Exporting your book

While the University of Arkansas’ primary  goal is to make webbooks available to our community, we often receive requests to offer book downloads from our export files. We can make those downloads available from your book’s site.

Aside from the obvious benefits of offering different reading options for your readers, this option allows for some other cool uses:

  • Files can be easily updated and re-exported as edits, updates or changes are made.
  • Readers with specific support requirements for visual impairments can select the file format best suited to their needs.
  • Formats like XHTML and XML can be made available to those looking to remix and adapt content, including a specific Pressbooks XML format that allows a book to be imported easily into a new Pressbooks book shell.

Choose the Right Format

Before you export your book, it’s important that you know which formats you need in order to publish. Besides the webbook format, Pressbooks supports four different export file formats. Below, see each format and what purpose it serves:

  • Print PDF: Export a print PDF file if you plan to publish your book in print format. This file meets the requirements of printers and print-on-demand services.
  • Digital PDF: Export and download the digital PDF instead if you do not plan on printing the file. These can be used online and can contain hyperlinks for easier navigation.
  • EPUB: Export EPUBs to submit to any popular ebook distributor except Amazon KDP. This is the file you’d use to submit your ebook to Kobo, Nook, iBooks, and others.
  • MOBI: Export a MOBI file to submit your ebook to Amazon KDP.

Select Content for Export

Not all content in your book in Pressbooks has to be included in your exported files. This is a convenient feature for users who are creating books for several formats and only want certain content and a specific format.

You can decide which chapters, front matter, and back matter you’d like to be included in your exported files from the Organize page. Just follow these steps:

  1. Go to Organize from the left sidebar menu in Pressbooks
  2. Find the Show in Exports column at the top of a section
  3. Select the slider in this column for each chapter you want in your exported files

Move the slider to the left to remove the chapter from your Exports

You can also click Show in Exports at the top of a column to select or deselect all chapters in that part.

This is the organize page showing the column for switching on the show in exports using a slider button

Export Your Book Files

Pressbooks will instantly generate files in all the formats you need for print, print-on-demand, and ebook publishing.

To generate these files, navigate to the Export page, available on the left sidebar menu in Pressbooks.

Supported file formats for export include PDF (for print), Digital PDF (for digital distribution), MOBI (for Kindle), and EPUB (for all other ebook distributors) and Common Cartridge (for LMS – not used at the University of Arkansas)

Pressbooks also allows you to export other beta formats. This includes XHTML, HTMLBook, OpenDocument, and WordPress XML. Note that Pressbooks cannot offer technical support for issues with your files in any of the formats still in beta testing.

This is the export screen showing the exports that are available and checkboxes to select
NOTE: To view how changes you’ve made will affect your book, you must export and download a new set of files.

To export your book:

  1. Access your Pressbooks dashboard
  2. Go to Export from the left sidebar menu
  3. In the Export Options panel, select the boxes for the file formats you wish to export
  4. Click the Export Your Book button directly under the Export Options panel

A progress bar will appear, and you can watch as each step of your files’ export is completed.

When successfully exported, the files you’ve chosen will appear underneath “Latest Exports.” Pressbooks keeps the last 3 files you’ve exported of each specific format.

After you’ve exported the files, choose what you’d like to do with them:

Download: To download an exported file, hover over the file name and click the “Download” link that appears.

A book export is highlighted and the delete and download links are visible.

Delete: To delete an exported file, hover over the file name and click the “Delete” link that appears.

You can also delete files in bulk by following these steps:

  1. Select the box to the left of the files you’d like to delete, or select the box at the top left of the table to select all files for deletion
  2. Click the Bulk Actions dropdown menu at the top or bottom of the table and select “Delete”
  3. Click “Apply”

Pin: You can pin a file in your Latest Exports table to prevent the file from being deleted and allow you to find it more quickly in the future.

To do so, select the box in the “Pin” column for the file you wish to save.

Total number of allowed export files

You can save up to 5 files, and up to 3 of one file type. If you try to pin a 6th file, you’ll receive an error message.

If you’ve pinned three files of a given export type and then try to export a new file of that format, you’ll see an error message asking you to deselect one of your pinned files before attempting to export again.

Adjust Table Settings: By default, the Export table will show you all the files you’ve exported. If you’d rather your files display in a shorter table with navigable pages, you can adjust the table settings to display fewer rows with the Screen Options setting available at the top of the page.

Sort: You can organize your files by file name, format, size, pinned status, or date by clicking the links for those terms available at the top or bottom of the table.

To enable public downloads on your book, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Sharing & Privacy from the left sidebar menu in Pressbooks
  2. Find the setting titled “Share Latest Export Files”
  3. Select the following option: “Yes. I would like the latest export files to be available on the homepage for free, to everyone.”
  4. Click “Save Changes”

Turning on the “Share Latest Export Files” option will enable the feature on your book, but files won’t appear to the public until a book administrator has exported them from the Exports page.

NOTE: Only the most recent file of each format will display in your public file downloads.

Making File Exports Available for Download

Pressbooks allows you to easily add download links to different formats of your book on the landing page of the web version of your book. By doing so, you can make the most recent exports of your book available to readers in a variety of formats, so they can choose to access your book in whatever format best suits their needs.

To make export files available for download from your webbook homepage, follow these steps:

  1. From your book dashboard, click Settings -> Sharing & Privacy
  2. Find the Share Latest Export Files option and select Yes. I would like the latest export files to be available on the homepage for free, to everyone.
  3. Save changes.



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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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