About PDF format for the ELES study skills resources

Files will be sent to you in PDF format. Please note that you cannot edit the PDF files and it is a breach of copyright to modify the content of the documents.

What is PDF format?

PDF format is where the original word document is converted to a format that protects the copyright for the owner of the intellectual property. To open PDF files you need  Adobe Reader - which is a free program that you can download and which most computers already have installed.

Benefits of PDF format are as follows:

- speedy delivery by email within 24 hours of your order
- you can save the file at school in a directory where each teacher can access the file at any time and print off handouts as needed
- some schools have the facility to send files directly to their photocopier
- pages won't go 'missing' over the years
- if you have a school intranet you may be able to store the document where students can access and print pages as directed by your staff
- the adobe acrobat reader used to open a pdf file is probably already on your school computer or can be downloaded for free (simply do a search 'adobe acrobat reader')

Note: You cannot edit pages in PDF format (see below for more explanation). Use of PDF format allows ease of distribution (allowing you to open the file on any computer that has a PDF reader without changing any of the formatting options) and also allows a level of security to be applied to protect intellectual property of the product. It is not the same as a Word file where you can make changes to the content. In PDF format you cannot edit or make any changes to the actual content.

Can we get a version we can edit?

Imagine you found a book you liked in a major bookstore. Could you ring them and say 'we really like it but we want to make some changes, could you send us the MS Word file so we can tailor/edit it?'. Of course not! Even if you purchase an electronic book through a bookshop or the Internet you are not given the permissions or passwords to edit it.

ELES products are provided in PDF format only in order to protect the intellectual property of the copyrighted material - just like in a bookshop. Of course we can't totally stop unscrupulous people from breaking copyright law, but by providing the products in PDF format our copyrighted material can be in some way protected. If schools were given editing capabilities, what would happen is that the material would be edited to an extent that we could no longer protect our ideas through copyright. The other problem is that if schools change our material, it is not clear to users which material is from ELES and which material has been edited into the document. We have two issues with this. Firstly, we are not comfortable with unknown and possibly material we are not happy with being possibly credited to our name. Secondly, there is the chance schools may edit the material in such a way that we are open to lawsuits (eg if unsuitable material is edited in or copyrighted ideas from another author which would then look like ELES had included these ideas). Although we deal only with schools, the same copyright laws and considerations apply to our products as with any piece of intellectual property. One of the fundamental purposes of copyright law is to enable the author to protect their work and ensure that it is not altered in any way.

Breaking with hundreds of years of copyright tradition and law and giving schools editing capabilities would also make it very easy for schools to forward the files to other schools without copyright considerations. As a small organisation, we cannot continue to operate if we do not receive the revenue from those who choose to benefit from our hard work through using our products.

We have created study skills material designed specifically for digital format where students can complete the material on their computer. Click to find out more about the ELES online Study Skills Handbook Site. However, the PDF products we sell are not designed to be used in this way. And just like the major bookstores, we do not have any intention in the future of creating resources that will allow whole-scale editing by the school. This is why we provide the option for viewing our PDF resources 'on approval' - so schools can view the product in entirety and ensure it is the type of resource they are looking for before purchase.

We've lost our PDF files. Can we get a replacement?

Imagine you bought a book, a CD or even an e-book from a major bookshop or online bookshop website. If you lost it, could you contact the bookshop and request a replacement? Of course not! You would have to purchase another copy.

At ELES we have the same policy for our resources. If you lose these, you will need to purchase a new copy. 

As with any electronic media, it is a good idea to always make back-up copies of your files!