Help:Books/Feedback

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Status last updated 23 August 2020.


How to report issues How to escalate issues
  • please check whether this issue is already known
  • provide a link to an article that is affected by the issue
  • report only one issue per section
  • select a descriptive title
  • consider prefixing the title with Bug, Proposal, Question, Comment, Task ...
  • remember to sign your post with ~~~~
  • consider warning readers of the problem by placing |bug=... in the {{saved book}} template of relevant books

There is a central page at meta.wikimedia.org gathering all major issues with this extension. Issues that can't be solved and are not yet covered on the page at meta should be added there.

For obvious bugs the issue tracker is the preferred place to directly issue and check tickets.

At IRC #pediapress some immediate support might be available.

Book Splitting[edit]

Wikipedia clearly warns new editors that the Book Creator does not support large books with more than 500 pages. However, an alternative option is to fork a book just prior to the 500 page limit, by saving it under a unique title (or revision), prior to proceeding to adding more pages and subsequent topics, although later saves of the book may fail. Again, as already indicated, this method is highly likely to error out for many users and is not recommended. This is not a problem with technology, it is a problem with editorship.

For instance, most users cannot plan their book out in advance, such that each saved volume contains 500 or fewer pages (give or take), because most books grow in an utterly random fashion similar to the Bell Curve of a pile of dung dripping from a cave ceiling, but with a tail that skews to the right. In other words, book size (as number of pages) grows non-linearly as a function of numerous random variables, including the grow of semantic topics included in the book. Perhaps the correlation closest to a linear relationship is the growth RATE in pages, against the growth rate of topical scope, although this would be difficult to operationalize. Thus, central topics fill more pages added, in early-stage book growth, with topical scope widening at a fast rate, then narrowing again at a slower rate (of pages added per change in scope). Additionally, more fringe topics tend to fill in gaps between central topics, at a nearly steady rate per click throughout the process of book creation, but represent very nearly the only added pages, near the final stages of book creation.

It is significant to note here that most users [whether planned or not] alphabetically organize their books, as a last step before saving them, although almost half of all books do not get saved permanently, and another smaller percentage of books never even get saved. This is theorized to represent compensation for lack of organization of the book. However, a much better method for compensating for lack of organization, is to actually organize the book, which might require segmentation into more manageable chapters and volumes first. Thus, for a typical non-linear, poorly planned, and unpredictable 'non-central growth' model and given the likelihood that few pages will be deleted from most created books, either as drafts or in a final pruning or quality control stage, editors can save lower quality final works as multiple volumes instead of higher quality single volumes, and still retain the option of future refinement, without any immediate compromise in total pages included.

The best approach to content splitting (for the average editor) is to save a work-in-progress multiple times (under 2 titles), and then delete pages from each volume accordingly, prior to adding pages to each volume. By such a method therefore, a multi-volume book might grow indefinitely through iterative splits. For example, at 500 pages, one could save one's book with the title "Big:Volume 1", and then immediately save exactly the same book again as "Big:Volume 2" (still, with exactly the same 500 pages). Next, the user would delete pages 250-500 from Volume 1, and delete pages 1-250 of Volume 2. Then the user could proceed (once again) with the task of randomly surfing and "filling in" their book with accidentally discovered candidate pages for each of the two volumes (technically, now two separate books), via the navigation patterns of click-through behavior documented by web analytic research. Of course, an even superior method (albeit unlikely) would simply be to plan one's editorial work out in advance, in terms of topical coverage, order, audience, goals, etc., and use an iterative PAGE-DELETION methodology with at least two drafts, thus excluding less critical pages and creating a final piece of higher value.

Can't find the way to include pages from different languages in one book[edit]

(I'm sorry if this should be reported elsewhere but I couldn't find this information neither in FAQ nor in Help pages). I'd like to include Wikipedia pages from different languages to single book, but it seems that Book creator is always initialized independently for each language and pages are added independently as well - does it mean that there is no way to combine such pages? Maybe it's worth to include the answer to the FAQ. Thanks.

The Book Tool No Longer Appears Above Article Pages[edit]

I recently discovered the Book tool a few days ago, and after I enabled it, the interface tool appeared above all of the articles. However, due to time constraints, I elected to save creating a book for later. Now, I went back to try to create a book, and the interface box no longer appears above articles. I am still able to add links directly to the book when I mouse over them, but without the interface box, I am unable to look at, organize, or purchase any book I make. Is this an issue that other people are having, and if so, how can I fix it? Jionunez (talk) 00:53, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

@Jionunez: It works for me. Does Special:Book work for you? PrimeHunter (talk) 01:49, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
@PrimeHunter: Yeah, that page works, thanks. It's still annoying that the box still doesn't show up, but at least I can work on the book. Thanks! Jionunez (talk) 02:44, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
@Jionunez: You probably clicked "[hide]" to the right of the tool above the article. You should be able to get it back by deleting a cookie in your browser. The method depends on the browser. See e.g. http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-delete-cookies-in-chrome-firefox-safari-and-ie/. Delete the cookie "dismissSiteNotice" for en.wikipedia.org. You can also delete all your cookies or all your browsing data but this may have many other effects on the websites you use. Or you can use another browser where you haven't clicked "[hide]". If you want to keep a book you are working on then save it first. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:44, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
@PrimeHunter: Thanks, that fixed it! Seems like more of a hassle than is should be to get it back, but its back now. Jionunez (talk) 23:36, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
I agree it's complicated. It took me some time to work out and I haven't found an easier method than deleting the cookie. I'm a volunteer editor and not a developer. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:54, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

@Jionunez and PrimeHunter: I had the same problem, and I (finally) stumbled upon this thread. The solution worked for me too! Seriously, though. They should make it way easier than how it is now, or if not, at least make it easy to find this info. It was very frustrating to hunt for info. It is a serious issue in my opinion.--Mr. Guye (talk) 02:11, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

I have added a section at Help:Books/for experts#Hide and unhide book creator. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:33, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Is there no way to create a button somewhere on top of the page for unhiding the Book Creator Interface instead of it disappearing completely when we click on "Hide" button? Simply clicking on the "Unhide" button would save a whole lot of time that we spend (Half of the whole day in my case, before I found this thread) on trying to get it back. I wouldn't have dared to hide it at all if I knew how not easy it is to see it again.--HakimBalogun (talk) 14:43, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

HakimBalogun: Unfortunately there has been little or no work on the tool for years. I have added this to Help:Books#Step 1: Enable the "Book Creator" tool so it's easier to find: "If you have hidden the book creator then see Help:Books/for experts#Hide and unhide book creator." PrimeHunter (talk) 14:52, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
@PrimeHunter: Good job for this option. I'm really glad your idea shows me what to do next time. Thanks! -- HakimBalogun (talk) 15:46, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

Content in wikitables will not render[edit]

As an experiment, I created a book about Lecrae, and the content part turned out fine. However, anything in a wikitable, such as his filmography, discography, and awards, will not render at all, leaving many sections blank. Is this a known issue?--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 06:18, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

@3family6: Yes; see the warning box at the top of Help:Books. -- John of Reading (talk) 07:00, 24 November 2016 (UTC)


Filed as issue https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T140414 . --Wikinaut (talk) 01:36, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Where are my books[edit]

Every time I go to WP to open my books, I have trouble trying to find back the books I created. I would expect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Axd/Books to return me that list. Instead, I have to open a book, then look for the Save link, from which I deduce that I can find my list at https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:PrefixIndex&prefix=User:Axd/Books/ This is so annoying... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Axd (talkcontribs) 09:33, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

That is in part because you have not created User:Axd/Books. Open it from the link I just gave and add the content {{list subpages}} (note the curly brackets) before saving to create it. This will list them all. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 12:36, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

seems to work, thanks alex (talk) 13:48, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

Here is a way to find all your subpages, both saved books and anything else (you only have books): Click "Contributions" at top of any page and then "Subpages" at the bottom. PrimeHunter (talk) 14:54, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
Or, for a permanent display, create a section for them on your user page and add the above list subpages code to it. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 16:34, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

Wikibooks make no sense[edit]

I sort of have an issue with the very concept of a print wikipedia book. A wikipedia article is a living document, it has its history and goes through edits, and quite frankly thats what separates wikipedia from other 'official' encyclopedias. Much good material is rejected, but atleast it sort of lives on in the history. A book on the other hand is not living, it is a dead document, a snapshot of a particular moment in time, and does not carry its history with it. I realize wikimedia tries to be a jack of all trades, but I find support of books regressive and going against everything wikipedia exists for. Not to mention, poor trees. Doseiai2 (talk) 06:21, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

This is the wrong place for such a discussion. (I might just comment that most books, whether printed or electronic, have a surprisingly short shelf-life. For example educational resources also update regularly and a Wikibook is a great way of ensuring that the latest intake of students get the latest snapshot of knowledge, without having to prepare new editions every semester.) — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 07:40, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

BUG: Code Blocks do not Render Correctly in Books[edit]

While creating PDF books for articles which contain code blocks (such as Shunting-yard algorithm and Operator-precedence parser), the code blocks get rendered as normal paragraphs, with all the lines running through. While this may not necessarily be a problem for C-style languages which have well-defined statement termination characters, it really is a problem for other languages (and even pseudo-code as is quite common on many Wikipeda pages).

One thing I realised in addition was that the code blocks render correctly when a page is saved as a single-column PDF but the same error I described above appears when changed to a two-column PDF format. This leads me to believe that the same renderer being used for two-column PDFs is being used for the books as well.

Alex Essilfie (talk) 10:49, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

@Alex Essilfie: Your assessment is correct. The renderer for books is also used by the 2 column PDF, and this renderer doesn't support many of the options. The single column PDF is an expiriment to replace the PDF renderer with something different that would work a little better. These are known problems, but the support for Books has not really been developed any further since 2012 and it is unknown when this might be picked up again. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:49, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

How do I get rid of annoying hover link?[edit]

Every time I hover my mouse over a link, anywhere in Wikipedia, an annoying and very intrusive tab opens up saying "add link to book" or whatnot. I want that to go away. Forever. How do I do that? Do I need to delete my book just to do that? I hope not, but I'll do that just to make it fuck off disappear. --Pericles of AthensTalk 17:59, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

Do you have a Book Creator box appear at the top of every page? If you do, then click (disable) next to its title. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:24, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
@Steelpillow: yeah, about that. I would love to do what you're suggesting, but now I can't. In my frustration, I clicked the "hide" button, and now I don't know how to make the box reappear! I went back to the "Manage Your Book" page and there doesn't seem to be any way to reverse this decision, from what I can tell. Pericles of AthensTalk 19:32, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
@PericlesofAthens: Apparently you can un-dismiss it by deleting a cookie: Help:Books/for experts#Hide and unhide book creator -- John of Reading (talk) 19:47, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
According to Help:Books/for_experts#Hide_and_unhide_book_creator, you have to disable/delete a particular cookie in your web browser and Book Creator will reappear. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:49, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
It worked! Thanks for the help. That being said, you guys might want to make the hide/unhide option a bit easier to manage than having to track down cookies and delete them in your browser settings. Pericles of AthensTalk 20:17, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

Contredicting info about OpenDocument availability[edit]

This page Help:Books/FAQ claims that:

"What happened to OpenDocument Text and openZIM export?

These options are no longer available."

But this page Help:Books/for experts still refers to OpenDocument.

"The most efficient way to identify 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 and OpenDocument version 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 or OpenDocument version."

So I am asking. Is OpenDocument still a valid option or should it be removed from that help page? ויקיטכני (talk) 13:59, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

Removed. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:58, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Error loading book orders[edit]

Three days in a row I try to order the book Clássicos do Fluminense Football Club (Wikipedia in Portuguese), in PediaPress, and at the end of the loading attempt a message "Some error occurred when your collection of articles was prepared and sent." If it is not possible to solve this problem with Wikipedia resources, it may be worth hiring an external expert, since Wikipedia is losing money because I imagine that it is happening in all cases of shopping attempts.

For years the option of downloading books in PDF is having problems.

Att, Alexandre M. B. Berwanger (talk) 21:04, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Hi. First, PediaPress is an independent company. The Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia make no money from its sales. Nor can we help with its problems, you should contact PediaPress directly through the details given on their web site.
But there is something you can do here. The best way to diagnose this is to take each article in turn, create a book from it alone, and then upload that book. Most of these one-article books will build OK, perhaps one or two will fail. So you will then find out which articles have a problem. If an article is complex you can then copy it to your user space and edit out anything suspicious until it works. Things to look for:
  • Bad wikitext code in the page. You can fix this yourself.
  • Bad code in a template. You can usually identify the template, but may need help from our community to fix it.
  • An obscure language font in the article, that is missing from the PediaPress server. You can tell PediaPress and ask them to install it.
Hope this helps. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 08:28, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Many thanks for the guidance! Cheers, Alexandre M. B. Berwanger (talk) 10:35, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

How to delete a book?[edit]

I want to delete my NASA Moon to Mars book, which is unintentionally copied to Book:NASA Moon to Mars. --Soumyabrata (talksubpages) 16:57, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

Like any other Wikipedia page, you would have to ask for an Admin to delete the one you no longer want, see Articles for deletion. Just mention the one to delete, do not mention the other copy unless you want that deleted too. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 17:13, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
The books are not articles. If the book is edited by everyone, I would put that on WP:MfD to delete. --Soumyabrata (talksubpages) 17:29, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
@Soumya-8974: Since you are the only editor to have worked on those pages, just stick the code {{db-author}} on the one you don't want. That's simpler that the "Articles for deletion" process. -- John of Reading (talk) 17:25, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. --Soumyabrata (talksubpages) 17:27, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

Book not having book reports generated[edit]

I started the Book:State highways in Georgia (U.S. state) page in September, but the book reports on the talk page have never been generated. What can be done to get this started? Thank you. Morriswa (Charlotte Allison) (talk) 16:54, 30 December 2019 (UTC)

You can contact the maintainer of the bot which generates them at User talk:cyberpower678. I have asked about the bot function before but the maintainer has been better at maintaining silence. You might fare better than I. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:34, 30 December 2019 (UTC)
I have done that, too. It didn't work, either. I even copied and pasted code from books that actually work, but it didn't help. Morriswa (Charlotte Allison) (talk) 04:45, 31 December 2019 (UTC)