What is Pressbooks?

Pressbooks is simple ebook publishing software that MacEwan University is piloting to host open textbooks that faculty either create or adapt from existing open textbooks. It is a web-based authoring tool based on the popular WordPress authoring platform. Working in Pressbooks is similar to working within WordPress or a learning management systems such as Blackboard. MacEwan University Library is hosting an installation of Pressbooks, but you can also try out Pressbooks for free using their hosted service.

In addition to creating content directly in the platform, you can import a number of different file formats into Pressbooks for editing, including Word, ePub, and HTML. As well, it has the ability to clone and modify existing books hosted in other installations of Pressbooks. Pressbooks will output a completed textbook as a mobile-friendly website, an ePub document (for use in e-readers), and a PDF (for printing).

To work within Pressbooks, authors, copy editors, and anyone else contributing to a book require an account to access the platform, which is set up by MacEwan University Library. To learn more, email us at digitalscholarship@macewan.ca 

Between 2019-2021, MacEwan is piloting Pressbooks. It is being used to create a select number of works. These works will inform future uses of this software to host open access books created or adapted by the MacEwan community.
Content adapted from “What is Pressbooks?” in the Ryerson Open Textbook Authoring Guide by Ryerson University and licensed under CC-BY 4.0.


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MacEwan Open Textbook Authoring Guide by MacEwan University Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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