Adobe Releases Digital Editions 4.0 Featuring inComplete Support for Epub3

Adobe Releases Digital Editions 4.0 Featuring inComplete Support for Epub3 Adobe Epub3 Beating the third anniversary of Epub3 by about a month, Adobe released a new version of Adobe Digital Editions today.  Now publicly available for OSX and Windows, Adobe DE 4.0 is the first version of this app to officially support Epub3 - such as it is.

The new app supports many parts of the EPub3 spec, but according to the release notes there are still a few features which have been left out.

Update: Adobe goofed on the release notes. They now say that they forgot to remove from the release notes issues which had been resolved or fixed in this release.

For example, Adobe DE 4.0 does not support embedded audio or video, and it is also lacking support for basics like right to left languages (Arabic, Hebrew, etc) . The search function is incomplete, and the app is also lacking advanced rendering features (such as knockout, overprint, and non-separable blend modes). And last but not least, mouse wheel scrolling is officially not supported for Epub3 ebooks.

Adobe Releases Digital Editions 4.0 Featuring inComplete Support for Epub3 Adobe Epub3 And it gets worse for Windows users. This version of the app is also lacking MathML support, and it does not play well with IE9. The Windows app will also ignore several lesser features, including wbr, which is used to indicate where to split a word when hyphenating.

In addition to the incomplete support for Epub3, several bugs have also been mentioned in release notes, including memory management issues caused by large image files and other issues.

While I would normally encourage readers to rush out and get the new app right away so you can play with it, I think it might be better to wait until more of the bugs are worked out and more features are supported. But if you would like to try Adobe DE 4 and experience the joy of Epub3 for yourself, you can download the app from Adobe.

About Nate Hoffelder (9949 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

8 Comments on Adobe Releases Digital Editions 4.0 Featuring inComplete Support for Epub3

  1. I was unimpressed with the beta, save for its ability to play FXL ebooks. This product will never be a very high priority for Adobe and I’m not holding my breath for big fixes soon (let alone a 5.x release).

  2. How does ADE4 sit with the new DRM? I’m reluctant to d/l anything from Adobe in case I inadvertently commit to the new DRM system. Or, is this different thing altogether?

  3. I downloaded the program on mac, and the support of EPUB3 is not bad at all: I tried some of ours EPUB3 and javascript, canvas, video, media overlay in reflow… all is working fine.

  4. I hope ADE will work for me. I just downloaded an e-book on my new Nook Reader for the first time ever, and I’ve just learned that in order read the book I need ADE.

  5. I downloaded ADE 4.0 on my Windows 7 laptop to read epub books. It owrked fine in opening epub books from but not the EPub3 books from So I guess, from the above article, the EPub3 support is not complete and leaves much to be desired. It will load to the library and bookshelf but i always get an error message when it tries to open EPub3 books.

  6. Adobe hasn’t worked for years. Picked my favorite ebooks and bought new for my kindle. All you stores thank adobe for a lot less business. Oh, and I tried to read and understand all that tech jargon but to heck with it. Livebrary now has their own reader and goes to kindle. So goodbye and no thanks to all that frustration.

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