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Ebooks: Downloading e-books

Downloading e-books

Unprotected PDF material

  • Some of the e-book service providers distribute their material as unprotected PDF files, meaning that only Adobe Reader is required for reading the files. They can also be read for an unlimited time.

DRM-protected material

  • The e-books that have restrictions on use can in general be checked out for 1-3 days for reading without being connected to the internet. A book can be checked in before the checkout period ends, but it will automatically become inaccessible when the checkout period is exceeded. If you wish to continue reading the book you must check it out again.
  • For reading DRM-protected material customers need an application that must be authorized with an Adobe ID. The application also enables transferring the protected material to a reading device.
  • Adobe ID is a personal user account. It can be used to authorize the software on six devices at a time, which can be used to manage DRM-protected material. Adobe ID authorization can be removed from a device when it is no longer needed.
  • For example using the EBSCOhost e-book collection requires that the following programs are installed:
    • Adobe Digital Editions (Windows, Mac)
    • Bluefire Reader (iOS, Android, e.g. iPad, Samsung Galaxy devices)
    • Overdrive (Windows Phone)

An example of how to download a DRM-protected book to your own device:

  1. You need an Adobe ID to download Adobe DRM-protected material to your own device. If you do not have a personal Adobe account, you can create one free of charge at
  2. Download and install a reader application to your device, for example Adobe Digital Editions (Windows, Mac)
    or Bluefire Reader (iOs, Android). You can find the applications in the online application store for your device, for example Google Play or App Store.
  3. Authorize the device for your own use by opening the reader application and logging in with your Adobe ID.
  4. Look up a book for example in Oula, open it through the link in the e-book service and save the file to your device (download -> save as). You can also open the book directly with the reader application (open with). Some e-book service providers require that you create a user account, for example an EBSCOhost ID, before you can download files from their collections. In this case follow the instructions on the website, create an account and log in.
  5. Open the reader application and add the file to your e-library (add to library)
    open the file with the reader application (open with).
  6. If the book does not appear in the library, close the application and reopen it.
  7. If the book has restrictions on use, the application shows the remaining reading time in the book's icon. The book will automatically become inaccessible when the checkout period ends.
  8. You can transfer the book to your reading device in Adobe Digital Editions by dragging and dropping the book icon onto the reading device icon in the sidebar.


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Reader devices and applications

Adobe ID

  • Adobe ID is needed for using DRM-protected material
  • You get an Adobe ID by creating a personal Adobe account
  • Adobe ID allows you to authorize an application that enables managing DRM-protected material on six devices at a time. Adobe ID authorization can be removed from a device when it is no longer needed.
  • Adobe ID, sign in, and account help

Adobe Reader for Mobile Devices

  • Adobe Reader can be used to open and manage PDF files

Adobe Digital Editions

  • application for reading and managing e-books and other digital publications
  • enables the transfer of DRM-protected e-books from one device to another
  • supports several e-book formats, e.g. PDF/A and EPUB

Devices supported by Adobe Digital Editions


Bluefire Reader is a reader application for example for reading e-books.
It is available for iOS, Android and Windows devices.

Bluefire Readerin kotisivut

Bluefire Reader in Google Play

Bluefire Reader in App Store (iTunes)


Overdrive is suited for example for reading e-books.
It is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows.

Overdrive for Windows

Overdrive for Windows Phone

Overdrive for iOS

Overdrive for Android



iPublishCentral Reader

E-books can be read with computers, different kinds of mobile devices and dedicated e-book reader devices.

There are many reader device manufacturers. Here are a few examples:


Reader devices supported by Adobe Digital Editions

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