Read Me: FAQ

Please read these comprehensive guidelines. They will help you with buying, downloading and reading your ebook, including playing the videos (where relevant). The FAQ section below gives more detail. 

If you have further queries, feel free to Contact Us – we are always pleased to hear from our customers. 

Table of Contents

Adobe Acrobat Reader 

In early 2021 Adobe released a new version of Adobe Reader Acrobat (free) which DOES play the embedded video in our ebooks, as it did previously. So there is no more trouble with error messages regarding Flash player. Phew! This is for desktop computers and laptops. Make sure you have the version below or later.

The version you need is 2021.001.20135

Your download will usually be in the form of a zip file, which contains the videos as separate files as well as the PDF file with the videos embedded (see below). So, you can always use your normal media player to play the videos outside the PDF.


  • To use our ebooks on iPad and iOS we recommend Dropbox, which does play the embedded videos (see below). Adobe Reader mobile app will not play the videos (why, oh why, when Dropbox can!).
  • There are still some bugs. One applies to some Windows machines, which show a black screen with green audio line where there should be video. There is a workaround for this, which we will publish shortly.
  • Also, the controllers on the videos are not appearing. Apparently there is a Windows bug so Adobe have removed this facility until it gets sorted! In the meantime you can click on the video to get a window which allows you to ‘cancel content’ – this stops the video playing.
  • We will update our information as soon as there is more news.
  • If you are having problems, please contact us. We can send you the videos as separate files.
  • Dropbox on tablets and mobiles WILL still play the embedded videos. So will Adobe Acrobat Pro (at time of writing).
  • In the meantime, we are working on transferring our ebooks into HTML format, and will keep you informed. 

Why PDF?

Vivebooks are published as PDF files delivered as a download to your computer or as a CD or DVD (physical product) sent to you in the mail. The book is identical however you buy it. We use pdf files as they give you additional benefits over other ebook formats:

  • The pdf is the most widely used format, playable on many different types of computer equipment.
  • You can easily print pages from our ebooks and the page will look as it does on screen. We set the page size of our ebooks so that they will print on both A4 and US letter sizes with no adjustment required.
  • The pdf can contain text, hi-res photos, audio and video files.
  • You own the ebook. You can transfer it to another computer, it doesn’t only play on one machine (such as the Kindle), and you are not ‘leasing’ it so that your ownership lapses when that computer stops being used. The only limitations are legal ones, for example you can’t give a copy to someone else although you could give it to another person IF you delete it from your computer, although the nicest thing would be to buy them their own copy!
  • Do remember though that this is YOUR copy once downloaded and you may want to back it up to another hard drive. We don’t have a responsibility to provide you with another copy if you lose yours.

What do I need to read my ebook?

Many of our recent publications contain video (sometimes audio) clips embedded in the file. These are fully compatible with PC and Mac computers as well as devices such as tablets running iOS (e.g. iPad), Android or Kindle platforms.

You do need to make sure that you use the right software to view the files, which means Adobe Acrobat Reader for the Mac or PC, the latest Dropbox app on iOS (5.2.2 or later) or Android—please see FAQ below for more information about this. These publications work well on recent devices with up-to-date software and enough memory.

Older devices or those only with minimum memory may struggle. It is always going to be easier to download and view these publications on computers/laptops with larger screens and capacity to deal with large files. Even if you want to view the file on a tablet or phone, it is easier to download it to a computer first and then transfer/sync it.

Download or CDROM?

The PDF files vary in size so that those with a larger video element may be 600Mb to over 1Gb whereas those without may be 50–100Mb. When you pay for a download, you will immediately be sent an email confirmation of your order that contains a secure download link. If you don’t receive this, please check your SPAM filter before contacting us.

If you opt for a download the files are streamed from an Amazon server—as fast as we can manage but the download speed may be limited by your Internet connection. Downloading a large file may take up to 2 hours or more if your connection is fairly slow. We hope you will agree it is worth the wait to get high quality photos and all the video clips.

If you are concerned about the download and can wait a couple of days, please order the physical product and we will ship it to you first class/airmail asap. For further information, please Contact Us.

Downloading to a PC or Mac

Your ebook purchase will give you a limited number of download attempts before it times out. When you click on the download link you will typically get a ‘black’ screen but if you leave it several minutes you will start to see a bar appearing in the middle of the screen as the file downloads (depending on your browser, this bar may not appear).

It can often look as though nothing is happening while the download is streaming to your computer so please don’t start another download unless your connection has been cut off or you have received a failure notification. If you click again, you will cancel the download in progress and start a new one.

Once downloaded, your ebook will appear in your browser; then use ‘Save as’, to move it to a folder where you can open it with Adobe Reader (this also takes a few minutes). By default, your computer will often store downloaded files in the ‘Downloads’ folder, so please check in there. You may need to ‘refresh’ the view of the contents of Downloads to see it – click on a different folder and open that, then go back to Downloads and open that.

It can also take your computer a little while to process and open the file when it has downloaded – opening such large files can be slow if your computer is a bit older or only has limited memory. If you have run out of download attempts without getting your purchase, please contact us and we will help you get it.

Some of our ebooks are downloaded as zip files. A zip file is simple a means of compressing the contents for easier downloading. When your zip file has downloaded, simply click on it to open it and see the contents. On Windows, you will need to ‘Extract All’ once you have clicked. Often you will see a folder of videos separate from the ebook pdf file – this is so that you can open the videos separately if necessary.

It’s best to copy the file from ‘Downloads’ to somewhere on your computer that you can find it easily. To open the file, DON’T just click on it. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader, then in Reader, go to ‘File’ (top left), ‘Open’ and navigate to where you have saved your ebook. The reason for this is that otherwise your computer will probably try to open the ebook with a different program that won’t play the video.

You may also be asked to ‘enable 3D content’ and/or to ‘trust’ the file. These are both fine to do, they are security settings on your computer to make sure that you don’t open a video with malicious content. Acrobat often takes a while to sort itself out to play the video the first time you enable it (faster if you copy the file to your hard drive from a CDROM) and it may show as ‘not responding’ but it will . . . eventually, and be faster in the future. If Adobe Acrobat is slow or seems to have frozen, this is usually sorted by closing and re-opening Adobe Acrobat and the file.

We have had a very few comments from people working on a Mac who get just a white space where the video should be, in spite of following all the instructions. This seems to be a problem with downloading using Safari. If you get this error, please try your download again using a different browser – Google Chrome or Firefox.

Downloading to a tablet (e.g. iPad)

Our experience suggests that it is often quicker and simpler to download your chosen ebook to a computer first, then transfer/sync it to your tablet, using Dropbox if possible as this will then also play the file. For advice on how to sync the file from your computer to the tablet, see FAQ below. If you want to download directly to your iPad/tablet, here are the instructions as the standard apps can’t cope (the browsers quit before completing the download of our large files that include video).

Basic Instructions for iOS and Android
  1. Go to the App store: download and install the Dropbox app. Also download and install a free downloader app – these seem to change often but we’ve used AnyDownloadr on iOS and ezPDF (free trial full version) on Android successfully.
  2. Copy the download link from the Vivebooks email and paste it into the address bar of the browser window on the downloader. The file should now download and after a while you should see it in the Downloads folder of the app.
  3. On iOS the downloader app will open the downloaded PDF file if you tap on it but the videos won’t play, so now you have to get it into Dropbox. Tap the ‘send to’ icon (a square with an arrow pointing out of it), then select ‘Files’ then ‘Dropbox’ and the folder in Dropbox you want to use, then hit ‘Save’. Go and have a cup of tea/coffee while it uploads to Dropbox. Finally(!) you should be able to open the PDF file in Dropbox and enjoy your purchase. On Android, ezPDF will download AND play the file including videos but if you want to keep using that app you will have to buy it after the free trial expires. Alternatively, save it into Dropbox (free) and use that to play the file.


Q: The video/audio files in my  ebook are not working when I click on them.

A: For the video to work on a computer, you need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Many machines now don’t come with this so you need to download and install it (FREE). Other programs will open the pdf but not play the video. If you need to get Adobe Reader for your computer, it is here: Make sure that you use Adobe Reader and NOT the pdf reader that is part of your browser (especially if you have downloaded the file using your browser). If necessary, open Adobe Reader, then go to File>Open and find the Vivebooks pdf file.

Adobe Acrobat/Reader Versions: The video and sound files are embedded in the pdf file and can be played by the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader Acrobat (see above).  If you get a message to download and install Flash Player you need to update to the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

We have had a very few comments from people working on a Mac who get just a white space where the video should be, in spite of following all the instructions. This seems to be a problem with downloading using Safari. If you get this error, please try your download again using a different browser – Google Chrome or Firefox.

iPAD/Tablets: The latest version of the Dropbox app (later than 5.2.2) will now not only sync the file with your computer BUT also open and play it properly, including the videos. So we now recommend using Dropbox on iOS/Android – but please make sure that the email address you entered on our website is also associated with your Dropbox account otherwise Dropbox will think you are someone else and not let you access the file! If you are running Android you may still want to use ezPDF as a downloader and player but Dropbox on Android will play the file including videos.

Q: I can’t get the video to work – I’m on Windows 8/10.

Windows 8/10 seems particularly insistent that you must use its software to play PDF files, not Adobe Reader, so it always opens using Windows. This is a pity because Windows won’t play the video that is encoded to PDF formats. What to do: 1) Download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader and Flash Player (free) if you don’t already have them (see previous FAQ). 2) Open Adobe Reader. 3) From Adobe Reader, go to the File tab and select ‘Open’ then navigate to where your Vivebooks file is on your computer. 4) Select the file and click ‘Open’. = Video works 🙂

Q: Can I read a VIVEBOOKS ebook on my iPad/Android/Kindle device?

YES! but read on . . . Many devices now include a basic pdf reader in the browser supplied with the device BUT these will NOT read our files where there is integrated video or audio. For these to work properly you need a different app – NOT Adobe. There are two apps for Android/Kindle devices that play embedded video and sound in PDF files: ezPDF Reader (£3.50 or less from the App store) and Dropbox (free). So now you can read your Vivebooks with video properly on Android colour Kindle Fire/HD. We’ve tried it out and everything works – though the bookmarks are called ‘Outlines’ in ezPDF, which threw us for a while. And the deft little finger flick that brings up the tools took a while to work out! To install the app, search for it by name in the App store, then follow instructions.

For iOS, Dropbox seems to be the best free software that plays the video as well.

How do I get the file from my computer onto my iPad?

A good way is to use Dropbox:, which is a bit like a free cloud, a really good way of sharing large files between people and devices/computers. Install Dropbox on your computer, and the Dropbox free app for your iPad.

For Android versions and to check the latest updates, go here:

Q: Can I download my ebook directly to my iPad/tablet without using another computer?

A: Yes! But it’s easier to download to a computer, then transfer it using Dropbox. If you want to download directly, its better to use a downloader app as Safari or Chrome struggle with our large files. See detailed instructions above.

Q: Nothing happens when I put the CD into my computer (PC).

A: The first thing is to make sure that you have found the disk on your computer, so that you can open it and open the files it contains. Go to ‘My Computer’. You should see the Vivebook in the list that appears. Click on this to open the disk, then double click on the file that has the name of your book followed by ‘.pdf’.

Q: I’ve tried to download my purchase several times but it didn’t download and now it won’t let me try again?

Please see the information above about downloading.