You want to learn how to write help articles for Mozilla Support? This is the right place to start. We'll give you a crash course of our tools, techniques and style. Bookmark this page and use it as a guide as you get started writing articles. You'll learn it by heart in no time.
In general, we have two basic types of articles with two kinds of introductions:
The editing tool has two editing modes: rich text and HTML. With rich text, you can write without any markup. Just use the formatting tools above the window to add lists, images or structure your content for certain platforms.
Think of an article like you would a story, because readers have an easier time understanding and building skills if told in a logical order. There is a beginning, middle and end. In this context, the beginning would tell users a little bit about the feature or issue being discussed. What is it and why should they care? The middle would give them step-by-step explanations of how to use or resolve the subject. The end would give readers the option to deepend their knowledge by learning more advanced steps.
For example, in this Tab Groups article we start with why you should use the feature, then move on to how to make a group and finish with more complicated tasks like searching and organizing.
Naming the section header after the task or the solution allows the reader to quickly browse the article or scan the table of contents to see the scope of the article. In some cases this may already provide enough information for some users and they wouldn't even need to read the rest of the article.
There's nothing more frustrating than to finally find the instructions you need and then get stranded while trying to follow them because the writer assumed you knew something you didn't. This is why we break our instructions down into complete, numbered steps. If you have to click "OK" at some point we even define that as a step.
Here's an example from the How to set the home page article:
Often Firefox instructions are different for the different operating systems. We have special wiki markup that shows Windows instructions to Windows users and Mac instructions to Mac users. If you switch the operating system at the top of this article, the appropriate steps below will change according to the selected operating system.
There are a lot of common steps in Firefox articles. For these we create "templates" so that we don't have to write (and translate) them over and over again. Usually templates include instructions for all operating systems which simplifies and accelerates the writing of the single steps a lot. Here are the same steps as shown above but this time written by using templates.