This chapter will cover:
- What embedded media and interactive content is supported by Pressbooks
- How to add this content to your book
- How Pressbooks handles this content across formats
What is Embedded Media & Interactive Content?
Embedded content refers to content that is hosted outside of your Pressbooks book, but that you ‘embed’ so it can been viewed and interacted with within the webbook, saving your reader from needing to visit another site. 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 – and it follows that you may want to add it to your Pressbooks webbook as well.
Pressbooks supports several different kinds of media and interactive content. Each of these behave in slightly different ways and have different input methods, and when it comes to embedded content, it is important to understand why some content is allowed and other content is not.
One kind of embedded content we don’t allow is iframes; by default, WordPress (on which Pressbooks is built) heavily restricts the use of iframes for security reasons. Instead, we avoid the need to use iframes altogether by allowing content from approved sites to be embedded without them – all you need is the URL and the system handles the rest!
How do I embed content?
To embed approved content, all you need to do is drop the URL of the video, audio or other element (not the embed code with iframe tags wrapping it) directly into the visual editor, and Pressbooks will automagically change the URL to an embed.
The full list of approved content is too long to include here, but includes major providers such as:
- Social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc.)
We also support several EDU-specific platforms, including:
If you’re not sure whether the content you want to embed is supported or not, the easiest way to find out is to paste the link to your chapter and see if it turns into to the expected content or not. If it is not supported, you will need to instead add a regular hyperlink that takes the reader to the content on another site.
Note: EDU network managers can request a site be added to our list of approved content sources. Please contact your network manager if you require embed support for a specific site and we will evaluate requests for inclusion on the list.
H5P Interactive Content (PressbooksEDU Hosted Networks Only)
H5P is not currently available on Pressbooks.com. If you are on a Pressbooks network that does offer H5P, you can find documentation here.
Display Across Formats
While interactive and embedded content is handled natively in web, it is not supported quite so easily across the other formats Pressbooks produces, including PDF and ebook. As a result, we have implemented a fallback method for content that isn’t supported across the board.
This fallback consists of an inserted message that is populated with information available in the system (may include a title, thumbnail, the kind of media, etc.) and provides the reader with a link to the webbook version of the chapter so they can view the missing element (print readers will see a short URL that they can type into a browser). See a couple of examples below.
Pressbooks also enables users to upload audio and video directly to their books. Typically, we discourage people from uploading video as the file sizes tend to be quite large and can eat up your storage space quickly. However, if ever audio or video is uploaded and inserted into a book, it will be handled in the same way as embedded media: displayed normally in web and swapped for a missing element message in other formats.
Prefer to watch and learn? Check out this video tutorial:
If you still aren’t sure how to embed media or interactive content, or have other questions, contact us!