Encyclopædia Britannica releases annual software edition

Encyclopædia Britannica, the oldest English-language encyclopedia, has released its annual software edition which is available in three different versions – the Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Edition, Encyclopaedia Britannica Deluxe and Encyclopaedia Britannica Student Edition.

May 19, 2011

Ideal for research homework or everyday factfinding, the Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Edition has three age-specific learning areas for ages 6 to adult, making it simple for all users to find exactly what they need.

Designed for adults and students alike, the Encyclopaedia Britannica Deluxe Edition is a comprehensive reference resource that provides up-to-date in-depth and easy-to-use information. Articles are written by Nobel laureates, historians and notable experts, and search results are organised by relevance, not popularity or paid placement.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica Student Edition comes replete with a Homework Helpdesk, “how to” documents, and interactive games, activities, as well as math and science tutorials. Including a student library and a children’s library, the Encyclopaedia Britannica Student Edition provides up-to-date, accurate information to help children of all ages improve the skills learned at school.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica software comes bundled with an atlas, with up to 1800 maps linked to articles and World Data Profiles of individual countries and territories – depending on the version – as well as the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus, classic articles from previous editions, interactive timelines, a research organizer; and a knowledge navigator.

“In its new form, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is user-friendly, with a user interface that is intuitive and uncluttered and is great fun to use,” explains Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Encyclopaedia Britannica’s local distributor, Phoenix Software. “It offers knowledge, some of it date-specific, presented through visuals and interactive tours of articles and attendant media.”

He adds that the user-friendliness of the software even extends into the search functionality. “When you enter even the first few letters of a term in the search box, it offers various options and is persistent: no need to click on the toolbar’s ‘search’ button every time you want to find something in this vast storehouse of knowledge. In addition, the user can save search results onto handy ‘Virtual Notecards’.”

Encyclopaedia Britannica’s display is tab-based, avoiding the erstwhile confusing proliferation of windows with every move, and articles appear in full, not in sections. This facilitates the finding of relevant keywords in and the printing of entire texts. While the Encyclopaedia Britannica provides considerably more text than any other extant traditional encyclopedia, print or digital (a total of 62 million words), it has noticeably enhanced its non-textual content over the years and now boasts in excess of 30 000 images and illustrations (depending on the version) and 900 video and audio clips. This is not to mention the Britannica Classics: articles from Britannica’s most famous contributors: from Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein to Harry Houdini and from Marie Curie to Orville Wright.