Project metadata

Lots of crucial information (i.e. metadata) about your project is in _data/works.

Before you can output your books you must make sure the files in _data/works contain the necessary information about them. For instance, you can’t output a PDF unless you’ve defined which text files should be included in that PDF.

The Electric Book template uses the data in _data/works to populate and build navigation, tables of content, the parts of each book, translations, ISBNs and more.

Tip: You can see the metadata generated for any given page by using the page-info include in its markdown. Simply add this tag to any page to generate a summary of its metadata: {% include page-info %}.

YAML syntax

The files in _data/works are written in a syntax called YAML, and have .yml file extensions. At its simplest, YAML is just a list of values like this:

title: "Great Expectations"
creator: "Charles Dickens"

Importantly, you can nest information in YAML, so that information can be grouped. For example:

    format: "Print"
    format: "Digital download"

In YAML, indentation must be accurate and must be created with exactly two spaces, not tabs. If a YAML file contains errors in indentation (or other syntax), your project will not output anything at all.

There are many subtle rules for structuring YAML, but if you just follow the existing structure in _data/works carefully, you’ll be fine. Here is a good tutorial on YAML, if you want to know more.

There is more detail on editing the YAML files in _data/works in Navigation and TOCs.