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Ariel Document Delivery FAQ

  1. What is Electronic Document Delivery?
  2. How does EDD work?
  3. What are the minimum hardware and software requirements?
  4. I’ve lost/deleted the email notification with all the necessary information to access my documents online. What should I do?
  5. The link I received with the e-mail notification does not work.  What should I do?
  6. When I login, I get the message “There are no available documents for this login…” What is wrong?
  7. Why is it taking so long to open my document?
  8. Why does my document open as a blank page when I try to access it?
  9. Acrobat opened, but my document still doesn’t appear.
  10. What should I do if I see an error message?
  11. Why are some of the pages in my articles upside-down or sideways?
  12. Some of the pages in my article are blank, included twice, in the wrong order, missing, or illegible.
  13. Why are my documents no longer listed in my account?  What should I do?
  14. How do I save a document to disk?
  15. How do I know how much drive space I need?

  1.  What is Electronic Document Delivery?
Electronic Document Delivery (EDD) allows for the delivery of documents over the World Wide Web in Portable Document Format.  ILL articles received by the Library in electronic format are posted to the Library server and can be viewed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any computer with Internet access, using the Adobe Reader software (version 7 or higher).  If you do not have the Adobe Reader software installed on your computer, you can download if for free from the Adobe Web site.

  2.  How does EDD work?
Individuals who request articles through Interlibrary Loan will be notified by email when their requests arrive. If the article is delivered in electronic format, a second email notification will be sent, containing:

  1. A Personal Identification Number (PIN) up to 6 alphanumeric characters
  2. The web address ( where documents can be retrieved

Anytime you want to access your article(s) online, you can go to the Ariel Login page and login with your email address and your PIN. You will receive a separate notification email and a new PIN with each new article you receive via EDD.

  3.  What are the minimum hardware and software requirements?

  • Hardware (One of the following recommended):
    1. PC
      • Windows (98, 2000, XP, or 7)
      • 32 MB of RAM minimum (64 MB recommended)
      • 100 MB available space on hard drive.
    2. Macintosh
      • System 7.1 or higher
      • 32 MB of RAM minimum (64 MB recommended)
      • 100 MB available space on hard drive.
  • Valid e-mail account
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Web browser: Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.
  • Printer (Laser or Inkjet Printer). Your printer needs to be capable of printing documents scanned at a minimum resolution of 300 DPI.
  • Internet connection with speed of at least 56k bps via modem (recommended).

  4.  I’ve lost the email notification with all the necessary information to access my documents online. What should I do?
Please contact the ILL office as soon as possible.

  5.  The link I received with the e-mail notification does not work. What should I do?

I clicked on the link.  Please try again later.  We may be experiencing a server downtime.
I copied the link into my browser address.  Please try again, this time being sure you copy the entire URL as it appears in the e-mail. You can also access the login page from the following URL:

  6.  When I login, I get the message “There are no available documents for this login…” What is wrong?
Three things could be wrong:

  1. You may have used the wrong email address or typed your email address incorrectly. If you have more than one active email account, remember to login using the email address where you received your notification containing the PIN and link to access your articles online.  If you are using the correct email address, please remember to type your entire email address, including the domain (“”) portion after your user name, just as it appears in the “To:” field in the top box of the email notification you received. For example, To: would require you to type in the “Your complete e-mail address” box.
  2. You may have typed your PIN incorrectly. The PIN you receive in your email notification is usually a combination of numbers and letters, and is case sensitive. If typing your PIN in the Ariel Login screen, be careful not to confuse a zero with a capital “O”, or the number “1” with a capital “I”.
  3. Because of Copyright concerns, electronic documents are automatically deleted 14 days after they are posted to the Web, or after they are viewed 5 times. If you did not view and save the document during this time frame, you may have to request the article again.  (Requesting an article for the second or third time may not always be possible due to copyright restrictions, so please be sure to save/print your article after you’ve viewed it the first time).

  7.  Why is it taking so long to open my document?
Because PDF documents are graphic images, the file sizes are very large.  Using a 56K modem, a large document could take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour to download. Here are some general guidelines on how long it may take an article to download:

  • Article = 3 pages (1,000K), approximately 5 minutes
  • Article = 10 pages (3,000K), approximately 15 minutes
  • Article = 50 pages (6,000K), approximately 30 minutes

It takes about five minutes to transfer 1MB (1,000K) of information using a 56K modem. To shorten download times, do not surf to other web sites while waiting for your document to load. Surfing to other sites takes bandwidth away from the download and will lengthen the amount of time needed to retrieve your document.

Sometimes slower computers, or computers with slow internet connections from home may have trouble opening the files and Adobe Acrobat Reader simultaneously.  Some users report they are able to obtain the articles using slow computer connections by changing the settings in Adobe Acrobat Reader so that the Reader and the file don’t open simultaneously.  Making this change will then mean that PDF’s will be downloaded in a separate step.  To try this option follow the instructions listed under FAQ 7 for the version of Adobe Reader installed on the computer from which you are attempting to access your articles online.

  8.  Why does my document open as a blank page when I try to access it?
A few of the most common causes to this problem are:

  • The beginning of the document you requested may contain a page that is mostly blank or contains a large amount of white space. Simply scroll down or advance to the next page to reach an area of the document that contains text or graphics.
  • Internet Explorer Users: Enabling Active X
    1. From the Internet Explorer menu bar, click on Tools > Internet Options.
    2. Click the Security tab.
    3. Select the Internet zone.
    4. Under Security Level for this zone, click Default Level. The security level should now say Medium. This will enable Active X.
  • Setting Adobe Reader to run as a separate application:
    By default, Adobe Reader installs itself to run as a browser plugin, meaning that it will display PDF files inside your browser window. As an alternative, you can set Adobe Reader to open in a separate window.

    • Adobe Reader 6 and later:
      1. Close your browser.
      2. Start Adobe Reader. (Look in Start Menu > Programs.)
      3. Go under Edit > Preferences.
      4. Select Internet in the list on the left.
      5. Deselect Display PDF in Browser and click OK.
      6. Close Adobe Reader.
      7. Restart your browser.
  • The security settings on your browser or network prevent the article from displaying.
    • If you are using Internet Explorer, try accessing your document using Firefox.
    • If you prefer to use Internet Explorer, try resetting the security settings in the browser.
      • From the toolbar choose Tools > Internet Options.
      • Select Security > Internet.
      • Click on the Default Level button, then select OK.
      • Close Internet Explorer, then reopen Internet Explorer and try accessing your document again.
    • Turn off pop-up-blocking and ad-blocking software (this can interfere with Acrobat).
    • Check your hardware and software firewalls for proper settings to allow access.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader may be trying to automatically update, causing the application to freeze.
    • To unhide/disable automatic updates:
      • Open Adobe from the Start menu: Start > Programs > Acrobat Reader
      • In Acrobat, click Edit > Preferences
      • Select Updates from the list of options at the left to view/change the Updates preferences. Switch to Manually to disable automatic updates; unclick button to show updates
      • Try updating manually: in Acrobat, click Help > Updates. The application will connect to the Internet to search for available updates.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader is installed incorrectly, or has not been installed. If you are unsure that the Acrobat Reader plug-in or program is properly installed, this could cause problems when trying to access your document. To verify this, see if you can locate the Acrobat Reader program on your computer. In the START menu, select “Programs.” Look for Adobe, then Acrobat Reader. If you see it, try to start it manually. If you still have trouble, you may want to reinstall Acrobat Reader to make sure it is properly installed.
  • Your session on the document delivery server was disconnected. If you’re using a dial-up modem, check your modem status and see if you are still connected to the Internet. If you are using a University, public or office workstation, try logging in again from another computer.
  • Your computer does not have enough system resources available to display the document. Even the most powerful or newest computers have a finite amount of resources available to perform all of the tasks required of them. Normally you will see a message similar to “Low on System Resources” appear if you have too many applications open, though this is not always the case. Try closing some applications, particularly resource hogs such as imaging processing, spreadsheet or database products.
  • Your download was canceled for some reason. Be sure you have not accidentally clicked on the CANCEL button during your download. Because this is often the last dialog box displayed on the screen, pressing ENTER will have the same affect. A canceled download can also be the result of a lost connection to the Internet, or the document delivery server itself. Running out of drive space may also cause your browser to terminate a download once it finds there’s nowhere to store the file!

  9.  Acrobat opened, but my document still doesn’t appear.
In some browsers, the file may open but appear in a window behind your current window.  If you see the Adobe Acrobat Reader open, but nothing appears to happen, then check your taskbar (the bar where the Start button appears). All of the programs that you have open at one time appear as named windows on your taskbar.  Look for an extra browser window and click on it.  Usually this problem only occurs the first time you open a document link.

  10.  What should I do if I see an error message?
Below you will find general solutions to some common error messages.  If the message you are receiving is not listed below, please contact the Electronic Resources Librarian by phone at 325-942-2154 ext.231 or E-mail at Please provide as much information as possible so that we may help you resolve your problems.

Error Message: Invalid Username or Password

If you get this message while trying to log into the Web server, please make sure that your caps-lock is off, and try to login again. Your e-mail and PIN are case sensitive. Please go to the Ariel Document Delivery Login page and try again.

If the problem persists after trying the steps above, please contact the Electronic Resources Librarian by phone at 325-942-2154 ext.231 or e-mail at

Error Message: Unknown File Type

If you received this error message, it means that your operating system does not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in for the Web browser you are using (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) Therefore your browser does not know how to handle the PDF file.

Re-installing Adobe Acrobat should solve the problem. It will not affect any previous PDF files you have on your computer and should resolve any problem related to missing plug-ins.

Error Message: Unknown Application

This error message usually occurs when you try to open a PDF file and your operating system cannot find the program associated with the PDF file extension. It indicates that you do not have Adobe installed or if you do, Adobe is not properly configured.

To determine if you already have Adobe Acrobat installed and set up correctly, click the following link: Test Acrobat. Do you see the “Congratulations!” page?:

* If Yes, then Adobe is working. Try closing your browser and log into your account again.
* If Not, please refer to the Adobe Acrobat Help page for information about downloading, installing, configuring and troubleshooting Acrobat.

  11.  Why are some of the pages in my articles upside-down or sideways?
When lending libraries copy journal articles using a scanner, they sometimes scan some of the pages upside-down.  If the journal is small enough so that two pages can fit onto one 8.5x11 page, the article may be scanned in “sideways”. If you are trying to read an article that has upside-down or sideways pages, you can print the article and re-organize the pages.  If you need to read the pages before you print them out, Acrobat Reader version 4.05 or higher has buttons on its toolbar which allow you to rotate the pages on the screen.

  12.  Some of the pages in my article are blank, included twice or in the wrong order.
If there are detailed illustrations in your article, the lending library will usually scan those pages in twice; once for the text, and once with a special setting to make the illustrations clear.  Also, lending libraries sometimes make mistakes when scanning articles, and some pages may be included twice or located in the wrong place, such as at the end of the article. Please check the entire document to make sure that all of the pages are included. If there are missing or illegible pages, please contact the ILL office (325-042-2154, ext.251 or as soon as possible with the name of the article so that we can re-order the missing or illegible pages.

  13.  Why are my documents no longer listed in my account? What should I do?
There are three primary reasons why an article previously listed on the download page will disappear:

  • You clicked on the REMOVE button for that article.
    While we encourage you to remove any documents which are no longer needed, you need to be very sure of this prior to clicking the REMOVE button. There is no un-do feature incorporated into the software that will correct this. Once you click on this button, the document is gone!  Your only recourse at this point is to re-order the document (which may not always be possible, due to copyright restrictions).
  • The document was viewed the maximum number of times.
    You are allowed one copy of the material you’ve requested. We’ve given you multiple views of an articles to allow for any technical difficulties you may encounter while viewing/downloading a document. Each time you click on the document link is considered a view.
  • The document was online more than the maximum number of days allowed.
    For the same reasons as stated above, we’ve also placed a limit as to the number of days a requested article can remain on the server. In addition, this also prevents an unnecessary accumulation of documents on the ILL server.

  14.  How do I save a document to disk?
If you have not downloaded the article:

  1. Go to the list of documents
  2. Right click your mouse on the document link and select “Save target as”
  3. Select which directory you want to save the file to, i.e., “My Documents”.
  4. Rename the file to anything you wish, making sure it has a .pdf extension
  5. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader, then open the file you saved. The file should open and allow you to print.

If you are currently viewing the article:

  1. Look for the picture of a diskette in the upper-left corner of the Acrobat Reader toolbar
  2. Click on the picture to “Save a Copy”
  3. Select which directory you want to save to file to, i.e., “My Documents”
  4. Rename the file to something you will remember, making sure it has a .pdf extension

  15.  How do I know how much drive space I need?
In your list of available documents, there is a column that says “Size.” This represents the amount of space any given document will require when you download (or save) it to your hard drive. At times, you may receive a very large file, depending on the type of material that was scanned (text or images) and how many pages. It’s always a good idea to check how large the file is prior to starting the download. To determine the amount of free space you have on your hard drive, follow the steps appropriate for your operating system:

  • Windows-based computers:
    • Click on the START button on your desktop (usually the lower left corner).
    • Select Programs.
    • Select Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer!).
    • Click once on the drive letter where you plan to store your document (usually somewhere on C:).
    • The amount of free hard drive space should be displayed in the bottom status bar of Windows Explorer.
  • Mac-based computers:
    • Click on the drive icon that represents which drive you’d like to use.
    • Press CONTROL+I (simultaneously), also called the “Apple I”, to bring up a list of information about that drive.