Tips & Tricks To Effectively Browse Wikipedia.
In the mid-90s, Microsoft announced a project called Encarta. It was an encyclopedia informing about books and CDs that contained information about everything. The company knew what they were doing and how to do it. They had all the resources. But they are failing. And in 2009, Microsoft closed the entire project.
A few years after the launch of Microsoft Encarta, Jimmy Wales announced a similar project – a web encyclopedia. It was free and anyone can contribute by creating an account. But unlike Microsoft, they had neither the staff nor the resources. Their success was dubious.
Today it is known as Wikipedia, the world’s largest encyclopedia.
Why did Wikipedia succeed and Enkarta failed?
Even with many difficulties, Wikipedia became popular, but a promising product like Encarta failed miserably. Why? Well, there were many reasons. For example, since wiki pages can be created and edited by anyone, Wikipedia has a large number of updated topics. And of course it’s free.
And the rest is history. Since we use Wikipedia every day, it makes sense to use it effectively. And in this article, we’ll go over a few tips and tricks from Wikipedia to get more out of it.
1. Make this Wikipedia article simple
Yesterday I was looking at a couple of wiki pages like “theory of relativity”, “schizophrenia” etc. But everything went through my head. The use of complex terms in the article makes it difficult to understand. I wanted to learn the real concept in plain and simple English.
If you face the same complex jargon problem, just replace en with simple in the url and press Enter. For example – [Before] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia [After] simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia
This will load a new wiki page with the same article, which is free of everything and written in plain English. As simple as that.
2. Best way to save Wiki pages
People like to save a Wikipedia article for offline use. For example, you can read them while flying on an airplane when you don’t have Internet access.
And hopefully everyone knows how to save pages – you right-click on a web page and choose the Save As option. This will save the page as an html file on your computer. If you are a bit of an advanced user, then press CTRL + P on Chrome and save the page as a PDF file. But Wikipedia’s built-in “save as pdf” option (found on the right-hand side of every wiki article) is much better. Why?
Well, because it solves 2 problems. First, the pfd being a single file is easier to use (not the case if you save the web page as html) and second, the pdf output is free of all the clutter and hyperlinks, making it print friendly …
If you are doing research and want to save an article on Wikipedia, click the “create book” button on the left side of the page. With it, you can first collect all the articles together and then download their printable version.
3. Quickly search for a word in Wikipedia
We often find ourselves in a situation where we come across a new word, celebrity, company, place, etc. And the first thing we do is google and then click on a link on Wikipedia. But this is too much work. Right?
The solution is to use a Chrome plugin called Lookup Companion for Wikipedia. After installing the extension, you will notice a small wikipedia symbol on the chrome toolbar with a search popup. Just copy and paste your search term there and it will find it on Wikipedia, but in the same browser. Saves a lot of time.
4. Discover great places while traveling
Like Google’s Easter egg, Wikipedia also offers “special pages”. And one of my favorites is Nearby. Click on this wiki link and it will determine your location based on the IP address of your device. It will then show you the wiki pages that are next to you.
This is useful if you are traveling to a new location and want to explore nearby attractions. You can even surprise your friends by telling them a couple of facts about your new discovery.