Reminder! Update Your Custom CSS in Pressbooks

Note that the below changes are for those using and If you are on a different Pressbooks network, such as a Pressbooks EDU instance, changes to your network will differ, and you will receive a separate communication with specifics. 

As we mentioned in early January, we’ve got some major improvements coming to Pressbooks. As a reminder, you may want to take proactive action before those roll out on Feb. 28.

Here’s an overview of the changes:

To start with, all of your favorite themes are soon going to be easier to use and more customizable without CSS. We’ve looked at the themes you use and love the most, and we’ll be improving those by adding theme options in the coming months. These improved themes will be controlled by theme options similar to those available in the Clarke and Asimov themes. These options will next be released to the Christie and Baker themes.

In addition, we’ll soon be releasing two new themes, McLuhan (which will be the new default theme for all new books) and Jacobs. These two themes both offer expanded theme options.

In the meantime, we’ll be hiding some of the less-used themes for new books, so that we can concentrate on improving those that get the most use going forward.

Here are the themes that we will continue to support.

  • Asimov
  • Clarke
  • Jacobs
  • McLuhan
  • Andreesen
  • Austen/Austen Two
  • Baker
  • Christie
  • Atwood
  • Bradbury
  • Dillard Plain
  • Graham
  • Leonard
  • Adunis
  • Bronte
  • Bukowski
  • Cleary
  • Kolbert
  • Donham
  • Lewis

Don’t worry! Nothing will change if you have a theme that’s not listed above attached to your book. This change will apply to new books only.

If you really want a certain retiring theme on future books, you can still create new book shells and apply that theme between now and Feb. 27.

Don’t want anything to change on your book? Ever?

You may want to apply the theme lock feature to your book, which “locks” the theme to the current version. You don’t need to apply theme lock to keep a legacy theme on your book.

However, you might want to apply this feature if you are using a supported theme and want to keep it exactly as is, because there is a possibility for small changes to occur when themes receive improvements. This should only be a concern if your book is already in print and you wish to keep the page count constant, and if this isn’t the case, we do recommend moving to the new version so you can benefit fully from the new theme options and fewer bugs!

To apply the theme lock feature, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings → Export
  2. Check the box that says “Lock your theme at its current version.”
  3. Save your changes.

Using custom CSS on your webbook?

Custom changes entered using the old Custom CSS theme will no longer be applied to the webbook after Feb. 27. Instead, your web book will be displayed in the new McLuhan theme, without any customizations. To retain any changes you made to the Web stylesheet of a book using the old custom CSS theme, you will need to migrate them to the new Custom Styles option by Feb. 27. Here’s how.

Please let us know at if you have any questions.

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