Incorporating Original Table of Contents from Original Publication


Hoping to get some advice on a PressBooks project, the goal of which is to redevelop and reprint an older publication. Thanks in advance for reading and for any feedback.

It’s a fairly straightforward project except for one thing: the authors really want to include original front matter, including the TOC, as a way of archiving and honoring the original publication.

The material I am working from are galleys of the original publication in MS Word; the TOC has some very particular formatting and the authors want to keep the PressBooks version of the original TOC as close to the original as possible. This definitely cannot be achieved just by coping and pasting text to make a new part of front matter and is looking pretty rough with import also.

Any advice on incorporating this original TOC without a huge amount of tinkering in the html editor? Maybe this would involve embedding it as media, perhaps PDF? Thanks in advance.

I am also looking for similar thing, where we wanted to give the same experience of reading physical book on pressbook web. When we try to import content, the chapter where it has heading is imported into a single page, but in a physical book a chapters runs into multiple page…

Probably there should be an MS-Word template where we format book same as physical book and when we import the same experience is given…

@jlynch21 I’d be interested in seeing the TOC/formatting (even just a screenshot) to get a sense of what you’re trying to replicate in Pressbooks. My instinct would be to suggest that your best option would be importing from Word and then correcting/adjusting the formatting via CSS using our Custom Styles tool. This would require some CSS chops but should be doable. (You shouldn’t need to do much if anything in the HTML editor.)

Hi @johnpeterm, this is actually quite different, as you’re talking about the overall layout of the web reading interface rather than specific chunks of formatted content in exports. You’d probably be interested in the work of the folks at We are following their efforts with interest (@hughmcguire and I attended the initial meetup in January in Cambridge, MA) but we aren’t at the point where we will be emulating a paged media interface in our webbooks in the forseeable future.

Hello @ned it is great to know that the efforts are going on for paged media.

There are still people who access Internet from low end mobile phone and slow speed of connectivity. The traditional mobile apps and current way of accessing web book does not give an great experience.

If this paged media implemented it will go long way in improving the accessibility of books on economically lower section of people, especially students.

A small change in technology creates great impact. Hope this implemented soon

@ned Belatedly, thanks for your input --our team came up with a solution and I will ask to post it here when we get a chance in case it will help others with similar projects.

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