Element Types | Vellum Help

Element Types

Vellum uses element types to guide many of its formatting decisions. The most common type is the Chapter, though Vellum offers many more types which you can use to flesh out the front- and back-matter of your book.

Creating New Elements

Creating elements with the correct types ensures that:

To create a new element, choose the appropriate type from the Chapter ▸ Add Element menu item. The same functionality can also be found in the gear menu () at the bottom of the Navigator:


If you’d like to add more than one element type at a time, use the Add Multiple Elements… menu item, which can be found nearby.

Creating Parts and Volumes

Creating a Part or Volume is slightly different than creating other elements. To create a Part or Volume, select the chapters that you want grouped and use Create Part from Selection or Create Volume from Selection, respectively.

These commands can also be found in the Navigator’s gear menu, and by right-clicking in the Navigator to bring up the context menu.


You can select multiple elements in the Navigator by holding down the Command (⌘) key as you select each one.

You can also select a group of elements by selecting the first, then holding down the Shift key as you select the last.

More information about building a box set using Volumes can be found in Creating Box Sets.

Deleting Elements

To delete an element — like an unwanted chapter — select the element in the Navigator and use the Edit ▸ Delete menu item or press ⌘ Delete.

Converting Element Types

Particularly after an import, you may find it necessary to change an element’s type. You can inspect and change the type assigned to an element using Vellum’s Chapter ▸ Convert To menu. You can also find this functionality in the Text Editor’s gear menu:

Element Type Descriptions

Each of Vellum’s element types is briefly described below. Since many of these element types have a corresponding EPUB element type, some of the descriptions match those on the idpf.org website.

Main Text

For the element types that comprise the main text of your book, standard “Chapter” formatting is applied. That is, these elements will be formatted with Vellum’s default indentation and paragraph spacing and will receive First Paragraph and Paragraph After Break styling.

In addition, the first Main Text element in your book will be declared as the Start Page, the page a reader sees when she first opens your book.


An introductory section that precedes the work, typically not written by the work’s author.


A section in the beginning of the work, typically introducing the reader to the scope or nature of the work’s content.


An introductory section that precedes the work, typically written by the work’s author.


An introductory section that sets the background to a story, typically part of the narrative.


The main division of your book, typically with number or title.

Chapter headings will occasionally feature flourishes that the other elements won’t show. See, for instance, the headings in Vellum’s Oxford Book Style.


A structural division that encapsulates a set of related chapters.


A major component of a collection, often used in bundles or box sets. A Volume cannot be grouped under another element of any type.


A concluding section that is typically written from a later point in time than the main story, although still part of the narrative.


An ending section that typically details the history of the story or its significance.

Front Matter

A page in the front of a book that lists publication, legal, and, if applicable, ISBN information.

The Copyright type changes Vellum’s default indentation and paragraph spacing and, by default, hides its heading. In addition, First Paragraph and Paragraph After Break styling is not applied.


An inscription that dedicates the book to a person, cause, etc.

A Dedication’s text is italicized and centered and, by default, its heading is not shown.


A quotation that precedes the text of the book.

An Epigraph does not receive First Paragraph or Paragraph After Break Styling, and often consists of a sole Blockquote. Its heading is suppressed by default.

Back Matter


A passage the acknowledges the entities involved in the realization of the work.

This element does not receive First Paragraph or Paragraph After Break styling.

About the Author

A brief biography of the author of the work.

This element does not receive First Paragraph or Paragraph After Break styling, and its editor includes a specialized interface for adding information such as your website, or your Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Also By

A page that lists your previously published books.

The Also By element centers each listed book title. Use Store Links to encourage readers to purchase these other titles online.



An element that should only be used if another type isn’t appropriate. Elements of this type won’t have First Paragraph or Paragraph After Break Styles applied.