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Affordable & Open Educational Resources: Multimedia

Pressbooks published at UB
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2024 10:18 AM


“Embedded media is media that is hosted outside of Pressbooks and linked to through your webbook. You will have encountered this kind of content all over the web – YouTube videos in blog posts, for example, or social media posts in news articles. This same kind of media can be dropped into the editor of your webbook on Pressbooks. Your readers can watch videos, view interactive maps, and more without ever leaving the book.” (Pressbooks User Guide by Book Oven Inc.)

There are two different methods to embed media in Pressbooks:

  • Copy/paste the URL
  • Use the iframe embed code supplied by the content provider

More info on embedding media can be found in Pressbooks User Guide: Display Embedded Media.

Uploading Media

In addition to embedding content from the source, you can upload images or other media to be housed in the Pressbook itself. All uploaded media must be under 10 MB. You can upload files from your computer or from a URL, or you can add them first to the Pressbooks media library.

For videos, we recommend uploading videos to Vimeo or YouTube first, and then linking to those videos in the Pressbooks interface.


Do not insert images into your document for upload. Instead, leave a placeholder in your text to park where the image should be placed. For example:

[Figure 2.5 goes here]

That way, you can place the image files directly into the book and ensure that the highest quality version of the image is used for printing.

Prepare Images for Upload

Name them in a clear consistent pattern. For example:

Figure 1_Example of DNA base substitution
Figure 2_Example of DNA base deletion
Figure 3_Example of DNA base insertion
Figure 4_Impact of frameshift mutation
Figure 5_Impact of missence and nonsense mutations

Make sure images are saved under a lossless file type (e.g., PNG. You can save a JPEG as a PNG by opening it in Paint in selecting Save As).

To Import Images

An easy way to make sure you can include media into chapters as you write is to upload them to the media Library in advance. You can access the Library and upload attachments by clicking Media in the left sidebar menu, or by clicking Add Media in any chapter's editing interface.

Editing window with Add Media highlighted.

To upload attachments to your Media Library, click Add New, found either in the left-hand side bar below Media or with the red button within the Media Library. You can either click to select specific files or drag and drop to upload them to your Library.

Selecting any media in your Library allows you to add important details as well as editing them. Clicking on an image will bring up the Details menu. The right side of the Attachment details menu includes fillable fields to include more information about the media. This includes a title, caption, and description field.

Screenshot of Media Library, showing thumbnail images of multiple files that have been uploaded.

When you are ready to add an image to your book, put your mouse cursor where you want the image to go in the editing interface, click the "Add Media" button, and select the image you want from the Media Library tab. To add the image to your chapter, click the "Insert into chapter" button:

By default, media added to your book will appear in a smaller, medium-sized format. To resize your image, click on it and select the pencil icon.

Image editing toolbar

From this menu you can edit the caption, alt text, and image size. Select Large to make you image as large as possible. You can drag the image down to a smaller size later if necessary.

Image details window

PowerPoints & Ancillary downloads

In addition to uploading images, you can also upload files (PowerPoints, documents, and more) with the Media Upload tool in Pressbooks. This feature may be useful if you want to share files that will not display directly in Pressbooks, like PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, or PowerPoint slides. To add a link to a file in a book in Pressbooks, follow the following steps:

  1. Click “Add Media” at the top of the Visual Editor in Pressbooks.
  2. Select the Upload Files tab and select the file you want to upload.
  3. Click “Insert into chapter.”
  4. You will be able to edit the link text as you would for a normal hyperlink.