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Book Reference Guide


The book tool is a resource that allows instructors to organize content in a sequential format that is easy to navigate through a table of contents. It is an alternative way to display content such as collections of text, webpages, Youtube videos, etc., through the creation of a multi-page resource in a book-like format. If enabled, students can print the whole book, or sections of it. Books are useful for displaying content that is lengthy, in-depth, and may be broken down into sections.

Understanding Book Settings


Book name: Required. What the students will see when selecting the link from your course's homepage.
Description: Required. This is where you tell your students what is contained within the book.
Display description on course page: Select this if you want the full description (above) to also appear on your course page under the name of the book.


Chapter formatting: Use this drop-down to select how the chapter formatting will display. The choices are: none, numbers, bullets, formatted.

  • None: Chapter and subchapter titles have no formatting. 
  • Numbers: Chapters and subchapter titles are numbered 1, 1.1, 1.2, 2, ... 
  • Bullets: Subchapters are indented and displayed with bullets in the table of contents. 
  • Indented: Subchapters are indented in the table of contents.

Custom titles: Normally the chapter title is displayed in the table of contents (TOC) and as a heading above the content. Custom titles allow you to have a different page header and index entry (chapter title). If you enable custom titles, then no title will appear on the page unless you manually add one within the content area of the page.

Tip: If you choose to enable custom titles make sure you style it consistently throughout the Book. Creating custom titles can be beneficial for accessibility compliance.  

Common module settings

Visible: Use the "Hide" setting to prevent the book from appearing on the course page. You may change the setting at any time.

ID number: If the activity is not included in any grade calculation, then the ID number field may be left blank.

Restrict Access

You can limit access (i.e., ability to see) to a resource by adding conditions. More information on conditions can be found in the help page on Restricting access to specific users.

Activity Completion

If your course is set-up for completion tracking, then the activity completion setting will appear. The activity completion settings for a Book allow an instructor to require that a student views it in order for it to be considered complete. If tracked, the user will see a checkmark next to the activity name on the course page when the activity is complete. Multiple conditions may be set if desired. If multiple conditions are set, the activity will be considered complete when ALL conditions are met.

Completion tracking: Use this drop-down menu to choose how activity completion will (or will not) be tracked. The choices are: do not indicate activity completion, students can manually mark the activity as completed, and show activity as complete when conditions are met.

Require view: If enabled, the Book will be marked complete only when the student views the Book.

Expect completed on: If you check the “enable” box for this field, you must also enter an appropriate date when the activity is expected to be completed. The date is not shown to students. It is only displayed in the activity completion report. 

Click Save and Display and a page for adding your first chapter is displayed.

Building Your Book

Adding Chapters

After you complete the settings for your book, you may begin adding content by adding pages (i.e., chapters) to it. To add chapters to your book click on the “+” in the table of contents block, which is found on the right side of the screen.

Chapter title: Each Chapter title appears in the Table of Contents as a link to open that page. Keep your titles short. If you want to use longer titles, enable custom titles from the book settings page.

Subchapter: You can designate a page as a subchapter of an existing chapter. Your Book can have as many chapters and subchapters as you want, but each chapter is limited to two levels, chapter and subchapter.

Content: Enter your text and media content for the chapter here. This field allows you to use formatting tools, embed video, add images, and link to both internal and external internet resources.

Note: All chapters consist of one page, which will scroll if necessary.  

Tip: If you paste content directly from your original document in Word, the formatting from these programs may interfere with the HTML code in the editor. We recommend copying the content and pasting it using the paste from word tool in the text editor. 

To use the paste from word tool:

  1. Copy the text you wish to use.
  2. Expand the formatting toolbar.

  3. Click the paste from word icon.

  4. Paste the content into the paste special content box.
  5. Click Insert.

Note: You can also paste as plain text using the other special paste icon. 

Managing Chapters

Once you create a chapter or subchapter, icons will display in the table of contents next to its name allowing you to edit it.

  • To move a chapter, use the arrow keys to go Up and Down. 
  • To edit a chapter, select the Edit (gear) icon. 
  • To delete a chapter, use the Delete (X) icon. 
  • To hide a chapter from student view, click the Show (open eye) icon. This toggles to a Hide icon. Click the Hide icon if you want to display it again.

Viewing and (Preventing) Printing Books

Books may be navigated by clicking on the chapter or subchapter name in the table of contents. Students may also move through the book by using the arrows located to the top-right of the content area.

In order to print the entire book or just one chapter, use the Administration block on the side of the screen and click Print Book or Print This Chapter.

Sometimes an instructor may not want a student to have the print capability. In order to disable students’ ability to print your book, follow these steps:

  1. From the Book’s Administration block, click Permissions.
  2. Select the student role from the Advanced Role Override drop-down menu
  3. Find the Print book capability and select Prevent.
  4. Click Save changes.

Importing Web Content

You can import web (HTML) files directly into your book as chapters or subchapters. To do this, collect the html files you wish to import into a single, zipped file. Then follow these instructions for importing your chapter.

  1. Click the name of the book you want to add chapters to.
  2. Click the Add chapter (+) icon next to any existing chapter to add a new chapter, which will appear below it. 
  3. In the Book Administration block, click Import chapter.
  4. Choose whether each HTML file or folder represents one chapter.
  5. Choose the zipped folder of a single or multiple html file(s) you want to import into the book.
  6. Click Import

Tips for importing chapters and subchapters:

  • Place the title of a chapter (or subchapter) into the <title> tags of the head element of the HTML file.
  • To upload subchapters, add "_sub" to the end of HTML file or folder names.
  • Chapters are sorted alphabetically using filenames; by starting file/folder names with numbers you can control the order in which the files appear as chapters (or subchapters) in the book. Alternatively, you can change the order through the Table of Contents block once files are imported.
  • Multimedia and images may need to be added separately through the text editor after importing the html content.


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