19 Comments and Review

For the latest updates to this resource, check out its chapter in our Pressbooks User Guide

Commenting can be a useful function for collaborating with co-authors, the review stages of your book and allowing engagement with your audience. When you first create your book, readers are not able to comment on your chapters by default.

This post will explain:

  • How to enable comments
  • How to disable comments on a chapter
  • How to manage your comments
  • Other review and annotation functions (watch this space)

Enabling Comments

By default, comments are disabled on all chapters, front matter and back matter. If you would like to allow readers to comment, you need to first enable comments globally. To do so:

  • Go to “Settings” on the left menu, then “Disable Comments”
  • A list of post types will appear, and all will be checked by default.
  • Uncheck each post type that you would like to enable comments on. You may want to limit this to chapters, or open it on all posts.
  • Save your changes.
Enabling comments
Enabling comments

How to Disable Comments on a Chapter

Sometimes, you may want to turn off the ability for readers to comment on a specific chapter, while leaving comments enabled on others. To do this, go into the chapter in edit mode.

  • Scroll down to the section titled Discussion.
  • Unselect the box that says Allow Comments.
Where to turn off comments in Pressbooks
Where to turn off comments in Pressbooks

Moderating Comments Individually

Pressbooks sorts your comments into five folders: All, comments Pending Moderation, Approved Comments, Spam and Trash.

To access and moderate reader comments:

  • Click on “Comments” on the left menu.
  • Comments pending moderation will appear on the right by default.
  • You can moderate comments individually or as a group.
  • To moderate individually, hover over a comment and click on one of the links that appears. Options are as follows: Unapprove (prevents the comment from showing), Reply (lets you reply to the comment), Quick Edit (allows you to edit the comment), Edit, History (shows history of the comment thread and your replies), Spam or Trash.
  • Once you’ve chosen one of these options, select Apply.
Comments moderation screen in Pressbooks
Comments moderation screen in Pressbooks
  • Once you approve a comment, it will move to the Approved Comments section, but you can always take action on it using the dropdown arrows to Unapprove, Mark as Spam or Move to Trash later.
  • Once a comment is moved to Trash, you still have the options to Restore or Delete it permanently.

Moderating Comments as a Group

  • To apply the same action to all comments, select the checkbox next to Author.
  • This will select all comments.
  • Then click on the arrow next to Bulk Actions.
  • For each selected comment, you can make one of four choices: Approve, Unapprove, Mark as Spam or Move to Trash.
  • Select an action.
  • Click apply.
  • Pressbooks will apply the change to the comment(s) you selected.
Bulk actions comment moderation in Pressbooks
Bulk actions comment moderation in Pressbooks

Spam Comments

Pressbooks will automatically route comments that appear to be spam to the spam folder. To review these comments:

  • Click on Spam to view and moderate these comments.
  • Select comment(s).
  • Use the dropdown arrow next to Bulk Actions. You can either mark a comment as Not Spam or Delete Permanently.
  • Click Apply.
Example of spam comment
Example of spam comment

Other Review and Annotation Functions – Watch This Space

We know that review and annotation are important aspects of academic publishing. We are working hard to develop more tools in this area to create a practical environment that enables interaction with a text in many different ways. If you have any requests, recommendations or expertise to offer in this area, we welcome your input. Please email us at support@pressbooks.com. In the meantime, we recommend the Hypothes.is browser extension as a handy add-on for annotations.


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Pressbooks for EDU Guide by Book Oven Inc. (Pressbooks.com) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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