Device Advice

All our books come in three downloadable ebook formats (PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket); the PDF format is also available as a compressed Zip file. (For more on these formats, see About Our Ebook Formats, later on this page.) You can download any or all of these, and can read them on almost any device. Which format(s) you choose depends partly on which device you plan to read it on, partly on which app you prefer to use, and partly on personal preference. This page helps you understand the options and transfer our books to the places where you want them to be.

Viewing Our Ebooks on a Mac or PC

Begin by downloading the ebook to your computer:

  • Download it from the “order complete” email: When you buy a Take Control book, we immediately send you an email message with the subject “Your Take Control Books order is now complete.” (Don’t see it? Please check your spam folder.) This message contains download links for the book(s) you just purchased. Depending on which browser you use, you may also see download links on screen.) Open that message on your computer and click the format you want—PDF, EPUB, Mobi, or PDF (Zip)—to download that format onto your computer using your default browser. Plain PDFs normally display within your browser window; other formats go into your default Downloads folder. From there, you can open them in the app of your choice (such as Preview or Acrobat Reader DC for PDFs; or Books/iBooks or Calibre for EPUBs).

  • Download it from your Take Control Library: You can always go to your Take Control Library page to download any book you’ve purchased from us. If you’re not already logged in, enter the email address you used to make the purchase and your password. If you don’t know your password, don’t worry: go to our password reset page. Enter your email address there and we’ll send you a link you can tap to set or change your password. Once again, the book either appears right in your browser (plain PDF) or goes to your default Downloads folder.

Double-clicking a book opens it in the default app for that file type, assuming you have it installed. On a Mac, unless you’ve changed your settings, Preview is the default app for PDFs, Books/iBooks is the default for EPUBs, and Kindle is the default app for Mobipocket files. You can also open books on a Mac by dragging them onto the appropriate app’s Dock icon, or—in most cases—dragging it into the app’s window.

Viewing Our Ebooks on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch

There are many ways to get one of our books onto your device so you can read it there in the app of your choice (such as Apple Books or Kindle):

  • Download it from the “order complete” email: When you buy a Take Control book, we immediately send you an email message with the subject “Your Take Control Books order is now complete.” (Don’t see it? Please check your spam folder.) This message contains download links for the book(s) you just purchased. Depending on which browser you use, you may also see download links on screen.) Open that email message on your mobile device and tap the format you want—PDF, EPUB, Mobi, or PDF (Zip)—to download that format onto your device using your default browser. (Be sure to see “Downloads in iOS 13/iPadOS 13,” below.)

  • Download it from your Take Control Library: You can always go to your Take Control Library page to download any book you’ve purchased from us. If you’re not already logged in, enter the email address you used to make the purchase and your password. If you don’t know your password, don’t worry: go to our password reset page. Enter your email address there and we’ll send you a link you can tap to set or change your password. (Be sure to see “Downloads in iOS 13/iPadOS 13,” below.) Note: Do not attempt to download our books using the built-in browser in 1Password for iOS/iPadOS. It does not handle file downloads properly. Use Safari or another standalone browser instead.

Downloads in iOS 13/iPadOS 13: If you tap PDF in the email message or in your Library, the book will display in your browser, but it won’t be saved on your device unless you tap the Share icon and then tap Save to Files (to save it in the Files app), or tap a different option to save it to another location.

IMPORTANT! In iOS 13/iPadOS 13 and later, downloads in other formats go directly to the Files app. Open Files to see the downloaded book(s). (If you don’t see the book(s), tap iCloud Drive under “Locations” and then tap Downloads.) Tap a book there to open it in the appropriate app. For EPUB, Books is the default choice. If the book is in Mobi format, after tapping the book, tap the Share icon, followed by Kindle—but see below for further qualifications.

  • Sync it from another Apple device using Books/iBooks: If you’ve already downloaded the book and added it to Books/iBooks on your Mac, you can use this technique to get it onto your mobile device. Books in PDF or EPUB format that you add to the Books (or iBooks) app on any of your Apple devices can sync automatically with Books/iBooks on your other devices signed in to the same iCloud account, as long as your preferences are correct. On a Mac, go to System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud (Catalina) or System Preferences > iCloud (Mojave or earlier). Make sure iCloud Drive is checked. Then click the Options button next to it and make sure Books (or iBooks) is checked. On an iOS/iPadOS device, go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud and make sure Books (or iBooks) is turned on. With those settings in place, adding a PDF or EPUB book to Books/iBooks syncs it to your other devices automatically, usually within a minute or less.

  • Send it from a Mac or PC to the Kindle app on your iOS/iPadOS device: Here’s another technique you can use after downloading a book to your Mac. You can often email ebooks (in PDF or Mobi format only) to your Kindle using a special address that Amazon provides; see instructions here. Alternatively, you can use the free Send to Kindle App (available for macOS, Windows, Chrome, and Firefox) to send a book from your computer to a Kindle app. Note, however, that some of our larger books exceed the maximum size supported by Send to Kindle (whether via email or the app). If you encounter that problem, connect your iOS/iPadOS device to your Mac with a USB cable. Then:

    • Catalina or later: In the sidebar of a Finder window, select your mobile device. Click Files and then scroll down to Kindle. Drag the book(s) onto the Kindle icon.
    • Mojave or earlier: Open iTunes and click the icon at the top representing your mobile device. Click File Sharing, select the Kindle app, click Add, select the file you want to transfer, and click Add again. Books should be copied instantly—no need to click Sync.
  • Sync it from another device using a cloud service: Having downloaded one of our books on a Mac, PC, or other device, you can of course put it in a cloud storage location (such as iCloud Drive or Dropbox) and then use the Files app, or the applicable third-party app, on your iOS/iPadOS device, to open it. Refer to the instructions above for working with Files.

  • Sync it from a Mac to Books/iBooks using the Finder (Catalina or later):

    1. Download the book to your Mac and add it to Books/iBooks (see the instructions earlier on this page).
    2. Connect your iOS/iPadOS device to your Mac using a USB cable.
    3. In the Finder, select your device in the sidebar.
    4. Select the Books category.
    5. Make sure “Sync books onto device name” is checked.
    6. Select All Books to sync all your books, or Selected Books to sync only those checked in the list below. (Note that there are two separate lists—one for “Books,” which in this context means EPUBs, and one for PDFs.)
    7. Click Sync.
  • Sync it from a Mac (Mojave or earlier) or a PC:

    1. Download the book to your Mac or PC.
    2. Connect your iOS/iPadOS device to your computer using a USB cable.
    3. In iTunes, select your device at the top of the window.
    4. Select the Books category in the sidebar on the left.
    5. Make sure Sync Books” is checked.
    6. Select “All books” to sync all your books, or “Selected books” to sync only those checked in the list below. (If the book is not already in that list, drag it into the list now.)
    7. Click Sync.
  • Email it to yourself: A low-tech approach but one that may help in a pinch: email a book to yourself as an attachment, then open the message on your iOS/iPadOS device and open the attachment from there. Note that you may run into attachment size limits, depending on your email app and provider and the size of the book.

Viewing Our Ebooks on a Kindle Device

If you purchased a book directly from us (not from Amazon), there are two main ways you can get it onto your Kindle:

  • Download it from your Take Control library: Most Kindle models have a built-in web browser. If yours does, you can log in to your Take Control account on your Kindle and go to your Library page to download any book you’ve purchased from us (Mobi format works best on a Kindle, and PDF is usually OK). Enter the email address you used to make the purchase and your password. If you don’t know your password, go to our password reset page. Enter your email address there and we’ll send you a link you can tap to set or change your password.

  • Send it from a Mac or PC to a Kindle device: Here’s another technique you can use after downloading a book to your Mac. You can often email ebooks (in PDF or Mobi format only) to your Kindle using a special address that Amazon provides; see instructions here. Alternatively, you can use the free Send to Kindle App (available for macOS, Windows, Chrome, and Firefox) to send a book from your computer to a Kindle app. Note, however, that some of our larger books exceed the maximum size supported by Send to Kindle (whether via email or the app). If you encounter that problem, you must connect your Kindle to your computer with a USB cable. When you do, a Kindle disk image icon should appear. Select that, and inside will be a folder named “documents.” Drag the (Mobi or PDF format) file(s) into that folder.

About Our Ebook Formats

Here’s how our three ebook formats compare:

  • PDF: This format has carefully chosen fonts, spacing, and other visual aspects to provide an excellent onscreen reading experience. PDF uses a page-based layout, which means page numbers are fixed, and each page always shows the same contents, regardless of how far you zoom in or out. That makes it an ideal choice for reading on a Mac or PC, or an iPad (or other tablet) with a medium-to-large screen; it’s also the right format to use if you plan to print any of our ebooks yourself. On the other hand, PDF is generally not the best choice for devices with small screens, because zooming in far enough to be able to read the text may also mean you’re unable to see an entire line without a lot of tedious swiping.

  • EPUB: EPUB is a “reflowable” format, meaning that you can change the font, size, or screen orientation and the text will reflow to fill your screen accordingly. This makes EPUB an ideal choice for reading on small-screen devices, but some people prefer it even on larger screens because it offers more control over the display than PDF and can require less scrolling. Page numbers in EPUB are variable, so they won’t correspond to page numbers in the PDF format. Graphics in our books remain at a fixed size, regardless of your font size or other settings. In addition, captions, sidebars, and other complex visual elements may reflow oddly, and we have no control over that.

  • Mobipocket: The Mobi format is used only by Kindle (that is, physical Kindle devices and the Kindle app, which is available for most platforms). Otherwise, it has basically all the same characteristics as the EPUB format.