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Wednesday, 12th May 2010

New Features/Changes Imminent at Wikipedia and Printing Your Own Wikipedia Book

In March, we posted about a few changes that would be coming to Wikipedia by the end of April. Perhaps the one that has been getting the most attention is an option to collect Wikipedia pages and have them printed and bound by PediaPress. More on the service at the bottom of the page.

In the coming "few days" Wikipedia "will be rolling out:

+ Navigation: We have improved the navigation for reading and editing pages. Now, the tabs at the top of each page more clearly define whether you are viewing the page or discussion page, and whether you are reading or editing a page.

+ Editing toolbar improvements: We have reorganized the editing toolbar to make it easier to use. Now, formatting pages is simpler and more intuitive.

+ Link wizard: An easy-to-use tool allows you to add links to other pages on Wikipedia or other Wikimedia project pages, as well as links to external sites.

+ Search improvements: We have improved search suggestions to get you to the page you are looking for more quickly.

+ Other new features: We have also introduced a table wizard to make creating tables easier and a find and replace feature to simplify page editing.

Source: Wikipedia

OK, quickly back to the Wikipedia printing, PDF, and publishing story with a quick reminder. While it's true and cool that you can collect Wikipedia pages, send them to PediaPress, and in a few days have a bound volume using hi-res PDF. Here's a look at printed books that users have made public (click the cover a see a preview). Btw, if you create a book prices begin at $8.90.

But what if you want to print a single page or create a collection and print the PDF's yourself? It's easy. To print a single page, simply visit the page you would like to print and click the "Download PDF" link that's in the "Print/export" section in in the left column. It couldn't be easier. However, it's a bit different than a single page.

Head to the Book Creator page and click the green "start book creator." Your on your way. Select the pages you would like in your book and when you're done, click the "show book" link. You can edit and remove pages here, add a title, organize into chapters, etc. Now instead of sending the pages off to PediaPress, look for the "Download" box (lower-right corner). Select the format you want (either PDF or Open Document Text) and click download. In a few seconds (depending on the number of pages you've saved) the file should be complete. Open it and print. You don't get the feeling of a bound book (unless you can do it yourself) but on the other hand your wallet has a few more dollars in it. Enjoy!

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