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Wikipedia's Book Creator Tool: Create Your Own Wikipedia Book Of Articles

Updated on September 19, 2012

Build a Wikipedia Book

Many people might not realize that Wikipedia articles (also called pages) can be downloaded as PDF documents simply by clicking Download as PDF under the Print/export menu item on the left side of the page.

An even more powerful tool is Wikipedia's Book Creator, also launched from the Print/export menu item by clicking on Create a book. With this tool, you can build a wiki book containing any articles you wish, simply by clicking a green plus sign at the top of the article, thus assembling your wiki pages into your wiki book. When you are finished you can create an e-book in several formats, including epub, which can be read by many e-book readers.

All EPUB Formats Are Not The Same

Book Creator creates EPUB-formatted books in DRM-free (not locked up by Digital Rights Management) EPUB format, but individual e-readers (Nook, Kindle, etc) have their own special DRM-encoded EPUB format, which ensures that e-books bought from Amazon, for example, can't be read on Nooks-- only Kindles. Nook, by Barnes and Noble, reads its own DRM-encoded e-books, but also reads DRM-free EPUB books, as does Aldiko (an Android e-reader), among others. Amazon's Kindle, without some kind of third party conversion, does not read DRM-free e-books. Check online to see if your e-reader supports DRM-free EPUB books.

Gather Articles and Create a Book in One of Four Formats

Wikipedia has a vast store of growing information that is an excellent starting point for researching a subject, brushing up on interesting bits of knowledge, finding images and, generally, getting a nice overview of an item of interest. It is also a great source for search words and phrases, but you can soon find yourself deep down in a trail of links from where you started, or find yourself with many open tabs or browsers as you chase back and forth between links. What if you have to turn your computer off? What if you'd just like to gather a bunch of articles together and read them later?

There are many reasons you might like to create a wiki book about a subject containing many articles chosen and, optionally, organized into chapters by yourself. And it's nearly as simple as clicking a green plus sign at the top of each article to add it to your book.

Before going any further, here are the file formats that can be rendered and download to your PC:

  • e-book (PDF format)

  • e-book (DRM-free EPUB format)

  • Kiwix (OpenZIM)

  • word processor (ODF-- OpenDocument Format for Open Office, Libre Office, etc.)

I've created EPUB e-books and read them on my Android via Barnes and Noble's Nook app as well as the Aldiko e-reader app and they seem fine, although the images do get cut off. The word processor file is... not that pretty, but all the text is there and, of course, it's editable (but always remember, plagiarism is never acceptable-- you will... be hunted down... and exposed... for the low-life scum you are).

By far the most impressive format is the PDF e-book on a computer. The layout, the images, are all first class and eminently readable.

Book Creator Capabilities

Here are some of the Book Creator's capabilities:

  • Add articles (pages) by simply clicking the green plus sign at the top of the article.

  • Add a linked article simply by hovering over the link and clicking the green plus sign.

  • Add whole categories (all articles in a category) by clicking the green plus sign at the top of the category page.

  • Supply an optional book title and an optional subtitle.

  • Create named chapters.

  • Organize articles within the book via drag and drop.

  • Sort articles alphabetically.

  • Order a printed book from PediaPress.

    • Depending on size, b/w vs color, soft vs hard, the price ranges from about $9 to about $36+.

  • By clicking on Suggest Pages, you get suggestions for additional articles based on the pages (articles) in your book.

Regardless of book format, all the text and images in the original web pages are included, as are external links and references. In addition, article sources and contributors are listed, as well as image sources, licenses and contributors.


A Simple Example of Creating and Downloading a Wiki Book

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    • melissae1963 profile image

      Melissa Reese Etheridge 

      3 years ago from Tennessee, United States

      I am going to go check this out. Thanks for a fantastic Hub.

    • UnnamedHarald profile imageAUTHOR

      David Hunt 

      4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      You're welcome, Mklow1. Glad you liked it-- I felt the same way when I discovered it.

    • profile image

      Mklow1 

      4 years ago

      That is awesome! I use Wikipedia religiously and thought I knew everything. I even knew about the PDF's but I had no idea about the book format. Thank you for that one! I thumbs uped with interesting and awesome!

    • UnnamedHarald profile imageAUTHOR

      David Hunt 

      5 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      I hope you give it a try to see what you can create, That Grrl. It's pretty neat.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 

      5 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      Very useful. I never heard about this part of Wikipedia.

    • UnnamedHarald profile imageAUTHOR

      David Hunt 

      5 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Good luck, Deborah. I've found it's kind of fun to assemble e-books and they look great.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      5 years ago from Iowa

      I, too, had never heard of the book creator. Sounds like a useful tool. I will check it out.

    • UnnamedHarald profile imageAUTHOR

      David Hunt 

      6 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Hi Steve, thanks for the input. I only used my phone's e-reader, hence the image cut-off problem. Based on your observation, I'll give an e-reader on my laptop a try. I doubt if I'll pay to have them turned into books, but it's a nice option to have. Otherwise, 100% free to create and view your e-book. Thanks a lot for commenting.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 

      6 years ago from Manchester, England

      I've been experimenting with the book creator. I picked 10 golden age movie stars and sorted them in alphabetical order, downloaded the book to my PC as PDF and EPUB. I think it reads best as an EPUB file plus the file size is much smaller - 20mb for the PDF and 3mb for the EPUB. I previewed the book for print publishing, it looked great but the cost was $20 for the 150 page book.

    • UnnamedHarald profile imageAUTHOR

      David Hunt 

      6 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Hi Nateb11. One thing I like about it is that it is so easy to do. Assembling a book of related articles doesn't require much more time than finding the articles you want in the first place.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      This is really great, I did not know about this. Seems handy and useful. Will have to check it out.

    • UnnamedHarald profile imageAUTHOR

      David Hunt 

      6 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Thanks, Faith. Glad to have brought Book Creator to your attention. At first I wondered if I was the only one who'd never heard of it, but I guess not.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, I have never heard of such, but it is a great tool! Thanks for the very insightful and interesting write here. Excellent. Must check it out! In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • UnnamedHarald profile imageAUTHOR

      David Hunt 

      6 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Hey Steve, thanks for commenting. There are other capabilities I didn't mention but I think I covered the main ones-- and I didn't want to clog my hub up with a lot of technical stuff-- just the fun stuff.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 

      6 years ago from Manchester, England

      I didn't know about this either, thanks for the info David. It's getting late now but I'll give it a go tomorrow. I'll pick an interesting subject and see if I can make a decent book out of it. Can I sell it on ebay after? [joking] :)

      Voted Up and Useful.

    • UnnamedHarald profile imageAUTHOR

      David Hunt 

      6 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Hi kristy. I didn't know about this either, but I guess it's been around for more than a year, though they have expanded the formats and added other capabilities. And it really is kind of easy to use, once you get used to it's little quirks (though adding, removing and organizing articles couldn't be much easier. Glad to have brought it to your attention.

    • kristyleann profile image

      Kristy LeAnn 

      6 years ago from Princeton, WV

      Wow, I had no idea you could do that on wikipedia. That is so cool. I'm already thinking of ways I can use that lol...thanks for writing this. :)

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