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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A how-to or a how to is an informal, often short, description of how to accomplish some specific task. A how-to is usually 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.

Spelling

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 than 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 complex 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.

The acronym "101" is often used on how-tos and introductory tutorials.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "How-to" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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