14 Automatic Pages and Content

You create the body of your book by adding content and structure through the Organize page. However, Pressbooks automatically generates some parts of your book, depending on the book format you’re creating and the settings you have. In this chapter, we’ll cover what content is created automatically and how to change or modify it. This includes:

Title Page 

Pressbooks automatically generates a title page for all PDF, EPUB, and MOBI exports. By default, this title page must include the title of your book and the author’s name. Depending on how much information you’ve entered into the Book Info page, the title page will include:

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • Publisher city

If you’d like to override the automatic title page, you can create a custom title page. Read on to the next section for more details.

Making a Custom Title Page

You can style and add content to your own custom title page and use it to replace the automatically generated one. Just follow these steps:

  1. Go to Organize > Add Front Matter to create a new Front Matter post
  2. In the Front Matter Type panel, select type “Title Page”
  3. Create your custom title page in the editor
  4. Save and export your book

You can also take advantage of Pressbooks’ built-in styles to create your title page. The classes below can be wrapped around their corresponding content in the Text Editor. We recommend only using this approach if you’re comfortable working with HTML.

<h1 class=”title”>Title</h1>

<h2 class=”subtitle”>Subtitle</h2>

<h3 class=”author”>Author</h3>

<h4 class=”publisher”>Publisher</h4>

<h5 class=”publisher-city”>Publisher City</h5>

Half-Title Page

Many Pressbooks themes will also include a half-title page in all PDF files. Unlike the full title page, the half-title page includes just the title of the book. Note that this page is not included in your ebook exports.

If you’d like to remove the half-title page from your book, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Appearance > Custom Styles from the left sidebar menu
  2. Select the PDF stylesheet from the dropdown menu at the top of the page
  3. Copy paste the following code into the Your PDF Styles section: #half-title-page {display: none;} 
  4. Save your changes and re-export the PDF file

Table of Contents

Pressbooks automatically creates a table of contents for all formats of your book: webbook, ebook, and print.

By default, all tables of contents contain chapter titles and page numbers. They can also contain the following elements:

  • Part titles: Appear automatically when a book has more than one part
  • Part and chapter numbers: Can be enabled and disabled using the “Part and Chapter Numbers” setting from Appearance > Theme Options > Global Options
  • Chapter subtitle: Can be added in the “Chapter Subtitle” field in the “Chapter Metadata” section beneath each chapter’s editor
  • Chapter author(s): Can be added in the “Chapter Author” field in the “Chapter Metadata” section beneath each chapter’s editor (NOTE: The author must already be added as a contributor  see more)
  • Chapter copyright license: Can be chosen from the “Chapter Copyright License” dropdown menu in the “Chapter Metadata” section beneath each chapter’s editor, and then enabled and disabled using the “Chapter Licenses” setting from Appearance > Theme Options > Global Options 
  • Chapter subsection titles: Can be enabled or disabled using the “Two-Level TOC” setting from Appearance > Theme Options > Global Options (see more)

Every theme is built with a table of contents whose design complements the appearance of the rest of your book.

Removing the Table of Contents

The table of contents is necessary for the navigation and accessibility of digital book formats, including all webbooks and ebooks. Ebook distributors will require that your book has a table of contents before it can be accepted for publication.

However, the table of contents can be disabled for the PDF format so that it does not appear in your print books.

To enable or disable the table of contents in your PDF files:

  1. Go to Appearance > Theme Options from the left sidebar menu
  2. Select the PDF Options tab
  3. Find the “Table of Contents” setting
  4. Select or deselect “Display table of contents”
  5. Save your changes and re-export your files

Numeration and Running Content

Page numbers, parts, and chapters all get automatically numbered throughout your book in various formats. Pressbooks also generates running headers or footers in all PDF files.

Part and Chapter Numbers

By default, Pressbooks automatically generates part and chapter numbers for your book. These are visible in all book formats. These numbers display on part and chapter title pages as well as on the table of contents. The design of part and chapter numbers will depend on the theme you’ve chosen.

To globally disable all part and chapter numbers:

  1. Go to Appearance > Theme Options from the left sidebar menu
  2. Select the Global Options tab
  3. Find the “Part and Chapter Numbers” setting
  4. Deselect the “Display part and chapter numbers” checkbox
  5. Save your changes and re-export your files

You can also disable numbers on each chapter individually by choosing “Numberless” from the Chapter Type panel next to the chapter editor.

Page Numbers

Pressbooks automatically creates page numbers for all PDF files. Page numbers cannot be disabled using any setting in Pressbooks. Generally, front matter page numbers will display in lower Roman numerals (i, ii, iii) until the Introduction page. All body and back matter pages will be numbered in Arabic (1, 2, 3) numerals. Page number design will depend on the theme you’ve chosen.

Page numbers will automatically reflow whenever you add or remove content, change your theme, or adjust other elements of the design.

NOTE: Page numbers do not appear in EPUB and MOBI files. Pressbooks does not create fixed-format ebooks, which means content will reflow depending on a reader’s device, software, and display settings.

Running Content

All themes have running content included in the template for the PDF. Depending on the theme you’ve chosen, that running content may be in the header or the footer. You can customize your running content by following these steps:

  1. Go to Appearance > Theme Options from the left sidebar menu
  2. Select the PDF Options tab
  3. Find the “Running Heads & Feet” section
  4. Choose what content you’d like for each page location in your book
  5. Save your changes and re-export your files

You can customize the running content for the right and left pages of each of the follow sections:

  • Front Matter
  • Introduction
  • Part
  • Chapter
  • Back Matter

You can select any of the following pieces of content to appear in the running header or footer:

  • Book title
  • Book subtitle
  • Book author
  • Section title
  • Section subtitle
  • Section author
  • Blank
  • Custom

For more information on this setting, click here.

Copyright Notice

Your book’s copyright notice states all the legal information readers need to know about your book, and specifically limits or grants permission for readers to copy that book.  A copyright notice may include the following information:

  • Name of the copyright holder
  • Year of publication
  • Chosen copyright license
  • Information about production, printing
  • Notices about cover design
  • Library of congress catalog numbers
  • ISBN

Pressbooks automatically generates a copyright notice for all formats of your book. In print and ebook files, the copyright notice is added as a page in the front matter of your book. In your webbook, the copyright notice appears on the homepage. For more information about what order front matter appears in, check out this chapter.

By default, Pressbooks creates your book with an All Rights Reserved license, which prohibits any copying or distribution of the book. The generated copyright notice will include the copyright holder, the year of publication, the title of the book, and the license type.

However, Pressbooks provides many options for choosing different copyright licenses and customizing your copyright notice. You can choose from any of the following copyright licenses:

  • All Rights Reserved
  • CC-BY (Attribution)
  • CC-BY-NC (Attribution Non-commercial)
  • CC-BY-NC-ND (Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives)
  • CC-BY-NC-SA (Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike)
  • CC-BY-ND (Attribution No Derivatives)
  • CC-BY-SA (Attribution Share Alike)
  • CC0 (Creative Commons Zero)
  • Public Domain

For more information on what’s entailed when you use a Creative Commons (CC) license, see Creative Commons’ guide to sharing your work.

Here’s the quick and simple way to add a copyright notice to your book’s metadata:


Making a Custom Copyright Page

In order to make a custom copyright page:

  1. Go to the Book Info from the left sidebar menu
  2. Scroll down to the Copyright section.
  3. Add your custom content to the Copyright Notice section

Designating Chapter-Level Copyright Notices

You can designate a copyright notice for a chapter that differs from the global copyright notice for the book. In this case, the chapter-level copyright license overrides the book license. To assign a chapter-level copyright notice:

  1. Go to Appearance > Theme Options and select the “Display the copyright license” option
  2. Save your changes
  3. Access the chapter
  4. Scroll down to the “Chapter Metadata” section below the editor.
  5. Select the chapter license
  6. Save your changes

Prefer to watch and learn? Watch this instructional video, created by our friends at BCcampus.


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Maricopa Open Digital Press Guide Copyright © 2012 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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