Adobe Digital Editions Nearing Release

06.12.07 | 1 Comment

As some of you no doubt know, Adobe Labs has been offering a free download of beta versions of a new program called Adobe Digital Editions. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this software, let me quote Adobe’s explanation:

[Acrobat] Reader supports a variety of workflows beyond consuming eBooks and other commercially-published content, including interactive forms, digital signatures, and other knowledge-worker workflows that involve integration with other office applications including Adobe Acrobat, and server solutions such as Adobe LiveCycle. As a result, Reader’s power, complexity, and size are not optimal for consumer-level eBook reading.

[By comparison] Digital Editions is a focused, lightweight solution (2.5 MB download on Windows). It extends the eBook capabilities that were integrated in previous versions of Reader and Acrobat, delivering a simplified, content-centric consumer-friendly user interface.

I installed beta 3 at home and enjoyed playing with the text reflow options. While I’d like to see those options expanded, I think it’s a fair start. One thing I haven’t seen any e-book format address is the formatting of sidebars. This isn’t terribly important for novels, but when you’re talking textbooks, technical manuals, or–yes–roleplaying games, then it becomes important to be able anchor a sidebar near a particular sentence.

All that being said, MobileRead has posted screenshots of pre-release candidate 1, which they report will be released this month. There has been very little word on Adobe’s plans for this application, but I certainly hope it is a free download like Acrobat Reader. At worst, I could envision a free version and an “enhanced” version with more user controls priced at no more than $29.95.

Adobe Digital Editions is supposed to support IDPF’s new e-book standard (.epub), and InDesign CS3 is rumored to include a utility for exporting to that same format. Don’t be surprised if you see 12 to Midnight titles available in that format by the end of the year.

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2007-06-22 07:27:43

[…] you’re an e-book enthusiast (or if you were paying attention to my post on June 12) then you probably already know a thing or two about Adobe Digital Editions. This post is a primer […]

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