MAAS documentation style guide

This page contains detailed information on how to become a successful MAAS documentation writer. Welcome to the club.

Contribution overview

Once you have permission to edit the doc, you can modify any article by choosing the link at the bottom, entitled, “Help improve this document in the forum.” Recognise that what you change will be posted instantly. Check your work carefully before saving your edits!

Some questions to ask yourself as you are contributing:

  • Does your reply improve the conversation in some way?

  • Is your contribution kind to fellow community members?

  • Is your constructive criticism focused on ideas, and not people?

  • Are you certain of the technical accuracy of your contribution?

If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, your edits should be welcome.

Style and language

Please follow these guidelines for style and language:

  • Use a spell checker.
  • Resist being overly formal.
  • Verify hyperlinks and examples.
  • Target audience: intermediate system administrator, not a developer.
  • Use British English (en-GB).
  • Never break a hyperlink with a carriage return.

Note that the document markup is not particularly complicated. For the most part, if you rely on the formatting bar just above the editor window – or use standard HTML – you shouldn’t have much difficulty.


Headers are simple to create, using standard HTML:

<h2 id="optional-unique-id">Heading Level 2</h2>
<h3 id="optional-unique-id">Heading Level 3</h3>
... and so on...

Bold and Italic Text

Bold and italic text can be indicated in two different ways. You can use standard HTML markup:

<strong>Bold Text</strong>
<em>Italic Text</em>

You can also use the local editor markup:

_italic_ (note that's just a single under-bar)

Code blocks

A code block (or pre-formatted text) is inserted by indenting four spaces:

maas command do something
maas command do something else

You can use this style anytime you want to present:

  • a command line sequence,
  • a pre-formatted block of text,
  • a block of text in which you need to escape markup sequences (as above),
  • a code listing where indentation and monospace font are important.

Inline code

Use a <code> tag to mark inline filenames and other literals as code examples. Alternatively, you can also use the backtick, like this:

...can also use the `backtick`, like this...


An admonishment distinguishes information from the rest of the text. The syntax begins with the markup tag [note] and ends with the corresponding closure [/note]:

Admonishment text.


Occasionally it may be appropriate to include a comment to explain or organise some text. This ends up as an HTML comment – which can be read online, even if only in the browser inspection window – so take it seriously:

The below text may be removed soon.

Links to internal files or external URLs use the following format:

[visible text](URL)

The visible text is what will appear on the web page. The URL is used to refer to the destination, which is a fully-qualified URL. For example:

Refer to [Google](`↗`.

which would show up as “Refer to Google.”


An image should not be overly cropped - allow for context. When ready, place the image file in the uploads directory.

In terms of linking, they are managed very similarly to hyperlinks. However, they are placed on their own line; are preceded by an exclamation point; and both the label and destination have a specific naming convention:

<a href="" target = "_blank"><img src=""></a>

This image would appear in this way:

Tiered sections

You can create optional detail sections (something like and “in-line sidebar”) by using these constructions:

<summary>this summary appears with an arrow next to it</summary>
this text toggles when you click on the arrow
<summary>You can do multiple levels of this.</summary>
this is yet another hidden level

This sequence would present like this in the finished document:

this summary appears with an arrow next to it this text toggles when you click on the arrow
You can do multiple levels of this. this is yet another hidden level


Do not use a “Caps Everywhere” style. It is only used in level one headers and the title metadata. References (visible text) to these page titles (including the navigation) should just capitalise the first letter. Obviously, this does not pertain to words that should always be capitalised according to basic grammar rules (e.g. acronyms, proper nouns).

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.