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If you're one of the many users moving to AO3 from other fandom spaces where English isn't widely used, we'd like to welcome you—we're so excited to have you! AO3 has some features that may not work the way you're used to, so we'd like to take a moment to go through some of the basics.

Creating an account and introducing yourself

Everyone is welcome on AO3! You don't need to contact Support to provide your fandom history when you want to create an account. If you don't have an account and would like one, check out How do I create an account? Once you're logged in, you have full access to all content on the site.

If you'd like to introduce yourself, you can add that information to your personal biography on your profile page once you're logged in. Check out the How do I edit my profile? question in our FAQ for help! Be aware that any information you add to your profile is available for anyone to access, whether they're logged in or not.

Adding your works

If you'd like to move your works from other forums or blog sites to AO3, you can copy and paste your work manually, or you can use our Import tool. Unfortunately, importing from many sites will bring across a lot of unnecessary code.

We ran a test import from Lofter—a popular site among Chinese-speaking fans—and we've detailed the instructions below, including how to remove the excess code. These instructions may work with other blog sites as well.

  1. When you're logged in, select "Import Work" from the "Post" menu at the top of the page.
  2. Enter the URL(s) of the work(s) you want to import in the first input field.
  3. You shouldn't need to change the custom encoding.
  4. Under "Import as" you can choose to import the URL(s) you entered as separate works, or as chapters in a single work. The default is to import them as separate works.
  5. Under "Preferences", don't select "Post without previewing" as you will need to make edits to the draft. You can choose to "Lock all imports to registered users only" if you would prefer only AO3 users have access to the work.
  6. Select the Rating, Warnings, and Fandom(s) that apply. Note these selections will apply to all the URLs you import. You can edit these later, if necessary.
  7. Fill in any of the other tag options—you can select the blue question mark icon for an explanation (in English) of each of these fields. You can also reference the FAQs (linked below) for a translated explanation.
  8. Enter any Author's Notes you want to include.
  9. Select "Import".
  10. Edit the draft work.
  11. Delete all lines of text and code before the first word and after the last word in the body of your work.
  12. Make any other formatting adjustments as you like. You can select the button "Rich Text" to get a better idea of how the work will appear on the screen.
  13. To save your changes you can:
    • Select "Preview" to check you're happy with the work and then "Post" to publish it, or
    • Choose "Post without Preview" to publish it immediately.
    • To keep it as a draft, you can select "Save Without Posting". Note that a draft is automatically deleted 30 days after it was created.

Our Tutorial: Posting a Work on AO3 and Tutorial: Importing Text Based Works, as well as the Posting and Editing Works FAQ can also help you with any questions you might have about the posting or importing processes.

Tagging your works

On AO3, fanworks are grouped by fandom (that is, the title of the source canon the fanwork is drawn from), not by character or pairing. You can find some examples of these on our Fandom listing page. Fandom is a required tag for each work, while relationships and characters are optional. Unfortunately, entering your ship tag in the Fandom field makes your work very difficult for other users to find, as the site can't link such works with other works about the same ship.

To make best use of our tagging system, and to allow other users to find your work, here are some tips:

  • Put the name of the canonical source material in the Fandom field. That might be a TV show, book or book series, manga or anime, computer game, etc.
    • If you are writing about a real person, we call that Real Person Fiction (or RPF) and use different fandom tags to represent these works. For example, you can tag with the name of the sports team, band name, or if you're writing about an actor you will likely find a RPF variation on the fandom such as Wicked (RPF).
    • If your work is in two fandoms, or a crossover, enter the two fandom names as separate tags.
  • While Relationship and Character tags are not required, users often search for them, so it's a good idea to complete these fields. You can tag in your own language and we will connect your works with others about the same relationship or character.
    • Relationship canonical (or 'official') tags are sorted alphabetically by the characters' family names, according to the Latin alphabet. The Relationships field does not indicate who tops or bottoms, or who doms or subs.
      To indicate who is top/bottom or dom/sub, you can use the Additional Tags field! In this field, use separate tags for each character and use their full names. For example "Top Todoroki Shouto" and "Bottom Midoriya Izuku".

Hiding your works from search engines

When you post or import a work, you can choose to lock the work so that only those who are logged in to an AO3 account can find it. Check out How do I control who can access my works? for how to do this for new or existing works.

If you're importing works, you can check the box under Preferences next to "Lock all imports to registered users only," just below where you paste in the URL(s) to the work(s) you're importing.

Checkbox to lock your works to logged-in users only

Things you can't post

Currently, our Terms of Service are only available in English, which makes it difficult for users who don't speak English to know what is and isn't permitted on the site. So to help you out, here's a non-exhaustive list of content that we don't allow on AO3:

  • "Test" posts, unless they are placed in the "Testing" fandom.
  • Introduction or blog style posts. Please post your introduction in your Profile, as outlined above.
  • Commercial promotion. You may not solicit money from anyone, either in your works, your profile, or comments on yours or other people's works. It doesn't matter if you're asking for donations, selling commissions or doujinshi, or promoting a published work of which you're a fan. This site is strictly non-commercial.
  • Works that directly attack other fans because of the ships they like. You are welcome to post works about whatever ship you like, and to avoid works about ships you don't. However posting works that are attacks on people who ship something you don't like may be ruled as harassment.

Posting these kinds of works may incur penalties on your account.

Where can I get more information?

Our Archive FAQ, and important announcements are a good place to find a wide range of information.

If you're uncertain about what content is allowed, contact Policy & Abuse. If you have questions about the site that aren't answered in our other documents, contact Support. Both teams will be glad to answer any questions you have.

All of these resources are available in a number of languages!

To access the FAQ or News posts in other languages, go to the main menu (below the name of the site) and select "About" and then "FAQ" or "News."

Navigating to the FAQ page

To change the language, select the menu, scroll to the language you'd prefer, and then select the "Go" button.

Changing the language