Why I used to prefer Adobe Digital Editions as my desktop ebook reader for ePub, but use Calibre for conversions.

This review is based upon ebooks downloaded from Smashwords. Ebooks with DRM (Digital Rights Management) or similar copyright protection system may not produce the same results on the desktop programs I’ve reviewed.

This review is based upon formats other than PDF for printing graphics and text in ebooks. If you want to print graphics such as those in my children’s ebooks “Doug’s Big Idea” or “Bubble Trouble” then PDF is the preferred format use Calibre as the conversion program.

I’ve tried Calibre, FBReader, MobiPocket and other eReader software for desktops/laptops and have found Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) to be my favorite for one simple reason; I like to print out my ebooks so I can see how they will look if/when someone prints them out. It also runs on Windows or Macs.

Note: this review of Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is based upon a 2010 version. Later versions may be much different.

Of all the eReaders I’ve tried only Adobe Digital Editions printed both the text and the pictures, and was fairly simple to use and understand. Most eReaders won’t print ebooks, which is a shame in my opinion.

Calibre prints ebooks but I haven’t been able to get Calibre to print pictures, any picture, so I use Calibre for viewing and converting ebooks to PDF. For converting ebooks it is the best I’ve come across.

The problem with Adobe, though, is it prints only small ebook-size pages. My “Doug’s Big Idea” children’s ebook contains large black and white graphics suitable for children to color. Printing these pictures, or any of the pages in an ebook, produces small pictures.

For that reason I now use Calibre for the all of my ebook reading and converting ebooks to PDF format for printing. Using Calibre does require an extra step to print pages in PDF. First you add your ebook to Calibre library, select that book, click on convert button, choose PDF from the output drop-down menu on right side of conversion window, and a few seconds later Calibre completes conversion. Once your ebook is converted you have the choice of your original format and PDF. If you select PDF, then your Adobe Acrobat Reader opens and you can then view/print your ebook from within Acrobat Reader.

If you want to print out my ebooks, or ebooks from other authors, then I suggest you download the free Adode Digital Editions software and install it on your Windows or Mac desktop or laptop.

MobiPocket is my second choice, although it doesn’t allow printing at this time. MobiPocket is also easy to use and has an elegant yet simple User Interface which took me very little time to understand.

Calibre is great for converting an ebook to different formats, say epub to PDF so you can print out any graphics properly. It is free and my favorite ebook viewer/converter.