Using Pressbooks

How to Export Different File Types from a Textbook

Transcript of video

In this video, we’ll go through how to export your textbook into different file formats. Now, this tutorial assumes that you’ve already gone through the previous tutorial on how to prepare a book for publishing and export, and that the book’s settings are properly adjusted for the exporting process.

So we’ll go to the Export panel on the left-hand side, and on the export page, you can see the different file formats under “Your Export Format Options” on the right-hand side. And we’ll briefly touch on some of these filetypes. So there are 2 PDF types – the PDF for printing, which has spacing that is optimized for a book layout, and the mPDF, which is a type of PDF specially generated from HTML files. ePub and Mobi files are used for eReaders. Then on the far right, there are exotic formats are less popular, some of them are still in testing, but some of them maybe more useful to you. The XHTML export generates an unstyled HTML version of the book that can be viewed in a browser. The XML files are editable files that can be loaded back into Pressbooks or WordPress, making them ideal for redistributing a truly open textbook. So for the sake of simplicity, I’m just going to export the standard book formats, which are already selected. And then I’ll click on “export your book” on the left side of the screen.

Now that these files have been exported, we can choose to download them by clicking on the arrow beneath the file. Now, the next step is to make these files available on the book’s homepage. So we’ll hover over the Settings tab on the left, and then click PB Textbook, and then on the top go to the Redistribute tab, and at the bottom, click “Yes, I would like the latest export files to be available on the homepage for free”. Then we’ll save changes.

Because of this, if we now go to the book’s live homepage, we can see that the most recently exported files can be seen on this front page. If you’ve recently exported more than one of the same file type – for example, two ePubs – only the most recent ePub will show up here. If for whatever reason, you’d like to stop sharing one of the file formats, you can go back to the export page and delete files. So if I want to stop sharing this ePub file, I can just go back to the export page, click the trash can under the ePub, and confirm that I want to delete it.

And now, the ePub will no longer display on the book’s main page.

So there you go! You now know how to export a Pressbooks textbook into different file formats.

PDF Formats: Print vs. digital

When exporting different file types from the Export page on the Dashboard, you’ll notice that there are two PDF options to choose from:

  • PDF (for print)
  • PDF (for digital distribution)

Here are the differences between the two.

PDF (print) PDF (digital)
Designed for print

  • blank pages where expected for print outputs
  • suitable for IngramSpark and CreateSpace
digital distribution

  • posting online
  • sharing file electronically
Icon colour red green
File name/extension print.pdf .pdf
Image resolution high (print quality: 300 dpi) lower (web quality: 72 dpi)

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