Adobe and Education Publishers Ready Etextbooks For Fall

Posted on August 3, 2001

Adobe Systems Inc., a software provider, announced that it is working with education publishers Addison Wesley Higher Education Group; Digital Scanning, Inc.; Houghton-Mifflin, College division; McGraw-Hill; South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning and John Wiley & Sons, Inc. to deliver electronic textbooks based on PDF for the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader. Adobe is not alone in trying to develop products for the digital textbook market. A significant number of companies are already developing technologies to service the etextbook and elearning markets. Adobe also has competition for its ebook reading software, including Microsoft's Microsoft Reader.

In addition to study guides, the etextbooks will cover a range of general topics such as accounting, business, chemistry, English, history, marketing, mathematics and political science. Students will be able to download the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader at no charge and purchase the etextbooks directly from the publishers' websites, university bookstores, online book retailers and Adobe.com.

``IDC believes that digital textbooks, which combine the content of traditional educational texts with the sophisticated functionality and portability of digital technology, are a natural complement to the student lifestyle,'' said Susan Kevorkian, an analyst with IDC. ``By making titles available in a digital format, publishers can generate new revenue streams for their products. At the same time, publishers can tailor content to meet the specific needs of the tech-savvy yet physically overburdened student population.''

Adobe recently released version 2.2 of its ebook reading software with includes enchanced features that might benefit students. New features in the Acrobat eBook Reader 2.2 make large-sized textbook pages easier to read by making the page fit the width of the window. Users can then scroll up and down the page. Additional features include the ability to highlight and make annotations within an ebook, two-page layout, electronic bookmarks, quick text search, access to the Web and an interactive dictionary.