Quickstart Guide to PubPub

PubPub is an online publishing platform that allows users to collaborate to create multimedia webpages with annotations. 

This guide will walk you through the process of creating a user account and how to edit a Pub, the basic page element of a PubPub project. 

Make an Account

  1. Navigate to https://www.pubpub.org/signup and enter your email address. 
  2. Follow the link you receive by email to complete your user account. 
  3. Your instructor will need to manually add you to the course PubPub site, so when you are prompted to enter your name, add a middle initial or another identifier if you think there may be other users with the same first and last name.
  4. Provide your professor with the full name that is associated with your new account. 

Editing Pubs

Navigate to your group’s Pub by either by clicking on “Dashboard” and viewing the Pubs listed in the Community Overview tab. You can also click on a pub when you are signed in and click the “Edit Pub” button to open the editor view.

Dashboard Tour

When you edit your pub, you’ll be presented with this dashboard of editing tools.

  1. Title your Pub. You can customize the title of your pub page from the generic group name by clicking this box and typing in a new one. 
  2. Add additional authors to your pub by clicking the pencil icon and searching for users by name. Be aware that this search will include all users on the PubPub platform, not only the people who are part of your class. 
  1. Make changes to the look and feel of your pub. Clicking on “Edit Theme” will allow you to make choices about the header image, colors, and font on your pub. 

In the scope of this project, you will not need to adjust pub settings or sharing. 

You can also preview what the citation for the this page will look like and download a copy of your Pub in a wide variety of formats (including PDF and Word)

  1. To add content to your page, begin typing in the text editor area. If you’ve drafted text in another application (eg. MS Word) you can upload that file as a starting point for your Pub. Use the toolbar to style headings, add bold and italics to texts, insert hyperlinks and lists, and upload media items. 

Authoring with a Rich Text Editor

PubPub’s text editing toolbar helps you to format a webpage without using code. These tools are known as “rich text” or “WYSWIG” (what you see is what you get) editors because they mimic the way text and media objects will look on your published site. Online, the appearance and function of a web page is actually controlled by HTML, a system of marking up the text and media objects with tags (ex: <p>) that tell the browser application how the page should display and behave. 

HTML is also useful because the tags that underlie the styled text act as checkpoints for people using assistive technologies like screen readers to navigate web pages. Using the drop down menu in the toolbar to style your text will not only provide visual cues about the structure of your page but will also make it accessible and inclusive for individuals with disabilities.


Add media to your project by clicking the icon and uploading a file from your computer. Once you have added your file, click the image to open the media editor. 

  1. Change the size of your object by using the sliding scale to adjust the width
  2. Change the alignment of your object on the page and decide whether text should wrap around the media. 
  3. Add a caption, if you choose
  4. Add Alt Text. Alt text is a short description of your media object (ie. “Painting of George Washington” or “Screenshot of PubPub media editor”). Alt text is another accessibility tool that helps to describe the contents of a web page for people using assistive devices. 


Once a Pub has been published, you and other community members will be able to annotate that text. Highlight the portion of the text you wish to comment on and click the speech bubble icon. Add text to your annotation using the text box. You can also add media and hyperlinks to annotations.