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Inter Library Loans: Downloading PDFs - solving problems

Downloading documents received via Adobe Live Cycle

We are aware that some people experience problems opening and printing documents supplied by the British Library.

They use a delivery system called DRM Lite.

If you do experience any problems the first time you try to access a document from the BL, or are just unsure what to do, the following points should help.

  • You should have Adobe 10 or higher on your machine.
  • You should be using Adobe Reader*, not Adobe Pro or Adobe Acrobat to open your document.
  • It's probably best to use Firefox/IE.
  • If you use Google Chrome, you should disable the pdf browser by typing chrome://plugins in the address bar then scroll down to Chrome PDF viewer and click on disable (see screen grab in section below). Alternatively use Firefox/IE.
  • MAC devices using the Safari browser will attempt to open PDF's using the 'Preview' feature. This will result in the user seeing only blank pages. The MAC user will need to ensure that they have the Adobe Reader app downloaded and then ensure that their device uses Adobe Reader to open the PDF. When you are prompted to 'click to download your document' the next page should show an 'open in..' link on the screen. Select 'Adobe Reader App'.
  • DRM Lite, requires you to log in to access your document. In order to do this you must be registered with On Demand. Please ensure that you do not use an email address as your username when you register - this can cause problems.
  • Once you have registered, please ensure that you have received the registration email and clicked on the link within it to activate your account and completed the last part of the registration process (address details).
  • Once you have completed the registration please wait 15 minutes before trying to access your document, as it can take this long for the registration to become fully active.
  • If you registered some time ago and are not sure whether you activated the link or not, please go to 'My Account ( login and click on 'resend activation email'.
  • 'My Account ' also gives the option to request a reminder of your username and a new password if you've forgotten them.

*If while logging in to your document you get a message saying that you need to be connected to the internet, this suggests you may be using the wrong version of Adobe. Please ensure that you select Adobe Reader, either via the control panel: Documents > pdf > Open With > Adobe Reader, or use the option to change it within the document.

If these suggestions do not give you access to your document, you should phone or email us (or the BL) directly. Please do this as soon as possible, as the link only remains on the BL's server for 30 days. After this time you would need to re-submit your request and pay again (if applicable).

If you need help outside of our office hours, the British Library's customer services team are available on 01937 546060 (08:30am to 19:00pm UK, Mon -Fri). Remember to mention that your document was supplied via DRM Lite.

Chrome plugin

This section has information if your browser is:

  • Chrome

If you use Chrome:

  • In the address bar type “chrome://plugins”.    This will display a list like this:

  •  Find Chrome PDF viewer and click Disable so it appears greyed out, as shown above.
  •  This forces Chrome to look for Adobe Acrobat Reader and then use it as the PDF reader.