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Textboxes & Sidebars

Text boxes, sidebars, and asides are all what are considered secondary content.

All secondary content should be moved to an appropriate place within the main narrative flow. You do not want to create a break in a sentence, but you want to maintain it as close to the original as possible

Insert any secondary content, such as sidebar content, using a text box.

If the text within the secondary content goes over a page in word, then the text box will not function properly. In this case add the phrase Aside to the top heading of the secondary content, or if there is no heading for the secondary content add one that simply states Aside. The Production Coordinator will add the appropriate tagging during conversion. If you have any questions about this, please post them in the Q&A

This text box will translate to an <aside> tag. A text box may contain formatting (italics, bold, lists, headings, etc.).

To create a text box:

  • Open Insert Menu
  • Select Text box
  • Draw text box the length of the page

Once you have your text box, you need to ensure it is In Line with Text.

For Mac:

  • Left click the text box
  • This will open a pop up menu
  • Select Text Wrap
  • This will open a secondary pop up menu
  • Select In Line with Text

For PC Windows:

  • Make sure the text box is selected
  • Select the Shape Format tab in the top ribbon
  • Select Text Wrap to open a drop down menu
  • Select In Line with Text

This will ensure the image is anchored in place, so it wont move around and can be read by screen readers!

Now you have a text box! Now you can enter text into text box including any formatting such as: emphasis, strong, lists, headings, images etc..

Make sure all the text is visible within the text box, and that the text box is on a single page.

Here is a video demo on how to create text boxes for secondary content:

The appropriate heading level needs to be applied to the heading of the secondary content. For more information, please see the Headings Section.


Below is an screenshot of a complete text box:

This is what it looks like when it is converted into an epub:


<H3>Frozen Heat</H3>

Habaneros are not at everyone’s neighborhood grocery store. And once you do find and buy a bunch of them, you’ll probably use only one or two at a time, because they’re so fiery. Instead of letting the leftover chiles languish in the refrigerator, put them in a resealable bag and pop them in the freezer. They’ll keep there for a few months. When you’re ready to use them, let them defrost for a few minutes at room temperature.

</ aside>

If you have any questions, check the archive below, if still not clear, post your question on the Production Q&A

Q&A Archive

Q: I'm working on Vancouver Exposed which has sections of text in boxes - they seem like asides, but they also seem to fit within the narrative flow? Can I format these in text boxes like we did for fight like a physicist?

A: You can put them into text boxes. These will translate to <aside> tags when I convert it to an EPUB3!

Update: Thank you! I've started adding the text boxes but I'm running into an issue. A couple of the asides have footnotes. I had preinserted the footnotes and when I put them into the text box, they deleted. I did some research and it looks like word doesn't support inserting footnotes into text boxes? It looks like there are a couple work arounds (see the link below) but I don't know if these will work for us? How should I proceed?

A: None of these workarounds would be accessible. Since they seem to fit into the narrative flow, then put content breaks above and below each aside section.

Q: I'm working on Satan is a Socialist and I have a question about sidebars. This text uses a number of sidebars (usually just one sentence) to highlight main points in the text. I know our normal workflow is to move sidebars to the end of a section, but because these sidebars emphasize the text immediately above it I'm worried that taking them out of context will make them seem jarring. Should I move them to the end of a section, or is there another approach I should take? Thanks for your help!

A: These are actually not sidebars, but what publishers call pull quotes and they used lines and larger text to visually grab the readers attention. You can style them as quotes.

Q: We Rise Again has a number of pages styled completely different than the main pages (see example below). I've been styling them as secondary content in text boxes. Is this the right approach? If it is, should I include the image inside the text box as well? If I do, it will mean the text box can't all fit on one page. Thanks!

A: Yes. Include the image. Remember you can also resize the image to fit it on the page. If this does not work then put the term Aside in the heading and I will manually code them during conversion. I will also place a ticket into DAISY to see if this issue can be fixed.

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public/nnels/etext/textboxes_and_sidebars.txt · Last modified: 2023/05/30 15:05 by rachel.osolen