This is a template to provide easy, standard, and description instructions for common tasks associated with an operating system. Simply use this template with an identifier to include a descriptive process inside of articles and discussion pages.


  1. Find the identifier you want to use in the "Current Listing" section below.
  2. Add it inside of the {{os}} template, after a pipe "|" symbol.



(replace "win_control_panel" with the desired identifier)

EditCurrent Listing

Update this area after you've created one, or use one for the current list of identifiers.

win_run : Windows XP/Vista Run dialog win_run_sub : Windows XP/Vista Run dialog (sub-points) win_cmd : Windows XP/Vista Launch DOS Command Prompt win_control_panel : Windows XP/Vista Control panel win_admin_tool : Windows XP Administrative Tools

EditCreate Your Own

If possible, use the most direct method over the most popular method. Exact directions (ie: run this command by typing...) are more desirable than visual directions (ie: click on the round, red button at the top left). If desired, use visual directions as an alternative, after the exact directions are given. Either as their own step(s) or in parentheses.

Please use the following format for its naming convention to create your new identifier:


Use underscores or similar markings to designate spaces. Do not run the names together since wikiHow is not consistent with capitalization. Also, avoid using dashes since these are automatically swapped back and forth for spaces, with may lead to confusion.

Please use a vague category for tasks that are common or very similar across multiple versions of an operating system. For example, the control panel in Windows Vista involves an identical process to reach it compared to Windows XP. Also, both operating systems will have different methods of reaching the control panel.

EditExample Prefixes

This is a guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule:

win = Windows XP Home/Pro and Windows Vista (all editions), or applies to all Windows versions win2k = Windows 2000 win9x = Windows 95 Rev.A, 95 Rev.B, 95 OSR2, 98, 98 SE, Me winnt = Windows NT 3.x, 4.x Workstation win3 = Windows 3.0, 3.1, 3.11 FW wintretro = Windows 1.x through 2.x DOS shell manager winserver = Windows 2000 Server, 2003 Server winntserver = Windows NT 3.x, 4.x Server winhome = Windows Home Server -- macos = MacOS X (all versions), or applies to all MacOS versions macos9 = MacOS 9.x macosretro = MacOS 6.x through 8.x -- linux = Linux kernel (non-distribution specific) bsd = BSD kernel (non-distribution specific) ubuntu = Ubuntu 6.x through 8.x, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Gobuntu, Xubuntu ubunturetro = Ubuntu 4.x through 5.x xbsd = FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, etc. slackware, suse, etc. => start your own for any distro!

EditExample Suffixes

Use the target noun, not process actions, and avoid incorrect jargon or names:

Use: admin_tools Don't Use: get_to_admin_tools Use: wallpaper Don't Use: change_my_wallpaper Use: ip_address Don't Use: find_ip Use: shutdown Don't Use: turn_off_windows Use: ie_favorite Don't Use: ie_bookmark Use: delete_ie_favorite Don't Use: remove_ie_favs


  • Don't lead with a step symbol (#} since it's more intuitive for a user to add the shortcut with their own step symbol. For example: #{{os|win_control_panel}}
  • Feel free to add multiple steps by starting the next line with a step symbol (#).