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How to read Open EPUB or Open PDF ebooks on a computer

Once you borrow and download an Open EPUB or Open PDF ebook on your computer, you can use the steps below to open it.

Note:¬†We recommend using free Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software, but it’s not required. To learn more about the different reading options for ebooks, see¬†this help article.

  1. Open Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your Windows or Mac computer.
  2. Go to File > Add to Library.
  3. Find the saved EPUB or PDF file on your computer. By default, files are saved to your computer’s “Downloads” folder.
  4. Double-click an ebook to start reading, or follow these steps to transfer it to an ereader.
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How to transfer library ebooks to an ereader using Adobe Digital Editions

You can transfer downloaded ebooks to a compatible ereader using Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software on your Windows or Mac computer.

Device notes:

  • The NOOK¬†GlowLight¬†Plus doesn’t use ADE to transfer ebooks and won’t appear under “Devices.” Instead,¬†use these steps to transfer ebooks to your¬†NOOK GlowLight¬†Plus.
  • Newer Kobo ereaders (Kobo Forma, Aura ONE, Aura H2O Edition 2, Aura Edition 2, and Clara HD) have OverDrive built into the device, so you can borrow and download ebooks directly from the Kobo catalog.

How to transfer using ADE

  1. Connect your ereader to your computer.
  2. Install and authorize Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your computer.
  3. Download an EPUB or PDF ebook¬†to ADE from your library’s digital collection. Downloaded ebooks should open automatically in ADE.
  4. In ADE, make sure you’re in “Library” view (click the¬†Library¬†button in the top-left corner, if needed).
    Your ereader should show up under “Devices.” You may need to accept a file-transfer prompt on your ereader in order for it to appear in ADE.
    Note:¬†If you don’t see your device,¬†you can try these steps. If those don’t work, you may need to install some additional software. Please check your ereader’s documentation for more information.
  5. Click and drag an ebook over to your device.
    Note: During the transfer process, your ereader will be automatically authorized with the same Adobe ID or OverDrive account you used on your computer.

Once the transfer is complete, you can disconnect your device and start reading.

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If Adobe Digital Editions isn’t working properly

There are a few ways you can try to fix issues with downloading or transferring ebooks using Adobe Digital Editions (ADE):

  • Update to the most recent version of ADE, then try downloading or transferring the ebook again.
  • If that doesn’t work, try uninstalling your version of ADE and installing an older version, like¬†ADE 3.0 or 2.0.1, which are available from Adobe’s website. Then, try downloading or transferring the ebook again.
    Note: If you use an older version of ADE, you might not be able to take advantage of any new features and security updates available in the most up-to-date version.
  • You may also need to¬†reauthorize your computer¬†if you install an older version of ADE.

If you tried these steps but keep having issues, we unfortunately can’t provide more help. Adobe provides support through community forums and online articles, but doesn’t directly offer assistance for issues with ADE.

However, you can still enjoy free ebooks from your library’s digital collection with the options below.

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What to do if your ereader is not detected by Adobe Digital Editions

When you¬†transfer titles to an ereader¬†(like a NOOK or Kobo), make sure it’s connected to your computer before you open Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). When an ereader is recognized by ADE, you’ll see it in ADE under “Devices.”

If your ereader isn’t recognized by ADE, these tips may help solve the problem.

  • Update to the¬†most recent version of ADE.
  • Check for a file-transfer prompt on your ereader’s screen. You may need to accept for it to appear in ADE.
  • Check whether your ereader appears under “[My] Computer” or “This PC” (Windows) or “My Desktop” (Mac). If it doesn’t, you may need to reinstall the drivers on your computer, or contact your device’s manufacturer.
  • Try closing ADE and disconnecting your ereader. Then, reconnect your ereader to a different USB port and wait a few moments to see if it appears.
  • If you continue to have problems with ADE,¬†see this article for more troubleshooting options.

If these steps don’t correct the issue, please try a factory reset of your device. You can typically find those instructions on the manufacturer’s help website.

Important notes:

  • The NOOK¬†GlowLight¬†Plus doesn’t use ADE to transfer ebooks and won’t appear under “Devices.” Instead,¬†use these steps to transfer ebooks to your¬†NOOK GlowLight¬†Plus.
  • Some models of the Sony Reader (like the Reader Wi-Fi) don’t use ADE to transfer ebooks, and won’t appear under “Devices.” Instead, use Sony Reader software to transfer ebooks to your Sony Reader.
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What are the different reading options for ebooks?

Here are the different reading options that may be available when you borrow an ebook:

OVERDRIVE READ

EPUB

  • You can download EPUB ebooks using¬†Adobe Digital Editions¬†(ADE) on a computer or¬†the OverDrive app¬†(for¬†Android,¬†Chromebook,¬†iOS, or¬†Windows 8 and up).
  • There are two types of EPUB ebooks: Adobe and Open EPUB.
    • Adobe EPUB
    • Open EPUB
      • Open EPUB ebooks aren’t protected by Adobe’s DRM system. This means you don’t need to authorize your computer or device before reading them.
      • Open EPUBs can be downloaded to any reading app (like iBooks or Play Books) in addition to the OverDrive app or Adobe Digital Editions.
  • EPUB ebooks automatically adjust to fit your screen. You can change display options like the font size, number of columns, and more.

PDF

  • You can download PDF titles using¬†Adobe Digital Editions. Unlike EPUBs, PDFs aren’t compatible with the OverDrive app.
  • There are two types of PDF ebooks: Adobe and Open PDF.
    • Adobe PDF
      • Adobe PDFs are protected by Adobe’s DRM system. You’ll need to authorize your computer before reading them. Learn more about¬†authorizing your computer.
    • Open PDF
      • Open PDFs aren’t protected by Adobe’s DRM system. This means you don’t need to authorize your computer before reading them.
      • Open PDFs can be opened in your device’s web browser (like Chrome or Safari) or in a PDF-compatible reading app (not the OverDrive app).
  • PDFs have a fixed layout, so they don’t automatically adjust to fit your screen, and you can’t change display options like font size. However, you can zoom in on pages or graphics.
  • PDFs are often used for graphic novels, illustrated ebooks, textbooks, and other titles with specific layouts.

KINDLE BOOKS

  • You can read Kindle Books on any Kindle device or Kindle reading app.
  • Kindle Books are only available to borrow from U.S. libraries and schools.
  • They work just like any other Kindle Book from Amazon, but they expire at the end of your lending period like any library ebook.

MEDIADO READER

  • Read in your browser. No software or downloads are required to read MediaDo Reader ebooks.
  • MediaDo Reader is designed to display graphic novels and content that reads right-to-left or top-to-bottom.
  • Reading progress and bookmarks are saved in your current browser.
  • These ebooks have a static layout with set page breaks, so you can zoom in and out of pages or graphics.