Automatic 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 your book format and your settings.  In this section, we’ll cover what content is created automatically and how to change or modify it.

This includes:

  • Title Page
  • Half-title Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Numeration and Running Content
    • Part and Chapter Numbers
    • Page Numbers
    • Running Content
  • Copyright Page

NOTE: Many of the automatic content is designed for use in .pdf files.  For more information look at the same section in the Pressbooks User Guide

Your 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.

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

Not available for Webbooks

Table of Contents

Pressbooks automatically creates a table of contents for your webbook.

By default, all table 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

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 and therefore may not be removed from your book.

Numeration and Running Content

Not available for Webbooks

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

Not available for webbooks.

Running Content

Not available in webbooks.

Copyright page

The Copyright page is another automatic page that Pressbooks creates.

Copyright Notice

Your book’s copyright notice states all the legal information readers need to know about your book, including  limits or grants permission for readers to copy that book. Traditional books have a copyright page, which contains various “legalese” about the book. A copyright notice may include the following information:

  • Acknowledgements (such as to granting agencies
  • 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 your webbook, the copyright notice appears on the homepage.

At a minimum, the copyright page will include an automatically-generated message containing: Book title, copyright holder, and year of publication.

Licensing your Webbook

Pressbooks provides many options for choosing different copyright licenses and customizing your copyright notice. As a member of the University of Arkansas OER community, you should select an appropriate license from the following list of copyright licenses. We recommend that your book be licensed as open as possible and allowing the most levels of use by others. Therefore, we recommend you consider CC-BY licensing.


We recommend that your book be licensed as open as possible and allowing the most levels of use by others. Therefore, we recommend you consider CC-BY licensing.

Least Open

  • 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-NC (Attribution Non-commercial)
  • CC-BY-SA (Attribution Share Alike)
  • CC-BY (Attribution)
  • CC0 (Creative Commons Zero)
  • Public Domain

Most Open

Making a Custom Copyright Page

In order to make a custom copyright page, you can go to the  book info section, scroll down to copyright and fill out your selections.

Section of the book info screen which includes text boxes for selecting licenses or write a copyright statement

Designating Chapter-Level Copyright Notices

You may find that in a textbook or edited monograph, different chapters have different copyright licenses. It is possible to add chapter-level license notices to your book, however this feature is in development and has variable results across outputs. It is best used for the web version of your book. To activate:

  1. Go to “Appearance” –> “Theme Options” and select the “Display the copyright license” option.
  2. Save your changes.
  3. Go to the chapter where the license will be different from the global license.
  4. Scroll down to the “Chapter Metadata” section below the editor.
  5. Select the chapter license.
  6. Update or save draft.


Prefer to watch and learn?  Here is a short video.



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University of Arkansas OER Style Guide Copyright © 2023 by Lora Lennertz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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