A Readme file is a small document that is usually included with a program. Readme files are written by software developers and contain basic information about a program, including installation information or a guide to system settings, contact information, license, commendations, and software version information. For software distribution, it is important to know how to write the Readme file. A poorly written Readme can be frustrating and tiresome to the user, while a good one can help them easily learn the basic information about your program.
Step 1. Include contact information
This is probably the most important part of the Readme document. The contact information will allow the user to contact you in order to suggest you supplement the program, ask a question, correct an error or pay for the program. Include the company name, website, Email and phone number (this information will take a couple of lines).
An example is shown in the picture
Step 2. Insert the date into your Readme
This is a small but very important step. It is important to mark the distribution date of your program. This way, users will be aware of program version updates and will also be able to determine if it is still supported.
Step 3. Make a note of the program name, version, and pricing information
At the top, write the application name and version number. Please write the price for the full version below. If you distribute the program using physical media such as CDs, you may not want to include the pricing information because users have probably already paid for the program.
Step 4. Briefly describe the program
Give a short description of your program in a sentence or two. For example: "This application tracks the user's mood by analyzing his activity on the Internet, and then changes the space on the desktop in such a way as to adapt to the user's emotional state."
If your software has a fairly wide range of features, you can extend the description by an entire paragraph or two. You can use a bulleted list to number all the functions and features of the program
Step 5. Describe the minimum requirements for the program
A good Readme file should contain information regarding the minimum requirements for the program and instructions for installation. If you need another piece of software to install the program, be sure to mention it. You can also include information about recommended requirements (for example, CPU load).
Step 6. Include license and copyright information
At the end, do not forget to include information about the date of the copyright establishment and the licensing of the program.
- To prevent users from having to format your file, save it in plain text (.txt) format.
- In the name of the Readme file, include the name of the program; thus, the user will search for the Readme file by the name of the program.