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This version of GitHub Enterprise Server was discontinued on 2023-09-25. No patch releases will be made, even for critical security issues. For better performance, improved security, and new features, upgrade to the latest version of GitHub Enterprise Server. For help with the upgrade, contact GitHub Enterprise support.

Using YAML frontmatter

You can use YAML frontmatter to define versioning, add metadata, and control the layout for articles.

Articles in the "Contributing to GitHub Docs" section refer to the documentation itself and are a resource for GitHub staff and open source contributors.

About YAML frontmatter

YAML frontmatter is an authoring convention popularized by Jekyll that provides a way to add metadata to pages. It is a block of key-value content that lives at the top of every Markdown file within GitHub Docs. For more information, see the YAML frontmatter documentation.

YAML frontmatter values

The following frontmatter values have special meanings and requirements for GitHub Docs. There's also a schema that's used by the test suite to validate every page's frontmatter. For more information, see lib/frontmatter.js.


  • Purpose: Indicates the versions to which a page applies. For more information about the different types of versioning, see "Versioning documentation."
  • Type: Object. Allowable keys map to product names and can be found in the versions object in lib/frontmatter.js.
  • This frontmatter value is currently required for all pages.
  • The * is used to denote all releases for the version.
  • Must be present for all files, but actual value is computed at runtime based on the children.

This frontmatter value is used by the docs site to generate "permalinks" for each version of an article. For more information, see Permalinks.

Example that applies to and recent versions of GitHub Enterprise Server:

title: About your personal dashboard
  fpt: '*'
  ghes: '>=3.11'

Example that applies to all supported versions of GitHub Enterprise Server, but not

title: Downloading your license
  ghes: '*'

You can also version a page for a range of releases. This would version the page for, and GitHub Enterprise Server versions 3.1 and 3.2 only:

  fpt: '*'
  ghes: '>=3.1 <3.3'


  • Purpose: List URLs that should redirect to this page.
  • Type: Array
  • Optional


title: Getting started with GitHub Desktop
  - /articles/first-launch
  - /articles/error-github-enterprise-version-is-too-old
  - /articles/getting-started-with-github-for-windows

For more information, see "Configuring redirects."


  • Purpose: Set a human-friendly title for use in the rendered page's <title> tag and an h1 element at the top of the page.
  • Type: String
  • Optional. If omitted, the page <title> will still be set, albeit with a generic value like or GitHub Enterprise.


  • Purpose: An abbreviated variant of the page title for use in breadcrumbs and navigation elements.
  • Type: String
  • Optional. If omitted, title will be used.
Article typeMaximum character length
map topics30


title: Contributing to projects with GitHub Desktop
shortTitle: Contributing to projects


  • Purpose: Sets the intro for the page. This string will render after the title.
  • Type: String
  • Optional.


  • Purpose: Sets the permission statement for the article. This string will render after the intro.
  • Type: String
  • Optional.


  • Purpose: Sets the product callout for the article. This string will render after the intro and permissions statement.
  • Type: String
  • Optional.


  • Purpose: Render the proper page layout.
  • Type: String that matches the name of the layout. For a layout named components/landing, the value would be product-landing.
  • Optional. If omitted, DefaultLayout is used.


  • Purpose: Lists the relative links that belong to the product/category/map topic. For more information, see Index pages.
  • Type: Array. Default is false.
  • Required on pages.


  • Purpose: Renders children into groups on the homepage. For more information, see Homepage.
  • Type: Array. Default is false.
  • Require on the homepage
  • Purpose: Renders the linked articles' titles and intros on product landing pages and the homepage.
  • Type: Object.
  • Optional.

The list of popular links are the links displayed on the landing page under the title "Popular." Alternately, you can customize the title "Popular" by setting the featuredLinks.popularHeading property to a new string.


    - /path/to/page
    - /guides/example
    - /path/to/popular/article1
    - /path/to/popular/article2
  popularHeading: An alternate heading to Popular


  • Purpose: Indicates whether an article should show a mini table of contents (TOC) above the rest of the content. For more information, see Autogenerated mini TOCs.
  • Type: Boolean. Default is true on articles, and false on map topics and pages.
  • Optional.


  • Purpose: Indicates whether a page is allowed to have a title that differs from its filename. For example, content/rest/reference/ has a title of Organizations instead of Orgs. Pages with this frontmatter set to true will not be flagged in tests or updated by src/content-render/scripts/reconcile-filenames-with-ids.js.
  • Type: Boolean. Default is false.
  • Optional.


  • Purpose: Render a list of items pulled from GitHub Changelog on product landing pages (components/landing). The one exception is Education, which pulls from
  • Type: Object, properties:
    • label -- must be present and corresponds to the labels used in the GitHub Changelog
    • prefix -- optional string that starts each changelog title that should be omitted in the docs feed. For example, with the prefix GitHub Actions: specified, changelog titles like GitHub Actions: Some Title Here will render as Some Title Here in the docs feed.
  • Optional.


  • Purpose: Override the initial platform selection for a page. If this frontmatter is omitted, then the platform-specific content matching the reader's operating system is shown by default. This behavior can be changed for individual pages, for which a manual selection is more reasonable. For example, most GitHub Actions runners use Linux and their operating system is independent of the reader's operating system.
  • Type: String, one of: mac, windows, linux.
  • Optional.


defaultPlatform: linux


  • Purpose: Override the initial tool selection for a page, where the tool refers to the application the reader is using to work with GitHub (such as's web UI, the GitHub CLI, or GitHub Desktop) or the GitHub APIs. For more information about the tool selector, see "Using Markdown and Liquid in GitHub Docs." If this frontmatter is omitted, then the tool-specific content matching the GitHub web UI is shown by default. If a user has indicated a tool preference (by clicking on a tool tab), then the user's preference will be applied instead of the default value.
  • Type: String, one of: webui, cli, desktop, curl, codespaces, vscode, importer_cli, graphql, powershell, bash, javascript.
  • Optional.
defaultTool: cli


  • Purpose: Render a list of learning tracks on a product's sub-landing page.
  • Type: String. This should reference learning tracks' names defined in data/learning-tracks/*.yml.
  • Optional

Note: the featured track is set by a specific property in the learning tracks YAML. See that README for details.


  • Purpose: Render a list of articles, filterable by type and topics. Only applicable when used with layout: product-guides.
  • Type: Array
  • Optional.


  - /actions/guides/about-continuous-integration
  - /actions/guides/setting-up-continuous-integration-using-workflow-templates
  - /actions/guides/building-and-testing-nodejs
  - /actions/guides/building-and-testing-powershell


  • Purpose: Indicate the type of article.
  • Type: String, one of the overview, quick_start, tutorial, how_to, reference, rai.
  • Optional.


  • Purpose: Indicate the topics covered by the article. The topics are used to filter guides on some landing pages. For example, the guides at the bottom of "Guides for GitHub Actions" can be filtered by topics, and the topics are listed under the guide intro. Refer to the content models for more details about adding topics. A full list of existing topics is located in the allowed topics file. If topics in article frontmatter and the allow-topics list become out of sync, the topics CI test will fail.
  • Type: Array of Strings
  • Optional: Topics are preferred for each article, but, there may be cases where existing articles don't yet have topics, or adding a topic to a new article may not add value.


  • Purpose: Set a custom link and link name for Ask the GitHub community link in the footer.
  • Type: Object. Properties are name and href.
  • Optional.


  • Purpose: Set an effective date for Terms of Service articles so that engineering teams can automatically re-prompt users to confirm the terms
  • Type: string YEAR-MONTH-DAY e.g. 2021-10-04 is October 4th, 2021
  • Optional.

Note: The effectiveDate frontmatter value is for use by GitHub staff only.

Escaping single quotes

If you see two single quotes in a row ('') in YAML frontmatter where you might expect to see one ('), this is the YAML-preferred way to escape a single quote.

As an alternative, you can change the single quotes surrounding the frontmatter field to double quotes and leave interior single quotes unescaped.

Autogenerated mini TOCs

Every article displays a mini table of contents (TOC), which is an autogenerated "In this article" section that includes links to all H2s in the article. Only H2 headers are included in the mini TOCs. If an article uses H3 or H4 headers to divide information in a way that only certain sections are relevant to a particular task, you can help people navigate to the content most relevant to them by using a sectional TOC.

You can use the showMiniToc frontmatter value, set to false, to prevent the mini TOC from showing up for an article.

Mini TOCs do not appear on product landing pages, category landing pages, or map topic pages.

Do not add hardcoded "In this article" sections in the Markdown source or else the page will display duplicate mini TOCs.


When adding a new article, make sure the filename is a kebab-cased version of the title you use in the article's title frontmatter. This can get tricky when a title has punctuation (such as "GitHub's Billing Plans"). A test will flag any discrepancies between title and filename. To override this requirement for a given article, you can add allowTitleToDifferFromFilename frontmatter.

Index pages

Index pages are the table of contents files for the Docs site. Every product, category, and map topic subdirectory has an file that provides an overview of the content and links to every child article. Each must contain a children frontmatter property with a list of relative links to the child pages of the product, category, or map topic. Index pages require a versions frontmatter property, and the actual value will be computed at runtime based on the versions of children articles.

Note: The site only knows about paths included in children frontmatter. If a directory or article exists but is not included in children, its path will return a 404.


The homepage is the main Table of Contents file for the docs site. The homepage must have a complete list of children, like every Index page but must also specify the childGroups frontmatter property that will be highlighted in the main content area.

childGroups is an array of mappings containing a name for the group, an optional icon for the group, and an array of children. The children in the array must be present in the children frontmatter property.

Creating new product guides pages

To create a product guides page (e.g. GitHub Actions Guide page), create or modify an existing markdown file with these specific frontmatter values:

  • Use the product guides page template by referencing layout: product-guides.
  • Include the learning tracks in learningTracks. Optional.
  • Define which articles to include with includeGuides. Optional.

If using learning tracks, they need to be defined in data/learning-tracks/*.yml. If using includeGuides, make sure each of the articles in this list has topics and type in its frontmatter.