Github Readme File

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But since GitHub README files support Markdown, you can easily customize the file according to your will. Headings, images, GIFs, and various other media can be added to a README. Here is the list of things that you can add to your README file in order to make it more attractive. A template/guideline to writing high quality README files - Create a table to add their username and a link to their GitHub account.

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You can add a README file to your repository to tell other people why your project is useful, what they can do with your project, and how they can use it.

In this article


You can add a README file to a repository to communicate important information about your project. A README, along with a repository license, contribution guidelines, and a code of conduct, communicates expectations for your project and helps you manage contributions.

Github Readme File Template


For more information about providing guidelines for your project, see 'Adding a code of conduct to your project' and 'Setting up your project for healthy contributions.'

A README is often the first item a visitor will see when visiting your repository. README files typically include information on:

  • What the project does
  • Why the project is useful
  • How users can get started with the project
  • Where users can get help with your project
  • Who maintains and contributes to the project

Github Readme File Example

If you put your README file in your repository's root, docs, or hidden .github directory, GitHub will recognize and automatically surface your README to repository visitors.

Github Readme File

If you add a README file to the root of a public repository with the same name as your username, that README will automatically appear on your profile page. You can edit your profile README with GitHub Flavored Markdown to create a personalized section on your profile. For more information, see 'Managing your profile README.'

Github Readme File

Section links in README files and blob pages

Many projects use a table of contents at the start of a README to direct users to different sections of the file. You can link directly to a section in a rendered file by hovering over the section heading to expose the link:

Github Readme File Formatting

Relative links and image paths in README files

You can define relative links and image paths in your rendered files to help readers navigate to other files in your repository.

A relative link is a link that is relative to the current file. For example, if you have a README file in root of your repository, and you have another file in docs/, the relative link to in your README might look like this:

GitHub will automatically transform your relative link or image path based on whatever branch you're currently on, so that the link or path always works. You can use all relative link operands, such as ./ and ../.

Relative links are easier for users who clone your repository. Absolute links may not work in clones of your repository - we recommend using relative links to refer to other files within your repository.

Further reading

  • 'Adding a file to a repository'
  • 18F's 'Making READMEs readable'