK.

7. If this is your own computer (otherwise go to step 8):

Select to open with Adobe Digital Editions and it should open up automatically.

(Skip to Step 9)


open with ade

8. If you plan to transfer this from a Library computer to your own computer:

In the popup window, select Save File and select where you want to put the ebook file.
If you want to save the ebook file to a flash drive or other device, change to that location to save it there.

Save file

9. If this is your own computer:

Allow Adobe Digital Editions to open the file, and it should remember where you have it saved.
If not, navigate to the file (usually ending in .acsm) and right-click on it, and select Open With.
Adobe Digital Editions should be one of the choices, so select that.

open with

How Can I Read My Ebooks?

Adobe Digital Editions can change the way you view your ebooks to your taste.

To enlarge the view to make reading easier:


  1. Open the ebook.
  2. At the top bar, click on the Reading to get a drop-down menu.
  3. Select Full Screen to enlarge the page.

How Can I List My Ebooks and When They Expire?

There are two main ways to show all your ebooks in Adobe Digital Editions.

List View

      1. At the top, click on the Library icon to open your ebooks library.
      2. On the Library drop-down menu, click on List View
      3. If you prefer, you can click and drag the Status column over so you can see how long you have left to read each title, as shown here (normally Status is further to the right).

Thumbnail View

      1. At the top, click on the Library icon to open your ebooks library.
      2. On the Library drop-down menu, click on Thumbnail View

How Can I Create and Use Bookmarks?

In Adobe Digital Editions, you can create as many bookmarks and name each one as you need.

To create a bookmark:


  1. With the ebook open, go directly above the ebook page and click on the Create Bookmark icon.
  2. Name the bookmark (when you stopped reading, or the information on the page you want to remember, etc.).


To use your bookmarks:


  1. In the upper left, click on the page with the pink bookmark stripe.
  2. Click on the bookmark you want to go to.

For more help in customizing and using Adobe Digital Editions, just press F1 when you are in it, or select help from the drop-down menus.


B & N Nook Tips

If Adobe Digital Editions does not see your Nook when you connect the cable (give it a moment), even after reloading the Adobe Digital Editions:

  1. Delete the Adobe folders on your Nook (1 or 2).  These should be under your personal files.

  2. Then connect the Nook again to your PC running ADE.

  3. ADE should ask you to authorize your Nook; use your Adobe ID login.

Help is Available

A quick guide to downloading Adobe Digital Edition eBooks.

Download Adobe Digital Editions software.

Supported eBook reader devices for Adobe Digital Editions.


Library Contact Information

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

Boreham Library

813 North Waldron

Fort Smith, AR  72904




The Boreham Library recommends Adobe Digital Editions because the current standard is to use an Adoble I.D. to enable readers, and ADE is available for both iOS and Windows systems.

Bluefire is recommended because it uses the Adobe I.D. standard, and is functional for iOS and Android.

It is not practical to try to test and teach every possible device and reader app on every operating system, so these apps are a compromise. No reimbursement has been offered or provided.

Technical Services Librarian

Dennis Van Arsdale's picture
Dennis Van Arsdale
Boreham Library 136, 813 N. Waldron, Fort Smith AR 72903