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GEOLOGY: EBOOK ACCESSIBILITY

Using ebooks on a Computer or Mobile Device

Introduction

This page provides an overview of how to use the accessibility settings on your mobile device or computer to access eBooks in the library. The basic ebook options table below shows whether it is possible to download or print ebooks from the different services we provide. The accessibility options table outlines the accessibility settings you can use on different devices.

Why might I use these settings?

  • To make an ebook more comfortable to read by changing the text size
  • To get your device to read to you - helpful for dyslexic readers and also for multitasking
  • To lessen eye-strain by adjusting the background colour, contrast or add a customised colour tinted overlay (post 2015 iPhones & iPads only)
     

The following table provides a key for understanding the different accessibility concepts covered in this guide.

KEY

Download icon Downloading: download a PDF version of the ebook, by chapters or pages.

Printer icon Printing: print out an ebook, as a complete file, chapters or pages.

text adjust icon Text: Adjust the size of text. This is determined by the native settings available on your device.

Background icon Background: Adjust the background colour, change the contrast or add a tinted overlay. This is determined by the settings available on your device.

read aloud Read-aloud: Get the computer/mobile device to read the text to you as audio.

Basic ebook Options

This section outlines whether you can download or print ebooks based on the device that you are using. If you are able to download the ebook to your device then you will be able to use some of the more advanced accessibility features outlined in the table below.

  • Download icon Download to PDF: download a PDF version of the ebook, its chapters or pages.
     
  • Printer icon Printing: print out an eBook or sub-section of an ebook.

Use the tabs to learn more about:

  • how to download from a mobile device.
  • how to print out sections of ebooks (may not be available on a mobile device).

image of tabs

Download to PDF Download icon

Printing Printer icon

Device Type

iPhone/iPad apple icon

Android android

PC/Mac Computer icon

iPhone/iPad apple icon

Android1 android

PC/Mac Computer icon

Cambridge

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Ebook Central

 

Yes

Bluefire app needed for full download

 

Yes

Bluefire app needed for full download

 

Yes

Adobe Digital Editions required for full download

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

Ebooks on EBSCOhost

Yes2

Yes3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SAGE

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Taylor and Francis ebooks

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VLeBooks

No

No

No4

Yes

No

Yes

Wiley

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

1Apple Airprint and Android print will only work with compatible and trusted Wi-Fi printers on the same Wi-Fi network. This is not an option at the university but you may have a compatible printer at home.

2Email pages option (save pages option not available).

3Using the save pages or email pages options.

4VLeBooks allows you to download an ebook in a proprietary format on a Mac or PC using free software, Adobe Digital Editions. In order to open the ebook you need to use the anonymous activation checkbox, outlined on this guidance page from adobe: http://blogs.adobe.com/ebooks/2015/04/09/adobe-digital-editions-anonymous-activation/

Download icon Download and Read PDFs on Your Device

On an Apple Device (iPhone, iPad)

Add a PDF download to iBooks, the default PDF viewer on Apple devices.

  1. Press once on the download link to open the document. Be patient, as the download should happen automatically, but if you press elsewhere on the page it is likely to fail.
  2. This will usually open in the Safari web browser by default.
  3. Press once on the background of the document and an "open in iBooks" option will appear on the top-right hand side.
  4. Select the option to "open in" to download and view the PDF.

If you wish to use a different app to view the PDF complete steps 1 and 2, as above, and then do the following:

  • Press once on the background of the document and then select the "More..." option which is available at the top-left of the page.
  • Then select the app that you would like to use from the list that is presented.

    open in other apps

On an Android Device

On an Android device you need to install the Adobe Acrobat Reader app first as there is not a standard default PDF reader on the device, only Google docs is available which cannot read all PDFs.

  1. Press once on the download link to open the document. Be patient, as the download should happen automatically, but if you press elsewhere on the page it is likely to fail.
    Android download
     
  2. The download will begin and once it is completed the option to "open" will appear briefly on-screen, although you may need to access the document from your downloads area. Recent downloads can be accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen.

    Opening PDF on Android
     
  3. Press on the file to open it and it will automatically open in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  4. Your downloads area is accessible from your Apps menu and it is worth clearing this area regularly to ensure that your device does not run out of space.

    Downloads icon

 

 

Printer icon Print complete text, chapters or pages of ebooks

Some of the downloadable PDF copies of ebooks can be printed. Some of the downloadable PDFs have digital rights management (DRM) protection, which prevents printing. The following information provides an overview of the options that are available for each ebook vendor.

Most ebooks allow printing or copying of between 5-10%. According to copyright laws, anyone with a form of disability which prevents access to the content of any book/ebook may create an accessible version of if for their personal use. If you require assistance with this please contact the Disability and Dyslexia team (contact details here) or your local library (contact details here)

Here are the printing options for the following ebooks

  • Cambridge - print from the PDF download files.
  • Dawsonera - print button can be found at the top-right of the online viewer. For more detailed guidance on using Dawsonera ebooks see the Dawsonera user guide.

    screenshot from dawsonera for print
     
  • ebooks on EBSCOhost - print button can be found in the middle of the online viewer.

    screenshot from eBooks on EBSCOhost

 

  • ProQuest - Print button can be found at the top-right of the online viewer.


     
  • SAGE - print from the PDF download files.
  • Taylor and Francis ebooks - print button can be found at the top-left of the online viewer.

    print options for Taylor and Francis
     
  • VLeBooks - it is not possible to print VLeBook downloads. They are in a protected eBook format.
  • Wiley - print from the PDF download files.

ebook FAQs

You can find ebooks in the library catalogue or OneSearch.
Most ebooks can be downloaded to a computer or mobile device but only for a limited period (for example one day). You can re-download the book as many times as you like.
You can but due to copyright restrictions you are only able to print or copy and paste a limited amount of pages from the book. Most ebooks allow printing or copying of between 5-10%. According to copyright laws, anyone with a form of disability which prevents access to the content of any book/ebook may create an accessible version of if for their personal use. If you require assistance with this please contact the Disability and Dyslexia team or your local library.
This depends. Many of our ebooks have multi-user licences which means that more than one person can view the book at a time. Others have single user licenses which restricts viewing to one person.
The library ebooks are in PDF format which does not allow for these type of adjustments. Kindle books are in a special ePUB type of ebook file format.
There may be a number of reasons why the ebook isn't working. Some books can only be viewed by one user at a time in which case trying again later would be advisable. It is best to report the problem to your home library and we can investigate.

Accessibility Options

This section outlines the accessibility options that are available for the different types of eBook PDF files. For information about how to use these features, refer to the information on the tabs.

  • text adjust icon Text: Adjust the size of text. This is determined by the settings available on your device.
     
  • Background icon Background: Adjust the background colour, change the contrast or add a tinted overlay. This is determined by the settings available on your device.
     
  • read aloud Read-aloud: Get the computer or mobile device to read the text to you as audio.

Use the tabs to learn more about:

  • how to adjust the display of text on your computer or device.
  • how to adjust the background or display settings on your computer or device.
  • how to setup and use the text-to-speech functions on your computer or device.
 

Text text adjust icon 

Background Background icon

Device Type

iPhone/iPad apple icon

Android android

PC/Mac Computer icon

iPhone/iPad apple icon

Android android

PC/Mac Computer icon

PDF format
  • Cambridge;
  • EBSCOhost;
  • ProQuest;
  • SAGE;
  • Taylor and Francis

No

Zoom
only

No

Zoom only

No

Zoom only

Yes

Yes

Yes

Protected formats
  • VLeBooks

No

No

No

Zoom only

Yes

Yes

Yes

Read aloud
(text-to-speech) read aloud

Device Type

iPhone/iPad apple icon

Android android

PC/Mac Computer icon

PDF format
  • Cambridge;
  • EBSCOhost;
  • ProQuest;
  • SAGE;
  • Taylor and Francis

Yes

Yes2

Yes

Protected formats
  • VLeBooks

No

No

Yes

Android Talkback is the screen reading utility for Android devices. Full instructions on Android Talkback are available here: https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6006589?hl=en

text adjust icon Changing the text display settings

iOS - iPad/iPhone
  • Large, bold and high-contrast text: these settings will not change the size of the type in your PDF but this might be helpful when you are using other compatible apps on your device.
  • Zoom: zoom can be used in a few different ways, but it is probably most helpful as a miniature on-screen magnifying glass.
  • Magnifier: struggling to see something in an actual paper book? Magnifier allows you to zoom in on real-life objects using the iPhone/iPad's camera.
Android
  • Font size and display size: these settings will not change the size of the type in your PDF but this might be helpful when you are using other compatible apps on your device.
  • Magnification gestures: these gestures can be turned on in order to temporarily magnify areas of the screen.
PC (Windows)
  • Windows 7: the Ease of Access settings can be found from the Start start button button under control panel. A magnifier tool is available.
  • Windows 10: offers a comprehensive list of display adjustment options. These can also be found under the Start windows 10 startbutton and settings.
Mac (MacOSX+)
  • Apple computers offer a comprehensive list of display adjustment options. These can be found under apple icon > System Preferences > Accessibility; on the fourth row down.
Adobe Digital Editions for VLeBooks downloads

VLeBooks uses a protected ebook format which can only be opened in Adobe Digital Editions (installed on university computers and available free from Adobe's website). The text size can be adjusted and we also recommend opting to Show the Navigation Panel. These settings and the open navigation panel are displayed in the screenshot below.

Adobe Digital Editions Settings

 

Adobe Acrobat DC for Mac and PC (university computers)

Allows you to change the zoom level from the top bar, as shown in the screenshot.

zoom level for Adobe Acrobat

 

VLeBooks specfically (university computers or a computer with free software Adobe Digital Editions installed)

Click on Reading on the top menu bar in order to show/hide the page navigation panel. The use the option to specify the EPUB text size.

ePUB text settings in Adobe Digital Editions

Background icon Changing the background colour

Changing the background or contrast colour can help to make reading more comfortable. Here are some tips for customising your reading experience.

Options listed below:

How to add a tint as an accessibility shortcut on iOS - iPhone or iPad (iOS 10+)

On Apple iOS devices you can add a customised tinted overlay to your accessibility shortcuts. This allows you to quickly turn on a tint, which is a bit like using a reading ruler, no matter what you are reading, whether it is an eBook, PDF, text on a website or a resource on studentcentral.

  • Go to your settings app go to General > Accessibility.
    settings general accessibility
     
  • In Accessibility, select Display Accommodations. This is also the page where you can change the contrast options if needed.
    display accomodations
     
  • On the Display Accommodations page, select Colour Filters.
    colours filters
     
  • Turn on the Colour Filters.
    colour filters
     
  • Turn on the Colour Tint and change the Intensity.
    colour intensity
     
  • Use the hue slider to change the colour of the tint, this corresponds to the coloured pencils shown at the top of the display.
    adjust the tint colour
     
  • Then scroll back to the top of the page and turn the filter off. Your settings will be saved, but you probably do not want to have the filter turned on all the time.
    turn off colour filter
     
  • Then back in the General > Accessibility settings, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and press on the Accessibility Shortcut option.

    general accessibility shortcut
     
  • Turn on any Accessibility options that you would like to make quickly accessible, including the Colour Filters option that you just setup.

    Accessibility shortcut
     
  • From now on you can quickly access your colour filters by triple clicking on your device's home button. To turn the filter off again, triple click again and the options will come back on screen.

    tint on iOS
  • Accessibility guidance page for iOS: https://support.apple.com/accessibility

 

How to change the contrast settings on Android
  • Go to the settings app and select the Accessibility option.


     
  • In the Accessibility area there are a few different options that you can use. There are no tinted overlay options for Android devices at this time.
    Contrast options on android
 
How to change background colour in Adobe Acrobat DC
  • On a PC go to the top menu and select Edit > Preferences.
  • On a Mac go to the top menu bar and click on Adobe Acrobat (next to apple icon) > Preferences.
 
Once you are in the preferences (PC/Mac)

Select the Accessibility settings in the left-hand menu and then you can change the background colour of the document to your preferred hue. To customise this precisely, we recommend clicking on "Other Color" [sic] so that you can access a colour wheel or gradient selector.

background colour in Adobe Acrobat DC

read aloud Get your device/computer to read text for you (text-to-speech)

This can be helpful in variety of situations. For example, when you have a lot of text to read it can help to combat fatigue. If you have trouble seeing the text this can help to avoid eyestrain. It is also helpful if you need to listen to the text while you are on the go.

Options listed below:

How to turn on text-to-speech on iOS.

The Speak Screen setting is highly recommended as a way to read text in most apps (does not work in Adobe Acrobat, so iBooks is a better free option for non-protected PDFs). The setting can be activated by swiping two fingers from the top of the device frame downwards, you can also ask Siri to "speak screen" (if Siri is enabled you can ask for this by pressing and holding the home button).

gif showing speak screen gesture

 

Turn on Speak Selection and Speak Screen

  • Open the Settings app on your device. In Settings, select General > Accessibility.
    general accessibility
     
  • In Accessibility, select Speech.
    General speech options
     
  • In Speech, turn on Speak Selection, Speak Screen and Highlight Content. Highlight Content, shows you where the voice is reading on the page, highlighting the words as it progresses.

    We also recommend selecting a voice that you find agreeable to listen to (7). You can also change the speaking rate to the speed of your choice.


    speak options
     
  • You can use this area to select your preferred "voice" and download an enhanced quality voice (recommended).
    english united kingdom

    select a voice

    enhanced voice

 

Using Speak Selection - useful for shorter pieces of text and web content

Once you have enabled Speak Selection, in many apps and also in websites, you will now find that you can press and hold your finger on the text and see the Speak... option in your pop-up options. You can use the start and end selectors, which I like to call lollipop sticks, to select where you would like the reading to start and end.

Speak selection screenshot
 

iOS devices also have the option of voiceover, which reads everything onscreen, including some books that may not normally allow the speak screen options. However, it speaks all content shown onscreen so ensure that you have headphones for noise and privacy reasons.

For more information: https://www.apple.com/accessibility/iphone/vision/

 

How to turn on Talkback on Android

Android devices do not have a speak selection or speak screen equivalent but they do offer an option to read all content shown onscreen using the Talkback options.

  • Talkback settings can be found in Settings > Accessibility > Talkback
 

 

MAC: How to use Preview to read a PDF on Mac

Preview is the standard PDF reading software available on all Macs. You can access text-to-speech from Edit on the top menu bar.
speech to text in preview

PC: Use read out loud to read a PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC (library PC computers)

Adobe Acrobat DC

 
PC: How to use Microsoft Narrator

The following guide explains how to use Microsoft Narrator. You can access Microsoft Narrator from the Control Centre > Ease of Access settings on a Windows 7 computer. It speaks everything on the screen, so ensure that you have headphones for noise and privacy reasons.