8 Front Matter

For the latest updates to this resource, check out its chapter in our Pressbooks User Guide

You may wish to include an introduction, acknowledgements or other material before the start of your book. Pressbooks lets you easily format these items as front matter, which will appear prior to the main body.

This chapter will explain:

  • How to create, edit, delete and change front matter items
  • Types of front matter, and how to create them
  • The order front matter will appear in your book


Front matter can include such things as an abstract, foreword, chronology or introduction, as well as the automatically generated title page and copyright page.

Front matter items function similarly to chapters. You can create, edit, delete, rename or reorder front matter items the same way that you would with chapters, with one additional option.

The Front Matter Types menu lets you indicate an item’s type – which may change how it is styled in outputs.

Front matter menu in Pressbooks

Front matter menu in Pressbooks


Pressbooks lets you specify 21 types of front matter, including Miscellaneous.

These types are:

  • Abstract
  • Acknowledgements
  • Before Title Page
  • Chronology, Timeline
  • Dedication
  • Disclaimer
  • Epigraph
  • Foreword
  • Genealogy, Family Tree
  • Image Credits
  • Introduction
  • List of Abbreviations
  • List of Characters
  • List of Illustrations
  • List of Tables
  • Miscellaneous
  • Other Books by Author
  • Preface
  • Prologue
  • Recommended Citation
  • Title Page

To indicate front matter type:

  1. Go to “Text”, then “Organize”.
  2. Click on “Edit” next to a front matter item.
  3. In edit mode, go to the “Front Matter Types” menu.
  4. Indicate the item’s type.
  5. Press “Save Draft” or “Publish”.

Front Matter Order

When using front matter types, Pressbooks will use them to order your book in line with the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines, which will sometimes override the order you place your front matter sections in the “Text/Organize” screen. The Chicago-mandated order is as follows:

Book half title
Series title, frontispiece or blank
Title page
Copyright Page
(Table of) Contents
(List of) Illustrations
(List of) Tables
Acknowledgments (if not part of preface)
Introduction (if not part of text)
Abbreviations (if not in back matter)
Chronology (if not in back matter)

If you would like to alter this order, there are a few options:

  • You can change the front matter type tags to change the order in which they appear.
  • If you want a section to appear after the TOC, you can label it as ‘Miscellaneous’.
  • If you would like to also include front matter before the title page, you can tag it as ‘Before Title Page’.


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Pressbooks for EDU Guide 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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