For this step, you’ll want to identify the format of the open textbook you’d like to modify. All books in the Open Textbook Library are available in at least one portable format (PDF, EPUB, or MOBI). Textbooks may also be available online (HTML) and via platforms such as Pressbooks or OpenStax CNX.

File Type

How Do I Read It?


PDF Adobe Reader Beyond Lean:
Simulation in Practice
HTML Any internet browser Human Relations
EPUB eBook readers (except Kindle), iPhone and Android apps, Firefox and Chrome add-ons, Google Play books Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom
MOBI (.AZW3) Kindle eBook Financial Accounting
Pressbooks (.WXR) Any internet browser Financial Accounting
OpenStax Any internet browser Anatomy and Physiology

The PDF Reality

It’s common for open textbooks to be available only in PDF. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to make major changes to a PDF, so you may want to look for a different file type. Here are some possibilities:

  • Use the publisher link (included in the Open Textbook Library) to look for source files.
  • Search GitHub for other file formats (computer science and mathematics textbooks often have original files available on GitHub).
  • Contact the author to request an editable format.


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Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know Copyright © 2016 by Open Education Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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