Design books

The design of your books is created in CSS stylesheets. These are written in Sass or CSS syntax. Each output format has a dedicated stylesheet:

By default, the screen PDF inherits its styles from the print PDF design, except for trim and crop marks (none on screen PDF) and the colour profile (RBG in screen PDF, CMYK in print PDF). Also by default, the app inherits the web styles.

Some aspects of design are easy for non-technical users to change. Some advanced design features need to be coded by an experienced CSS developer.

Each project comes with a library of predefined styles in the _sass/template folder. Generally, you should not change these styles. Rather, extend and override them with your own theme, which you define in the files in _sass/theme.

That’s where you set or change styles that affect all the books in your project.

Then, each book’s styles can build on or override those project-wide styles in the .scss files in its own styles folder (e.g. book/styles/web.scss).

Electric Book Manager users

By default, you cannot edit the project’s predefined styles in the Electric Book Manager.

Files that users cannot see in the EBM, such as advanced technical files, are included in the ignore list in /_prose.yml.

Edit project-wide styles

Usually, you’ll define styles for all the books in your project by editing only the files in _sass/theme. Any colours, variables, @imports or CSS/Sass rules there will override the template styles.

This file structure also makes it possible to add a pre-built theme easily by copying the theme files to _sass/theme.

Edit a book’s styles

This is for when you want one book in your project to have different styles to the other books.

  1. Go into the book’s folder, then into styles, and open the .scss file for the output format that you want to edit. For example, to change the print-PDF styles for the book in the book directory, edit book/styles/print-pdf.scss.
  2. Many of a book’s design features are set as variables, which start with $ signs. E.g. $page-width. Set your desired values by defining variables. For instance, you can change the values for page size, colours, running heads, and so on. All available variables are defined, with defaults, in _sass/template/print-pdf.scss (and similarly for other output formats).
  3. If you know how to write CSS or Sass, add your own custom styles at the bottom of the book’s relevant .scss file.

Output the relevant format to see how your changes look. If the output fails, you may have used invalid CSS or Sass syntax. For more on editing Sass, see