Using Wikibooks/Printing A Wikibook
Taking it With You
Many book authors set their books up with a print version, a PDF version or a collection. These are useful tools for saving an entire book to your hard drive, or for printing out a book for use offline. In this chapter we're going to talk about all these options and how they are used.
A print version is a combination of all the book's pages, loaded into one webpage and specially formatted for printing. Print versions for large books might take a long time to load in your browser, especially if you are on a slow connection. Some print versions are so big that they've been broken up into several pages to prevent overloading the server or the browser.
Print versions, unlike PDF versions, will automatically update when one of the included pages is updated. This means that a print version will always display the most recent version of all the pages in the book. Print versions are designed to look good when printed, but might not look very good in your browser. To make sure you see what it's supposed to look like, use the "Print preview" option in your browser before printing.
If a book has a print version, there will usually be a notice on the main page of that book about it. If there is no notice, there probably isn't a print version available. If there is no print version and you would like there to be one, you can ask the authors to create it for you, or you can jump in and do it yourself. We will discuss how to make print versions in The Wikibooks Author (Using Wikibooks/Print versions and PDFs).
Some book authors go the extra mile and produce a PDF version of their book. PDF versions can be saved to your hard drive, and can be opened in a PDF reader, such as Adobe Acrobat or OpenOffice.org. PDF files are a little more difficult to create, and they are not easy to update when changes are made on the wiki. The benefit is that they are easy to save, and tend to look very nice and consistent when reading on the computer or when printed.
Because PDF versions are difficult to create, a PDF version might not be up to date with the current text of the book on Wikibooks. For the most up to date version, you should check back on Wikibooks to see if there have been any changes.
Wikibooks has a special software extension called the collections extension. With the collections extension, you can create groups of pages called "collections". In most cases, the pages in a book are used to create these collections, although there is no rule about this: You can pick and mix pages from multiple books together in a collection, if you want.
On the left-hand side of your screen there is a box with links in it that says "create a book". The links in this box can be used to create collections of pages, or to load a saved collection. We will discuss how to create and use collections in more detail in The Wikibooks Author.
Once you have created a collection, or loaded a premade one, you can go to Special:Collection to see various options. You can save your collection, you can download it in PDF or ODT format, or you can have it printed by our print-on-demand partner PediaPress. PediaPress will print and bind your collection into a book and mail it to you for a reasonable price. A portion of proceeds from these book sales goes to the WMF. Unfortunately, none of our authors get any royalties for these books, that helps to keep the cost down for students who need them cheap!
For more information about Collections, see the relevant chapters in The Wikibooks Author (Using Wikibooks/Print versions and PDFs#Collections Extension), or visit Help:Collections.