Main Body

Using the Pressbooks Formatting Toolbar

The Pressbooks formatting toolbar should appear familiar to you if you are accustomed to using software such as Microsoft Word. Indeed, many of the features and icons in Pressbooks (such as for Bolding, Italicization, Alignment, and Indenting) are identical to those in the popular word processing software.

The two features that I will briefly highlight here are the use of preformatted headings and special textboxes.


A dropdown menu in the toolbar reads “Paragraph” by default. However, if you wish to use headings or sub-headings to organize your text, you should use the dropdown menu to select the appropriate level of heading.


Textboxes might be used to contain different information like asides, exercises, and chapter reviews.

The “Textboxes” dropdown menu allows you to create a variety of types of textboxes, including rather straightforward “Standard” or “Shaded” textboxes. You may either create a textbox and then enter text into it or you may highlight text and then select the appropriate textbox from the dropdown menu, which places the highlighted text into the textbox.

There are also a few specialized textbooks 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.

Important: If you go back to the “Textboxes” dropdown, you will see that all of these special textboxes are available from this menu, but you should not activate them here. Rather, you will 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.

Video Overview


Adapted from BC Open Textbook Pressbooks Guide by BCcampus. CC-BY 4.0


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

OER Creation and Adaptation Copyright © 2017 by Rajiv S. Jhangiani is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book