User Guides

NEW! Online Reader Guide

Reader Portal User Guide

Admin Portal User Guide


Managed User Access Overview

Downloading eBooks to an Android device

Downloading eBooks to iOS

Tutorial Videos

1.    How can I download an eBook?

2.    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


Technical Requirements

Browser Issues
Internet Explorer
Macs and Firefox

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

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


Technical Requirements

Adobe Reader is required for downloading PDFs from dawsonera. Download it here Please note that this must be Adobe Reader and Acrobat may not work.
Adobe Digital Editions is required for downloads ePubs. Download it here  

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.

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






Ubuntu and Firefox

As with Macs the default PDF viewer is not Adobe Reader; it is an open source alternative that doesn’t support dawsonera’s embedded PDF functionality. To enable PDFs to be read inline you need to remove it and install Adobe's official PDF reader for Linux. This can be downloaded from


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.


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 -  

iPhones/iPads & Andoid


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.

An alternative method to downloading to iOS is listed below.

  1. Download the ‘Mercury Web Browser’ from the App Store and install.
  2. On the download popup window, hold and press on the ‘For iPhone and iPad users click here’ link.
  3. A popup menu will appear with choice of options, click on the Download Link button.
  4. The download of the eBook will then commence in the background.
  5. To view the downloaded file, click on the ‘three horizontal lines’ icon located on the bottom toolbar of the browser, which will then bring up a Menu.
  6. Then select the ‘Files’ option, which will open up a list of the downloaded files. Search for the eBook you have just downloaded and select it.
  7. Once selected the following screen will appear and you will need to select the icon – located in the top right hand corner.
  8. This will then open up a list of apps to open the file with. Locate the Adobe Reader App and select that. The eBook will then open and be able to be read in Adobe Reader.