Read The F###ing Manual

What Does Read The F###ing Manual Mean?

Read the f####ing manual (RTFM) is an expression of frustration that arises when people post, tweet or otherwise publish requests for information that is readily available in an instruction manual. RTFM is frequently found in response to forum posts about how to set up a particular product, install new software or do a particular task using an application. RTFM is not limited to technology, however, as many do-it-yourself forums have adopted it to deal with posts from people simply looking for a quick answer as opposed to having a genuine interest in the topic or forum.


Techopedia Explains Read The F###ing Manual

Many forums and DIY groups are formed by people who genuinely want to learn, and may be offended when someone pops in to ask questions and save the trouble of doing any research on their own. It’s not hard to spot questions that are worthy of a snide RTFM. Some common ones are how to change the language settings on a machine or how to set the time – two things that are usually addressed clearly in any user manual. Some people find RTFM rude – which is true – but others point out that the Internet is not an excuse to be lazy. Moreover, many manuals for technology products are online, searchable and more authoritative than some guy in a forum. So read the f####ing manual, please.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…