What Is a Sidebar

Glossary > Sidebar

💬 Definition of Sidebar:

A sidebar is a short text in a book, newspaper, or magazine that complements the main text. Some sidebars may include images, charts, or other graphic elements. They are often visually separated from the main text using a different font style, color, or background color.

Related questions about a sidebar:

Are there different kinds of sidebars?

Sidebars can be found in various written materials, such as books, magazines, newspapers, and websites.

In a book, sidebars are typically located either to the left or right of the main body of the text on the page. They are usually formatted with a distinct font style, color, or background color to differentiate them from the main text.

In magazines and newspapers, sidebars can appear in various locations, such as at the end of an article or on the side of a page, and are often used to provide additional information or context related to the main article. They're meant to grab readers' attention and make them read the full article.

On websites, sidebars can be found on the left or right side of the page, or in some cases, at the top or bottom of the page. They are commonly used to display links to related content, advertisements, or additional information that may interest the user.

Different types of sidebars include:

  • Anecdotes
  • Stand-alone short articles that complement the main text 
  • Definitions
  • Links
  • Instructions
  • Recipes
  • Resource lists
  • Short quizzes
  • Tips
  • Trivia

Why have a sidebar?

Sidebars provide additional information, insights, or anecdotes related to the main text or explain or define key terms or concepts.

Sidebars often highlight important aspects of a story that deserve special attention. This helps readers notice those details. 

Readers like sidebars because they feature helpful, informative, or entertaining. 

What are a few sidebar writing tips?

The main text dictates a sidebar's style and topic. For example, if you have a how-to article, the sidebar can be a set of instructions.

Here are some tips for writing a good sidebar:

  • Keep the title short, simple, and relevant.
  • Don't use the same information as in the main text; the sidebar is supposed to complement it.
  • Write a sidebar that's shorter than the main text; 
  • Make sure your sidebar doesn't make the page crowded.

Write more.
Worry less.

Publish and distribute your books to hundreds of stores worldwide in ebook, print or audio formats.

Publish Your Book


Are you looking for something on PublishDrive?