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Adobe Releases Digital Editions 4.0 Featuring inComplete Support for Epub3

epub3-logo[1]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.

120B42C8d01_pic0007[1]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.

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Rob Siders September 8, 2014 um 8:42 pm

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).

Kaetrin September 9, 2014 um 5:35 am

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?

Ching Yue September 9, 2014 um 10:37 am

ADE 4 should handle DRM in the same way as ADE 3. If you see anything to the contrary, feel free to let me know. I will be happy to help you with your questions.

Purple Lady September 10, 2014 um 5:59 pm

In other words, don’t download either ADE3 or ADE4 if you are concerned about the new drm.

Fire-Sale for New Amazon Phone | Digital Book World September 9, 2014 um 8:16 am

[…] New Adobe Digital Editions Offers EPUB3 Support (The Digital Reader) Version 4.0 supports much of the EPUB3 spec, but not all of it, as its release notes reveal. Related: Adobe Digital Publishing Collection Bundle | Creating Fixed-Layout EPUB with Adobe InDesign […]

Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 erscheint mit ungenügender epub3-Unterstützung » September 9, 2014 um 8:44 am

[…] In der Version 3.0 hatte Adobe hauptsächlich mit Kompatibilitätsproblemen eines neuen, “unknackbaren” Kopierschutzes zu kämpfen und ruderte dann doch wieder wieder zurück. Ein ähnliches Desaster ist in der Version 4.0, die für Windows und OSX erschienen ist, nicht zu befürchten. Allerdings hakt es gerade beim neuesten Feature der Software, der epub3-Unterstützung, noch etwas. So unterstützt die Software beispielsweise kein eingebettetes Audio oder Video, was für das Enhanced-E-Book-Format epub3 natürlich nicht optimal ist. Auch die Rückwärts-Suchfunktion funktioniert noch nicht für epub3-E Books, bemängelt The Digital Reade. […]

fabrizio venerandi September 9, 2014 um 4:10 pm

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.

Cindy Coan September 20, 2014 um 9:45 am

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.

Adobe und EPUB: Licht und Schatten in der Welt der eBook-Tools | digital publishing competence January 13, 2015 um 11:34 am

[…] Zwar ist Adobe Digital Editions für Desktop so ein bißchen das häßliche Entlein unter den eBook-Anwendungen, aber die Software hat schon deswegen erhebliche Bedeutung für die eBook-Welt, weil die SDK-Version im Hintergrund als Software für nahezu alle eInk-Reader verwendet wird, die nicht von Amazon stammen. Umso erfreulicher ist es in dieser Hinsicht, dass Digital Editions bzw. das dazugehörige Mobile Reader SDK seit Herbst 2014 endlich in einer Version vorliegen, die EPUB3 unterstützt. […]

Ida Ewing March 11, 2015 um 4:35 pm

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.

Kathryn Kozerski September 30, 2015 um 11:49 am

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.

Mobile Publishing: Update September/Oktober 2014 | smart digits January 1, 2018 um 11:26 am

[…] Digital Editions bzw. das dazugehörige Mobile Reader SDK nun endlich in einer Version vorliegen, die EPUB3 unterstützt. Sowohl die Release Notes wie auch die ersten Tests von eBook-Experten zeigen zwar, dass hier noch […]

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