Guide Details ¶
Guide Details give a user the information they need before starting a procedure. Required tools and parts, prerequisites, time required, and many other logistics-related pieces of information go here.
Time Required ¶
Give people who follow your guide an estimate of how long this project will take. It's a good idea to be a little conservative with this estimate. It might take you less time to finish a project than it would someone who is attempting the task for the first time.
Some procedures are fairly simple for any user—and others require years of specialized experience. Select a level of difficulty from the drop-down menu so you can give users an idea of how easy or hard the task will be.
Prerequisite Guides ¶
Each guide is a completely independent step-by-step tutorial, but that doesn't mean that similar steps aren't involved. If several guides follow some of the same procedures, you won't have to duplicate your work. Use Prerequisite Guides, a feature where you can include one guide within another, to streamline your guide creation process.
Here's an iFixit guide for removing a MacBook battery. The battery removal guide is a prerequisite for the MacBook RAM guide. You can see that the first two steps of the MacBook RAM guide are actually the steps for removing the battery.
Note: New steps cannot be created in between prerequisite guides. New steps can only be added after every prerequisite guide.
Using prerequisites can save you a lot of time, but there are potential pitfalls. You can only use prerequisites for portions of the disassembly that are sequential. Basically, you cannot insert new content between prerequisite guides, it can only be added after.
Advanced Prerequisites ¶
If a guide you want to use as a prerequisite does not belong in the same category as the guide you are writing, you can use wiki syntax to add it as a prerequisite. Simply locate the guide ID in the URL of the guide you would like to add as a prerequisite (Hint: the guide ID is the last number in the guide URL). Now enter the the following wiki syntax directly into the prerequisite field: guideid:77. In this example the number 77 is the guide ID.
Any item or instrument that is required or recommended to perform your specific procedure constitutes a tool. Tools may be conventional (screwdriver, pliers, hammer, hacksaw, etc.), not-so-conventional (sickle, leather belt, kitchen utensil, etc.), or highly specialized (piston ring compressor, bicycle chain remover, tri-wing screwdriver, etc.). An easy way to determine if an item is a tool is to ask yourself, "Will I still have this item after this procedure?" If this answer is yes, then you've likely got a tool.
To add tools to your guide, click "Add a Tool" and begin typing the name of the tool. You'll see a drop-down menu with a list of suggested tools to select. If the tool you want to add is not on that list, create a new tool to add to the guide.
Provide a brief explanation of the tool that explains how and what it's used for. If it is an especially hard-to-find tool, you might want to provide a link to a site where the tool can be purchased.
After adding your tools, you may select "Edit Details" for each of the tools to add a type, change the quantity, or include notes. For a hacksaw, you may want to specify the number of teeth per inch, and in the note explain that cutting through metal requires more teeth per inch than a softer material like wood. You can go back and edit these details at any time by clicking the pencil icon next to the tool name on Guide Details.
Tools do not automatically import from prerequisite guides. Use the "Import Tools from Prerequisite Guides" feature to add the tools from all of your prerequisite guides to your current guide.
Whether you're building, fixing, or modifying something, chances are that the procedure is going to require parts of some sort. Parts—like tools—are important to completing the guide, but are often what makes the guide necessary. If you had no speakers or lights to install in your boom box, then there would be no need for a guide showing how to install them. Whereas tools are the items that you will still have after following the guide, parts are items that you probably will no longer have afterwards. Specific components, mechanical fasteners, adhesives, and lubricants are all parts.
To add parts to your guide, simply click the "Add a part" button and begin typing the name of the part you are adding. You'll see a drop-down menu with a list of suggested parts. If the part you want to add is not on that list, you have the option to create a new part.
Provide a brief explanation of the part that describes what it does and where it goes. If it is an especially hard-to-find part, you might want to provide a link to a site that sells it.
After adding your parts, you may select "Edit Details" for each of the parts to add a type, change the quantity, or include notes. For example, if your part is a quart of 5W-30 automotive engine oil, the type would be conventional or synthetic, the quantity might be 5, and in the notes you could tell others that 10W-30 is also an acceptable oil to use in warmer climates. You can go back and edit these details at any time by clicking the pencil icon next to the part name on optional details.
Add a note to the end of your guide in the Conclusion. This can be a simple congratulatory statement, like "You did it!" or informational, like "To reassemble your refrigerator, follow these directions in reverse order." If you've said all you have to say, just leave this section blank.
Attach Documents ¶
Some procedures require additional documents, such as wiring diagrams or manufacturer's manuals. Add these documents by opening the "Documents" tab at the bottom of the Guide Details. Click the "Upload" button and select the documents you wish to add to the guide. Only PDFs can be attached to guides. After uploading the documents, attach them to the guide by dragging them to the indicated area.
Bulk Step Creator Tool ¶
Just because you have written a great how-to guide outside of our Guide Creator doesn't mean that you have to start over on all that hard work. The Bulk Step Creator Tool allows you to paste text from a webpage or text document and convert it directly to guide steps.
Begin adding steps by clicking "Bulk-Import Steps" in the "Details" tab. The first line of each step can specify a site's title. To add a title to your step, type in "Title:" and then the desired step title. If you would rather not give your step a title, just start adding bullets. To add bullets, enter one line of text for each bullet within a step. There should not be an empty line between bullets within the same step. To add a new step, put an empty line between the last line of the previous step and the first line or title of the new step. When you have added all of your steps, click "Create Steps" and your steps will appear.
The Bulk Step Creator tool will take this:
And turn it into this:
Permissions Manager ¶
Permissions Manager is an administrator–only feature that keeps track of edits made by site members. Set the permissions threshold to any number from 0 to ∞ for any guide by adjusting the slider to the right of the text window. Edits made to a guide by a user with a reputation lower than the permission threshold will be sent to the patrol queue for approval.
For more information, see our Permissions Manager page.
What's the point of making a step-by-step how-to guide if no one will see it? Add pertinent tags to your guide and it will show up in more search results. Simply add the tags one-by-one, and then save them. Anyone may add, delete, or edit tags on a guide at any point.