Pressbooks Product Updates [July & August 2022]

Here’s a rundown of what we were up to in July & August, the last of the summer months:

Improvements to and our migration tool

As you likely know, we recently launched a new subscription service for individual authors at which includes several educational features and other improvements which we could not make available for technical reasons on our old service. A large portion of our time and energy over the summer was spent improving the automatic migration tool that users of our old service can use to move their content over to before the planned September 29 shut down date.

UX Research on a new Pressbooks Network Catalog

Now that Michelle Weremczuk has joined us in the UX/UI designer role, we’ve been able to increase the quality and frequency of the research we conduct to understand our user’s goals and objectives. Michelle’s first project was interviewing several existing network managers about the ways they’d like to use their network catalog pages to showcase books they’ve published. These interviews have had a major influence on our planning and design work on a new and improved Aldine catalog (coming soon!).

Allow Custom Styles to be applied to book home pages

Previously, users could apply ‘custom styles’ to alter the CSS of their webbook, EPUB and PDF exports. CSS they entered through this feature was applied to every page inside of a book, but not the webbook home page itself. We changed that so that custom styles applied to a book will now also be applied to the book’s home page. As with any custom CSS, please use this power prudently! Learn more about custom styles from our guide: Apply Custom Styles – Pressbooks User Guide.

Update to new version of Thema

Pressbooks allows users to categorize the contents of their book using a public subject taxonomy called Thema (by EDitEUR). Over the summer we upgraded Pressbooks to use the latest version of Thema (v1.5), which includes 177 new core subject categories and 220 new qualifiers, and added support for Thema users in all 25 languages for which Thema subject terms are available. Learn more about adding relevant metadata to your book from our guide: Add Relevant Metadata – Pressbooks User Guide