Windows and Mac apps

Most eBook apps are for portable devices, but there are some for Windows and Mac computers.

Already mentioned

Some eBooks have already been mentioned, for instance Kindle for PC with accessibility is detailed on the Kindle apps page and iBooks for Mac on the iBooks page

Adobe Digital Editions

Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is incorporated into some hardware readers, and there is a free standalone version for use on a Windows or Mac computer. You need this version if you want to read eBooks borrowed from your library, or have bought  eBooks from companies like Waterstones or Mills & Boon.

Its features include:

  • Five text size options, with the largest being dictated by your monitor size.
  • Support for colour options chosen in the operating system.
  • Text-to-speech and Braille output for all titles through recent versions of an external screen reader - JAWS, NVDA and Window-Eyes on a Windows computer, or VoiceOver on a Mac.

On Windows computers, the screen reader settings control how much punctuation is read and it's possible to move by character or sentence, or to read continuously.

There are some notable limitations:

  • For NVDA, Windows Vista or above is required.
  • Navigation with VoiceOver on the Mac is only by page.

Download our making the most of adobe digital editions guide (Word, 184KB)

Blio

Blio promised great things when it was announced a few years ago, but has progressed slowly and unevenly.

There are apps for Windows, iOS and Android devices, but features vary between them. For instance, font size options are available in the Windows 8 app but not the Windows desktop app, while speech with the built in voice is the other way around.

You can only buy books from the Windows app.

Speech output is available through the built-in screen reader (but not on Windows 8), and you can buy voices from Blio.

Reading services from RNIB

We make it possible for you to get access to books, newspapers and magazines in the format you prefer, whether that’s braille, audio, large print or digital. You can borrow from our library service – the largest of its kind in the UK – or buy from our online shop.

RNIB reading services