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Reading e-books

The library provides e-books on a wide variety of different platforms and from a wide variety of suppliers.  Although each e-book platform will look slightly different, the functionality on offer is largely the same.

The following pages will take you through some of the basic functionality, e.g. copying/printing, downloading etc available on some of our most well-used e-book platforms: specific download information is available for PC, iOS and Android devices.

For more detailed advice on highlighting, annotating, sharing notes, etc. please refer to the help pages of the specific e-book platform:

For detailed advice as to functionality on the other e-book platforms that the library provides access to, please see the online help pages of these e-book platforms.

This guide provides information as to some of the advantages and some of the issues associated with e-book usage. The guide outlines some of the restrictions that are related to e-book usage, due to the institution-wide e-book licences that the Library has to buy. These licences vary from supplier to supplier and restrict how many users can read an e-book at any one time, the number of times a book can be used each year, what proportion of the text can be printed/saved, the period of time that users can access content that they download etc.

Ebook Central patron interface usability enhancements

Designed to increase usability and ensure students and researchers can discover the exact content that is important to their research or classwork (at both the chapter and subchapter level) then access it online or download it for later use.

Patrons can now download part of a book or a subsection of a book directly from the table of contents with helpful support pop-up boxes to help maximise download and print options.

Link to PDF with full details.

You can read e-books on any mobile device that has WiFi. However, the reading experience on mobile devices varies from platform to platform.

Please remember that you can also get help from the Library by contacting the Electronic Resources Helpdesk  or +44 (0)161 275 7388.

Software requirements

Software required when using e-books

To read e-books online you just need a web-browser. However, to download e-books, specific software is required.

If you are using a computer in one of the computer clusters, please do not download e-books. You should download your e-book to your own computer/device.

Please ensure to have the latest version of the required software.

The most common software required is:

Please note that ADE, VLeBooks app, EBSCO eBooks app etc. are not available on student desktops. ADE is available only on postgraduate students and staff desktop pcs via Software Centre. This software should be downloaded to your device, as instructed by the e-book suppliers. We therefore advise that you download any e-books to your own device.

The e-platform provider will provide links to download this software, which is freely available. You will need an Adobe ID to activate Adobe Digital Editions on your device. Again, this is freely available and the e-platform provider will prompt you to enter your ID/register for ID when you first download an item using this software.

Other common software required

VLeBooks app 

You can use either this app to download from the VLe platform.

The app is freely available on the App store for iOS devices. If you install the VLeBooks app, you will need an Adobe ID to authorise the VLeBooks app on your device.

Minimum browser requirements

Minimum browser requirements for e-book platforms

ProQuest Ebook Central

  • Internet Explorer 9 and later versions
  • Latest Firefox release and previous major version
  • Latest Google Chrome release and previous major version
  • Safari 5 and later versions


JSTOR works best with Safari, Firefox and Chrome. Although Internet Explorer is supported, 'Microsoft won't be creating any new versions of Internet Explorer so the quality of your experience will only get worse’. 

More information about which browser to use for JSTOR and how to identify/update browsers is available here


Internet Explorer versions 9.0 and older are not compatible with the technology used to support vertical scroll.

To be able to vertically scroll EBSCOhost e-books we recommend these browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or IE 10.0 or later. For users with Internet Explorer versions 9.0 or older, please see the Adobe Acrobat Reader Browser Requirements and settings for all supported browsers, available here.

For general browser requirements for the EBSCO host interface, click here.

Internet Explorer versions 8.0 and older are not compatible with e-books in EPUB format.

To view an EPUB format eBook, EBSCO recommended these browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer 10 or later.

Clearing your cookies and cache

Clearing your cookies and cache

If you are experiencing problems on an e-book platform we advise that you clear your cookies / cache.

How to clear your cookies and cache depends on the Browser you use.

Please refer to the help pages of the specific Browser:

Individual sites, such as JSTOR, also offer guidance as to clearing cookies.