Currently I'm using "How it works" as the title, but I want to replace that with something short and meaningful, most of my other section titles are one word long. The whole document is about a piece of software I developed. This section describes in detail how it actually works.

  • Perhaps "Functioning" might work, but that might imply a description of what the software does rather than how it does it. – Nicole Dec 17 '14 at 19:26
  • I use "Internals" or "Internal Description" – Oldcat Dec 17 '14 at 19:29
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    @JohnLawler, Thanks for pointing that out, I've edited the question. – noviceEngineer Dec 17 '14 at 19:40
  • Ten letters. How much shorter do you want? – DJClayworth Dec 17 '14 at 19:44
  • @DJClayworth, I'm looking for a word which is usually used in the same context, or a word that can convey the meaning without any ambiguity. Length in letters doesn't matter for me. If there is no single word , then something two or three words long would be fine I guess. – noviceEngineer Dec 17 '14 at 19:55

Why not functionality

The range of operations that can be run on a computer or other electronic system: new software with additional functionality

Oxford Dictionaries Online

  • Interestingly this suggestion has more letters in it than the original. – DJClayworth Dec 17 '14 at 19:45
  • @DJClayworth Then maybe functions for the same length? – bib Dec 17 '14 at 21:36

How about Mechanism

A natural or established process by which something takes place or is brought about

Oxford Dictionaries Online


Mechanics (normally used for video games, though) or Usage

Also if you want to be more general you could use Tutorial, but that might seem strange in a manual, since tutorials are usually hands-on (but not necessarily).

You could also go with Operation, depending on what the section contains.


Design, Algorithm(ics) as in the study of.


It would likely depend on what you mean when you say your section describes "how it works." That has various meanings in software engineering.

If you are describing the algorithmic methodology being used (e.g. "First the software totals all of the values for the first month, then calculates how the values for subsequent months change by dividing their values..."), then a title like Algorithm is most likely applicable, or for less-mathematical software, Process.

If you are describing not the algorithm but rather the particular implementation you have written (e.g. "The ImportManager object handles the higher-level process while farming out its domain-dependent behavior to one of three specific subclasses..."), you're likely looking for a title such as Design for a more detailed description or Approach for a more broadly-specified one.

If you are describing how a user is intended to interact with your software (e.g. "First, a user enters their name, then clicks through to the following screen where they can select from various avatars..."), you may be looking for a title like Workflow, or depending on the context and development process being employed, User Story or Use Case.

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