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Writing Guide

To assist you in writing your documentation, this page contains tips and guidelines on how to create effective documentation that is valued by your target reader (a measure of its success).

Flipper uses StaticDocs, which is based on Docusaurus, for the Flipper documentation website. The StaticDocs homepage is an excellent starting point for information.

Why Documentation Is Needed​

Some of the benefits of documentation include:

  • Immediate availability - from the easily accessible Flipper Documentation website
  • Fewer support requests - the more information that's available online, the fewer the number of support requests. Also, colleagues that raise requests can be directed to the documentation website, which frees up the time of the person being asked.
  • Knowledge base - provides a permanent record of Flipper knowledge, rather than it being isolated to one or more specialists.

By making documentation part of your work routine, it becomes less of a burden: the more you write, the easier it gets.

Adding or editing content​

You may be creating content for a new document or updating the content of an existing document. Whatever the reason, there are two key points to consider before you make any changes:

  1. Tone of voice - this is the 'voice style' used to communicate the content to the reader.
  2. Documentation style - this is the tools used to communicate the content to the reader, such as bullet points, images, tables, bold text, headers, videos, and so on. The trick is knowing when to use them and how to use them effectively.

Both of these key points are detailed in the following sub-sections.

Tone of voice​


The content of any material you create for any aspect of Meta's documentation must fully comply with Meta's values, policies, and initiatives, and must incorporate Meta's principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.

For details, see the following:

Consider how you'd explain a work-related task to a colleague; the words you'd use and the manner in which you'd say them. Following are some points to consider, which will help you to adopt the write 'tone of voice' in your documentation:

  • Semi-formal - imagine talking to a colleague whom you've just met in the workplace. When explaining something to them, you wouldn't want to be too formal, but you'd also like to appear friendly.
  • Professional - all communication must follow Meta company guidelines and policies and incorporate the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Descriptive - don't go off-topic: keep to the topic that is relevant to the page/section. Textual information should be well-explained but not excessive. Lists, images and videos can be used to reduce large blocks of text (see Markdown Formatting).
  • Engaging - the correct use of pronouns can aid comprehension and help to keep the reader engaged and comprehension (see below).

The magic of pronouns​

The correct use of pronouns can increase the reader's engagement, enjoyment, and comprehension of the information in your documentation. Following are some guidelines on when to use particular pronouns (it does matter):

  • Use the pronouns 'You', 'Your', and 'Yours' - the main benefit of using them is that it increases the reader's sense of involvement in the content and promotes a friendly tone by addressing the reader directly (think about how you'd explain something complex to your colleague). As a result, your page's reader will find the content more engaging, easier to remember, and easier to understand. These pronouns are especially useful when you want to detail a series of steps that the reader must follow.
  • Use the pronouns 'We' and 'Our' - the main reason for their use is that they emphasise the reader's team or organisation, which gives the reader a sense of community and team spirit. These pronouns are especially useful when you want to describe something that involves the Flipper team, such as the reasons for the decision to use a particular technology or how the reader's actions can benefit the team.
  • Don't use the pronouns 'I' and 'My' - the main reason is that it emphasizes the writer rather than the reader. Also, it may cause confusion, reduce engagement, or be the source of annoyance as the reader may not know the identity of the writer.

Spelling and grammar​

Bad spelling and grammar can have a negative effect on the tone of voice in your document (making it irritating to read and difficult to understand).

The problem is that we all make unintentional spelling and grammar errors when writing. Fortunately, there are three steps you can take to reduce (or, hopefully, remove all) those errors:

  1. Read it - when you think you've finished, read though the content and make the appropriate corrections.
  2. MS Word it - use the spelling and grammar checker to identify any errors.
  3. Review it - before your page is published, it will be reviewed as part of its Diff lifecycle. Make sure you consider all of the changes suggested by the Reviewers.

This is not going to be 100% effective every time, but it will definitely help to get as close to 100% as possible.

Documentation style​

Documentation style involves two areas of interest:

  • Structural Format - this includes the format of the page title and the headers and includes topics such as:
    • How many words to use.
    • How to capitalise.
    • How to improve the discoverability of the content.
  • Documentation Tools - this includes the following:
    • When and how to use the available tools (such as bullet points, tables images, videos, and much more).
    • How to format the content for the selected tool.

Structural format​

Page title​

The title provides an at-a-glance summary of a page's content. It is also used in the SideBar so assists with navigation of the Flipper Documentation website. Consider the following guidelines before choosing a page title.

  • Short but descriptive - the title should be short but also descriptive enough to convey the main topic of the page's content.
  • Capitalization - use the 'Title' case associated with the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition). For details of a helpful online tool, see Header and title capitalization tool, below.
  • Titles should be unique - use a title that is not used elsewhere within the Flipper Documentation website.


Good documentation is split into a series of sections that are logically structured and cover the subject matter. Headings are used for the document's Table of Contents, which provide the reader with an outline of the document and assists with navigation.

  • Headers indicate document structure - start each main section with a level 2 header. Sub-sections (header levels 3 to 5) should follow a hierarchical structure and be associated with, or relevant to, their parent header.
  • Keep headers short - while keeping your headers as short as possible, make sure they contain enough words to indicate the information contained within the section/sub-section.
  • Keep Headers unique - consider how a header will be listed in the result set of a search from the Static Docs website.
  • Capitalisation of headers - use the 'Sentence' case associated with the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition). For details of a helpful online tool, see Header and title capitalization tool, below.
  • Use Blank Lines - make sure there is one blank line between a heading and the text in its section/sub-section.

Header and title capitalization tool​

To assist with the capitalization of your page's title and headers, go to the online tool Capitalize My Title, then:

  • For the title - select the 'Chicago' tab and click the 'Title Case' option.
  • For headers - select the 'Chicago' tab and click the 'Sentence case' option.

As you enter the title/header, the tool automatically converts it to the selected style, which you can then copy/paste into your editor.

Markdown code​

For examples of using Markdown for headers, see Markdown Formatting

Markdown tools​

Code snippets​

Code examples are one of the best ways to help your readers take their understanding to the next level by providing them with something they can actually view and experiment with on their own.


Remember that a snippet is 'a small part or piece of a thing' so keep your snippet as short as possible and relevant to the section in which it's located.

When providing code snippets, first create an example in the Flipper shell and then directly reference that example in your documentation. This enables the Flipper website to ensure that code in its documentation always stays up-to-date and functional

Make sure there is one blank line between the code snippet and any surrounding text.

Markdown code​

For an example of using Markdown for code snippets, see Markdown Formatting


Images includes pictures, diagrams, and screenshots.

The well-known adage "A picture is worth a thousand words." is true but must be accompanied by knowledge of the best way to use images, and an awareness of their limitations. Following are guidelines for the use of images in your documentation:

  • No sensitive or personal data - if you're taking a screenshot that features data, ensure it is test or sample data.
  • Use a lossless format - PNG and SVG files are ideal for websites and PDFs, other formats may look blurred.
  • Use a transparent background - by using a transparent background, you avoid potential color clashes and unwanted image borders caused by your reader's use of a colored or themed background.
  • Avoid colored borders and shadows - a colored border or a shadow might look great against the color you are using but could look ugly against a differently colored background.
  • Consider dark mode backgrounds - when relevant, test your image using light and dark mode; as a result, you may need to replace black/dark grey colors with pastel-colored alternatives (note: this does not apply to screenshots).
  • Size for readability:
    • There's little purpose in using any type of image if the text within it can't be read or needs a magnifying glass.
    • If your image is large, consider splitting into two or more images and show how they are connected.
    • If using a screenshot, zoom in on a specific area of the screen and provide context rather than capturing the whole screen.
  • Be consistent - use the same color and style for callouts and annotations throughout your documentation.
  • Refer to the image - mention the image within the accompanying text. Such as "As shown in the following image...", or "The image below provides an overview of..."

Keep in mind that images are meant to complement text, not replace it. Though a picture may be worth a thousand words, the reader still needs the detail contained within the text.

Latin abbreviations​

The use of some Latin abbreviations (such as 'e.g.', 'etc.', 'i.e.', 'et al.', and so on) should be avoided for the following reasons:

  • Readers of the documentation may not use English as their 'first' language and may be unaware of the meaning of Latin abbreviations.
  • Often, when used, Latin abbreviations are not correctly punctuated, which detracts from the professional tone of the page's content.

When tempted to use the Latin abbreviations shown in the following table, consider using the English equivalent.

LatinEnglish Equivalent
e.g.for example
et al.and colleagues / associates / team members
etc.and so on / and the rest
i.e.that is

Key point: whenever possible, use plain, easy-to-understand English in your documentation.

Within Flipper Docs, links are usually text-based and can be used to navigate your readers to several types of link targets, such as the following 'good' links:

As can be seen in the link examples above, a link consists of the parts shown in the following table (but not necessarily in the same order).

Link partUsing the first example, above
Leading Phrase"For information on the type of links to avoid, see"
Target description[Bad links]
(Optional) Location", below" or "website"
Target(#bad-links) or a URL
  • Navigation - tell your readers where they are going, especially if the link takes them away from the Flipper Docs website (see Bad links, below).
  • Test - check that your links do reach the expected target.
  • Access - keep in mind that some readers may not have access to certain pages or domains.
  • Backticks - don't use backticks in links as it changes the link's appearance. It has to look like a link for the user to know they can click on it.

It's worth remembering that the reader won't know beforehand where a link is taking them unless it's stated (or at least suggested) in the 'Target description' or the 'Location'.

Therefore, it's not a good idea to use links such as the following:

  • For information on the type of links to avoid, see below.
  • Click here to see examples of using Markdown for headers.
  • To learn all about Litho, click here.

'Bad' links could lead to navigation confusion, frustration, and loss of comprehension.

Markdown code​

For additional guidelines on using Markdown for links, see Markdown Formatting.


If the information you wish to communicate involves a series of steps, follows a defined procedure, or indicates preference or ranking, use a numbered list, which is also known as an 'ordered' list.

If the order of items in the list is irrelevant, use bullet points, which are known collectively as an 'unordered list'.

Bullet Points​

  • Be concise but effective - use as few words as possible but make sure the meaning is not lost.
  • Capitalise the first word - do this for each bullet.
  • One sentence per bullet point - try to stick to one sentence per bullet point.
  • Use emphasis - where possible, emphasize the beginning of each bullet point to give the reader the chance to skim through easily but still get a basic understanding of the content of the list.
  • Use sentences or fragments, not both - within a single list, avoid using bullets that are full sentences mixed with other bullets that are just sentence fragments, phrases, or names.
  • Punctuate consistently:
    • If at least one bullet is a sentence, end all bullets with a full stop. Don't end a bullet with a semicolon (;).
    • If all bullets are phrases, or fragments, use no end punctuation.
  • Use Blank Lines - make sure there is one blank line above and below the list.

Numbered List​

  1. Be clear - keep each item in the list to a specific topic or instruction.
  2. Be logical - the items in the list should follow a logical flow, which guides the reader though the content in a manner that makes sense.
  3. Keep the structure simple - if your list is getting a bit complex in structure or stretches over several pages, consider breaking it up into a series of sub-sections.
  4. Punctuate consistently - each item in the list should end with a full stop, unless the item contains bullet points.
  5. Use Blank Lines - make sure there is one blank line above and below the numbered list.
Example lists​

The bullet points used throughout this page provide examples of the style to be used.


Sometimes, it might not be possible to use an emphasized phrase (the part that is in bold) for each bullet. In such cases, try to apply the other bullet point guidelines to your list.


Since Flipper supports multiple platforms, you may need to provide information that is specific to each platform. The Tab tool provides an excellent way of this information via use of the CodeLanguageTabs component.

Tabs provide your reader with an easy method of switching from one platform (or process) to another without having to scroll up and down the page.

Markdown code​

For an example of using Markdown for tabs, see Markdown Formatting


Videos are an effective method of presenting a lot of information to the reader. However, just like images, the use of videos must be accompanied by knowledge of how to use them effectively. Following are guidelines for the use of video in your documentation:

  • Watch the video - before you use the video in your documentation, watch it to check that its good quality, relevant to the section in which it's located, and provides sufficient information.
  • Keep the content concise:
    • The content of the video should be limited to the specific purpose for which it is being used.
    • For example, if a video is being used to illustrate configuration of a component, it should contain just that process.
  • Refer to the video - mention the video within the section in which it's being used.
  • State the length of the video:
    • If the length of the video is not shown in the video object, state it in the text.
    • For example, "The following 11-second video demonstrates the slightly different 'Hg: Show Head Changes' command".

When deciding to use a video, keep in mind that it takes much more time to produce a video than to change some text. A small change to a UI or a process is relatively easy to change in text. The same change in a video may mean it needs to be replaced or removed, which, ultimately, involves much more work.


For additional information, see the following resources: