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Downloading eBooks

This guide explains how to use and download eBooks

How to use an eBook

While you can preview and use an eBook for a brief period online, you will need to download Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) to your personal computer to checkout/download most eBooks to use offline on your computer or to transfer to an eReader.  It functions as a go-between to move downloaded eBooks from your computer to your device via a USB connection.  Adobe Digital Editions will sync to your eReader device when you plug it into a USB port.

At this time, eBooks from EBL, Ebrary, and EBSCO can't be downloaded/checked out from Purdue University public computers since the download must stay with the copy of Adobe Digital Editions it is downloaded to and is only transferrable to the devices synced to that copy's authorized Adobe ID. You can use the short-term preview on Purdue University workstations for browsing a title and cut/pasting/printing a limited amount of content.

Computer Downloads

If you are working on a public computer that is shared by others (e.g., in your library), you should read eBooks onlineOn your personal computer, all downloaded ebooks are read via Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), a separate application from Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader designed specifically for reading ebooks that have been secured with Adobe's digital rights management (DRM) software. In order to download and read EBL ebooks offline, you must first install ADE.

When you download an ebook, open the ebook from the browser download window. ADE will launch automatically, or you can start it manually and then drag your ebook onto the application icon. Or, choose File > Add to Library and browse for the file on your computer. When you use ADE for the first time, you will be prompted to authorize your computer by entering Adobe ID information. If you do not have an Adobe ID and password, you can create a free Adobe ID. Authorization is not necessary to read ebooks offline. However, if you wish to transfer ebooks between devices, you will need to authorize your computer and any other devices with an Adobe ID. For example, if you want to download an ebook to your computer and then copy it to your ADE compatible reading device, both devices must be authorized with the same Adobe IDAdobe Digital Editions FAQ provides additional information.


You can scroll or click to turn pages, or navigate using the Table of Contents. The Reading menu at the top provides additional viewing and navigation options. You can also search the text of the ebook, create bookmarks, highlight text and add notes. Printing and copying permissions may vary by provider, publisher and author.

Note: ADE is compatible with popular screen reading software, and integrates with operating system accessibility features, including support for high contrast modes and resizing of ebook text. Additional information about accessibility is available at

Downloads to a Mobile Device

To download an eBook to a mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone, Android tablet, or Android phone, download and install the Bluefire Reader app for Apple iOS or Android. When you use Bluefire Reader for the first time, you will be prompted to authorize your device with an Adobe ID. Authorization is required to read ebooks that have been secured with Adobe's digital rights management (DRM) software. If you do not have an Adobe ID and password, create a free Adobe ID. You will only need to enter it once.

Downloading will automatically save the ebook in your Bluefire Reader library, where it will be available for reading offline.The Bluefire Reader User Guide provides additional information.