What’s in the Garden for Q1?

This Spring Brings a New Export Page, Progress Bars, and More

The Pressbooks 5.7.0 core release is here! As the snow has melted away, the flowers have started to bud, and days have grown longer, we’ve been growing something too. Read on to hear about new and improved features on Pressbooks, including our redesigned export page, reactive progress bars, and cloneable H5P.

Export Page Redesign

We’ve updated your Export page for increased accessibility and a better user experience.

Pressbooks redesigned export page

If you’ve used Pressbooks before, you know the basics of exporting. If you haven’t, check out our user guide for a full tutorial on how to export your books: https://guide.pressbooks.com/chapter/export/

We’ve added some new features to the export page with this update! Here are a few of the perks you’ll notice:

Export Up to 3 Files of Every Format

Before, users could have up to 5 “batches” of exports saved on their Exports page, and the oldest batch disappeared whenever you exported the next batch. Now you can retain up to three versions of each individual file export format. This means if your network supports all 10 of our standard export file formats, book admins could potentially have up to 30 files available for download from your export page.

File table shows more versions of each Pressbooks export format

The default behavior is that when you produce a given file format export for the 4th time, the oldest of the three previously exported files of that format will disappear and be replaced by the new file. If you choose to display export files for download on your book’s homepage, the most recent export for each file format will be continue to be displayed.

Pinned Files

If you want to save an older version of one of your file exports and keep it from being replaced by newer exports, you can now do that as well with the new pinning feature.

The pinned file column in the exported files table

You can pin up to 5 files at a time. Pinned files won’t be deleted when you export new files, and you’ll be able to identify them easily on the Export page to download in the future.

Sort By

We’ve also revamped the export table and made it much easier to sort exported files by a number of criteria including: file size, date exported, file type, file name, and pinned status.

Sorting categories on the exported files table

Download

To download a file, hover over the file name in the table and click the “Download” link that appears. This differs from the previous Export page on which you would click the file icon instead. This is also where you’ll find the option to delete the file.

The download button underneath a file icon

Google Maps and Google Forms

You can now embed maps and forms you’ve created on Google directly in your Pressbooks webbook.

Google map embedded in a webbook with a dropped pin on Montreal

Create your map or form inside the Google interface, then copy the iframe and paste it into the Pressbooks text editor. We’ve whitelisted this content to allow any user to embed these maps into their books.

For more information on supported interactive content that you can embed into your Pressbooks webbook, see our user guide.

Zotero Citation Compatibility

Pressbooks is now compatible with open-source reference management software Zotero. Readers can use Zotero to quickly and accurately pull the necessary information for citations using the Zotero browser plugin when they visit any public webbook on Pressbooks.

Webbook citation metadata in Zotero

Progress Bars

Some books are huge. Some are short, but densely filled with rich, interactive media. We all know how frustrating it can be to stare at the circle that spins around while you wait for your book to go through any process that requires a major transfer of data.

We want to make that experience better for you, so we’ve introduced a new feature that allows you to see exactly what Pressbooks is doing while you’re waiting for the next step.

Progress bar on the export page

Our developer Dac Chartrand created a progress bar that communicates in realtime what processes are happening to your book. This progress bar appears when you take the following actions:

  • Export a book
  • Import a file
  • Clone an existing book
  • Export a cover

This isn’t like the Close button on the elevator that only “works” because you believe it does. Pressbooks actively reads and conveys what data is being transferred, giving you real-time information about what’s happening to your book.

H5P Cloning

On PressbooksEDU networks you can create H5P activities and clone openly licensed books, but until now you couldn’t do both together. With this update, all H5P activities in a source book will be imported into the new book when it is cloned with our API-based cloning tool.

A multiple choice question H5P activity in a webbook

Google Analytics Administrative Control

Now, network managers on PressbooksEDU networks can modify their network’s Google Analytics settings by themselves whenever they want.

Google Analytics network setting page

To adjust this setting:

  • From your Network Admin Dashboard’s left sidebar menu, go to Settings > Google Analytics
  • Insert your institution’s Google Analytics ID and choose whether to enable site-specific tracking
  • Click Save Changes

Previously, network managers had to contact Pressbooks support to have Google Analytics enabled. You now have full autonomous control over this setting, and can enable or disable it without needing to contact Pressbooks.

For more information about how to enable Google Analytics tracking on your PressbooksEDU network, see the Pressbooks Network Manager Guide.

Clone Comparison Tool Changes

Last year, we released a feature that allows book administrators to enable something called “Source Comparison” on their live webbook if it’s been cloned from an existing book. With this feature activated, any user can scroll to the bottom of a webbook page, click the “Show Comparison with Original” button and see all the differences between the current version of the source book and the current version of the cloned book.

With this update, we’ve spiffed up the interface to make seeing those differences clearer and easier to read. Elements highlighted in red in source book (shown in the left column below) have been removed in the cloned book. Elements highlighted in green in the cloned book (show in the right column below) are additions to the text.

Source comparison on a webbook

And Many More

Other improvements to Pressbooks this quarter include:

  • Glossary Tooltip Updates. If you read the blog post from our last major release, you saw that one of our newest features is a tool that lets you add interactive glossary tooltips directly to your webbook chapters or create a complete glossary term list in the back matter of your book. We’ve built on the first version of this tool to allow you greater control over this display of glossary definitions, including rich text elements like italics, bold, and links. We’ve also improved the accessibility of glossary tooltips by making it easier to open and close terms using keyboard-only navigation in all supported browsers.
  • Chapter License Accuracy. Previously, each chapter in a webbook displayed its own individual license. We’ve changed this so that each chapter will display the overall book license unless the chapter’s license is different from that of the book.
  • Users Panel Improvements. Before, the Users panel on a book’s dashboard may have been inconvenient to use if a great number of students were listed as subscribers. Now, subscribers have been removed from the Users panel, allowing book administrators to more easily navigate their Book Dashboard page and see what other users hold roles as collaborators on a book.

If you have any questions about these new updates, please contact us at support@pressbooks.com!