How to add a README

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A README is an essential part of every code repository. The better the README, the more collaborators will want to work on your code. The same holds true for your data assets.

Each data asset should have its own README, which provides a description of its characteristics and other critical information. Atlan allows users to add a README for every data asset, using an intuitive, rich text editor.

You can document the tribal knowledge associated with each data asset in a README and reduce dependencies on your team members. The README appears right below each data table in the asset profile, displaying the data and the metadata on the same page and bridging the gap between the two.

Atlan currently supports the following file types for asset READMEs:

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • Miro boards
  • FigJam boards
  • Lucidchart
  • dbdiagram
  • ERD Lab
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Google Data Studio
  • Google Looker Studio
  • Canva


A README can be added to different types of data assets in Atlan, including BI dashboards, widgets, columns, databases, and schemas.


To add a README to an asset, follow these steps:

  1. On the Atlan homepage, click Assets in the left menu.
  2. Click on an asset to view its asset profile.
  3. In the Readme section of the asset profile, click +Add.
  4. You can either:
    • Click +Blank Page to create a new README from scratch.
    • Click Use to select an existing template as a starting point.
  5. Enter your knowledge into the README. You can use the text editor options to format your text, embed links, and more.
  6. Click Save.

Your README is ready to be shared! πŸŽ‰

Although it may take some time to create, a README is a critical step for documenting any data asset and making it trustworthy.

πŸ’ͺ Did you know? You can use / to add images, code blocks, and more using the rich text options. This will make your READMEs more readable.

Use README shortcuts

Atlan supports keyboard and markdown shortcuts to supercharge your README documentation.

Keyboard shortcuts

In the table below, Mod stands for modifier key β€” Command for Mac and Ctrl for Windows.

Shortcut Action
Mod + Shift + B block quote
Mod + B bold
Mod + I italics
Mod + Shift + 8 bulleted list
Mod + E code
Mod + Alt + C code block
Enter thrice, βŒ„ exit code block
Mod + Alt + 1 heading 1
Mod + Alt + 2 heading 2
Mod + Alt + 3 heading 3
Mod + Alt + 4 heading 4
Mod + Alt + 5 heading 5
Mod + Alt + 1 heading 6
Enter add new list item
Shift + Tab uplift list item
Tab sink list item
Mod + Shift + 7 ordered list
Mod + Alt + 0 set paragraph
Mod + Shift + X strikethrough
Mod + U underline
Mod + Shift + 9 toggle task list
Mod + Shift + L left align text
Mod + Shift + E center align text
Mod + Shift + R right align text
Mod + Shift + J justify text
Mod + Shift + H highlight text
Within a table:  
Tab go to next cell
Shift + Tab go to previous cell
Backspace delete table when all cells are selected
Mod - Backspace delete table when all cells are selected
Delete delete table when all cells are selected
Mod - Delete delete table when all cells are selected

Markdown shortcuts

Markdown shortcuts are triggered by pressing space after the shortcut β€” except for bold and italics. For example, to add a block quote, type > and then tap the spacebar.

Shortcut Action
> block quote
** (text) **, __ bold
* (text) *, _ italics
- bulleted list
` code
```, ~~~ code block
# heading 1
## heading 2
### heading 3
#### heading 4
##### heading 5
###### heading 6
---,--, ___ horizontal divider
any numeric digit ordered list
~~ strikethrough
[] unchecked task
[x] checked task
== highlight

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