Recommended word list

To help ensure consistency in the documentation, the Technical Writing team recommends these wording choices. The GitLab handbook also maintains a list of top misused terms.

For guidance not on this page, we defer to these style guides:

@mention

Try to avoid @mention. Say mention instead, and consider linking to the mentions topic. Don’t use backticks.

2FA, two-factor authentication

Spell out two-factor authentication in sentence case for the first use and in section headings, and 2FA thereafter. If the first word in a sentence, do not capitalize factor or authentication. For example:

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) helps secure your account. Set up 2FA when you first log in.

above

Try to avoid using above when referring to an example or table in a documentation page. If required, use previous instead. For example:

  • In the previous example, the dog had fleas.

Do not use above when referring to versions of the product. Use later instead.

Use:

  • In GitLab 14.4 and later…

Instead of:

  • In GitLab 14.4 and above…
  • In GitLab 14.4 and higher…

access level

Access levels are different than roles or permissions. When you create a user, you choose an access level: Regular, Auditor, or Admin.

Capitalize these words when you refer to the UI. Otherwise use lowercase.

administrator

Use administrator instead of admin when talking about a user’s access level. Use lowercase unless you are referring to the Admin access level you select in the UI.

To view the administrator access level, in the GitLab UI, go to the Admin Area and select Users. Then select New user.

admin access level

An administrator is not a role or permission.

Use:

  • To do this thing, you must be an administrator.
  • To do this thing, you must have the administrator access level.

Instead of:

  • To do this thing, you must have the Admin role.

Admin Area

Use title case Admin Area to refer to the area of the UI that you access when you select Menu > Admin. This area of the UI says Admin Area at the top of the page and on the menu.

allow, enable

Try to avoid allow and enable, unless you are talking about security-related features.

Use:

  • You can add a file to your repository.

Instead of:

  • This feature allows you to add a file to your repository.
  • This feature enables users to add files to their repository.

This phrasing is more active and is from the user perspective, rather than the person who implemented the feature. View details in the Microsoft style guide.

Alpha

Use uppercase for Alpha. For example: The XYZ feature is in Alpha. or This Alpha release is ready to test.

You might also want to link to this section in the handbook when writing about Alpha features.

and/or

Instead of and/or, use or or rewrite the sentence to spell out both options.

and so on

Do not use and so on. Instead, be more specific. For details, see the Microsoft style guide.

area

Use section instead of area. The only exception is the Admin Area.

below

Try to avoid below when referring to an example or table in a documentation page. If required, use following instead. For example:

  • In the following example, the dog has fleas.

Beta

Use uppercase for Beta. For example: The XYZ feature is in Beta. or This Beta release is ready to test.

You might also want to link to this section in the handbook when writing about Beta features.

blacklist

Do not use blacklist. Another option is denylist. (Vale rule: InclusionCultural.yml)

board

Use lowercase for boards, issue boards, and epic boards.

box

Use text box to refer to the UI field. Do not use field or box. For example:

  • In the Variable name text box, enter my text.

button

Don’t use a descriptor with button.

Use:

  • Select Run pipelines.

Instead of:

  • Select the Run pipelines button.

cannot, can not

Use cannot instead of can not. You can also use can’t.

See also contractions.

checkbox

Use one word for checkbox. Do not use check box.

You select (not check or enable) and clear (not deselect or disable) checkboxes. For example:

  • Select the Protect environment checkbox.
  • Clear the Protect environment checkbox.

If you must refer to the checkbox, you can say it is selected or cleared. For example:

  • Ensure the Protect environment checkbox is cleared.
  • Ensure the Protect environment checkbox is selected.

checkout, check out

Use check out as a verb. For the Git command, use checkout.

  • Use git checkout to check out a branch locally.
  • Check out the files you want to edit.

CI/CD

CI/CD is always uppercase. No need to spell it out on first use.

CI/CD minutes

Use CI/CD minutes instead of CI minutes, pipeline minutes, pipeline minutes quota, or CI pipeline minutes. This decision was made in this issue.

click

Do not use click. Instead, use select with buttons, links, menu items, and lists. Select applies to more devices, while click is more specific to a mouse.

collapse

Use collapse instead of close when you are talking about expanding or collapsing a section in the UI.

confirmation dialog

Use confirmation dialog to describe the dialog box that asks you to confirm your action. For example:

  • On the confirmation dialog, select OK.

Container Registry

Use title case for the GitLab Container Registry.

currently

Do not use currently when talking about the product or its features. The documentation describes the product as it is today. (Vale rule: CurrentStatus.yml)

Dependency Proxy

Use title case for the GitLab Dependency Proxy.

deploy board

Use lowercase for deploy board.

Developer

When writing about the Developer role:

  • Use a capital D.
  • Do not use bold.
  • Do not use the phrase, if you are a developer to mean someone who is assigned the Developer role. Instead, write it out. For example, if you are assigned the Developer role.
  • To describe a situation where the Developer role is the minimum required:
    • Use: at least the Developer role
    • Instead of: the Developer role or higher

Do not use Developer permissions. A user who is assigned the Developer role has a set of associated permissions.

disable

See the Microsoft style guide for guidance on disable. Use inactive or off instead. (Vale rule: InclusionAbleism.yml)

Use dropdown list to refer to the UI element. Do not use dropdown without list after it. Do not use drop-down (hyphenated), dropdown menu, or other variants.

For example:

  • From the Visibility dropdown list, select Public.

earlier

Use earlier when talking about version numbers.

Use:

  • In GitLab 14.1 and earlier.

Instead of:

  • In GitLab 14.1 and lower.

easily

Do not use easily. If the user doesn’t find the process to be easy, we lose their trust.

e.g.

Do not use Latin abbreviations. Use for example, such as, for instance, or like instead. (Vale rule: LatinTerms.yml)

email

Do not use e-mail with a hyphen. When plural, use emails or email messages. (Vale rule: SubstitutionSuggestions.yml)

enable

See the Microsoft style guide for guidance on enable. Use active or on instead. (Vale rule: InclusionAbleism.yml)

enter

Use enter instead of type when talking about putting values into text boxes.

epic

Use lowercase for epic.

epic board

Use lowercase for epic board.

etc.

Try to avoid etc.. Be as specific as you can. Do not use and so on as a replacement.

Use:

  • You can update objects, like merge requests and issues.

Instead of:

  • You can update objects, like merge requests, issues, etc.

expand

Use expand instead of open when you are talking about expanding or collapsing a section in the UI.

field

Use box instead of field or text box.

Use:

  • In the Variable name box, enter my text.

Instead of:

  • In the Variable name field, enter my text.

However, you can make an exception when you are writing a task and you need to refer to all of the fields at once. For example:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Projects and find your project.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Settings > CI/CD.
  3. Expand General pipelines.
  4. Complete the fields.

Learn more about documenting multiple fields at once.

foo

Do not use foo in product documentation. You can use it in our API and contributor documentation, but try to use a clearer and more meaningful example instead.

future tense

When possible, use present tense instead of future tense. For example, use after you execute this command, GitLab displays the result instead of after you execute this command, GitLab will display the result. (Vale rule: FutureTense.yml)

Geo

Use title case for Geo.

GitLab

Do not make GitLab possessive (GitLab’s). This guidance follows GitLab Trademark Guidelines.

GitLab.com

GitLab.com refers to the GitLab instance managed by GitLab itself.

GitLab SaaS

GitLab SaaS refers to the product license that provides access to GitLab.com. It does not refer to the GitLab instance managed by GitLab itself.

GitLab Runner

Use title case for GitLab Runner. This is the product you install. See also runners and this issue.

GitLab self-managed

Use GitLab self-managed to refer to the product license for GitLab instances managed by customers themselves.

Guest

When writing about the Guest role:

  • Use a capital G.
  • Do not use bold.
  • Do not use the phrase, if you are a guest to mean someone who is assigned the Guest role. Instead, write it out. For example, if you are assigned the Guest role.
  • To describe a situation where the Guest role is the minimum required:
    • Use: at least the Guest role
    • Instead of: the Guest role or higher

Do not use Guest permissions. A user who is assigned the Guest role has a set of associated permissions.

handy

Do not use handy. If the user doesn’t find the feature or process to be handy, we lose their trust. (Vale rule: Simplicity.yml)

high availability, HA

Do not use high availability or HA. Instead, direct readers to the GitLab reference architectures for information about configuring GitLab for handling greater amounts of users.

higher

Do not use higher when talking about version numbers.

Use:

  • In GitLab 14.4 and later…

Instead of:

  • In GitLab 14.4 and higher…
  • In GitLab 14.4 and above…

hit

Don’t use hit to mean press.

Use:

  • Press ENTER.

Instead of:

  • Hit the ENTER button.

I

Do not use first-person singular. Use you, we, or us instead. (Vale rule: FirstPerson.yml)

i.e.

Do not use Latin abbreviations. Use that is instead. (Vale rule: LatinTerms.yml)

in order to

Do not use in order to. Use to instead. (Vale rule: Wordy.yml)

issue

Use lowercase for issue.

issue board

Use lowercase for issue board.

issue weights

Use lowercase for issue weights.

job

Do not use build to be synonymous with job. A job is defined in the .gitlab-ci.yml file and runs as part of a pipeline.

If you want to use CI with the word job, use CI/CD job rather than CI job.

Kubernetes executor

GitLab Runner can run jobs on a Kubernetes cluster. To do this, GitLab Runner uses the Kubernetes executor.

When referring to this feature, use:

  • Kubernetes executor for GitLab Runner
  • Kubernetes executor

Do not use:

  • GitLab Runner Kubernetes executor, because this can infringe on the Kubernetes trademark.

later

Use later when talking about version numbers.

Use:

  • In GitLab 14.1 and later…

Instead of:

  • In GitLab 14.1 and higher…
  • In GitLab 14.1 and above…

list

Do not use list when referring to a dropdown list. Use the full phrase dropdown list instead.

log in, log on

Do not use log in or log on. Use sign in instead. If the user interface has Log in, you can use it.

lower

Do not use lower when talking about version numbers.

Use:

  • In GitLab 14.1 and earlier.

Instead of:

  • In GitLab 14.1 and lower.

Maintainer

When writing about the Maintainer role:

  • Use a capital M.
  • Do not use bold.
  • Do not use the phrase, if you are a maintainer to mean someone who is assigned the Maintainer role. Instead, write it out. For example, if you are assigned the Maintainer role.
  • To describe a situation where the Maintainer role is the minimum required:
    • Use: at least the Maintainer role
    • Instead of: the Maintainer role or higher

Do not use Maintainer permissions. A user who is assigned the Maintainer role has a set of associated permissions.

mankind

Do not use mankind. Use people or humanity instead. (Vale rule: InclusionGender.yml)

manpower

Do not use manpower. Use words like workforce or GitLab team members. (Vale rule: InclusionGender.yml)

master

Do not use master. Options are primary or main. (Vale rule: InclusionCultural.yml)

may, might

Might means something has the probability of occurring. May gives permission to do something. Consider can instead of may.

me, myself, mine

Do not use first-person singular. Use you, we, or us instead. (Vale rule: FirstPerson.yml)

merge requests

Use lowercase for merge requests. If you use MR as the acronym, spell it out on first use.

milestones

Use lowercase for milestones.

Do not use navigate. Use go instead. For example:

  • Go to this webpage.
  • Open a terminal and go to the runner directory.

need to, should

Try to avoid needs to, because it’s wordy. Avoid should when you can be more specific. If something is required, use must.

Use:

  • You must set the variable.
  • Set the variable.

Instead of:

  • You need to set the variable.

Should is acceptable for recommended actions or items, or in cases where an event may not happen. For example:

  • Although you can configure the installation manually, you should use the express configuration to avoid complications.
  • You should see a success message in the console. Contact support if an error message appears instead.

note that

Do not use note that because it’s wordy.

Use:

  • You can change the settings.

Instead of:

  • Note that you can change the settings.

on

When documenting how to select high-level UI elements, use the word on.

Use:

  • On the left sidebar...

Instead of:

  • Do not: From the left sidebar... or In the left sidebar...

once

The word once means one time. Don’t use it to mean after or when.

Use:

  • When the process is complete…

Instead of:

  • Once the process is complete…

only

Put the word only next to the word it modifies.

  • You can create only private projects.

In this example, only modifies the noun projects. The sentence means you can create one type of project–a private project.

  • You can only create private projects.

In this example, only modifies the verb create. This sentence means that you can’t perform other actions, like deleting private projects, or adding users to them.

override

Use override to indicate temporary replacement.

For example, a value might be overridden when a job runs. The original value does not change.

overwrite

Use overwrite to indicate permanent replacement.

For example, a log file might overwrite a log file of the same name.

Owner

When writing about the Owner role:

  • Use a capital O.
  • Do not use bold.
  • Do not use the phrase, if you are an owner to mean someone who is assigned the Owner role. Instead, write it out. For example, if you are assigned the Owner role.

Do not use Owner permissions. A user who is assigned the Owner role has a set of associated permissions.

Package Registry

Use title case for the GitLab Package Registry.

permissions

Do not use roles and permissions interchangeably. Each user is assigned a role. Each role includes a set of permissions.

Permissions are not the same as access levels.

please

Do not use please. For details, see the Microsoft style guide.

press

Use press when talking about keyboard keys. For example:

  • To stop the command, press Control+C.

profanity

Do not use profanity. Doing so may negatively affect other users and contributors, which is contrary to the GitLab value of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.

push rules

Use lowercase for push rules.

Reporter

When writing about the Reporter role:

  • Use a capital R.
  • Do not use bold.
  • Do not use the phrase, if you are a reporter to mean someone who is assigned the Reporter role. Instead, write it out. For example, if you are assigned the Reporter role.
  • To describe a situation where the Reporter role is the minimum required:
    • Use: at least the Reporter role
    • Instead of: the Reporter role or higher

Do not use Reporter permissions. A user who is assigned the Reporter role has a set of associated permissions.

Repository Mirroring

Use title case for Repository Mirroring.

roles

Do not use roles and permissions interchangeably. Each user is assigned a role. Each role includes a set of permissions.

Roles are not the same as access levels.

runner, runners

Use lowercase for runners. These are the agents that run CI/CD jobs. See also GitLab Runner and this issue.

When referring to runners, if you have to specify that the runners are installed on a customer’s GitLab instance, use self-managed rather than self-hosted.

(s)

Do not use (s) to make a word optionally plural. It can slow down comprehension. For example:

Use:

  • Select the jobs you want.

Instead of:

  • Select the job(s) you want.

If you can select multiples of something, then write the word as plural.

sanity check

Do not use sanity check. Use check for completeness instead. (Vale rule: InclusionAbleism.yml)

scalability

Do not use scalability when talking about increasing GitLab performance for additional users. The words scale or scaling are sometimes acceptable, but references to increasing GitLab performance for additional users should direct readers to the GitLab reference architectures page.

section

Use section to describe an area on a page. For example, if a page has lines that separate the UI into separate areas, refer to these areas as sections.

We often think of expandable/collapsible areas as sections. When you refer to expanding or collapsing a section, don’t include the word section.

Use:

  • Expand Auto DevOps.

Instead of:

  • Do not: Expand the Auto DevOps section.

select

Use select with buttons, links, menu items, and lists. Select applies to more devices, while click is more specific to a mouse.

self-managed

Use self-managed to refer to a customer’s installation of GitLab. Do not use self-hosted.

Service Desk

Use title case for Service Desk.

setup, set up

Use setup as a noun, and set up as a verb. For example:

  • Your remote office setup is amazing.
  • To set up your remote office correctly, consider the ergonomics of your work area.

sign in

Use sign in instead of sign on or log on or log in. If the user interface has different words, use those.

You can use single sign-on.

simply, simple

Do not use simply or simple. If the user doesn’t find the process to be simple, we lose their trust. (Vale rule: Simplicity.yml)

since

The word since indicates a timeframe. For example, Since 1984, Bon Jovi has existed. Don’t use since to mean because.

Use:

  • Because you have the Developer role, you can delete the widget.

Instead of:

  • Since you have the Developer role, you can delete the widget.

slashes

Instead of and/or, use or or re-write the sentence. This rule also applies to other slashes, like follow/unfollow. Some exceptions (like CI/CD) are allowed.

slave

Do not use slave. Another option is secondary. (Vale rule: InclusionCultural.yml)

subgroup

Use subgroup (no hyphen) instead of sub-group. (Vale rule: SubstitutionSuggestions.yml)

that

Do not use that when describing a noun. For example:

Use:

  • The file you save…

Instead of:

  • The file that you save…

See also this, these, that, those.

terminal

Use lowercase for terminal. For example:

  • Open a terminal.
  • From a terminal, run the docker login command.

text box

Use text box instead of field or box when referring to the UI element.

there is, there are

Try to avoid there is and there are. These phrases hide the subject.

Use:

  • The bucket has holes.

Instead of:

  • There are holes in the bucket.

they

Avoid the use of gender-specific pronouns, unless referring to a specific person. Use a singular they as a gender-neutral pronoun.

this, these, that, those

Always follow these words with a noun. For example:

  • Use: This setting improves performance.
  • Instead of: This improves performance.

  • Use: These pants are the best.
  • Instead of: These are the best.

  • Use: That droid is the one you are looking for.
  • Instead of: That is the one you are looking for.

  • Use: Those settings need to be configured. (Or even better, Configure those settings.)
  • Instead of: Those need to be configured.

to-do item

Use lowercase and hyphenate to-do item. (Vale rule: ToDo.yml)

To-Do List

Use title case for To-Do List. (Vale rule: ToDo.yml)

toggle

You turn on or turn off a toggle. For example:

  • Turn on the blah toggle.

TFA, two-factor authentication

Use 2FA and two-factor authentication instead.

type

Do not use type if you can avoid it. Use enter instead.

useful

Do not use useful. If the user doesn’t find the process to be useful, we lose their trust. (Vale rule: Simplicity.yml)

user, users

When possible, address the reader directly, instead of calling them users. Use the second person, you, instead.

Use:

  • You can configure a pipeline.

Instead of:

  • Users can configure a pipeline.

utilize

Do not use utilize. Use use instead. It’s more succinct and easier for non-native English speakers to understand. (Vale rule: SubstitutionSuggestions.yml)

via

Do not use Latin abbreviations. Use with, through, or by using instead. (Vale rule: LatinTerms.yml)

we

Try to avoid we and focus instead on how the user can accomplish something in GitLab.

Use:

  • Use widgets when you have work you want to organize.

Instead of:

  • We created a feature for you to add widgets.

One exception: You can use we recommend instead of it is recommended or GitLab recommends. (Vale rule: SubstitutionSuggestions.yml)

whitelist

Do not use whitelist. Another option is allowlist. (Vale rule: InclusionCultural.yml)

you, your, yours

Use you, your, and yours instead of the user and the user’s. Documentation should be from the point of view of the reader.

Use:

  • You can configure a pipeline.

Instead of:

  • Users can configure a pipeline.