Help:Books/FAQ

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Status last updated 16 December 2017.

Working with Wikipedia books

What is a Wikipedia book?

A Wikipedia book is a collection of articles taken from Wikipedia and compiled into a book with a table of contents and a cover.

As time goes by and the articles get edited, the contents of any new copies will change to match.

Where can I find existing books?

All books are listed in Category:Wikipedia books.

The bookshelf dialog also provides a dedicated search tool.

How do I obtain a copy of a book?

When you visit the book's page you are offered the options to download a pdf e-book or send it to PediaPress, where you can order print copies.

How do I create a new book?

In short, use the Book Creator tool.

How do I update my book?

In short, use the Book Creator tool.

How do I delete my book?

  • If you saved your book in your userspace (e.g. User:USERNAME/Books/My book), you can simply request deletion by placing {{db-u1}} on top of the page.
  • If you saved your book in the book namespace (e.g. Book:Foobar), several options are possible.
    • If you created the book by mistake or as a test, place {{db-test}} at the top of the page
    • If you created a book, and no one else edited the book, place {{db-author}} at the top of the page
    • If someone else (other than bots) edited the page, then you need to follow the steps listed at Miscellany for Discussion (MFD). If you think the deletion would be non-controversial, you can follow the steps at Proposed Deletion (for books) (BPROD).

Printed books

How do I create a book for printing?

You create the book in the same way as any other Wikibook, using the Book Creator.

How do I print it and how much will it cost?

You click the Book Creator option to upload the book to PediaPress, where you can specify print options, find out how much your chosen option will cost, and order copies.

PDF e-books

Why are articles displayed differently from the way they are in the browser?

Books have no scroll bars, while a browser does, so printed content needs to be split up on several pages. To get an acceptable typesetting result, some page elements need to be displayed differently. This may result in some unexpected layouts, especially for tables and parts of wiki articles that use HTML instead of MediaWiki markup.

How can I improve the appearance and fix layout issues?

You can edit the book's structure and table of contents like any other wiki page.

You can edit the wiki articles themselves to make them print better. See Help for Experts for some ideas.

How do I purge an old edition to get the edited pages included?

Some possibilities include:

  • Wait for a few hours or days.
  • Save the book (if you haven't already) and make some change, such as changing a chapter title, that forces a new rendering of at least the modified chapter(s). Then download a copy and check to make sure it has worked.

What happened to OpenDocument Text and openZIM export?

These options are no longer available.

How do the books comply with license requirements?

PDF export

  • link to each article and its version
  • only the wiki contributors are mentioned. If some page has content adapted from other sources, their authors are not mentioned (Bug 28064).
  • images are linked to their image page on the wiki
    Warning: Authors and licenses of images are not part of the PDF. Therefore, these PDFs cannot be distributed without further manipulation if they contain images.
  • inclusion of the CC-BY-SA (English)

Printed books

  • URL of each article and its version
  • only the wiki contributors are mentioned. If some page has content adapted from other sources, their authors are not mentioned (Bug 28064).
  • URL of each image
  • all contributors of an image are mentioned
  • license name of the image is mentioned
  • inclusion of the CC-BY-SA (English)

Can I use the book tool with my MediaWiki installation?

Yes, the book tool is based on the open source project mwlib. The MediaWiki component Collection extension works out of the box with most MediaWikis and the PediaPress service.

Known limitations

Skin support

The tool currently only works with the Monobook, Modern and Vector skins.

Limitation of the book size

Printed books can not contain more than 500 articles, will contain 800 pages per volume (books more than 800 pages long will be split over two or more volumes). The A5 books have approximately double the number of pages than the equivalent A4 PDF.

Please keep in mind, generation of large PDFs can take a long time and results in high server load. Dividing article collections into multiple books might be a solution.

Infoboxes and large tables

Infoboxes and other large tables are printed at full page size, not "floated" to the side as on the Web. This is a result of the limited size of A5 paper: if the infobox was shrunk to fit, the text within would be illegible.

CSS & HTML

CSS and HTML used in the wiki markup are only partially evaluated when generating PDFs. Templates can be adjusted for print to avoid some of the problems, see Help for Experts for details.

TeX formulas

In PDF exports, math-tags are rendered as raster images and not in print-quality due to technical limitations.

Bugs and general feedback

Bugs, feature requests and questions are best reported at the Feedback page.

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