15 Brilliant Hacks That Will Improve How You Use Wikipedia

Because, let’s be real, you’re always on Wikipedia anyway.

1. Annoyed by all of the blue hyperlinks in an article? Try switching to all black.

 

Just click “Printable version” on the left side of the article page. The resulting article is all black, making it easier on the eyes. (The links, however, will remain clickable. You just won’t have to stare at their bright blue-ness.)

(Source: Quora)

2. If you are using Chrome as your browser, get the WikiTube extension to automatically add relevant videos to the top of any article.

If you learn better through video than through text, this is perfect.

3. You can create your own e-book with text from your favorite Wikipedia articles.

Adam Davis / BuzzFeed

To get started, click the “Create a book” link on the left side of any article page, then “Start book creator” on the resulting page.

Once you’ve started your book creator, you can add any page you want to your book by clicking the link at the top of the article.

Once you are ready, click the “Show book” link (right next to the “add page” link you just used), where you can rearrange the order of articles, give your book a title, and more.

Adam Davis / BuzzFeed

On the right side of the page, click to “Download” the book in whatever format you like!

And voila, you have a finished e-book of your own creation.

Adam Davis / BuzzFeed

(Source: Quora)

4. If an article is confusing you, try the “Simple Wikipedia” version.

It’s not available for every article, unfortunately, but Simple Wikipedia takes out all of the jargon that might confuse you and boils a subject down to the most understandable language possible.

(Source: Quora)

5. Get a quick summary of hyperlinked articles in any given post using the Chrome extension Wikipedia Quick Hints.

Just hover your mouse over the link to get a short preview, rather than needing to click through.

6. If you want to share a link and are worried about the page being updated before your friend sees it, use the permanent link to capture it just as it is.

On the left side of the page, you see “Permanent link” as one of the tools. Clicking it will give you the URL for that version of the page. If the article is updated later, the permanent link will take you to the article as it was when you had seen it.

(Source: Quora)

7. Use Wikipedia’s current events portal to quickly scan major news stories from any date.

Use the calendar on the side to choose the date. You’ll be given a list of big news items from that day, from topics including sports, politics, and science.

8. You can check out the page views for any Wikipedia article and see how it stacks up against the others.

This website allows you to input the title of any article, select the dates you are looking for (the dropdown above says 201408, meaning August 2014), and look at the stats.

You can break it down by day, as well, by hovering over the bars on the resulting graph.

Note: You can also get to this page from any post via “View history,” then “Page view statistics.”

(Source: Quora)

9. Plus, keep on top of trending posts, popular posts, and more with Wikitrends.

This week, people really wanted to learn about Ebola.

10. You can learn about the people making edits to pages and even contact them.

At the top of the page you are on, click “View history” to be taken to a list of updates made to the page.

A lot of more prominent users will have written introductory pages about themselves.

Adam Davis / BuzzFeed

And you can often find other profiles of theirs as well as contact info.

11. Change the look of your main page so it better fits your style.

The main page alternatives list gives you various skins/changes you can use to spruce up the front page. “Misty breeze” is pictured above. The little starfish gives it a nice ~beachy~ feel.

If you want to make the change permanent, you can tweak the site’s code to do so.

12. Use the mobile view to get pages to load faster when you have bad Wi-Fi.

The design has been significantly streamlined, allowing you to browse more easily when lacking consistent internet access. Just go to this address instead of the normal one.

13. Insert hidden text and notes into an article that will only be seen by people editing that page.

By beginning your comment with <”!—”, the text you’ve added won’t show up on the main page for the article — only to people editing the page. But please use this for good, not evil.

14. Quickly map out how a chosen post relates to other articles to help you find the links you want more quickly.

Using the WikiMindMap, you can enter a specific page (in a variety of languages), which brings up related pages and allows you to go directly to the Wikipedia article for any of the linked pages.

15. Get to the page for “Philosophy” from literally almost *any* other page on the site.

If, for some reason, you don’t want to just search for the philosophy page itself, you can take whatever page you’re on, click the first link that isn’t parenthetical or italicized (while ignoring external links, red links, or links to the current page itself), and keep on going. Ninety-five percent of the time, you’ll reach the philosophy article eventually.

Now go forth and Wiki.

Showtime / Via giphy.com

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