New Features

Changes to Pressbooks Themes in New Books on

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Note: The changes detailed here are specific to If you are using any other Pressbooks network, more info will be provided to you shortly.

We’ve been working on some major improvements to Pressbooks for a long time, and we’ll be releasing a few of those very soon.

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.

Around the end of February, these options will be released to the Christie and Baker themes. We’ll be adding two new themes, McLuhan and Jacobs, which will also have the new 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 legacy theme that’s not listed above attached to your book. This change will apply to new books only.

If you really want a certain theme on future books, you can still create new book shells and apply that theme between now and Jan. 31.

Also, in many cases, our themes vary only by color of certain elements. You can still accomplish those customizations through a snippet of custom CSS. (Email if you need help with this or any part of the transition.)

Finally, 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. But you might want to apply this feature if you are using an ongoing theme and want to keep it exactly as is, because the code will change when themes receive improvements.

We’ve recently improved the way this feature works. 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.

These are just a few of the improvements that are coming in January. Stay tuned! And please let us know at if you have any questions.

Update: Custom changes entered using the old Custom CSS theme will no longer be applied to the webbook after Jan. 31. Instead, your web book will be displayed in the new McLuhan theme, without any customisations. To retain any changes, you will need to migrate them to the new Custom Styles option. Here’s how.