User Guides

NEW! Online Reader Guide

How to download Adobe Digital Editions

Downloading Dawsonera eBooks

Reader Portal User Guide

Admin Portal User Guide


Managed User Access Overview

Downloading eBooks to an Android device

Downloading eBooks to iOS

Compatibility Statement

Our website is compatible with all currently supported browser versions from Microsoft, Google, Apple and Firefox on supported versions of Windows, OSX, iOS and Android.  For older and less popular browsers functionality degrades gracefully, so whereas we may support drag and drop in the latest version of a browser this may degrade into another simpler way to achieve the same outcome in an old browser.

For users who want the best accessibility version for use with screen readers and similar technologies we target a smaller subset because this is where these features are evolving the faster:

Our website is WCAG AA+ compatible with latest and previous version of browsers from Microsoft, Google and  Apple on latest versions and previous version of Windows, OSX, iOS and Android.

For downloaded content opened in Adobe Digital editions, please see a full list of supported devices here:

Tutorial Videos

2.   How do I create an Adobe ID for Adobe Digital Editions/BlueFire?  

      How do I copy from an eBook?

3.    How do I preview an eBook?

4.    How do I request a rental?

5.    How do I suggest a title for purchase?

6.    How do I print from an eBook?

7.    How do I use citation managers?

8.    What is My Bookshelf?


     Technical FAQs


Adobe Digital Editions

1. Browser Issues
Internet Explorer
Macs and Firefox

2.    Read Online Issues
PDFs opening a separate window
Blank reading pane
Search results not highlighted
Read aloud

3.    Download Issues
You must be connected to the network
Password required 
"Failed to load PDF document" error      

4.    iPhones/iPads

Adobe Digital Editions

To access a downloaded title without an Adobe ID, please tick “I want to authorise my computer without an ID,” in the bottom left-hand corner of Adobe Digital Editions, when you are prompted to authorise your computer.

To register for a free Adobe ID, please click here.  


1.    Browser Issues

Internet Explorer

If you receive the error “Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to shutdown” whilst reading a book online, check to see if you have the quickfind browser helper object installed. In order to use dawsonera, you will need to disable this helper. 


If you receive a "failed to load PDF document error" when attempting to open a download within Chrome, please ensure that the Chrome PDF Viewer is disabled. Please type in chrome://plugins in the address bar and click "disable"  Chrome PDF Viewer.


In order to view dawsonera titles on a Mac, you need to make sure that the PDF viewer is set to Adobe. It is normally set to Preview by default. In order to make Adobe Reader the default PDF viewer, please follow the steps below.


Mac and Firefox

If you find that PDFs are opening externally, again, please make sure that Adobe is the default PDF viewer. Please see the below sites for further information on using Macs and Firefox






2.    Read Online Issues

PDFs Opening in a Separate Window

If you find whilst reading a title online that each page opens up outside the browser, please open Adobe and go to Edit>Preferences>Internet and make sure the option ‘display PDF browser’ is enabled.

If the PDFs still open externally, it would suggest a problem with the settings on the PC. There are several Adobe help pages regarding this





Blank Reading Pane

There is a bug within Adobe X which doesn’t allow users to read embedded PDFs whilst using Internet Explorer 8. The current solutions for this are to downgrade to Adobe 9 or switch to a different browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome.


**Adobe released a patch for this in February 2011 so users still experiencing this problem should upgrade to the latest version of Adobe.


Read Aloud

If you are having problems activating the read out loud feature online, please download the title and it should work as normal.

To change the read out loud preferences (voice, pitch, volume etc.) open Adobe and go to Edit>Preferences>Reading>Read Out Loud Options.


3.    Download Issues

You Must be Connected to the Network

Titles on dawsonera are protected by Digital Rights Management. Part of this protection requires Adobe Reader to verify the licence from https// so you need to allow this outbound traffic.

Password Required

If you are being asked for a password when you go to open a downloaded eBook, this is likely to be because you are using Ubuntu. You need to change Adobe to be your default PDF viewer.

"Failed to load PDF document"

Pressing ctrl+J should bring up a list of your downloads, select "show in folder" and then click to open your recently downloaded dawsonera eBook.
Users should also check the Adobe Reader plugin is enabled as described here -  

4.    iPhones/iPads & Android

 eBooks can be read online using iPhones and iPads by accessing as normal via Safari. Please follow the step-by-step instructions in the guides at the top of the page for downloading to iOS and Android.

Please note, there is currently an issue downloading eBooks to iOS devices.This is an issue with the iOS software - Apple are being chased regularly  for updates on an ETA for a fix. Follow us on Twitter @dawsonera for updates on this. The problem will resolve itself when we move to Adobe Content Server on the 31st October 2017.