Latest Updates from Pressbooks: Theme Lock Feature, Improved Section Openings

By Zoe Wake Hyde

Our latest update is out and with it comes a few changes you should know about. Read on to find out more.

New Theme Lock Feature

At Pressbooks, we are always working to make the system better for you.

One of the biggest challenges we have to balance is how to improve our themes and formatting options without impacting existing books — the last thing anyone wants is an unexpected change in page count, right when they’re going to do a reprint.

In response to this challenge, our (awesome) developer, Ned, has created a new feature that will allow you to lock in your book’s formatting once you’re happy with it. This will prevent any future changes we make to improve our themes from impacting your completed books, and ensure that when you come back to them, they’ll still be exactly as you left them.

(Note: if you’re using the Custom CSS theme you won’t see this option in your settings, as your formatting & styles are already locked in!)

For more information on this option, and how to use it, see our guide.

Section/Chapter Openings Theme Option

As part of our work to standardise our theme behaviours and offer improved theme options, we’ve updated how we handle section openings. In your PDF theme options, you will now see three choices:

The first option will set your front matter (excluding the automatically generated content), chapters and back matter to open on either the left or right, whereas the second option will force all sections to open on the right. The final option will remove all blank pages, which is useful for PDFs that will be viewed digitally, rather than being printed.

As you try out this new option, please let us know if you run into any inconsistencies by emailing

Zoe Wake Hyde is a publishing innovation & technology whiz and mans the Pressbooks support desk. If you email us with a question, you’ll probably run into her! Watch out for her regular posts on the Pressbooks blog, giving advice on updates, new features and common formatting challenges.

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