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The most widely-used Wikipublisher feature is its ability to turn a collection of wiki pages into a book suitable for publishing. Most of the enhancement requests in recent times have been related to giving authors more layout options and making the output more book-like. As these efforts reach maturity, it is timely to describe all the book-related features in one place, to give users a manual on how to use Wikipublisher to produce a book. That is the purpose of this manual.

Under the Wikipublisher system, authors make a book in 3 stages:

  1. define the structure of the book as a list of wiki pages
  2. develop the contents of the book — the wiki pages themselves
  3. specify the book’s metadata to say how the contents will be presented

This approach lets authors focus primarily on the structure and contents, without being unduly distracted by presentation details. Wikipublisher then applies the authors’ presentation decisions consistently throughout the entire book.

Scriptorium Monk

The manual is organized into 3 parts, plus a technical appendix. The Quick Start explains everything a new author needs to know to produce a basic book. In the first instance, authors can put their effort into writing and let Wikipublisher’s default metadata set control the book’s presentation. The second part of the manual describes in detail the complete structure of a book into Front Matter, Main Matter, and Back Matter. These chapters describe a range of different publishing scenarios and how they can be realized using Wikipublisher. Some wiki pages, structurally part of the main matter, may be presented in the front matter (e.g., a preface) or the back matter (e.g., an afterword), rather than in the body. Finally, Shape Shifting explains how to use the book’s metadata settings to change the look of the final product. By assigning different metadata values, an author can make over 5,000 different book designs.

The appendix on Technical Matters covers a variety of topics, such as using high resolution images, the various classes of table, marginal notes, special characters (e.g., ©, ®, ™), cross-references, and other kinds of structural markup. There is also a section on Wikipublisher’s support for Internationalisation.

This guide assumes the reader is already familiar with wiki markup, including wiki trail pages, and illustrates many of the practices it describes. The images which decorate the guide and close each chapter are in the public domain in the US and Canada, and are available at The guide uses a chapter style called Robert, in homage to The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst.

Finally, I would like to thank all the users who have reported bugs, suggested improvements, and helped test new features.

John Rankin
Wellington, New Zealand


Book Guide | Quick Start

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Page last modified on 12 October 2010 at 10:59 AM