What do your books work on?

The eBook versions are tested and known to work on:

  • Linux, Macintosh, and Windows computers using free Acrobat Reader
  • Apple iPads (best current results with free Adobe Acrobat Reader app on iOS 7.x through 8.1; note that if you aren’t using iOS 8.x or later, Apple had a bug in their PDF implementation that will force you to use Adobe’s reader instead of any other reader choice, including Apple’s own iBooks; this was eventually fixed, and iOS devices running 9.x or later can load the file into iBooks for reading)
  • Android tablets with PDF readers
  • All current Kindle models

Due to the proliferation of devices, I can't test and guarantee compatibility on other devices, however there's no reason why they shouldn't work on other devices that have PDF readers, even smartphones with PDF readers. However, smartphones are one category I'd discourage: while the PDFs look fine at tablet size, the small screens of most phones will have you squinting and scrolling a lot. Still, if your phone has a PDF reader on it, the files should work. (Hint: with many small devices, reading in landscape mode works better than portrait mode.)

Here are some more specific instructions for iPad and Kindle users:

iPad (iOS) Users

The simplest way:

  1. Complete purchase in your browser on iPad.
  2. Tap on the download link you receive.
  3. PDF (eventually) opens on iPad.
  4. Tap somewhere on the page.
  5. A toolbar opens at the top of the page with "Open in iBooks" as one of the buttons. Tap this button.
  6. The book PDF is saved in the iBooks library on the iPad and can later be opened in iBooks. If you didn’t perform Step 5, the iPad will “forget” the download.
  7. The book PDF file should be synced back to your computer next time you connect to iTunes, otherwise you have no backup should there be an issue with your iPad.

My recommended method for iOS users (requires a low-cost optional app on the iPad, called Goodreader):

  1. Complete purchase in your browser.
  2. Wait for the email to come with your download link.
  3. Download the file to your computer.
  4. Sync your iPad with your computer via iTunes.
  5. Once Step 4 finishes backing up your files but before disconnecting the iPad, select your iPad device and open the Apps tab for it in iTunes (Apps oval on top gray bar, though Apple keeps changing this ;~).
  6. In the File Sharing area towards the bottom of the page, select the Goodreader app.
  7. In the Goodreader Documents box that appears to the right of the File Sharing app list, click Add.
  8. Navigate to where you saved the file in Step 3, select the file, and click Open.
  9. Resync your device.

If instead you want to use the free iBooks app Apple provides:

  1. Download the file to your computer.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. Click on the iBooks item under Library (left panel).
  4. Drag the file you downloaded into the correct iTunes panel (where books actually appear).
  5. Sync your iPad.

Kindle Users

  1. Download the file to your computer.
  2. Connect your Kindle to your computer via the USB port.
  3. Use your computer's file system to find the Kindle; it'll show up like any other computer drive.
  4. Drag the file you downloaded into the Documents folder on the Kindle.
  5. Eject the Kindle from your computer as you would any other removable disk drive.

Note: Kindle users do not get all the interactive features in the native PDF viewer due to Amazon's incomplete PDF support. If you transfer your book file to the Kindle via Amazon's "convert" service (via your Kindle's email address), formatting and tables will also be destroyed. Amazon's PDF support has been lagging that of other devices.

If you own a Kindle Fire, there's a simple solution: get a third party PDF reader application from the Amazon app store, such as the free qPDF. qPDF does support all the internal links in the file correctly (there's also a for sale version that adds features such as annotation).

text and images © 2017 Thom Hogan
portions Copyright 1999-2016 Thom Hogan-- All Rights Reserved
Follow us on Twitter: @bythom, hashtags #bythom, #dslrbodies