Using Pressbooks

How to Order Parts, Chapters and Front/Back Matter

 

Transcript of video

Alright, so now we’re going to look at reordering content after it’s been created. Maybe you want to change the order in which chapters appear, or you want to rearrange the parts or the modules of your book. So, just for the sake of having an example, I’ve created several chapters and parts that are out of order in our book.

So let’s start by reordering the chapters. There are two main ways of doing this – we can go into the “Text” panel and click “Organize”, and then we can drag and drop chapters into new positions. You’re even able to drag and drop chapters into different parts if you want.

The other thing you can do is, you can click into a chapter, and just like when we were creating the chapter, go to the “Part” panel on the right hand side and select which part should contain the chapter. Then we update this chapter.

And once we go back to the “Dashboard”, this chapter will be in the new part that we’ve selected. So now we can see that Chapter 2 is in Part 2, instead of in Part 1. This second method is typically much faster when you’ve got a large book which makes it time-consuming to drag and drop all your chapters throughout the book.

OK, so now I’m going to rearrange all these chapters properly, so that Chapters 1, 2, and 3 are in order in Part 1, and Chapters 4, 5, and 6 will be in order in Part 2.

OK, so now all the chapters have been rearranged, but our parts are out of order. So, we need to rearrange the parts. But rearranging parts is a bit trickier, since unlike chapters, we cannot drag and drop them. The way to reorder parts is through the Order attribute. So let’s open up Part 2 here. And if we go to the right-hand side of the screen, we’ll see that it’s got an order of 1. What does “order” mean? Here’s a little explanation that will hopefully clear it up.

Order determines the order in which parts get displayed. The lower the order number, the earlier the part, and the higher the order number, the later the part. By default, when you create a part, it gets added onto the end. So, in this little graphic, Parts 1, 2, and 3 have order 1, 2, and 3 – so they get displayed in order. However, what happens if I want Part 3 to go in front of Part 2? Well, I have two options. I can give Part 3 an order of 2, and then go back and give Part 2 an order of 3 – and this will switch their positions due to the order attributes. The other option is for me to leave Part 3 as-is, and give Part 2 an order of 4. This will place it after Part 3, just like we wanted. Be careful and vigilant about switching the order of parts. Don’t leave 2 parts with the same order number – otherwise it’s like they’re trying to fit into the same space, and that just doesn’t work.

Alright, so back to our test book, we want Part 1 to display before Part 2. We’ll make this work by taking Part 2’s order attribute, and giving it an order of 3, so that it displays after Part 1, which has an order of 2. Now, if we save this part, we can go back to the “Dashboard”, and we can see that the new parts are ordered correctly, with Part 1 in front of Part 2, just like we wanted.

So there you go! You now know how to add, edit, and reorganize content in Pressbooks using all the tools in the Text panel.

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