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Working Online

This LibGuide answers many frequently asked questions about how to have the best experience when accessing and working with online materials.

Do I Need Special Document Readers?

Windows (PC) and OS X (Mac) Users

  • The PDF is the standard document type for online materials. Adobe Reader is the most widely available and used application for viewing PDFs.
  • It is very important that you use the most recent version of Adobe Reader, currently Adobe Reader 22.x, to avoid compatibility problems.  
  • Earlier versions of Adobe Reader may be incompatible with the many newer PDFs that are available through online services.  Earlier versions of Reader may not able to open or print them. 
  • Go to to download the latest version; and let Adobe Update run when it wants to keep your Reader installation up to date. 
  • WARNING: Uncheck the boxes for "Optional Offers" otherwise it will download other programs on your computer that may inhibit the performance of your machine.

OS X Users and PDFs

  • Vendors of many online services have designed their products to display PDFs in a frame within the browser window using the Adobe Reader.
  • Preview is the default OS X application to view PDF files, but Preview does not function as a browser plugin. 
  • Mac users should install Adobe Reader and set it as the default plugin viewer for PDFs so journal articles and E-books from EBSCO can be displayed and used as intended.
  • After installing Adobe Reader in OS X, you need to change the file association for PDFs:
    1. Select any PDF file and choose File > Get Info.
    2. Choose the application that you want to open PDF files from the Open With menu.
    3. Click Change All, and then click Continue.