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SPE currently offers three types of digital downloads -- PDF, ZIP, and PDF with DRM.


These files have no digital rights management associated with them.  They are simple downloads.  Once your payment is processed you will receive an email with information about how to download your product.  It will bring you back to your order on the bookstore where you will see a Download Book link.  Saving the file to your hard drive is recommended. 

PDF with DRM (Digital rights management) [Digital editions]

Most SPE digital books are offered in this format.  SPE uses Adobe digital editions for its digital books. The free Adobe digital editions reader is required for most devices and can be downloaded from the Adobe web site. Digital books can be used on up to six registered devices.  It is strongly recommended that you register your copy of Digital Editions with Adobe; without it, downloaded books will be locked to a single computer and cannot be restored if something happens to your hard drive.  To use the book on multiple devices, they will all need to be registered to your Adobe account. 


  • A recent browser version (Internet Explorer 8 or higher, Firefox 3.4 or higher, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera) is required for downloading digital books. Please complete this update before proceeding.
  • Install and register Adobe digital editions BEFORE downloading your digital book.
  • Download our test book BEFORE making a purchase. [see explanation/rationale below] Free download of the SPE Symbols Standard
  • Downloads of purchased books are NOT immediate. Please allow one business day for your credit card payment to be processed. You will receive an email when that is complete. You will be able to download your books from the My Account link in the header (from your order) or from the Digital Goods link in the lower portion of the left navigation.
  • Read and follow our digital book download instructions (pdf) for downloading your book.

Why you need to download test book first

Test Book: Free download of the SPE Symbols Standard

By default, Adobe's content server for digital books uses Port 8080 for downloading digital books. Many corporate firewalls block access to Port 8080, which means customers may have difficulty downloading their purchases and digital books cannot be returned (because SPE cannot verify whether or not it has been downloaded). So it is important to determine whether you will have problems BEFORE making a digital book purchase.

SPE is working on a solution to this issue, which we hope to have in place soon. Another option that you can try if you have a laptop is downloading from home (where your corporate firewall would not interfere). We will update this page and put a notification on the Bookstore home page once the download issue has been resolved.

Additional information

SPE has established reasonable limits on printing, cutting and pasting as part of the digital rights management (DRM) that we believe will permit most normal use of the book. These limits are time-based, so if you encounter a limit it will reset within a few days.  Some downloaded products may be valid for a limited time period only.  These will be clearly identified prior to purchase, and Adobe Digital Editions will let you know when the book will expire after download.

Please refer to Adobe digital editions help for information on adding books to additional computers or readers, as well as other features of Adobe Digital Editions.

Digital downloads cannot be returned
Digital downloads are not currently available to resellers

Digital book download instructions (pdf)
License agreement for digital books (pdf)

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