Pressbooks Guide for Educators: Start Creating


This guide offers an overview and introduction to Pressbooks for Boise State and non-Boise State educators. Resources are provided on using Pressbooks to create OER, curricular content, and interactive learning activities.

Start Creating covers information on how to get access to a Pressbooks account and the first steps to creating a book.

How do I get access?

You can sign up for a free Pressbooks account at It is free to use for private books, but requires a one-time fee of $20 to make a public eBook.

Boise State faculty, staff, and students should sign in at Boise State Pressbooks via SSO. You will be provisioned with a Pressbooks account in the Boise State environment upon first sign-in.

Creating a Book

Option 1: Start with a blank book

If you want to start with an empty book, you can set up the book when you create your Pressbooks Account. However, if you skipped this step when creating an account or want to create additional books, you can also create a book once you log in to your Pressbooks account:

  1. Log into your Pressbooks account.

  2. Hover over the “My Books” link in the top menu to reveal a drop-down menu.

  3. Click “Create a New Book.”

You will be taken to the “Create a new book” page where you will be asked to provide basic information about the book:

  1. Webbook address. Your webbook address cannot be changed later, so choose it carefully.

  2. Book title. This can be changed later if needed.

  3. Book language. “English (Canada)” is the default selection.

  4. Privacy. Would you like your webbook to be visible to the public? The default is setting is “Yes,” which will make the book public. We recommend you select “No” so you can work on your book in private. You will be able to change it to public once you are ready to share.

Once you have filled in all of the fields, click the “Create Book” button. Then you will be directed to the book’s dashboard. To get you started, Pressbooks creates a number of empty parts and chapters. You are welcome to delete these or customize them.

Option 2: Clone an existing book

If there is an openly licensed resource in Pressbooks that already exists that you want to customize for your own purposes, the easiest way to get a copy for yourself is to clone it to your Pressbooks account. You can use the Pressbooks Directory to search for existing OER published in Pressbooks.

Visit the Pressbooks Guide Clone a Book chapter for step-by-step instructions and a video tutorial on how to clone a book.


  • The Dashboard is where you will control every aspect of your book. Use the menu on the left side of the screen to navigate and customize your book. Use the Catalog at the top of the dashboard to navigate between multiple books.

Screenshot of Pressbooks book dashboard
Screenshot of Pressbooks book dashboard

Add Book Information

The Book Info Page is where you edit and add the metadata--descriptive information about your book.

This Includes:

  1. Title, Subtitle, Short title (for the file name) 

  2. Author names

  3. Publisher

  4. Copyright & licensing 

  5. Cover Image

The book information appears on the front screen of your book, both in an abbreviated form and as the full descriptive metadata. 

Screenshot of Pressbooks book information an metadata
Screenshot of Pressbooks book information an metadata

Add and Organize Your Text

You can add and organize your text on the Organize page from the left sidebar of the book's dashboard. From there, you can access all the book's chapters and content. Each chapter opens up into a WYSIWYG editor which allows you to add and revise the text.

You may have already prepared your text in a Word document or other text processor. Pressbooks allows you to import your text directly from your files--EPUB, Microsoft Office, Open Office, other Pressbooks, or web pages. Prepare your book for importing by structuring the document using Heading 1 formatting for all chapter titles.

Watch the Pressbooks Demo for a video tutorial on importing content.

Your book includes three main sections:

  • Front Matter: The introduction, foreword, dedication, and more. 

  • Chapters: The main body of your work. 

  • Back Matter: Epilogue, author's note, appendix, and more. 

Pressbooks lets you specify the types of frontmatter and backmatter to keep things organized.

Choose Book Theme

There are 20 book templates to choose from which can be accessed by going to the Appearance tab and clicking on Themes. Under the theme details, Pressbooks has a set of recommended uses for each. 

Under Theme Options, themes can be customized in a number of ways--page size, paragraph separation, colors, and labels with differing options for the Web, PDF, and EBooks. For more advanced options, users can also modify any theme's CSS.