For clear and consistent communication, it’s important to always use correct terminology. Remember:

  • If you’re unsure which term to use, look for existing terminology in the product.
  • Never create a new term when an existing one is available to you.
  • Be extremely cautious when using jargon and colloquialisms. They can confuse new users and cause problems with internationalization.
  • Consider screen readers and their ability to interpret non-standard terminology.

Following are common terms you will find throughout GitLab.


Projects & Groups


A project is where you house your files (repository), plan your work (issues), and publish your documentation (wiki).


Groups allow you to assemble related projects together and grant members access to several projects at once. Groups can also be nested in subgroups.


Use the term members when discussing the people who are a part of a project or a group. Don’t use the term users.


Users have different abilities depending on the access level they have in a particular group or project. These permission levels are defined under a set of roles. These roles include administrator, owner, maintainer, developer, reporter, and guest.

Comments & Discussions


A comment is a written piece of text that users of GitLab can create. Comments have author and timestamp metadata. Comments can be added in a variety of contexts, such as issues, merge requests, and discussions.


A discussion is a group of 1 or more comments. A discussion can include subdiscussions. Some discussions have the special capability of being able to be resolved. Both the comments in the discussion and the discussion itself can be resolved.

Issues & Merge Requests


Issues can have endless applications. They allow you, your team, and your collaborators to share and discuss proposals before and while implementing them.

Merge Requests

Merge requests allow you to exchange changes you made to source code and collaborate with other people on the same project.


Milestones in GitLab are a way to track issues and merge requests created to achieve a broader goal in a certain period of time. Milestones allow you to organize issues and merge requests into a cohesive group, with an optional start date and an optional due date.


Activity refers to any action taken by a user that results in the creation of a system note. Commenting, resolving/opening an issue, resolving/opening a merge request, and creating/deleting a branch are all types of activities.

Settings & Configuration

The term "Settings" should be used within the product for consistent language.

Configure the settings.Configure the configuration.
Set the Show default award emojis setting to true.Set the Show default award emojis property to true.
Set the Show default award emojis configuration to true.
The script deploys our setup configuration.The script deploys our setup settings.


A setting changes the default behavior of the product. A setting consists of a key/value pair, typically represented by a label with one or more options.


A configuration is a collection of settings commonly associated with setup and installation to determine the foundation of execution.


Preferences are a collection of user-specific, system-level settings like theme and layout.

Verbs & adjectives

When using verbs or adjectives:

If the context clearly refers to the object, use them alone.

  • Example: Edit or Closed

If the context isn’t clear enough, use them with the object.

  • Example: Edit issue or Closed issues

Destruction buttons should be clear and always say what they are destroying.

  • Example: Delete page instead of just Delete

Buttons that copy content to the clipboard don’t need the “to clipboard” part.

  • Example: Copy branch name instead of Copy branch name to clipboard
Add comprehensive list of terminology Do/Don’t Create an issue

Frequently confused words

Authentication: sign in and sign-in

As noted in our Documentation style guide, we use sign in (verb) and sign-in (noun) instead of log in (verb) and login (noun).

  • Usage: You can sign in using the sign-in screen.
  • Related: You can sign out through the sign-out screen.

Download and Export

Use Download when saving a copy of data to the user's device. The data is already represented by files in GitLab.

  • Example: I want to download pipeline artifacts.

Use Export when translating data into one (or more) standard format(s), which can then be imported elsewhere. The data is not represented by files in GitLab, but needs to be translated into files. Often there are some export options to tweak the output.

  • Example: I want to export the content of a Vulnerability Report to CSV format.

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