Accessing Secured Palm Reader Ebooks With a Screen Reader

copyright August 2003


While these directions are specific to the Jaws screen reader, Palm Reader eBooks can be read just as easily using the WindowEyes screen reader.
These directions work for secured and unsecured Palm Reader eBooks: both formats are accessible to screen reader users.
Palm Reader eBooks are available internationallyy: retailers exist in Canada, France, and Germany.
No special commands are required to access Palm Reader eBooks though added functionality can be obtained by learning some of the basic Palm Reader menu options.
. No MicroSoft Passport account is necessary to access Palm Reader eBooks.
This guide is meant to be merely an introduction to get you started; for more detailed information, you can go to the Palm Reader frequently asked questions Web site.


1. The Palm Reader Program: How to Download and Install the Program
2. Extras: Free eBooks, Newsletters and Help Documents
3. Running the Program: Downloading and Installing the Palm Reader Software 
4Getting eBooks: . Purchasing and Downloading Palm Reader eBooks 
5. How to Read an eBook: Opening Navigating and Finding Text in Palm Reader Ebooks
6. Online Bookstores: Where to Purchase Palm Reader Ebooks
7. Further Reading: Where to Find More Information About eBook Accessibility for Blind Readers 
The Palm Reader Program: How to Download and Install the Program

The Palm Reader software is the program you will need in order to read Palm Reader eBooks.

To download the free Palm Reader program:

1. Open Internet Explorer and
go to the Palm Digital Media Web site.
2. Once the page is loaded, navigate down the page until you get to the Advanced Search link. The two links right after the search box are "Palm Reader Pro," which is the paid-for version, and "Free Palm Reader," which is the version you want 
3. Once you have found the link to the free Palm Reader program, click on the link or you can go directly there by using this url to  
go directly to download page.
4. Find the version of Palm Reader appropriate for your operating system. If you are using Windows, navigate down the page past the versions for handheld devices until you get to the desktop versions, where there are versions for both Mac and Windows. Click on the "Palm Reader for Windows" link to download.
5. Download and save the file to your PC; note in which folder the file is being downloaded so you can find it later.
6. Unzip the file and follow the prompts to install the program.

Extras: Free eBooks, Newsletters and Help Documents

Free eBooks and help documents of all sorts are available at the Palm Digital Media Web site. While none of these documents refer specifically to accessing Palm Reader eBooks with a screen reader, you should find all the information and resources you need to download, install, and use the Palm Reader program and Palm Reader eBooks. Before you download the Palm Reader program, you may wish to click on the "Intro" link, which will take you to the "Palm Digital Media: eBook Primer: Introduction." This will answer questions such as "What is an eBook?" and "What do I need?." The "Help" link provides more information about privacy and technical support concerns, along with more directions for how to purchase and open eBooks.

Once you have downloaded and installed the Palm Reader program on your PC, you can refer to the Palm Reader User Guide by either accessing it from the Programs menu or by opening it from the help menu within the Palm Reader program itself.

The Palm Digital Media Web site also offers a variety of extras which may be helpful to the user, including a weekly newsletter, a site search engine, and a wishlist for saving titles you want to buy later.

In addition to the free version of the Palm Reader program discussed in these instructions, Palm Digital Media offers Palm Reader Pro and Palm Reader Studio. These powerful programs provide additional features and tools, including the ability to produce your own Palm Reader eBooks.

Getting eBooks: . Purchasing and Downloading

Palm Digital Media offers the largest catalog of Palm Reader eBooks, but if you wish to learn about other sites which sell Palm Reader eBooks, refer to the "Online Bookstores: Where to Purchase Palm Reader EBooks" section.

To select and purchase eBooks:

1. Browse the eBook topics or try using the search engine. Each listing will contain all the necessary eBook information, including the price, applicable sales price, and sometimes an online excerpt. These excerpts are also accessible.
2. Once you have found an eBook you wish to purchase, select it by clicking on the "Add eBook to cart" link. Note that this does not mean you have purchased it, but only that you have selected it for purchase by adding it to your shopping cart. EBooks may be deleted later from your shopping cart. 
3. If you want to save a title you are interested in, but do not want to purchase the title during this session, click on "Add to wishlist."
5. If you have not created an account yet, you will be asked to do so at this point by providing basic personal information: name, email address, credit card information, etc. After filling out this information, you will be asked to confirm your personal information before you decide to finalize your purchase. When you return to Palm Digital Media, you can just sign in as a Returning Customer.
6. Confirm your account information and select "PURCHASE." After your credit card has been approved, the final screen appears providing a link to your personalized eBook purchase. Note: You may wish to uncheck the "use directory names" option, as if you do not, all the ebooks you have purchased during this checkout and download session will be saved under a single directory with the default name it is given; try to always save your ebooks in a directory and with a name you can easily remember and locate.
7. Download your eBook. A receipt will automatically be mailed to you with details of your purchase, including easy unlock instructions.
8. Install the eBooks on your computer.
9. Happy reading! 

Reinstalling eBooks

Palm Digital Media, like most eBook retailers, maintains your personal library on their servers on the "Your Bookshelf" page. This means you can reinstall your eBooks without additional charge and may download your eBooks to multiple devices.

How to Read an eBook: Opening and Navigating Palm Reader Ebooks

There are two different ways to open Palm Reader eBooks:

1. Open the Palm Reader program and select the eBook you wish to read.
2. Locate the eBook you wish to read in your directory, and click on the filename. The eBook will open.
Note that some eBooks must be unlocked by providing some security information. This may be the name and credit card number which yu used to make the purchase, or it may be the personal Information Data (PID) which can be used to register books at some web stores and libraries so that they can be read on a particular PC or other device.
Note that any eBook left opened from your previous reading session will automatically be opened to the page where you left off reading. 
To open another eBook once the Palm Reader program is open, you may navigate the directory tree just as you would in Web Explorer. Click on the title of the eBook to open it.

How to read pages using a screen reader

1. Opened the Palm Reader program. 
2. If you previously closed the Palm Reader program while reading an eBook, you will find it open and cued to the place where you left off reading. 
To open an eBook, you can either go to "My Bookshelf" on the file menu, or you can use the same method you use to find files in Web Explorer, which is to use control + o combination or go to the file menu and hit "new." Locate the eBook you wish to read and click on it.
Note: You can read some other formats in Palm Reader, such as the "Multi-Format" used at, but you must change the "file type" option to "all" once you have activated the file menu.
3. Once you have opened the eBook of your choice, you should maximize the window by pressing alt + spacebar, x. You may then wish to press insert + v to check your Jaws verbosity then press g and then spacebar until you hear "no graphics." This will prevent Jaws from reading every graphic icon on the screen. you may need to reset this option periodically.
4. Activate the Jaws cursor. This is the cursor you will use to read and scroll pages in Palm Reader eBooks. All JAWS keys and commands work as usual; no special TTS downloads are necessary to access the text of the eBooks.
5. To read a page, use your Jaws cursor in the way you usually do, reading by line, paragraph, page, or even character by character. The control + down arrow combination works best for me, but experiment to find what works best for you.
6. To scroll a page, you may either use control + page down or 
the navigate menu by pressing alt + n and then the menu item.
7. Continue in this way, always using the Jaws cursor to read the page, pressing control +page down or an equivalent to scroll to the next page, then press control +home to return to the top of the new page and read down. 
Other useful navigation commands are:
control + 1 Go to first page
control + e or control + end Go to last page
alt + left arrow Go back a page
control + j Go to page (
The Go to command will call up an edit field; just type the number of the page you wish to go to and hit return (you do not need to activate the edit field).
control + d Go to chapter
control + t Go to notes
If you wish to close notes and return to the eBook, use alt + F4
control + f, p See recently read eBooks

The progress bar

The progress bar at the bottom-right of your screen shows the current page of the book along with a progress bar indicating how far into the book the current page is.

Online Bookstores: Where to Purchase Palm Reader Ebooks

Since Palm Reader eBooks are always accessible to screen reader users, they may be downloaded from any eBook retailer who offers the Palm Reader format. Here are a few of the more accessible online bookstores.

This is a favorite of blind readers, especially science fiction and fantasy fans and it is probably the friendliest place to begin, since it offers documentation, clear labeling of formats and categories, and an easy shopping cart.

Peanut Press


Further Reading: Where to Find More Information About eBook Accessibility for Blind Readers

If you wish to learn more about eBook accessibility for blind readers, try these links:

Finding Ebooks On the Internet Written by a blind reader and published by the National Braille Press, this book is written speicifically for the blind reader. It contains information about how to access various eBook formats and where to purchase eBooks. As of the most recent updating of this document in December 2003 a newly revised version of this book is being planned for 2004.

ElectroBooks at Electrobooks is an online mailing list for blind r3eaders using new technology to access books. Content includes accessibility testing of formats, recommendations for easy-to-use online bookstores, and book searches, along with discussions and reviews of free online etexts, scanned books, books from the National Library for the Blind and Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.

Blind Bookworm Web Page copyright December 2003