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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design


How to search for, locate, read online, and download eBooks

Important Note

Please note that most eBooks cannot be downloaded in their entirety as a PDF. They can only be downloaded in a restricted file format that is read by proprietary software (Adobe Digital Editions).

You can download or print excerpts from books (see bottom of this page). Again, the number of pages you can download is usually limited. It's possible to do this more than once. If you need help, contact a librarian.

Checking out eBooks

You can read eBooks (and print/download chapters) simply using your browser (guide here). In many ways, it is simpler than downloading.
If you prefer to "check out" an entire ebook for reading on your computer or mobile device, follow the steps below.


  1. You will need to have a personal EBSCO account. From within the eBook portal or Fleet Search, click "Sign In" at the top right. Create a new account or sign in with existing credentials (different from your RISD login).
  2. Download Adobe Digital Editions for free here. Download for mobile devices in your App store.
  3. Once you find an eBook you would like to check out, click "Full Download." Select the options you prefer.
  4. Open the downloaded file (.acsm format). It should open in Digital Editions automatically.
  5. When prompted to Authorize Your Computer, select "I want to authorize my computer without an ID" to skip this step.*
  6. Enjoy!


*Why skip it? RISD's single sign-on service with Adobe means this won't work. If you'd really like to sync eBooks across devices, you might consider making a separate Adobe ID for personal use.

Downloading PDF Excerpts

To download a part of an eBook in PDF format, first open the eBook in your browser by clicking "PDF Full Text."

Then, click "Save Pages." The amount of pages you can download will be limited by the vendor.

screenshot of eBook interface


screenshot of saving pages in EBSCO