Help:Books/for experts

Status last updated 23 August 2020.
Printed PediaPress books of Wikipedia content.

This page gives experienced users details on the advanced functions of the Book tool. Among other things, it explains how the layout of books can be improved and how books are stored on Wikipedia.

Saving booksEdit

Format of stored book pages

When you save a book, it is stored in the format shown below.

{{saved book

== Title ==
=== Subtitle ===

;Chapter 1
:[[First article]]
:[[Article 2|Second article]]
:[[Third article]]

;Chapter 2
:[[Fourth article]]
:[[5th article|Fifth article]]
:[[Sixth article]]

[[Category:Wikipedia books|Title]]

<-- The template appearing at the top of the page
<-- This is only used to generate a preview of the cover
<-- This is only used to generate a preview of the cover
<-- The default* cover image of the book (see note below)
<-- The default* cover color of the book (see note below)
<-- This is only used to generate a preview of the cover

<-- Title of the book
<-- Subtitle of the book

<-- First chapter's name (starts with a semicolon)
<-- First article (starts with a colon)
<-- Second article (renamed)
<-- Third article

<-- Second chapter's name
<-- Fourth article
<-- Fifth article (renamed)
<-- Sixth article

<-- The book is categorized in [[Category:Wikipedia books]], and sorts as "Title"

*   These parameters are not currently supported by the book creator but will be
    at some point in the future. In the meantime, these can be used to give a
    preview of what the book cover could be like.

You can also manually create a book from scratch by using the same format. To create a book from scratch, start a new page such as [[User:Myusername/Books/Mybookname]].

Allowed syntax

Only the following syntax is allowed:

Title The title is contained in double equals signs.

== Title ==

Subtitle The subtitles is contained in three equals signs.

=== Subtitle ===

Cover image Simply append the name of the file, e.g. for


Chapter headings Chapter headings are preceded with a semicolon.

;Chapter name

Adding an article An article is inserted as a wikilink after a colon.


Renaming an article You can use a pipe ('|') to rename the article in the book.

:[[Python (programming language)|Python]]

Formatting an article title You can use a pipe to add formatting to a title.

:[[The Life of Brian|''The Life of Brian'']]

Categorizing books Categorize the book in Category:Wikipedia books, and sort it as "Title". Also, place it under the corresponding encyclopedia category.
[[Category:Wikipedia books|Title]]
Location of books

Books can either be saved in the user's namespace [[User:Name/Books/Bookname]] or as a community book at [[Book:Bookname]]. To be recognized as a book, it must belong to the category Category:Wikipedia books (automatically added by {{saved book}}).

Loading booksEdit

To load a book, simply click on the 'Open in Book Creator' link in the banner at the top of each book. If the banner isn't present, then add {{saved book}} at the top of the page.

Improving the book layoutEdit

Some wiki-markup can lead to problems in the generation of PDF documents as part of the book feature. This mainly applies to templates, which will be displayed differently compared to how they look in the online version of an article. This can sometimes be fixed by either substituting the current template or removing the template from the content that cause problems in the PDF. As a rule of thumb, all content (especially templates) that is not useful for an offline version of the document, should be excluded from the print version.

Identifying problemsEdit

The most efficient way to identify many problems is to go on the individual articles of your book and view the article as a PDF (click "Download as PDF" in the "print/export" box on the left hand side of your screen, towards the bottom). Preview the page, and if something doesn't look right, chances are there's a problem. While the printed books will differ from the PDF version, they share a lot of similarities. If something looks weird in the PDF version, chances are it will also look weird in the printed book.

Usually there are three kinds of problems:

  • A template that is not content-related (such as a navigational box) is displayed. See below on how to fix this.
  • Something looks weird, such as 234+23
    looking like 234+23-21 in the PDF, or having superfluous whitespace. This is usually due to a template being coded in a non-standard way, or to a problem with the rendering software. You can try to fix this yourself if you know your way around templates. If you don't know how to fix it or are simply intimidated by templates, leave a message on the talk page of the template, and place a notice at Help:Books/Feedback and someone will look into it.
  • Content and style problems, such as spelling, grammar, different varieties of English, poorly worded sentences, ...

This may not find all problems, as the article rendering engine and the book rendering engine will most likely have some differences.

Fixing problemsEdit

There are several ways to resolve issues caused by templates:

  • Exclude templates: A template can be excluded from content by adding it to the Category:Exclude in print. Support for this feature by external rendering services cannot be guaranteed.
Note: Many templates use other templates to function. Therefore groups/types of templates can be excluded by adding the commonly used template to this category.

Using a main and supporting articles book content styleEdit

One easily definable style of book, in terms of the content it contains, is to include the main article and all supporting articles that are referenced as major expansions of selected sections. Supporting article links typically are included at the top of a section using templates such as {{Main}}, {{See also}} and {{See}}. Books using this content style offer a comprehensive coverage of the main article, usually within a reasonable number of pages. Examples of this book style include Book:Cat and Book:Dog.

Template:Book can be used to create a basic main article and supporting articles book. The template also creates links to start subpages for a table of contents plus a books category based on the main article.

Hiding And Unhiding The Book Creator ToolbarEdit

If you have clicked the [Hide] link by the Book Creator Toolbar and want to Unhide it then delete the cookie "dismissSiteNotice" for from your browser cookies. The method for doing this depends on which browser you use. See example here

Multi-wiki BooksEdit

Using the extension it is currently impossible to create a collection of content from multiple different wikis. However, you can easily create books containing articles from multiple wikis using the experimental bookmarklet offered by Pedia Press on this page.

See alsoEdit