Adobe updates free Acrobat eBook Reader to version 2.2
Includes a variety of enhancements, addresses security issue Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader

28 June 2001

Adobe Systems has released an updated version of its free Acrobat eBook Reader -- a separate product from its free Adobe Acrobat Reader -- now available for download from The release was in part to address a security concern raised by the recent release of a commercial software product designed to remove password protection and usage restrictions from PDF files and PDF-based eBooks. Adobe has threated legal action against the company, based in Russia.

Features of the Adobe eBook Reader include:

  • Convenient buying and downloading of eBooks
  • A personal library of eBooks and other documents that you can organize
  • Elegant, full-color display of eBook pages, including Adobe® PDF eBooks
  • Searching and bookmarking
  • Highlighting and annotation
  • Display rotation for laptop computers
  • Adobe® CoolTypeTM technology for improved text clarity
  • Single-page and two-page view
  • Printing pages and copying selections to the clipboard (with the permission of the publisher)
  • Giving and lending eBooks to other devices (with the permission of the publisher)
  • A dictionary with automatic lookup capability for definitions of words in eBooks (for some languages)
  • Spoken text of eBooks (on Windows 2000, with the permission of the publisher)

What's the difference?

In case you were wondering: According to Adobe's eBook Reader FAQ, the difference between Adobe Acrobat Reader and the Acrobat eBook Reader is as follows:

" Acrobat Reader works well for all documents, while the Acrobat eBook Reader is designed specifically for e-books. The Acrobat eBook Reader has all the functionality of the Acrobat Reader, plus it has annotation and bookmarking capabilities as well as enhancements such as display rotation for laptop computers and a built-in dictionary."

New Features, Fixes, Limitations

eBook Reader toolbar

1. Improved Viewing of Books with Large Pages
The Fit Width button can make books with large pages easier to read.

2. Single-Page View, Two-Page View, and Fit Width are mutually exclusive page-viewing options

3. Adobe PDF Options Can Specify Initial Page View
Publishers of eBooks can use Adobe® Acrobat® to set options in an eBook PDF file that cause the Acrobat eBook Reader to open the eBook in either Fit Width or Two-Page View.

4. New Scrolling and Panning Features
If an eBook page becomes too long to fit in the display area as a result of zooming in or entering Fit Width view, a vertical scroll bar appears. If the page becomes too wide to fit, you can click the Hand Tool button and then drag the page left or right as well as up or down. Click the Hand Tool button again to stop repositioning the page.

5. Printing on Non-PostScript Printers
If the publisher allows, you can now print eBook pages on a printer that does not use the PostScript® page description language.

6. Maximizing Does Not Obscure Task Bar
Maximizing the Acrobat eBook Reader no longer obscures the Windows task bar.

7. Incompatible Programs
The Read-Me file contains a full list of programs that are not compatible with the Acrobat eBook Reader. Adobe recommends that you remove these programs before you install the Acrobat eBook Reader.

8. Color Palette Issues
If the color palette of your display uses 256 or fewer colors, the colors that appear in the Acrobat eBook Reader may be incorrect, backgrounds may look grainy, and the text of buttons and labels may be difficult to read. To solve this problem, set your computer display to use more than 256 colors.

9. Restrictions on Multiple Computers and Hardware Changes
To prevent unauthorized reading or copying of eBooks, the Acrobat eBook Reader does not allow you to read the same eBooks from more than one computer or to copy eBook and data files from one computer to another. If you want to move eBooks from one computer to another, you can use the Acrobat eBook Reader to give or lend eBooks to a device that also has version 2.1 or later of the Acrobat eBook Reader installed.

10. Problems with Proxy Servers
If you use the Acrobat eBook Reader behind an Internet firewall, you may have problems if proxy settings in Internet Explorer are incorrect.

11. Problems with PACE InterLok Drivers
The Acrobat eBook Reader uses PACE InterLok products as part of its security implementation. PACE periodically updates the drivers for the InterLok products. If your Acrobat eBook Reader has an outdated driver, you may have problems with your computer. For example, it may crash or may have difficulty restarting or coming out of hibernation or standby.

Read Aloud

12. Read Aloud Supported Only on Windows 2000
If the publisher allows, you can hear the spoken text of an eBook by clicking the Read Aloud button. This feature is supported only on computers running Windows 2000.

13. Athlon Computers May Not Restart after Installation
When you install the Acrobat eBook Reader for the first time, the installation program offers to restart your computer. If you accept the restart option on a computer with an AMD Athlon processor, the computer may fail to restart, and you may have to use the computer's restart switch to restart.

14. Problems Reading eBooks Purchased with Web Buy
To purchase and download eBooks using Web Buy, you must have Adobe® Acrobat® ReaderTM with Web Buy installed on your computer. If you try to use the Acrobat eBook Reader to display an eBook you purchased using Acrobat Reader with Web Buy, the eBook may fail to open because it has an invalid license. To recover, open the eBook in Acrobat Reader. If it has an invalid license, Acrobat Reader prompts you to obtain a new one. With a valid license, you can then use the Acrobat eBook Reader to display the eBook.

PDF eBook Permissions Example

15. Troubleshooting Giving and Lending
If a Give or Lend operation over an infrared (IR) connection fails for any reason, the ReadMe file offers a series of recovery steps.

16. Limitations on Printing
When you click the Rotate button and then print part of a book, you can print only the current page. You cannot edit the start and end pages in the Print dialog box. You may not be able to print a PDF document that contains rotated pages. The Acrobat eBook Reader can open PDF documents that contain Adobe Acrobat 5.0 (128-bit) security settings.

17. No Scroll Bar after Rotating
When you click the Rotate button and an eBook page is too long to fit inside the display area, no vertical scroll bar appears. To move the page up and down, click the Hand Tool button and then drag the page.

18. Problems with Text Display
Book titles containing special characters such as trademark symbols may not be displayed correctly in some dialog boxes, such as Download, Delete, and Book Information. If the text of a bookmark contains special characters, these characters may not be displayed correctly in the Bookmarks dialog box.

19. Problem with Search Highlighting
If you use the Find command on the menu to search for a word or phrase in single-page view, the word or phrase you find may be highlighted only on alternate pages.

20. Problems with Acrobat eBook Reader Window Operations
On small displays, such as laptop computers, the Acrobat eBook Reader window may be too small horizontally to display all the text in some dialog boxes. Resize the window, expanding it horizontally, to make more text visible. Maximizing the Acrobat eBook Reader window while a dialog box is open may adversely affect text display.



Planet eBook & Planet PDF have a regularly updated index of all articles related to this issue, as well as links to the coverage by other news outlets.

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