The Pressbooks textbox tool allows you to place text with frames to have it stand apart from the rest of the text in the body of your book. The structure and color of textboxes may vary from theme to theme. You can also choose between standard, basic textboxes and educational textboxes premade for exercises.

Find the “Textboxes” menu and make your selection.

This is a screenshot of the visual editor screen with the textbox tooltip highlighted and showing the different types of textboxes

This will insert an empty textbox into your post. Alternatively, you can highlight your text first, then choose the textbox style you need and see it appear with your text already inside

Textboxes can serve many purposes, and Pressbooks has several preset styles to suit your needs, including many that are useful for textbooks and workbooks.

Some of the more specialized styles include:

Learning Objectives

Type your learning objectives here.

  • First
  • Second

Key Takeaways

Type your key takeaways here.

  • First
  • Second


Type your exercises here.

  • First
  • Second


Type your examples here.

  • First
  • Second

How To Customize Your Textbox Colors

To change your textbox colors from their default palette, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Appearance > Theme Options from the left-hand menu of your book’s dashboard
  2. Scroll down to see your customization options for Examples, Exercises, Key Takeaways, and Learning Objectives 

    Theme option screen showing the controls to edit the colors for the textboxes.

Click Select Color next to the element you’d like to change (Header Color, Header Background, or Background)

This opens up the color picker. You can input your own color hex code, choose a color from the bottom row, pick a hue from the spectrum, and pick a shade from the sidebar. Click Default to return the element color to its default.

Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page

All textbox color customizations will affect every textbox of that specified type in your book. For example, if you change the Key Takeaways Header Background to green here, all Key Takeaways in your book will now have a green header background.

This change affects all export types. You can see the new, custom color textboxes in your visual editor.

Custom Textboxes

You can also insert a custom textbox using the textbox menu, which allows you to add a custom CSS class that you can then style in the CSS editor. You can also customize the existing styles if you’re confident with CSS.

NOTE: Some textboxes can be a little temperamental; in particular the standard and shaded styles don’t like you hitting “Enter,” which will create a new textbox below the existing one. To get around this, you need to use a soft return by hitting “Shift+Enter” to get a new line.




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University of Arkansas OER Style Guide Copyright © 2023 by Lora Lennertz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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