Ebooks and accessibility

Find out how to use accessibility functions and assistive technology with ebooks, including how to print and download.


Dawsonera update 5th August

Due to their parent company going into administration, the Dawsonera ebook platform is no longer available. All ebooks that were hosted on Dawsonera have been transferred to VLeBooks, and all links, eg in StarPlus, Blackboard or resource lists, have been redirected to this new platform.

Unfortunately, any notes that a registered user may have saved in a Dawsonera ebook will not be transferred to VLeBooks.

Ebook platform accessibility functions

Publishers provide access to their ebooks via different platforms that each have their own accessibility functions. The main ebook platforms that you are likely to use and their accessibility functions are listed in the downloads below.

Download VL ebook accessibility (PDF, 367KB)  

Download ProQuest ebook central accessibility (PDF, 135KB) 

Download ACLS Humanity ebook accessibility (PDF, 81KB) 

Internet browser accessibility functions

Regardless of the platform, the internet browser you are using also has its own accessibility functions.  You can find out more about how to change accessibility settings for ebooks on different web browsers by downloading the PDF below.

Download internet browser accessibility functions for ebooks (PDF, 208KB)

You can also view Ability Net's website below for help making your computer or device easier to use.

Visit Ability Net's website 'My Computer, My Way'

Using Zoomtext with ebooks

Zoomtext is an assistive technology software that is available on some of our bookable PCs. Please download the PDF below to find out more about accessing Zoomtext and its accessibility functions.

Download ZoomText accessibility functions (PDF, 182KB)

Using screenreaders with ebooks

A screenreader is a form of assistive technology that allows users with visual impairment to have the text read aloud to them. Our users can access Read & Write and ClaroRead.

Please view the PDF downloads below for basic instructions on how to use the screenreaders with different ebook platforms and with Adobe Digital editions.

Download using Read & Write with ebooks (PDF, 332KB)

Download using ClaroRead with ebooks (PDF, 234KB)

Printing from ebooks

Most platforms will allow you to print a percentage of the ebook. Find out more by downloading the PDF below.

Download how to print from an ebook (PDF, 374KB)

Downloading an ebook

Most ebooks can be downloaded to Adobe Digital Editions which is available on the University Managed Desktops.

If you wish you can download Adobe Digital to your own PC or device - including PCs, laptops, Macs, Apple devices, most android devices (including Kindle Fire), and most eReaders (but not a Kindle reader).

Rules on downloading books vary by publisher. Some have limits on download time and some on concurrent users.

Download downloading ebooks on Adobe Digitial Editions (PDF, 745KB)

Full download vs chapter download

Some platforms allow you to download chapters as a PDF. You don’t need to have Adobe Digital Editions installed to do this.

Download ProQuest ebook Central - downloading PDF chapters (PDF, 135KB)

Download ACSL Humanity PDF chapter download (PDF, 200KB) 

Using StarPlus My Favourites/Saved items

StarPlus My Favourites is a useful tool that allows you to save and organise your resources (including ebooks) so once you have located them you don’t have to search for them again.

Learn how to save search results in StarPlus

Ask a question

Email: library@sheffield.ac.uk

Phone: +44 114 222 7200