AO3 News

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2020-11-29 15:03:50 -0500

We're excited to announce that the AO3 Documentation committee is replacing the current Collections & Challenges FAQ with a suite of FAQs and tutorials. 🎉

The Collections FAQ will answer several common questions about how to put together and maintain a collection, and the Gift Exchange FAQ and Prompt Meme FAQ are full of information you'll need if running or participating in a challenge on AO3.

Making a collection for the first time, or just unsure of the process? Try starting with our Tutorial: Creating a Collection for step-by-step instructions. You'll be able to group your own works according to themes or collect your favorites as neatly curated bookmarks in no time!

Want to encourage fellow fans to create more works for your favorite ship or trope? Check out our tutorials on Running a Gift Exchange on AO3 or Running a Prompt Meme on AO3 for guidance on setting up and running a challenge!

And if your heart just beats for a well-organized help section, there's a lot more in our collection of AO3 FAQs, which aim to cover all the tools and features available to you on the site. You might be interested in Formatting Content on AO3, which will guide you through using HTML to format your works, comments, notes, and summaries. Or you could check out the Unofficial Browser Tools FAQ, which lists several useful userscripts and browser plugins for commonly requested features we can't provide at the AO3 at this time.


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In one of our next code updates, we're going to be rolling out some changes to the FAQ section of the Archive. Here's a little information on what improvements the new FAQ will include, and what this change means for you.


As one of the main improvements, it will enable easy translation of questions and answers. Our volunteer translators will be able to submit their work to the FAQ and link it to the corresponding English text. The new interface for users will introduce a simple drop-down box for filtering the FAQ by language.

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[Work-in-progress screenshot of the new FAQs, here depicting the list of available topics in Portuguese]

The new FAQ interface will benefit from a cleaner, easier-to-edit structure that makes adding questions to categories more straightforward. Browsing the FAQ will also be a lot easier: we'll improve our index page, so that you can see at a glance a full list of questions without having to read through the entire page.

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[Work-in-progress screenshot of the new FAQs, here depicting the list of all available questions for one topic in Spanish]

Expected Issues

We had to make significant changes to the existing code to enable these new features. In addition, our AO3 Docs team has been working on a new and improved FAQ structure, as well as updates to the existing sections. New content will be added as work on these updates progresses.

As a result, old links to the FAQ might stop working or will link to an unexpected section of the new FAQ. For example, the link to the Bookmarks FAQ might suddenly lead you to the FAQ about Downloads. Please bear this in mind if you have linked to the FAQ on another site, as these links will likely need updating. FAQ links included previously within AO3's official communication (for instance on AO3 News or in previous Support replies) will also be affected, although we will do our best to update our own resources.

Finally, there's a chance that internal links from one section of the FAQ to another will also break temporarily as we wire the new FAQ together. There's a small possibility that following the code deploy, the FAQ section will be empty as we work on re-adding all existing content.

Looking Forward

We're excited about these latest updates: we hope that they'll not only improve our documentation and make it easier for you to find answers to your questions, but will also be a big step forward in beginning to make the Archive accessible in different languages for fans around the world. Many thanks to our teams of translators, documentation volunteers, coders and testers for all of their work on this project! We hope you find these changes helpful, and we look forward to your feedback.