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This guide is a living document to support faculty and staff working with the PressbooksEDU platform.

Pressbooks Basics

The Interface

Pressbooks has two sides to its interface: the administrative side, where you actually create your book, and the public side, where students will read and interact with your book.

When you log into Pressbooks, you will be taken to the Pressbooks Dashboard. Once you have a book created, you will see it listed in the catalog. From there you can access either the public or admin side by hovering your cursor under the title and selecting either "Visit Book" or "Visit Admin." You can also access books directly under the "My Books" tab at the top.

The Public Side

The public side of your book is where readers will see and interact with your book. The main page shows your book title, cover, table of contents, and basic book information at the bottom. Users can start reading your book on page one using the "Read Book" option, or jump to any chapter from the table of contents. You can get back to the admin side using the "Admin" link in the top toolbar if you are logged in.

The Admin Side

The admin side is where you will do the actual work creating your book. The main page on the admin side will show all content in your book, registered users associated with your book, and news about Pressbooks. It also includes the left-hand toolbar where you can access all the tools and options in Pressbooks:

  • Organize - This is where you will create and order content in your book.
  • Book Info - Change basic information and metadata about your book.
  • Appearance - Change the book's theme or settings.
  • Export - Export in up to 10 different formats, and access past exports.
  • Import - Import content that you want to use in your book.
  • Publish - Used for selling copies of the book.  We do not support external publishing options.
  • Plugins - Activate/Deactivate different plug in options for your book.
  • Media - Where uploaded images and files are stored.
  • Settings - Modify settings for exports, privacy level, files, and additional features like QuickLaTeX, Hypothesis, and H5P.

Additional options may appear depending on what tools and features are available to you based on your user permissions.

Book Information

Book information, or metadata, is located under the "Book Info" tab. This includes information like the book's title, author and contributors, copyright information, cover image, and description.

Your library can assist you with certain information such as ISBN numbers, subject headings, and catalog information.  We are currently able to provide one (1) ISBN number and one (1) DOI number per book.

The Appearance of Your Book

The appearance of your book can be changed by changing the theme or altering the settings of your chosen theme.  The ability to change or customize your theme can be found under the "Appearance" tab.


There are currently 21 different theme options, with some designed specifically for academic writing or textbooks. We recommend using a theme that is designed for textbooks, and uses a sans serif font for easier reading online. Currently, we recommend the Malala theme, Andreessen theme, or Jacobs theme.

The Themes page will show you a small preview of each theme. Hover over a theme thumbnail to see "Theme Details" or activate the theme in your book.  You can change themes at any time.

Theme Options

The Theme Options page will allow you to modify how the theme appears.  This includes:

  • How chapter numbers and titles appear.
  • How media attributions appear.
  • Chapter-level licenses (useful for cloned books, anthologies, or group projects).
  • Modifying the appearance of preset boxes.
  • For adaptable themes (like the Malala theme), you can modify how the book appears in different export formats on this page.

Custom Styles

The "Custom Styles" page allows you to modify the CSS for your book and have more control over the appearance of your book. This option is not recommended unless you are familiar with CSS, and changes may be lost if you apply a different theme to your book.

Additional Resources

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