Using Pressbooks

Using Textboxes


Transcript of video

Today we’ll be going through how to add content in special textboxes. These special boxes might contain different information like asides, exercises, and chapter reviews.

So if you haven’t already, ensure that you’re using the Open Textbooks theme – so we need to go to “Appearance”, on the left-hand side, and then make sure that the “Open Textbooks theme” is activated. And this will give us the built-in tools for special kinds of textboxes.

So let’s go back to the “Dashboard”, and we’ll go into “Chapter 1” and we’ll work on adding some textboxes.

Right in the middle of the toolbar you’ll see the “Textboxes” dropdown menu allows you to place your content in boxes – so there are standard boxes, shaded boxes, and there are a whole host of other ones as well, and we don’t actually want to use these from this menu, we want to stick to standard and shaded. And we’ll get to why in a little bit.

So, I can create a new textbox just by clicking where I want the textbox to be, and then clicking either the “Standard” or the “Shaded” textbox. So let’s say right here, I want a shaded textbox, I’ll click there and then I’ll click on the “Shaded” textbox and I’ll get a nice new shaded textbox.

Now let’s say I want this note here to be inside that shaded textbox. There’s two ways I can do that, I can cut and paste it right inside just like that. Or the other thing that I can do is I can highlight the note, and then go back to the “Textboxes” dropdown, and then click on “Shaded”, and the note gets put right into its own shaded textbox.

Now, if you’re interested, let’s take a look at how this looks in code, in the “Text” view. So you’ll see, in this line here, that’s our shaded textbox – that all textboxes are actually just divs with special classes – so textboxes have a textbox class, and shaded textboxes, also have a shaded class.

Now, there are also a few other kinds of boxes that you might want to use. These include Learning Objectives (which typically tell you what the learning outcomes for the chapter are), Key Takeaways (which summarize key points in the chapter), and Exercises, for any exercises or problems that you want to include in the chapter. Now, if we go back to the “Textboxes” dropdown, we can see that all of these special textboxes are available from this menu, but we don’t want to activate them here. Rather, we want to use the three buttons in the bottom of the toolbar – LO for Learning Objectives, KT for Key Takeaways, and EX for Exercises and critical thinking. These are specially designed with special formatting just for us in the Open Textbooks theme.

So, you’ll see at the bottom of my page here, I have a few questions, and I’d like for these to be inside an Exercises box. So I’ll just highlight that text and click on the “EX” button and they’ll get placed right into the Exercises box. And again, just like before, you can create a new box as well and then type your content in. So I’ll create a Key Takeaways box – “KT” – and then I’ll write my key takeaway inside, so we’ll say that the key takeaway is, ‘Pressbooks is fun!’.

Now you’re also able to change the headings on these boxes – so, for example, if I want to use this Exercises box but I want to call them Problems instead, I can do that simply by writing over the original text. So I’ll just highlight Exercises and type ‘Problems’ over top of it instead. However, if you do decide to change a textbox’s name, don’t change its function. Do not use an Exercises box and retitle it to say ‘Learning Objectives’ – so do not do what I just did there. Use a Learning Objectives box for that, it just makes sense.

So there you go! You now know how to use special textboxes in the Open Textbooks Pressbooks theme.

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