A how-to is an informal and often short video or text describing how to accomplish a specific task. A how-to is usually meant to help non-experts and consequently may leave out details that are important only to experts. Because of this, a how-to may be greatly simplified compared to a usual discussion of the subject.


An early example of a how-to book is the 1569 book A booke of the arte and maner, how to plant and graffe all sortes of trees: With divers other new practice, by one of the Abbey of Saint Vincent in Fraunce by Leonard Mascall.

A well known full-length book in the genre is How to Win Friends and Influence People, written by Dale Carnegie in 1936.

A similar concept can be seen in many of the For Dummies series of tutorials and also in many other introductory surveys titled with the suffix "101" (based on academic numberings of entry-level courses).

Usage in the world of computersEdit

In the open-source community, how-to documents are often saved in a file named "HOWTO".[1] This is consistent with the traditional naming scheme for technical documentation, such as FAQ and README.

See alsoEdit


Wikibooks has a How-tos bookshelf and also books on these subjects: