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10 Embedded Media & Interactive Content

This chapter will cover:

  • What is Embedded Media and Interactive Content?
  • Supported Content
  • How to Embed Content
  • H5P Interactive Content
  • Display Across Formats
  • Uploaded Media

10.1 – What is Embedded Media and Interactive Content?

Embedded media is media that is hosted outside of PolyBook and linked to through your webbook. 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. This same kind of media can be dropped into the editor of your webbook on PolyBook. Your readers can watch videos, take quizzes, view interactive maps, and more without ever leaving the book.

10.2 – Supported Content

Polybook supports a wide variety of media and interactive content. However, some content is prohibited for the safety of readers and content creators.

One type of embedded content we restrict is iframes. WordPress, the software PolyBook is built on, blacklists all iframes for server security. If you attempt to embed an iframe into the PolyBook editor, it will automatically be converted into oEmbed format instead – a safer standard for media embedding that limits the possibility of malicious use. If the media host isn’t compatible with oEmbed, your iframe may be stripped entirely.

The good news is that a lot of media sources already support oEmbed, which means that all you need to do is paste the link from the media source into your editor and the content will appear. This is true of YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Flickr, and a long list of other sources.

You can also visit https://codex.wordpress.org/Embeds for a full list of WordPress-approved content providers.



We recommend reaching out to your administrators if you’re unsure about whether your iframe media source has been whitelisted.

10.3 – How to Embed Content

There are a few different methods to embed media in PolyBook:

  • Copy/paste the URL
  • Use a shortcode
  • Use the iframe embed code supplied by the content provider

Read on for details about when to use each of these methods. – Copy/Paste the URL into the Visual Editor

The copy/paste method of embedding content is the easiest, and in most cases it’s the method we recommend. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Copy the URL of the video, audio, or other media
  2. Paste the URL into the Visual editor
  3. Click Save 

Your media should automatically appear in the visual editor. After you save the chapter or post, the content will display in the webbook and can be seen by readers if the book is made public. In export formats, a placeholder note with be inserted in place of the omitted content to let readers know a media or interactive element is available to view in the webbook format of their book. They’ll be given a link where they can view the content when they’re next able to access the web.

This method of embedding media will only work for content that’s compatible with oEmbed. – Embed and Media Shortcodes

PolyBook has built in compatibility with a number of shortcodes that you can use to format your books either within the editor or before you import your work. Two of these shortcodes, Embed and Media, can be used to embed media in your book. – Embed Shortcode

Generally, the embed shortcode is most useful when you’re drafting your content outside of PolyBook. Using the embed shortcode signals to PolyBook that there’s an embedded video and not just a regular link in your book. Many content creators use shortcodes to build their content in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and then import to that work to PolyBook.

  1. Start your shortcode with:
  2. Copy/paste the URL in after
  3. End your shortcode with
  4. Save your changes
Example: [em​bed]URL_of_the_video[/em​bed]

10.4 – H5P Interactive Content*

H5P is a third-party service that allows you to build interactive quizzes and other learning tools into your webbook. The below example is one of more than 40 different content types available in PolyBook:

You can create your own custom H5P activities from inside your Polybook.

10.5 – Display Across Formats

While interactive and embedded content is handled natively in web, it is not supported quite so easily across the other formats PolyBook 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.

10.6 – Uploaded Media

PolyBook also enables users to upload media files, like images, and small audio or even video files directly to their books. We discourage people from uploading video directly to their PolyBook media library, both because video files are often larger than our maximum file upload sizes, and because it’s difficult to find universal playback support for most video file formats. In the case of videos, embedding from a dedicated video streaming service is almost always a better route to go. 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 the web and replaced with a missing element message in formats which do not support its inclusion.

NOTE: Please avoid ‘hotlinking’, or linking to your PolyBook media files from outside of the PolyBook platform.


How to PolyBook Copyright © Melanie Walter und Sarah Frederickx. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.