A how-to or a how to is an informal, often short, description of how to accomplish some specific task. A how-to is generally meant to help non-experts, may leave out details that are only important to experts, and may also be greatly simplified from an overall discussion of the topic. See procedural knowledge for a discussion of what sort of knowledge is imparted, and how far it can be imparted, in how-tos.


The correct way to write it in English is "how-to", but it is common practice to write it as "howto" in the Linux community. A possible reason is that this makes it easier to find a how-to in search engines like Google as searching with the words "to" and "how" does not necessarily deliver in relevant search results.

How-tos on the internet

How-tos have a long history as a way of sharing knowledge on the internet, but are less successful as FAQs, manuals, recipes and guides. How-tos are very successful within Linux communities.

In the beginning, most how-tos on the internet were the result of a linear process in which an author wrote a how-to that readers would read. After 2001, user added content played a more and more important role on the internet in a trend that is widely referred to as Web 2.0. This had a profound impact on the way in which how-tos are spread on the internet. A number of websites choose the wiki model as a way of sharing knowledge on how-tos.

ee also

wikibookshas|a and also books on these subjects

*Imperative mood
*Knowledge base
*The Linux Documentation Project

External links

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