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Adobe Digital Editions provides a better overview of digital media in the eBook Reader.


The free tool Adobe Digital Editions is not only a reading aid in the form of an eBook Reader, but can also be used to manage files. Digital books, magazines, comics or newspapers can be borrowed or bought – or to be more precise, the usage rights can be acquired – and dragged directly into the program Adobe Digital Editions. Files can be managed in a separate library. On the virtual bookshelf, publications can be organized according to title, author, and publisher – which gives the user a perfect overview even when there is a large number of digital media. Also, Adobe Digital Editions notices what the user read last and moves to the place where the reader left off when it is opened again. The freeware can be downloaded directly from Adobe.

History of the digital book

As the predecessor to today’s eBook Reader, the Data Discman (1990/1991) was a flop on the Japanese and American markets. Only when it became possible to connect with online stores directly via WLAN did Amazon make a breakthrough with Kindle in 2007. Since then, more and more manufactures have become established that are not linked to Amazon and are based on EPUB or the PDF file format developed by Adobe. While Kindle users are accustomed to downloading their files only from Amazon in AZW format, the Adobe software is compatible with many readers such as those from Tolino, Shine, Sony, Kobo, and PocketBook. The program, available for Windows and Mac, allows both PDF and EPUB formats. The latest download version, as well as EPUB 3, allows scaling of images with no losses and displays multicolumn layouts. The user can have the book displayed in full screen mode, can find keywords in all chapters with a full text search, and can even add notes in the Mac version.

Image edited with Adobe Lightroom and free Lightroom Preset Cosmic Dancer

Most of the digital publications are DRM protected (digital rights management) to prevent the files from being forwarded. Readers can use the digital books and magazines on up to six computers and mobile end devices by authorizing them with their Adobe ID. However, Adobe Digital Editions must be installed on the reading device and authorized with the ID before the publications are downloaded, as an assignment cannot be made later. Although AZW files can be converted into PDF or EPUB format, this is only possible with files that do not have DRM protection. The frequently discussed cracking of DRM protection is not possible, at least legally. So when users buy an eBook reader, they commit themselves to an online library.

Image edited with Adobe Lightroom and our new Lightroom Preset Pack ALL IN ONE

Publishing your own works

For authors who do not want to take the difficult path via a publisher, an eBook is a pleasant alternative to a printed book. Diverse self-publishing portals such as Tolino Media keep only a small share of the profit when a digital book is sold, and no costs accrue to the author, neither for registration nor for adjustment. To get started, even Word documents can be uploaded. But if the layouts are more complex or if the work contains pictorial material, the file should first be converted into EPUB. Adobe users can do this, for example, by exporting a file in InDesign starting with the CS5.5 version. The software Calibre – an alternative to Adobe Digital Editions – also offers this option. The files uploaded in the self-publishing portal are subsequently offered by large booksellers such as Osiander, Thalia, Hugendubel, Bücher, and Weltbild. When a book is sold, the author receives up to 70% of the net sales price that he or she specified previously. For artists and photographers, this is surely a good way to publish their works in the form of illustrated books relatively simply and cost-neutrally. In connection with the latest version of Adobe Digital Editions, the photos are displayed in an improved quality. In addition, the DRF protection coupled with the Adobe ID provides a certain protection against unauthorized copying.

Date published Oct. 10, 2019


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