Copilot for Docs

Whether you’re learning a new library or API or you’ve been using it for years, it can feel like the documentation gets in your way more than it helps. Maybe the tutorials are too basic, or the reference manual is too sketchy, or the relevant information is split across multiple pages full of irrelevant details.

We’re exploring a way to get you the information you need, faster. By surfacing the most relevant content for questions with tailored summaries that help connect the dots, Copilot for docs saves developers from scouring reams of documentation.

This is a concluded exploration by GitHub Next.
GitHub may or or may not release products related to this research in the future.
The Copilot for Docs technical preview ended on December 15th, 2023.
Learn more about why it was sunset.
  • Answers you can trust
    Copilot for docs uses the most up-to-date information, written by the library’s maintainers, and supports answers with citations in the original docs.
  • Empowering developers
    Instead of acting like an oracle, Copilot for docs helps developers grow their understanding of the tools they use by linking to the relevant docs for future reference, right in the response.
  • Personalized content, on the fly
    The ideal answer to a question differs based on a developers’ level of experience, their understanding of a library, and even their current mood! We’re exploring ways to easily provide that context, so that Copilot for docs can provide the most helpful answer, specifically for you.
  • Perpetually fresh content
    By directly sourcing content from GitHub repos, it’s easy to keep the source material up-to-date with the latest version of the docs.
  • Include private content
    Another benefit of sourcing content from GitHub: it’s easy to answer questions about your team’s private content. We can build on top of existing GitHub permissions to provide information that only you or your team can see. We’re already seeing promising results with our own internal GitHub engineering docs!
  • I love how this provided general SQL advice first, then gave contextual information specific to our tooling
    Ian Anderson, Engineer at GitHub

Future directions

We’re still in the early stages of exploring this idea, but have big plans for the future. Here are some of the directions we’ll be exploring:

  • Include other content
    There is a lot of information to be found in GitHub Issues and Discussions
  • Include code
    One of the biggest challenges for docs maintainers is versioning their information. If we source information directly from the code, we can answer questions about any version of the library. This also opens up the possibility of using Copilot for docs to help developers write code or ask questions about a codebase.
  • Combine information across libraries
    Often, developers need to combine information from multiple libraries. For example: how do I use Tailwind with Next.js? Copilot for docs could help look up the relevant information in both libraries and stitch it together into a single answer.
  • Growing a trusted knowledgebase
    Instead of just starting a new thread every time you have a question, we want developers to be able to treat Copilot for docs as a knowledgebase. You can already ⭐️ star threads ⭐️, but what if you could highlight sentences, take notes, or generate bespoke tutorials on-demand? How would it feel to have branching conversations, where you can learn concepts in-depth?
  • The future of writing docs
    Creating and maintaining entire docs sites is a huge amount of work. We want to reduce that barrier: if we can answer most of developers’ questions directly from the code, we can learn what questions are still unanswered and “interview” maintainers. Instead of writing whole docsets, maintainers are prompted to write one paragraph at a time.


We’ve already heard some great feedback from developers who have tried a preview:

Copilot for docs is going to be a game-changer for any tool/product. With its AI-powered assistance, documentation will be easier to consume, and users can find answers without having to read through multiple pages. I believe this feature holds great potential for improving the overall user experience and increasing productivity for both developers and non-technical users.
Elio Struyf, Lead DevTools Engineer at Rapid
Copilot for docs has been instrumental in helping us figure out the necessary functions, roles, and other details. It’s been amazing how much faster we’re able to find the information we need, which is often buried deep in multiple tabs on Azure docs.
Gonzalo Flores Perez, Engineer at GitHub
I love how much I have been able to downsize my workspace because of GitHub Copilot for docs. I don’t even need my super widescreen monitor - just my Mac and iPad.
Jerome Hardaway, Founder of #VetsWhoCode
Man this is ridiculously good
Vincent Dondain, Engineer at GitHub