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Pressbooks - Getting Started [UW-Madison]

This document is intended to be a primer for Pressbooks. It includes some considerations for instructors, steps to get started using Pressbooks, and how to get support.

Instructor Considerations

What is Pressbooks?

  • Pressbooks is a tool that allows users to create rich content with text, images, embedded video, and other interactive elements; export that content in formats like PDF, EPUB, and others; and embed that content as module items within Canvas. Pressbooks is most commonly used by instructors to create or customize materials to the needs of their specific course subject matter or topics. These features make Pressbooks a great place to create or work on Open Education Resources (OER)
  • While Pressbooks content can be embedded within Canvas, users are not able to create Graded assignments with Pressbooks as of May 2023.     

Best Practices

  • Writing, reviewing, and organizing content takes time. If you plan to use Pressbooks to create course materials, expect authoring and revising materials to take at least as long as the materials are intended to be used. For example, if you’re planning to use Pressbooks for all course materials during an upcoming semester, plan to spend a prior semester writing, revising, and organizing those materials.
  • Get started with a plan. With Pressbooks it helps to consider what you want your final product to look like. Are you creating a lab manual designed to be printed and used in person, or are you creating a quick summary of a core concept with self-check questions for review? Having a clear idea of what you want your materials to look like always helps and can give you an idea of which Pressbooks features to familiarize yourself with. 

Information to Share with Students

  • Whenever possible, we recommend that instructors tell students that Pressbooks will be used in the course, or at least note it in their course syllabus. 
  • While Pressbooks is generally stable and usable across a variety of platforms, depending on how it is configured and browser privacy settings, readers can sometimes experience difficulty accessing Pressbooks content.
  • Student Data Privacy and Transparency statement


How to Get Started with Pressbooks

  1. To use Pressbooks, you must request an account from the DoIT Help Desk. In your request, please include:
    1. Your NetID 
    2. A brief description of what your goals are with Pressbooks 
  2. You will receive an email when your account is created, which will include your username and a link to reset your password. 
  3. Once you have an account and have reset your password, log in to Pressbooks at
  4. Once you have a Pressbooks account, you can begin creating your book.

Note: We recommend that new Pressbooks users request a consultation with Learn@UW-Madison to introduce you to the platform, ensure that your use case fits with Pressbooks’ feature set, and address any initial questions you may have.

Questions and Support 

  • Pressbooks is a teaching and learning tool centrally supported by the Learn@UW-Madison team. For technical support questions, instructors should contact the DoIT Help Desk
  • The DoIT Help Desk provides instructors, staff and students with free tech support and troubleshooting help by phone, email or chat. Instructors and instructional staff can also request a consultation with a Learn@UW-Madison team member through the DoIT Help Desk.
  • Some browser extensions/plug-ins may interfere with Learn@UW tools. If a Learn@UW tool is not operating as expected, please try these steps: General Troubleshooting for Learn@UW Tools

Keywordsrich content open education resources oer books pdf authoring   Doc ID90717
OwnerLearn@UW MadisonGroupLearn@UW-Madison
Created2019-03-28 14:56:30Updated2024-02-27 15:58:12
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
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