Github

Update Microsoft’s Documentation Yourself

This might be a strange concept to many people out there. Microsoft is letting you help correct/update/add to their online documentation at https://docs.microsoft.com

I’m typing this from Microsoft’s Headquarters as part of the MVP Summit, and the session is one of the few not under NDA which is a good reason to blog it :) Here’s my summary of the presentation:

Docs.Microsoft.Com is the new platform for Microsoft’s technical documentation across their entire product line for IT Professionals and Developers.

Why contribute?

To share your knowledge, help others and for Microsoft MVPs it adds to your contributions to keep the badge next year. This isn’t to do Microsoft’s documentation for them.

Where to start?

Start small – clarifications, examples (e.g. SDK/PowerShell), guidance tips and translations. If you see something wrong, fix it.

How to do it

You’ll need a GitHub account – https://github.com/join (don’t worry, you won’t need a client – this is all browser based).

Once you’re signed up, you find the article you want to change and choose the ‘Edit’ link on the top right below ‘Feedback’:

Then, you’ll need to click the pen icon (highlighted in yellow) to edit the actual text:

Now you’re able to change the raw text. The documents themselves are in Markdown. This means you’ll need to use characters to modify your text. For example **test** will come out as test. There’s a great cheatsheet here on lots of examples, but for starters follow what you can already see in the documentation rather than trying to create new styles.

You can use the ‘Preview’ tab to see the document with your new changes too. Once you’re happy, at the bottom of the page give a brief description of the change, and click ‘Propose File Change’

After that, you’ll see the final page which shows your change, and the button to ‘Create Pull Request’

You’re done! (For the most part). Your change gets sent off to the document owner for review. You’ll get some emails back advising of the progress, any questions/clarification and in the end, the change approved and your request closed.

It’s a very simple process while making sure the documentation is still Microsoft controlled. Get updating today!