B is for Bold (in English)

An update from the Wikipedia Usability Initiative – the team working to streamline and simplify the editing experience on Wikipedia.

You asked and we listened.  In an effort to be comprehensible in many languages, the Usability Initiative’s beta toolbar used the letter “A” for character formatting icons.  In our recent release, we updated the toolbar to use language-specific icons (for example, “B” for Bold and “I” for Italic in English and “F” for Fettdruck and “K” for Kursiv in German).  These have been created by Hannes Tank using the free Droid Serif font by Ascender, which has an extensive character set, contains over 43,000 glyphs, and continues to grow.

We, unfortunately, cannot create all of the icons that are needed for all the languages and wikis out there.  We need your help!  Let’s collaborate!  To help you help us, we have created this “How To” guide to walk you through the steps to create these icons and get them on Wikimedia Commons.  If you use a language wiki that does not have language-specific icons already on Commons, and have basic knowledge of Inkscape + Gimp (open-source illustration and photo editing tools) or Adobe Illustrator + Photoshop, we welcome your contributions.  To incorporate these into your language wiki, you need to have administrator privileges.  If you have sufficient privileges, please see our description of the technical implementation here.  If you don’t, please get in touch with a local administrator for the wiki in questions.  We encourage you to discuss within your language community to determine which letter or icon is right for you.  Thank you in advance for your participation and contributions – we couldn’t do it without you.

Do you have thoughts and opinions on going language specific?  Please share!  Do you have questions or suggestions for improvements on our How To?  Please leave them on the discussion page.

Parul Vora, Wikipedia Usability Initiative