How-to guides

by 3 contributors:

These articles provide step-by-step guides to accomplishing specific goals when contributing to MDN.

Adding special notices and banners
Sometimes, an article needs a special notice added to it. This might happen if the page covers obsolete technology, or if it's about something experimental that shouldn't be used in production code. This article covers the most common such cases and what to do.
Compatibility tables
We have standardized the appearance of compatibility tables for our open web documentation; that is, documentation of technologies such as the DOM, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SVG, and so forth, that are shared across all browsers.
Contribute and use the Glossary
The MDN glossary is the place where we define all the terminology, jargon, and abbreviations used in documentation and coding. Contributing to the glossary is a simple way to make the Web easier for everyone to understand. You don't need a high level of technical skill to write glossary entries because they should stay simple and straightforward.
Create an interactive exercise to help you learn the web
When learning the web, it's important to rely on active learning content. Such content is made to learn something pro-actively. It can be exercises, live hackable examples, tasks to perform, assessments, etc. In short, anything that can help someone to actively understand something.
Create learning pathways
A learning pathway is basically a set of articles to read and exercises to complete in order to learn something, usually in a specific order. However, creating good, efficient pathways requires some work; this guide will help you learn how to plan and create a learning pathway on MDN.
How to convert code samples to be "live"
Live samples, which let you see what a sample's output looks like, make documentation more dynamic and instructive. This guide covers how to take existing samples and add "live" functionality to them.
How to create an MDN account
To make any changes to content on MDN (either by editing a page or contributing a demo), you need an MDN profile. Don't worry, you don't need a profile if all you intend to do is read and search MDN! This simple guide helps you set up your MDN profile.
How to do a technical review
This article describes how to go about performing a technical review, thereby helping to ensure that MDN's content is accurate.
How to do an editorial review
This article describes how to go about performing an editorial review, thereby helping to ensure that MDN's content is accurate.
How to document a CSS property
Little by little new properties are added to CSS. The MDN CSS Reference needs to be kept up-to-date with these developments. This document describes how to add a CSS property reference page by guiding you step by step.
How to make pages automatically rebuild
Because MDN caches rendered content for performance reasons, changes made to source material (such as macro output or transcluded pages) are not automatically reflected in the page. If you expect frequent changes to source materials such as those, you may want to consider enabling automatic rebuilds of your page.
How to properly tag pages
This page explains the best way to tag pages so that our readers can find information and we can keep ourselves organized.
How to resolve a dev-doc-needed bug
Bugzilla is a web-based application that is used to track all changes to all Mozilla software projects. Some bugs (flagged with the "dev-doc-needed" keyword) require changes to the documentation on MDN as well as changes to the source code. However, sometimes the comments and descriptions in bugs are obscure and it is difficult to understand what needs to be done on MDN. This page provides a description and example of the steps we use to update MDN.
How to set the summary for a page
You can define the summary of a page on MDN, to be used in various ways, including in search engine results, in other MDN pages such as topical landing pages, and in tooltips.
How to tag JavaScript pages
Tagging consists of adding meta-information to pages so that related content can be grouped, for example in the search tool.
How to update API page layout
Over time, MDN's guidelines for page layout and style have changed. A lot of API reference pages need to be updated to match the new style guidelines.
How to watch a page for changes
A great way to stay involved with content on MDN that you care about is to subscribe to pages, so that you're notified when the pages get changed. This guide will teach you how to do this, using the "Subscribe" option in the gear icon on the page you want to watch.
How to write an API reference
This guide takes you through all you need to know to write an API reference on MDN.
Interpreting specifications
This article will help you find and understand the specifications that describe Web technologies, so that you can write better documentation.
Planning a doc sprint
This is a guide to planning a documentation sprint. It contains advice and tips from people who have organized doc sprints, to help you in organizing one, too. This guide also draws on ideas from the FLOSS Manuals Book Sprints book.
Write an article to help people learn about the Web
This article explains how to write pages for the Learning Area.
Writing interface reference documentation
This article demonstrates how to create properly-formatted and useful documentation for interfaces. Each interface should be documented in its own article, with the article's title being the name of the interface.

Document Tags and Contributors

Contributors to this page: klez, Brian102413, Sheppy
Last updated by: klez,
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