Adapt an Existing Open Textbook

10 Adapt a Book outside the OTB Project

Adapting a Book on your own

The BC Open Textbook project has, through our call for proposals, funded and supported the adaptation of several existing open textbooks. This call is now closed. However, anyone is welcome to take a textbook from our collection and adapt it as they wish. There is no need for us to be involved in  the process. Take it and make it your own. There are a number ways you can do this.

Using the PDF

If you want to rearrange the chapters, you can download the PDF and divide it up however you like with a PDF splitter or PDF editor. If you do this, the table of contents will need to be reordered according to how chapters are reorganized, removed or if new chapters are added.

Other formats

Another option, if you wish to have a bit more granularity in your editing, is to download one of the other, more editable file format types available. This might involve working with someone with some technical knowledge, depending on your level of comfort working with technology.

For example, do you have access to a learning management system (LMS) on your campus? If so, one way to edit the book would be to upload the raw HTML file into your LMS and then use your LMS as the “book” platform. Another option is to edit the raw HTML file yourself using a tool like Dreamweaver.

If you have access to WordPress on your campus, you can download the WordPress backup file and import that into a WordPress site. There may be some technical work that you need to fix formatting on the import, but that is another way to go.

There are also epub files available which can be edited with an ePub editor, like Sigil, although the learning curve is a bit steep to use this tool required.


Finally, probably the best option is to take the backup file labelled Pressbooks and sign up for a free Pressbooks account at We use Pressbooks as the authoring platform (we have the open source plugin running here), and the free version does add a Pressbooks watermark to the PDF and epub outputs (which can be removed for the nominal fee of $20). But that will give you the best editing environment that is closest to the environment the textbook was created in.

Where Are New and Future Adaptations Stored?

The BC Open Textbook project does not add textbook adaptations from outside the project to its collection. It is the responsibility of individual authors and their institutions to decide how new adaptations will be curated. The librarians at your institution may be able to guide you in this area. Visit the BCOER Librarian page for information.