EdTech, Multimedia Tools

Create a book from Wikipedia articles

While doing some random surfing last night, I stumbled upon a new tool in Wikipedia that I didn’t know existed (but has been around for a couple of years).

You can create books (both print and e) of selected Wikipedia content.

The Wikipedia book tool is located in the left hand navigation of Wikipedia under Print/Export. Click the create a book link,  activate the book creator tool and you can start compiling pages in Wikipedia.

As you go from page to page, you will see a new toolbar at the top of each page prompting you to add this page to your book.

Once you are finished, click Show Book where you can add a title and rearranging the articles.

Once you have the book tweaked as you like, you can then output & download to EPUB, PDF, OpenDocument, or OpenZIM (a format I am not familiar with), or send a copy to a print on demand service called Pediapress which, for a small fee, will print and ship you a physical copy of the book.

I gave it a try and in about 5 minutes had created a very simple ebook containing the biographies of the current Canadian mens national soccer team (sigh we came so close this time) and the current state of our national soccer program. Here is a Canadian soccer primer from Wikipedia in PDF (yikes – 13 meg) or ePub (1.6 meg) format.

Video on how to create a Wikipedia ebook.

After I tweeted this, Alan Levine & Scott MacMillan replied to me and pointed out that UBC has this feature set up on their wiki’s as well.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/cogdog/status/270759907056304128″]

 

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/clintlalonde/status/270761315293855744″]

 

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/scottmcmillan/status/270762545047031809″]

 

Turns out, there are extensions for any MediaWiki site that can enable instant, on the fly publishing ebook format.

CC BY 4.0 Create a book from Wikipedia articles by Clint Lalonde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Comments

  1. (weird, last piece of my comment got cut, cf below)

    P.S. we have the content collection/epub piece working on the BCcampus wiki too at mediawiki dot bccampus dot ca if you want to kick the tires more, or also try wikieducator (who I believe funded the original development of this)

  2. There are definitely a huge number of extensions to try out on a local mediawiki instance. Like any extensible app, you do run some risks by adding these in (though usually backing them out is a s simple as deleting them from the extensions directory.) Another method to check out is mediawiki "gadgets" (http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Gadgets) – once enabled, it allows individual users to create, share, and reuse client-side gadgets comprised of javascript and CSS. There are a large number of these users can try (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_User_scripts/Scripts#Scripts) the benefit being that they are generally totally unobtrusive to the rest of the users/server.

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