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Frequently Asked Questions
Disclaimer : We only distribute seforim that are NOT copyrighted. If you see a sefer on our web site that is copyrighted and should not be distributed please let us know immediately by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recommend you use Internet Explorer 6, Netscape, 8, Opera 8 to view our web site with best results. All of these browsers are free.
Internet Explorer 6 can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.asp
You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view the seforim. It can be downloaded for free from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html
1) What format do you distribute the seforim in?
All of our seforim are scanned copies of the original publications and are compiled in Adobe PDF format. Some seforim are just plain text of the sefer typed in and saved as PDF. We usually do this for seforim whose actual publication is copyrighted and therefore we cannot distribute the scanned copy. The nicer thing about the plain text is that you can actually search it.
2) How do I view the PDF files on your web site?
You need to download the free Adobe Reader from the Adobe web site at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html
3) How do I download the PDF files?
You can Right-Click on the small icon that appears next to the title of each sefer and select Save Target As… A prompt will come up and ask you to save the file on your hard drive.
4) Can I print the seforim and how can I do it?
Yes, you can print out some pages or the whole book. Once you open the file in the Acrobat Reader, select Print from the File menu.
5) I am using AOL. How come nothing comes up after I double click on the file name?
You are missing the special Adobe Acrobat plug-in specifically made for the AOL browser. This plug-in is automatically installed when you installed the latest version of the Acrobat Reader. The current version of Acrobat Reader is 7.0. If you are using an older version then you should download version 7.0 and reinstall it. You should also be using the latest AOL browser which is version 9.0 and can be downloaded from the AOL web site at http://www.aol.com/
6) How long does it take to download these files?
The download time depends on the size of the file, you internet connection, how busy our server is and overall traffic on the internet. In general our files vary from 1 MB to 50 MB in size. The times below are average. The specific download time for your connection may be slower or faster.
7) This is taking too long. How can I go directly to the page I want without downloading the whole file?
When you open the file directly inside your browser only the initial amount of data is pre-downloaded. Once the file opens you can type in the number of the page you want to go on the bottom bar of the Acrobat Reader window and press Enter. This will take you directly to that page. If you are planning on coming back to the same sefer multiple times or would like to browse through many different pages we recommend that you first download the whole file to your hard drive and then browse through the book.
8) How do I set my browser that when I click on a link with a PDF file instead of the file opening it would ask me if I want to open it or save it?
This setting varies depending on which browser you use:
This setting is set directly in Windows. You can change it by going to your Windows Explorer and selecting from the menu Tools --> Folder Options. The click on the File Types tab and select PDF from the list. Then click on the Advanced button and check the check box that says Confirm Open after Download. This way the browser will be notified by Windows that before it opens the file it should ask you what you want to do with it.
The same setting as described above called File Types is located in the Netscape Preferences window located in the Edit menu.
Opera: The same setting as described above called File Types is located in the Opera Preferences window located in the File menu.
8) How do I listen to the audio shiurim?
Our audio shiurim are recorded in the MP3 format. You can download Winamp from http://www.winamp.com/ to listen to these files. You can either download the whole file before you listen to it or double click on the link and it will play online.
9) Why are your audio files so large? Other web sites with audio speech recordings have them much smaller.
There are a few very good reasons why our files are large.
For these very improtant reasons our files may be twice or even four times as large as many other speech recording files which are typically recorded at 8 or 16 kbps and Mono. Stereo doubles the file size from Mono and as bit rate doubles so does the file size since the file must have twice as many bits in it.
Keep in mind that many web sites that have speech recordings have been started many years before MP3 were popular or even available and therefore did not consider these issues.
10) When I try to print the PDF files the pages come out either backwards or not in the proper order. Some pages don't get printed at all. Why?
We have come across this multiple times, but not consistently (only on some computers and only with some files, that print ok on other computers). This seems to be a bug in the Adobe Viewer. Please upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Viewer 6.0. If this doesn't solve the problem then please try the following:
11) When I try to download some PDF or MP3 files I get the following error: "503 Service Temporarily Unavailable. The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later." Why?
Our server is configured to upload only 1 file at a time to the same person, regardless of the type of the file. So, you can only download 1 PDF or 1 MP3 at a time, and if you try to download more you will get this error. If you're using a downloading program please set it to download no more than 1 file at a time.
1) So why do you do this? Don't you have anything better to do with your time?
We do this for mitzvos of Learning Torah and Writing a Sefer Torah. The poskim tell us that nowadays we can fulfill the mitzva of Writing a Sefer Torah by purchasing printed seforim. You fulfill this mitzva just by having the seforim, even if you don't learn them. Therefore think about it. If you download a sefer and have it in your possession and print it out, you have fulfilled a mitzva from the Torah. Of course, you should learn these seforim also. Our goal is to make sure that no matter where a person is, as long as they have access to the internet, they can open up a sefer and learn it.
Also, it is a great mitzva to distribute seforim that are not easily available for people. This is our primary goal. We distribute seforim that are forgotten, out-of-print, and are very hard to find.
2) Are all of the seforim and audio shiurim on your website free?
Yes, all of the seforim and audio shiurim are free.
3) Can I distribute these seforim and audio shiurim to others?
Yes, you can distribute the seforim and audio shiurim to others for free.
4) Can I sell these seforim and audio shiurim to others?
No, you may not sell these seforim or audio shiurim .
5) I have a really rare sefer that is currently out-of-print. I would like you to put it on your website. Is that possible?
Of course. Please email us at email@example.com the title, author and publication place and date of the sefer and we will let you know as soon as possible if we can put it up or not and how to scan the sefer?
6) I have a really rare sefer that is already scanned in. Can I email it to you?
7) I would like to scan a sefer for you. How can I do that?
8) There is a particular sefer that I really would like to see on your web site. Can you get it and put it up?
9) I have some audio shiurim that I would like to have on the web. Can you put them up?
We are only planning on putting up shiurim on complete seforim. We are not planning on putting up any isolated shiurim on specific topics. If you have shiurim on a particular sefer that you would like to put up or if you are interested in recording shiurim on a particular sefer, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10) Is SeforimOnline.org the only single web site out there that distributes seforim for free?
No. Our friend, Chaim Rosenberg, runs a web site called HebrewBooks.org that distributes seforim of American Rabbis. Our web site was inspired by him, after we had the personal pleasure of meeting him.
11) How can I get your books printed and bound? Do you offer any such services?
We do not offer any printing of binding services. But we can recommend Kinko's or any similar type of service place to print and bind books. You can either print the book yourself and then take it there to get it bound or just bring the PDF file there on a CD and they will print it and bind it for you. You can view their services and locations in your local area at http://www.kinkos.com/.Please verify that the file prints ok before paying Kinko's to print it for you. See note 10 in the Technical section of this FAQ. SeforimOnline.org does NOT take any responsibility for any damages, financial or otherwise, that you may incur while trying to print and/or bind the seforim that we distribute.