Help:Books/FAQ

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Status last updated 19 August 2019.

Book PDF rendering withdrawn[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation's book rendering service was turned off on Wikimedia wikis in October 2017. The PDF rendering service, the offline content generator (OCG), is no longer maintainable. Simply put, it broke down all the time and had evolving security issues.

Why are links to books hidden in articles?[edit]

The Book Creator user interface remains functional (see below). As it no longer generates downloadable copies of Wikipedia books, its primary working feature directs users to order a printed copy of a Wikipedia book from PediaPress a third-party company. Editors in the discussion about suppressing book templates valued the user experience of Wikipedia readers over the business prospects of PediaPress. The namespace and its transclusions are still retained in the hope that the WMF will come up with a solution. See Suppress rendering of Template:Wikipedia books for more information.

What alternatives are there?[edit]

You can still create and edit a book design using the Book Creator as described below and upload it to an external rendering service:

  • MediaWiki2LaTeX provides a softcopy PDF service. Uniquely, it remains under active support and may be used online or installed locally.
  • Pedia Press offer final tidying and ordering of print-on-demand bound copies in (approximately) A5 format.

For help with downloading a single Wikipedia page as a PDF, see Help:Download as PDF.

Working with Wikipedia books[edit]

What is a Wikipedia book?[edit]

A Wikipedia book is a collection of articles linked from a special Book page comprising brief details and a table of contents.

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

Wikipedia books are available for rendering as PDF files or printing off as paper books by third party providers.

Where can I find existing books?[edit]

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?[edit]

You can use the book's title page as a home page and browse the book by clicking the links in the table of contents.

When you visit the book's page you are also offered the option to send it to PediaPress, where you can order printed and bound copies.

The external service MediaWiki2LaTeX also offers an independent pull service to create a PDF softcopy.

How do I create a new book?[edit]

In short, use the Book Creator tool.

How do I update my book?[edit]

In short, use the Book Creator tool.

How do I delete my book?[edit]

  • 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[edit]

How do I create a book for printing?[edit]

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?[edit]

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[edit]

E-books are available from the independent rendering service MediaWiki2LaTeX.

How do the books comply with license requirements?[edit]

You will need to ask the rendering service how they comply.

Can I use the book tool with my MediaWiki installation?[edit]

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[edit]

Skin support[edit]

The tool may not reflect you choice of skin.

Limitation of the book size[edit]

You will need to check this with your chosen external rendering service.

Please keep in mind, generation of very large PDFs can take a long time and result in high server load. Dividing a large article collection into multiple volumes might make it more practical for you.

Where has [feature X] gone?[edit]

The early ambitions of the book project have been substantially cut back over the years, due to the withdrawal of resources. Many features previously offered or proposed have disappeared.

Bugs and general feedback[edit]

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