Rails Reference and Search

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You're coding your Rails app and you want to lookup how to do something. How do you do this quickly?

This Course

You can refer back to basics that you covered in this course.

Creating Web pages

Intro to Programming

Ruby on Rails


Official Docs

Often you'll need more details than what's covered in a Rails course. As mentioned, the Rails guides are helpful for covering each part of Rails. When you need to know the details of a specific Rails method, look at the Official Rails API docs. You can also view the Rails Docs at APIDock.com, which includes user comments.

(See the Bonus Link Challenge for an example of using Rails documentation.)

Rails Source Code

In rare cases, you may want to look at the Rails source code itself to understand what Rails is doing. You can view the source code on Github or in a dropdown on the documentation pages.

(See the Optional Data Challenge for an example of looking at the Rails source.)


Often the fastest way to find information is to just Google it. This will display links to documentation, tutorials, blog posts and helpful Q&A. It's important to look at the date of the links you click on since you want to make sure you're reading up-to-date material. While sometimes you will find helpful resources that are many years old, you generally should try to read material from within the past two years. You can control the age of results with Google's search tools.


The top google results are often from StackOverflow, which is generally quite helpful. If you can't find an answer to your question, you can ask it yourself on StackOverflow, but make sure you show your research!

(See Also Path to Programming.)

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