Helder Berto
Published on

Patterns for Writing Better Git Commit Messages

It's an opinionated guide I keep with me to consult every time I catch myself in doubt if I'm writing nice commit messages with context of what I'm delivering.

A good commit should complete the following sentence

A properly formed Git commit subject line should always be able to complete the following sentence: If applied, this commit <will your subject line here>

Commit Sample

See an example of commit below:

[type](optional scope): [subject]

[optional body]

[optional footer]


Must be one of the following:

  • build - Build related changes
  • ci - CI related changes
  • chore - Build process or auxiliary tool changes
  • docs - Documentation only changes
  • feat - A new feature
  • fix - A bug fix
  • perf - A code change that improves performance
  • refactor - A code change that neither fixes a bug or adds a feature
  • revert - Reverting things
  • style - Markup, white-space, formatting, missing semi-colons...
  • test - Adding missing tests


A scope may be provided to a commit’s type, to provide additional contextual information and is contained within parenthesis, e.g., feat(parser): add the ability to parse arrays.


The subject contains a succinct description of the change:

  • Use the imperative, present tense: "change" not "changed" nor "changes"
  • No dot (.) at the end.


Just as in the subject, use the imperative, present tense: "change" not "changed" nor "changes". The body should include the motivation for the change and contrast this with previous behavior.

The 7 rules of a great commit message:

  • Separate subject from the body with a blank line
  • Limit the subject line to 50 characters
  • Summary in the present tense. Not capitalized.
  • Do not end the subject line with a period
  • Use the imperative mood in the subject line
  • Wrap the body at 72 characters
  • Use the body to explain what and why vs. how

Commit Template

Go to my git commit template