Way back in mid-March, we closed our office as a precautionary measure in response to COVID-19, and since then I have been planning (and planning and planning) to write about Pressbooks and the ways open digital technologies, open content, and open practices can be part of a resilience strategy in the face of upheavals like
Happy (early) Holidays! It’s our last major release of the year, and the gifts we have to offer include a few features that we know you’ve been waiting for. Read on for details about what’s included in this release.
The New Glossary Feature
Thanks to code contributions from Brad Payne and Alex Paredes at BCcampus, you can now insert glossary terms and full glossary lists natively into your books in Pressbooks.
Individual Glossary Terms
You can create and insert tooltips for individual glossary terms directly from the content editor.
A new button on the visual editor toolbar (GL) allows you to insert a glossary shortcode for any new or existing glossary term.
The shortcode links the word to a definition that opens when readers click the term in the webbook.
Full Glossary Lists
Pressbooks can automatically generate a full glossary list of all glossary terms in your book.
To add the glossary:
- Create a new back matter chapter
- Select “Glossary” from the Back Matter Type menu and leave the content editor blank
- Click Create (or Save, for an already existing chapter)
Pressbooks generates a list of all individual glossary terms which have been marked to “Show in Glossary Lists” to create a full, alphabetized glossary.
For more detailed instruction on how to use the glossary tool, check out our user guide.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) Integration
Pressbooks now has dedicated metadata fields for DOI handles. Book DOIs will display in the Metadata section on the homepage of your webbook in Pressbooks.
Chapter DOIs will display underneath the copyright license in the footer of the webbook chapter.
To insert a book DOI, go to Book Info from the left sidebar menu of your Pressbooks dashboard. Find “Digital Object Identifier (DOI)” in the General Book Information section.
Find the chapter DOI entry field in the Chapter Metadata field underneath the content editor of a specific chapter.
Webbook Table of Contents Makeover
The table of contents for your Pressbooks webbooks has been improved for accessibility and intuitive design.
Changes include a more obvious hierarchy of parts, chapters, and subsections, as well as improved functions for collapsing and expanding the contents of the book.
Customizable “Chapter” and “Part” Section Labels
Users can now customize the titles for the sections of the book that currently default to chapters and parts.
These section titles will display in all exports and book formats. For example, if a user preferred that parts were chapters, and chapters were sections, those terms can be changed in a book’s theme options to reflect that usage. The terms affected appear in the table of contents and section titles of a book, and can be modified in all Pressbooks themes.
To customize the “chapter” and “part” labels:
- Go to Appearance > Theme Options
- On the Global Options tab, find “Part and Chapter Numbers” and enable the setting to “Display part and chapter numbers.” The “Part Label” and “Chapter Label” settings will appear
- Choose your labels
- Click Save Changes
Webbook Navigation Cues
The part and chapter terminology has been removed from navigational cues in Pressbooks webbooks. Instead, webbook navigation cues will include the title—or the short title, when available—of the next and previous sections in the book.
For example, what would have previously been Next (Chapter) will now be Next: The Third Law of Thermodynamics.
In order for any webbook to meet accessibility standards for digital texts, it is important that navigation cues include more information than just the terms next or previous.
This change, we hope, will allow users to structure their books in the way that works best for their content and students while maintaining the high standard we have at Pressbooks for the accessibility of the webbook interface.
Explicit Metadata Support for CC0 and Public Domain licenses
Pressbooks now recognizes CC0 and Public Domain licenses as clear and distinct. In earlier iterations of the license on our software, the CC0 license was not available in the dropdown menu. You can now apply this license on any book or any chapter.
Digital PDF Hyperlinks Enhanced for Greater Accessibility
All hyperlinked elements in the digital PDF export are now blue and underlined to make it much more evident that they are active links. All links will remain as plain text in the print PDF export, which should be used for submission to any printing service.
- Cloned image metadata. Captions, alt text, and other image metadata will now be cloned from a source book.
- Cloning order. We were made aware of a bug that caused cloned books to order chapters in terms of chronology rather than the order in which they appear in the source book. This has been fixed, and all cloned books should replicate the order of their source.
- New language scripts. We’ve added support for the Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, and Telugu language scripts.
- Knight Lab Timelines. We’ve whitelisted Knight Lab Timeline so that users can embed timeline iframes into their webbooks. For more information on how to embed an iframe, check out our user guide.
- Change book title when cloning. You can now choose a different title for the book you’re cloning directly from the cloning interface. When the new book is created, the new title will already be applied to the book without anyone needing to change it in on the Book Info page.
- XHTML source preview. You can now easily access your book’s XHTML source view by clicking the Diagnostics link at the bottom footer of any book in Pressbooks. The XHTML view can help diagnose issues you’re having with your PDF.
- Improved type scale for headings. The McLuhan and Jacobs themes now have heading style that are better reflective of the intended hierarchy.
- More logical UI. You can now access the Contributors page via the Book Info page rather than the Organize page.
Have any questions about this update?