sphinx-all man page

sphinx-all — Sphinx documentation generator system manual


This is the documentation for the Sphinx documentation builder.  Sphinx is a tool that translates a set of reStructuredText source files into various output formats, automatically producing cross-references, indices, etc.  That is, if you have a directory containing a bunch of reST-formatted documents (and possibly subdirectories of docs in there as well), Sphinx can generate a nicely-organized arrangement of HTML files (in some other directory) for easy browsing and navigation.  But from the same source, it can also generate a PDF file using LaTeX.

The focus is on hand-written documentation, rather than auto-generated API docs. Though there is support for that kind of documentation as well (which is intended to be freely mixed with hand-written content), if you need pure API docs have a look at Epydoc, which also understands reST.

For a great “introduction” to writing docs in general – the whys and hows, see also Write the docs, written by Eric Holscher.

Conversion from other systems

This section is intended to collect helpful hints for those wanting to migrate to reStructuredText/Sphinx from other documentation systems.

  • Gerard Flanagan has written a script to convert pure HTML to reST; it can be found at the Python Package Index.
  • For converting the old Python docs to Sphinx, a converter was written which can be found at the Python SVN repository.  It contains generic code to convert Python-doc-style LaTeX markup to Sphinx reST.
  • Marcin Wojdyr has written a script to convert Docbook to reST with Sphinx markup; it is at GitHub.
  • Christophe de Vienne wrote a tool to convert from Open/LibreOffice documents to Sphinx: odt2sphinx.
  • To convert different markups, Pandoc is a very helpful tool.

Use with other systems

See the pertinent section in the FAQ list.


Sphinx needs at least Python 3.5 to run, as well as the docutils and Jinja2 libraries. Sphinx should work with docutils version 0.12 or some (not broken) SVN trunk snapshot.


See /usage/quickstart for an introduction.  It also contains links to more advanced sections in this manual for the topics it discusses.

Installing Sphinx


Sphinx is written in Python and supports Python 3.5+.



Install either python3-sphinx (Python 3) or python-sphinx (Python 2) using apt-get:

$ apt-get install python3-sphinx

If it not already present, this will install Python for you.


Install python-sphinx using yum:

$ yum install python-sphinx

If it not already present, this will install Python for you.

Other distributions

Most Linux distributions have Sphinx in their package repositories.  Usually the package is called python3-sphinx, python-sphinx or sphinx.  Be aware that there are at least two other packages with sphinx in their name: a speech recognition toolkit (CMU Sphinx) and a full-text search database (Sphinx search).


Sphinx can be installed using Homebrew, MacPorts, or as part of a Python distribution such as Anaconda.


$ brew install sphinx-doc

For more information, refer to the package overview.


Install either python36-sphinx (Python 3) or python27-sphinx (Python 2) using port:

$ sudo port install py36-sphinx

To set up the executable paths, use the port select command:

$ sudo port select --set python python36
$ sudo port select --set sphinx py36-sphinx

For more information, refer to the package overview.


$ conda install sphinx



Could we start packaging this?

Most Windows users do not have Python installed by default, so we begin with the installation of Python itself.  If you are unsure, open the Command Prompt (⊞Win-r and type cmd).  Once the command prompt is open, type python --version and press Enter.  If Python is available, you will see the version of Python printed to the screen.  If you do not have Python installed, refer to the Hitchhikers Guide to Python’s Python on Windows installation guides. You must install Python 3.

Once Python is installed, you can install Sphinx using pip.  Refer to the pip installation instructions below for more information.

Installation from PyPI

Sphinx packages are published on the Python Package Index.  The preferred tool for installing packages from PyPI is pip.  This tool is provided with all modern versions of Python.

On Linux or MacOS, you should open your terminal and run the following command.

$ pip install -U sphinx

On Windows, you should open Command Prompt (⊞Win-r and type cmd) and run the same command.

C:\> pip install -U sphinx

After installation, type sphinx-build --version on the command prompt.  If everything worked fine, you will see the version number for the Sphinx package you just installed.

Installation from PyPI also allows you to install the latest development release.  You will not generally need (or want) to do this, but it can be useful if you see a possible bug in the latest stable release.  To do this, use the --pre flag.

$ pip install -U --pre sphinx

Installation from source

You can install Sphinx directly from a clone of the Git repository.  This can be done either by cloning the repo and installing from the local clone, on simply installing directly via git.

$ git clone https://github.com/sphinx-doc/sphinx
$ cd sphinx
$ pip install .
$ pip install git+https://github.com/sphinx-doc/sphinx

You can also download a snapshot of the Git repo in either tar.gz or zip format.  Once downloaded and extracted, these can be installed with pip as above.

Getting Started

Once Sphinx is installed, you can proceed with setting up your first Sphinx project. To ease the process of getting started, Sphinx provides a tool, sphinx-quickstart, which will generate a documentation source directory and populate it with some defaults. We’re going to use the sphinx-quickstart tool here, though it’s use by no means necessary.

Setting up the documentation sources

The root directory of a Sphinx collection of reStructuredText document sources is called the source directory.  This directory also contains the Sphinx configuration file conf.py, where you can configure all aspects of how Sphinx reads your sources and builds your documentation.  [1]

Sphinx comes with a script called sphinx-quickstart that sets up a source directory and creates a default conf.py with the most useful configuration values from a few questions it asks you. To use this, run:

$ sphinx-quickstart

Answer each question asked. Be sure to say yes to the autodoc extension, as we will use this later.

There is also an automatic “API documentation” generator called sphinx-apidoc; see /man/sphinx-apidoc for details.

Defining document structure

Let’s assume you’ve run sphinx-quickstart.  It created a source directory with conf.py and a master document, index.rst (if you accepted the defaults).  The main function of the master document is to serve as a welcome page, and to contain the root of the “table of contents tree” (or toctree).  This is one of the main things that Sphinx adds to reStructuredText, a way to connect multiple files to a single hierarchy of documents.

reStructuredText directives

toctree is a reStructuredText directive, a very versatile piece of markup.  Directives can have arguments, options and content.

Arguments are given directly after the double colon following the directive’s name.  Each directive decides whether it can have arguments, and how many.

Options are given after the arguments, in form of a “field list”.  The maxdepth is such an option for the toctree directive.

Content follows the options or arguments after a blank line.  Each directive decides whether to allow content, and what to do with it.

A common gotcha with directives is that the first line of the content must be indented to the same level as the options are.

The toctree directive initially is empty, and looks like so:

.. toctree::
   :maxdepth: 2

You add documents listing them in the content of the directive:

.. toctree::
   :maxdepth: 2


This is exactly how the toctree for this documentation looks.  The documents to include are given as document names, which in short means that you leave off the file name extension and use forward slashes (/) as directory separators.

[image: more info] [image]
Read more about the toctree directive.

You can now create the files you listed in the toctree and add content, and their section titles will be inserted (up to the maxdepth level) at the place where the toctree directive is placed.  Also, Sphinx now knows about the order and hierarchy of your documents.  (They may contain toctree directives themselves, which means you can create deeply nested hierarchies if necessary.)

Adding content

In Sphinx source files, you can use most features of standard reStructuredText.  There are also several features added by Sphinx. For example, you can add cross-file references in a portable way (which works for all output types) using the ref role.

For an example, if you are viewing the HTML version you can look at the source for this document – use the “Show Source” link in the sidebar.


Update the below link when we add new guides on these.

[image: more info] [image]
See /usage/restructuredtext/index for a more in-depth introduction to reStructuredText, including markup added by Sphinx.

Running the build

Now that you have added some files and content, let’s make a first build of the docs.  A build is started with the sphinx-build program:

$ sphinx-build -b html sourcedir builddir

where sourcedir is the source directory, and builddir is the directory in which you want to place the built documentation. The -b option selects a builder; in this example Sphinx will build HTML files.

[image: more info] [image]
Refer to the sphinx-build man page for all options that sphinx-build supports.

However, sphinx-quickstart script creates a Makefile and a make.bat which make life even easier for you. These can be executed by running make with the name of the builder. For example.

$ make html

This will build HTML docs in the build directory you chose. Execute make without an argument to see which targets are available.

How do I generate PDF documents?

make latexpdf runs the LaTeX builder and readily invokes the pdfTeX toolchain for you.


Move this whole section into a guide on rST or directives

Documenting objects

One of Sphinx’s main objectives is easy documentation of objects (in a very general sense) in any domain.  A domain is a collection of object types that belong together, complete with markup to create and reference descriptions of these objects.

The most prominent domain is the Python domain. For example, to document Python’s built-in function enumerate(), you would add this to one of your source files.

.. py:function:: enumerate(sequence[, start=0])

   Return an iterator that yields tuples of an index and an item of the
   *sequence*. (And so on.)

This is rendered like this:

enumerate(sequence[, start=0])

Return an iterator that yields tuples of an index and an item of the sequence. (And so on.)

The argument of the directive is the signature of the object you describe, the content is the documentation for it.  Multiple signatures can be given, each in its own line.

The Python domain also happens to be the default domain, so you don’t need to prefix the markup with the domain name.

.. function:: enumerate(sequence[, start=0])


does the same job if you keep the default setting for the default domain.

There are several more directives for documenting other types of Python objects, for example py:class or py:method.  There is also a cross-referencing role for each of these object types.  This markup will create a link to the documentation of enumerate().

The :py:func:`enumerate` function can be used for ...

And here is the proof: A link to enumerate().

Again, the py: can be left out if the Python domain is the default one.  It doesn’t matter which file contains the actual documentation for enumerate(); Sphinx will find it and create a link to it.

Each domain will have special rules for how the signatures can look like, and make the formatted output look pretty, or add specific features like links to parameter types, e.g. in the C/C++ domains.

[image: more info] [image]
See /usage/restructuredtext/domains for all the available domains and their directives/roles.

Basic configuration

Earlier we mentioned that the conf.py file controls how Sphinx processes your documents.  In that file, which is executed as a Python source file, you assign configuration values.  For advanced users: since it is executed by Sphinx, you can do non-trivial tasks in it, like extending sys.path or importing a module to find out the version you are documenting.

The config values that you probably want to change are already put into the conf.py by sphinx-quickstart and initially commented out (with standard Python syntax: a # comments the rest of the line).  To change the default value, remove the hash sign and modify the value.  To customize a config value that is not automatically added by sphinx-quickstart, just add an additional assignment.

Keep in mind that the file uses Python syntax for strings, numbers, lists and so on.  The file is saved in UTF-8 by default, as indicated by the encoding declaration in the first line.  If you use non-ASCII characters in any string value, you need to use Python Unicode strings (like project = u'Exposé').

[image: more info] [image]
See /usage/configuration for documentation of all available config values.


Move this entire doc to a different section


When documenting Python code, it is common to put a lot of documentation in the source files, in documentation strings.  Sphinx supports the inclusion of docstrings from your modules with an extension (an extension is a Python module that provides additional features for Sphinx projects) called autodoc.

In order to use autodoc, you need to activate it in conf.py by putting the string 'sphinx.ext.autodoc' into the list assigned to the extensions config value.  Then, you have a few additional directives at your disposal.

For example, to document the function io.open(), reading its signature and docstring from the source file, you’d write this:

.. autofunction:: io.open

You can also document whole classes or even modules automatically, using member options for the auto directives, like

.. automodule:: io

autodoc needs to import your modules in order to extract the docstrings. Therefore, you must add the appropriate path to sys.path in your conf.py.


autodoc imports the modules to be documented.  If any modules have side effects on import, these will be executed by autodoc when sphinx-build is run.

If you document scripts (as opposed to library modules), make sure their main routine is protected by a if __name__ == '__main__' condition.

[image: more info] [image]
See sphinx.ext.autodoc for the complete description of the features of autodoc.


Move this doc to another section


Many Sphinx documents including the Python documentation are published on the Internet.  When you want to make links to such documents from your documentation, you can do it with sphinx.ext.intersphinx.

In order to use intersphinx, you need to activate it in conf.py by putting the string 'sphinx.ext.intersphinx' into the extensions list and set up the intersphinx_mapping config value.

For example, to link to io.open() in the Python library manual, you need to setup your intersphinx_mapping like:

intersphinx_mapping = {'python': ('https://docs.python.org/3', None)}

And now, you can write a cross-reference like :py:func:`io.open`.  Any cross-reference that has no matching target in the current documentation set, will be looked up in the documentation sets configured in intersphinx_mapping (this needs access to the URL in order to download the list of valid targets).  Intersphinx also works for some other domain’s roles including :ref:, however it doesn’t work for :doc: as that is non-domain role.

[image: more info] [image]
See sphinx.ext.intersphinx for the complete description of the features of intersphinx.

More topics to be covered

  • Other extensions:
  • Static files
  • Selecting a theme
  • /usage/advanced/setuptools
  • Templating
  • Using extensions
  • Writing extensions



This is the usual layout.  However, conf.py can also live in another directory, the configuration directory.  Refer to the sphinx-build man page for more information.


reStructuredText (reST) is the default plaintext markup language used by both Docutils and Sphinx. Docutils provides the basic reStructuredText syntax, while Sphinx extends this to support additional functionality.

The below guides go through the most important aspects of reST. For the authoritative reStructuredText reference, refer to the docutils documentation.

reStructuredText Primer

reStructuredText is the default plaintext markup language used by Sphinx.  This section is a brief introduction to reStructuredText (reST) concepts and syntax, intended to provide authors with enough information to author documents productively.  Since reST was designed to be a simple, unobtrusive markup language, this will not take too long.


The authoritative reStructuredText User Documentation.  The “ref” links in this document link to the description of the individual constructs in the reST reference.


The paragraph (ref) is the most basic block in a reST document.  Paragraphs are simply chunks of text separated by one or more blank lines.  As in Python, indentation is significant in reST, so all lines of the same paragraph must be left-aligned to the same level of indentation.

Inline markup

The standard reST inline markup is quite simple: use

  • one asterisk: *text* for emphasis (italics),
  • two asterisks: **text** for strong emphasis (boldface), and
  • backquotes: ``text`` for code samples.

If asterisks or backquotes appear in running text and could be confused with inline markup delimiters, they have to be escaped with a backslash.

Be aware of some restrictions of this markup:

  • it may not be nested,
  • content may not start or end with whitespace: * text* is wrong,
  • it must be separated from surrounding text by non-word characters.  Use a backslash escaped space to work around that: thisis\ *one*\ word.

These restrictions may be lifted in future versions of the docutils.

It is also possible to replace or expand upon some of this inline markup with roles. Refer to Roles for more information.

Lists and Quote-like blocks

List markup (ref) is natural: just place an asterisk at the start of a paragraph and indent properly.  The same goes for numbered lists; they can also be autonumbered using a # sign:

* This is a bulleted list.
* It has two items, the second
  item uses two lines.

1. This is a numbered list.
2. It has two items too.

#. This is a numbered list.
#. It has two items too.

Nested lists are possible, but be aware that they must be separated from the parent list items by blank lines:

* this is
* a list

  * with a nested list
  * and some subitems

* and here the parent list continues

Definition lists (ref) are created as follows:

term (up to a line of text)
   Definition of the term, which must be indented

   and can even consist of multiple paragraphs

next term

Note that the term cannot have more than one line of text.

Quoted paragraphs (ref) are created by just indenting them more than the surrounding paragraphs.

Line blocks (ref) are a way of preserving line breaks:

| These lines are
| broken exactly like in
| the source file.

There are also several more special blocks available:

  • field lists (ref, with caveats noted in Field Lists)
  • option lists (ref)
  • quoted literal blocks (ref)
  • doctest blocks (ref)

Literal blocks

Literal code blocks (ref) are introduced by ending a paragraph with the special marker ::.  The literal block must be indented (and, like all paragraphs, separated from the surrounding ones by blank lines):

This is a normal text paragraph. The next paragraph is a code sample::

   It is not processed in any way, except
   that the indentation is removed.

   It can span multiple lines.

This is a normal text paragraph again.

The handling of the :: marker is smart:

  • If it occurs as a paragraph of its own, that paragraph is completely left out of the document.
  • If it is preceded by whitespace, the marker is removed.
  • If it is preceded by non-whitespace, the marker is replaced by a single colon.

That way, the second sentence in the above example’s first paragraph would be rendered as “The next paragraph is a code sample:”.

Code highlighting can be enabled for these literal blocks on a document-wide basis using the highlight directive and on a project-wide basis using the highlight_language configuration option. The code-block directive can be used to set highlighting on a block-by-block basis. These directives are discussed later.

Doctest blocks

Doctest blocks (ref) are interactive Python sessions cut-and-pasted into docstrings. They do not require the literal blocks syntax. The doctest block must end with a blank line and should not end with with an unused prompt:

>>> 1 + 1


For grid tables (ref), you have to “paint” the cell grid yourself.  They look like this:

| Header row, column 1   | Header 2   | Header 3 | Header 4 |
| (header rows optional) |            |          |          |
| body row 1, column 1   | column 2   | column 3 | column 4 |
| body row 2             | ...        | ...      |          |

Simple tables (ref) are easier to write, but limited: they must contain more than one row, and the first column cells cannot contain multiple lines.  They look like this:

=====  =====  =======
A      B      A and B
=====  =====  =======
False  False  False
True   False  False
False  True   False
True   True   True
=====  =====  =======

Two more syntaxes are supported: CSV tables and List tables. They use an explicit markup block. Refer to table-directives for more information.


Section headers (ref) are created by underlining (and optionally overlining) the section title with a punctuation character, at least as long as the text:

This is a heading

Normally, there are no heading levels assigned to certain characters as the structure is determined from the succession of headings.  However, this convention is used in Python’s Style Guide for documenting which you may follow:

  • # with overline, for parts
  • * with overline, for chapters
  • =, for sections
  • -, for subsections
  • ^, for subsubsections
  • ", for paragraphs

Of course, you are free to use your own marker characters (see the reST documentation), and use a deeper nesting level, but keep in mind that most target formats (HTML, LaTeX) have a limited supported nesting depth.

Field Lists

Field lists (ref) are sequences of fields marked up like this:

:fieldname: Field content

They are commonly used in Python documentation:

def my_function(my_arg, my_other_arg):
    """A function just for me.

    :param my_arg: The first of my arguments.
    :param my_other_arg: The second of my arguments.

    :returns: A message (just for me, of course).

Sphinx extends standard docutils behavior and intercepts field lists specified at the beginning of documents.  Refer to field-lists for more information.


A role or “custom interpreted text role” (ref) is an inline piece of explicit markup. It signifies that that the enclosed text should be interpreted in a specific way.  Sphinx uses this to provide semantic markup and cross-referencing of identifiers, as described in the appropriate section.  The general syntax is :rolename:`content`.

Docutils supports the following roles:

  • emphasis – equivalent of *emphasis*
  • strong – equivalent of **strong**
  • literal – equivalent of ``literal``
  • subscript – subscript text
  • superscript – superscript text
  • title-reference – for titles of books, periodicals, and other materials

Refer to roles for roles added by Sphinx.

Explicit Markup

“Explicit markup” (ref) is used in reST for most constructs that need special handling, such as footnotes, specially-highlighted paragraphs, comments, and generic directives.

An explicit markup block begins with a line starting with .. followed by whitespace and is terminated by the next paragraph at the same level of indentation.  (There needs to be a blank line between explicit markup and normal paragraphs.  This may all sound a bit complicated, but it is intuitive enough when you write it.)


A directive (ref) is a generic block of explicit markup. Along with roles, it is one of the extension mechanisms of reST, and Sphinx makes heavy use of it.

Docutils supports the following directives:

  • Admonitions: attention, caution, danger, error, hint, important, note, tip, warning and the generic admonition.  (Most themes style only “note” and “warning” specially.)
  • Images:

    • image (see also Images below)
    • figure (an image with caption and optional legend)
  • Additional body elements:

    • contents (a local, i.e. for the current file only, table of contents)
    • container (a container with a custom class, useful to generate an outer <div> in HTML)
    • rubric (a heading without relation to the document sectioning)
    • topic, sidebar (special highlighted body elements)
    • parsed-literal (literal block that supports inline markup)
    • epigraph (a block quote with optional attribution line)
    • highlights, pull-quote (block quotes with their own class attribute)
    • compound (a compound paragraph)
  • Special tables:

    • table (a table with title)
    • csv-table (a table generated from comma-separated values)
    • list-table (a table generated from a list of lists)
  • Special directives:

    • raw (include raw target-format markup)
    • include (include reStructuredText from another file) – in Sphinx, when given an absolute include file path, this directive takes it as relative to the source directory
    • class (assign a class attribute to the next element) [1]
  • HTML specifics:

    • meta (generation of HTML <meta> tags)
    • title (override document title)
  • Influencing markup:

    • default-role (set a new default role)
    • role (create a new role)

    Since these are only per-file, better use Sphinx’s facilities for setting the default_role.


Do not use the directives sectnum, header and footer.

Directives added by Sphinx are described in directives.

Basically, a directive consists of a name, arguments, options and content. (Keep this terminology in mind, it is used in the next chapter describing custom directives.)  Looking at this example,

.. function:: foo(x)
              foo(y, z)
   :module: some.module.name

   Return a line of text input from the user.

function is the directive name.  It is given two arguments here, the remainder of the first line and the second line, as well as one option module (as you can see, options are given in the lines immediately following the arguments and indicated by the colons).  Options must be indented to the same level as the directive content.

The directive content follows after a blank line and is indented relative to the directive start.


reST supports an image directive (ref), used like so:

.. image:: gnu.png

When used within Sphinx, the file name given (here gnu.png) must either be relative to the source file, or absolute which means that they are relative to the top source directory.  For example, the file sketch/spam.rst could refer to the image images/spam.png as ../images/spam.png or /images/spam.png.

Sphinx will automatically copy image files over to a subdirectory of the output directory on building (e.g. the _static directory for HTML output.)

Interpretation of image size options (width and height) is as follows: if the size has no unit or the unit is pixels, the given size will only be respected for output channels that support pixels. Other units (like pt for points) will be used for HTML and LaTeX output (the latter replaces pt by bp as this is the TeX unit such that 72bp=1in).

Sphinx extends the standard docutils behavior by allowing an asterisk for the extension:

.. image:: gnu.*

Sphinx then searches for all images matching the provided pattern and determines their type.  Each builder then chooses the best image out of these candidates.  For instance, if the file name gnu.* was given and two files gnu.pdf and gnu.png existed in the source tree, the LaTeX builder would choose the former, while the HTML builder would prefer the latter.  Supported image types and choosing priority are defined at /usage/builders/index.

Note that image file names should not contain spaces.

Changed in version 0.4: Added the support for file names ending in an asterisk.

Changed in version 0.6: Image paths can now be absolute.

Changed in version 1.5: latex target supports pixels (default is 96px=1in).


For footnotes (ref), use [#name]_ to mark the footnote location, and add the footnote body at the bottom of the document after a “Footnotes” rubric heading, like so:

Lorem ipsum [#f1]_ dolor sit amet ... [#f2]_

.. rubric:: Footnotes

.. [#f1] Text of the first footnote.
.. [#f2] Text of the second footnote.

You can also explicitly number the footnotes ([1]_) or use auto-numbered footnotes without names ([#]_).


Standard reST citations (ref) are supported, with the additional feature that they are “global”, i.e. all citations can be referenced from all files.  Use them like so:

Lorem ipsum [Ref]_ dolor sit amet.

.. [Ref] Book or article reference, URL or whatever.

Citation usage is similar to footnote usage, but with a label that is not numeric or begins with #.


reST supports “substitutions” (ref), which are pieces of text and/or markup referred to in the text by |name|.  They are defined like footnotes with explicit markup blocks, like this:

.. |name| replace:: replacement *text*

or this:

.. |caution| image:: warning.png
             :alt: Warning!

See the reST reference for substitutions for details.

If you want to use some substitutions for all documents, put them into rst_prolog or rst_epilog or put them into a separate file and include it into all documents you want to use them in, using the include directive.  (Be sure to give the include file a file name extension differing from that of other source files, to avoid Sphinx finding it as a standalone document.)

Sphinx defines some default substitutions, see default-substitutions.


Every explicit markup block which isn’t a valid markup construct (like the footnotes above) is regarded as a comment (ref).  For example:

.. This is a comment.

You can indent text after a comment start to form multiline comments:

   This whole indented block
   is a comment.

   Still in the comment.

Source encoding

Since the easiest way to include special characters like em dashes or copyright signs in reST is to directly write them as Unicode characters, one has to specify an encoding.  Sphinx assumes source files to be encoded in UTF-8 by default; you can change this with the source_encoding config value.


There are some problems one commonly runs into while authoring reST documents:

  • Separation of inline markup: As said above, inline markup spans must be separated from the surrounding text by non-word characters, you have to use a backslash-escaped space to get around that.  See the reference for the details.
  • No nested inline markup: Something like *see :func:`foo`* is not possible.



When the default domain contains a class directive, this directive will be shadowed.  Therefore, Sphinx re-exports it as rst-class.


Sphinx uses interpreted text roles to insert semantic markup into documents. They are written as :rolename:`content`.


The default role (`content`) has no special meaning by default.  You are free to use it for anything you like, e.g. variable names; use the default_role config value to set it to a known role – the any role to find anything or the py:obj role to find Python objects are very useful for this.

See /usage/restructuredtext/domains for roles added by domains.

Cross-referencing syntax

Cross-references are generated by many semantic interpreted text roles. Basically, you only need to write :role:`target`, and a link will be created to the item named target of the type indicated by role.  The link’s text will be the same as target.

There are some additional facilities, however, that make cross-referencing roles more versatile:

  • You may supply an explicit title and reference target, like in reST direct hyperlinks: :role:`title <target>` will refer to target, but the link text will be title.
  • If you prefix the content with !, no reference/hyperlink will be created.
  • If you prefix the content with ~, the link text will only be the last component of the target.  For example, :py:meth:`~Queue.Queue.get` will refer to Queue.Queue.get but only display get as the link text.  This does not work with all cross-reference roles, but is domain specific.

    In HTML output, the link’s title attribute (that is e.g. shown as a tool-tip on mouse-hover) will always be the full target name.

Cross-referencing anything


New in version 1.3.

This convenience role tries to do its best to find a valid target for its reference text.

  • First, it tries standard cross-reference targets that would be referenced by doc, ref or option.

    Custom objects added to the standard domain by extensions (see Sphinx.add_object_type()) are also searched.

  • Then, it looks for objects (targets) in all loaded domains.  It is up to the domains how specific a match must be.  For example, in the Python domain a reference of :any:`Builder` would match the sphinx.builders.Builder class.

If none or multiple targets are found, a warning will be emitted.  In the case of multiple targets, you can change “any” to a specific role.

This role is a good candidate for setting default_role.  If you do, you can write cross-references without a lot of markup overhead.  For example, in this Python function documentation

.. function:: install()

   This function installs a `handler` for every signal known by the
   `signal` module.  See the section `about-signals` for more information.

there could be references to a glossary term (usually :term:`handler`), a Python module (usually :py:mod:`signal` or :mod:`signal`) and a section (usually :ref:`about-signals`).

The any role also works together with the intersphinx extension: when no local cross-reference is found, all object types of intersphinx inventories are also searched.

Cross-referencing objects

These roles are described with their respective domains:

  • Python
  • C
  • C++
  • JavaScript
  • ReST

Cross-referencing arbitrary locations


To support cross-referencing to arbitrary locations in any document, the standard reST labels are used.  For this to work label names must be unique throughout the entire documentation.  There are two ways in which you can refer to labels:

  • If you place a label directly before a section title, you can reference to it with :ref:`label-name`.  For example:

    .. _my-reference-label:
    Section to cross-reference
    This is the text of the section.
    It refers to the section itself, see :ref:`my-reference-label`.

    The :ref: role would then generate a link to the section, with the link title being “Section to cross-reference”.  This works just as well when section and reference are in different source files.

    Automatic labels also work with figures. For example:

    .. _my-figure:
    .. figure:: whatever
       Figure caption

    In this case, a  reference :ref:`my-figure` would insert a reference to the figure with link text “Figure caption”.

    The same works for tables that are given an explicit caption using the table directive.

  • Labels that aren’t placed before a section title can still be referenced, but you must give the link an explicit title, using this syntax: :ref:`Link title <label-name>`.

Reference labels must start with an underscore. When referencing a label, the underscore must be omitted (see examples above).

Using ref is advised over standard reStructuredText links to sections (like `Section title`_) because it works across files, when section headings are changed, will raise warnings if incorrect, and works for all builders that support cross-references.

Cross-referencing documents

New in version 0.6.

There is also a way to directly link to documents:


Link to the specified document; the document name can be specified in absolute or relative fashion.  For example, if the reference :doc:`parrot` occurs in the document sketches/index, then the link refers to sketches/parrot.  If the reference is :doc:`/people` or :doc:`../people`, the link refers to people.

If no explicit link text is given (like usual: :doc:`Monty Python members </people>`), the link caption will be the title of the given document.

Referencing downloadable files

New in version 0.6.


This role lets you link to files within your source tree that are not reST documents that can be viewed, but files that can be downloaded.

When you use this role, the referenced file is automatically marked for inclusion in the output when building (obviously, for HTML output only). All downloadable files are put into the _downloads subdirectory of the output directory; duplicate filenames are handled.

An example:

See :download:`this example script <../example.py>`.

The given filename is usually relative to the directory the current source file is contained in, but if it absolute (starting with /), it is taken as relative to the top source directory.

The example.py file will be copied to the output directory, and a suitable link generated to it.

Not to show unavailable download links, you should wrap whole paragraphs that have this role:

.. only:: builder_html

   See :download:`this example script <../example.py>`.

Cross-referencing figures by figure number

New in version 1.3.

Changed in version 1.5: numref role can also refer sections. And numref allows {name} for the link text.


Link to the specified figures, tables, code-blocks and sections; the standard reST labels are used.  When you use this role, it will insert a reference to the figure with link text by its figure number like “Fig. 1.1”.

If an explicit link text is given (as usual: :numref:`Image of Sphinx (Fig. %s) <my-figure>`), the link caption will serve as title of the reference. As placeholders, %s and {number} get replaced by the figure number and  {name} by the figure caption. If no explicit link text is given, the numfig_format setting is used as fall-back default.

If numfig is False, figures are not numbered, so this role inserts not a reference but the label or the link text.

Cross-referencing other items of interest

The following roles do possibly create a cross-reference, but do not refer to objects:


An environment variable.  Index entries are generated.  Also generates a link to the matching envvar directive, if it exists.


The name of a grammar token (used to create links between productionlist directives).


The name of a keyword in Python.  This creates a link to a reference label with that name, if it exists.


A command-line option to an executable program.  This generates a link to a option directive, if it exists.

The following role creates a cross-reference to a term in a glossary:


Reference to a term in a glossary.  A glossary is created using the glossary directive containing a definition list with terms and definitions.  It does not have to be in the same file as the term markup, for example the Python docs have one global glossary in the glossary.rst file.

If you use a term that’s not explained in a glossary, you’ll get a warning during build.



Role for inline math.  Use like this:

Since Pythagoras, we know that :math:`a^2 + b^2 = c^2`.

Same as math:numref.

Other semantic markup

The following roles don’t do anything special except formatting the text in a different style:


An abbreviation.  If the role content contains a parenthesized explanation, it will be treated specially: it will be shown in a tool-tip in HTML, and output only once in LaTeX.

Example: :abbr:`LIFO (last-in, first-out)`.

New in version 0.6.


The name of an OS-level command, such as rm.


Mark the defining instance of a term in the text.  (No index entries are generated.)


The name of a file or directory.  Within the contents, you can use curly braces to indicate a “variable” part, for example:

... is installed in :file:`/usr/lib/python2.{x}/site-packages` ...

In the built documentation, the x will be displayed differently to indicate that it is to be replaced by the Python minor version.


Labels presented as part of an interactive user interface should be marked using guilabel.  This includes labels from text-based interfaces such as those created using curses or other text-based libraries.  Any label used in the interface should be marked with this role, including button labels, window titles, field names, menu and menu selection names, and even values in selection lists.

Changed in version 1.0: An accelerator key for the GUI label can be included using an ampersand; this will be stripped and displayed underlined in the output (example: :guilabel:`&Cancel`).  To include a literal ampersand, double it.


Mark a sequence of keystrokes.  What form the key sequence takes may depend on platform- or application-specific conventions.  When there are no relevant conventions, the names of modifier keys should be spelled out, to improve accessibility for new users and non-native speakers.  For example, an xemacs key sequence may be marked like :kbd:`C-x C-f`, but without reference to a specific application or platform, the same sequence should be marked as :kbd:`Control-x Control-f`.


The name of an RFC 822-style mail header.  This markup does not imply that the header is being used in an email message, but can be used to refer to any header of the same “style.”  This is also used for headers defined by the various MIME specifications.  The header name should be entered in the same way it would normally be found in practice, with the camel-casing conventions being preferred where there is more than one common usage. For example: :mailheader:`Content-Type`.


The name of a make variable.


A reference to a Unix manual page including the section, e.g. :manpage:`ls(1)`. Creates a hyperlink to an external site rendering the manpage if manpages_url is defined.


Menu selections should be marked using the menuselection role.  This is used to mark a complete sequence of menu selections, including selecting submenus and choosing a specific operation, or any subsequence of such a sequence.  The names of individual selections should be separated by -->.

For example, to mark the selection “Start > Programs”, use this markup:

:menuselection:`Start --> Programs`

When including a selection that includes some trailing indicator, such as the ellipsis some operating systems use to indicate that the command opens a dialog, the indicator should be omitted from the selection name.

menuselection also supports ampersand accelerators just like guilabel.


The name of a MIME type, or a component of a MIME type (the major or minor portion, taken alone).


The name of a Usenet newsgroup.


Is this not part of the standard domain?


The name of an executable program.  This may differ from the file name for the executable for some platforms.  In particular, the .exe (or other) extension should be omitted for Windows programs.


A regular expression. Quotes should not be included.


A piece of literal text, such as code.  Within the contents, you can use curly braces to indicate a “variable” part, as in file.  For example, in :samp:`print 1+{variable}`, the part variable would be emphasized.

If you don’t need the “variable part” indication, use the standard ``code`` instead.

Changed in version 1.8: Allowed to escape curly braces with backslash

There is also an index role to generate index entries.

The following roles generate external links:


A reference to a Python Enhancement Proposal.  This generates appropriate index entries. The text “PEP number” is generated; in the HTML output, this text is a hyperlink to an online copy of the specified PEP.  You can link to a specific section by saying :pep:`number#anchor`.


A reference to an Internet Request for Comments.  This generates appropriate index entries. The text “RFC number” is generated; in the HTML output, this text is a hyperlink to an online copy of the specified RFC.  You can link to a specific section by saying :rfc:`number#anchor`.

Note that there are no special roles for including hyperlinks as you can use the standard reST markup for that purpose.


The documentation system provides three substitutions that are defined by default. They are set in the build configuration file.


Replaced by the project release the documentation refers to.  This is meant to be the full version string including alpha/beta/release candidate tags, e.g. 2.5.2b3.  Set by release.


Replaced by the project version the documentation refers to. This is meant to consist only of the major and minor version parts, e.g. 2.5, even for version 2.5.1.  Set by version.


Replaced by either today’s date (the date on which the document is read), or the date set in the build configuration file.  Normally has the format April 14, 2007.  Set by today_fmt and today.


As previously discussed, a directive is a generic block of explicit markup. While Docutils provides a number of directives, Sphinx provides many more and uses directives as one of the primary extension mechanisms.

See /usage/restructuredtext/domains for roles added by domains.


Refer to the reStructuredText Primer for an overview of the directives provided by Docutils.

Table of contents

Since reST does not have facilities to interconnect several documents, or split documents into multiple output files, Sphinx uses a custom directive to add relations between the single files the documentation is made of, as well as tables of contents.  The toctree directive is the central element.


Simple “inclusion” of one file in another can be done with the include directive.


For local tables of contents, use the standard reST contents directive.

.. toctree::

This directive inserts a “TOC tree” at the current location, using the individual TOCs (including “sub-TOC trees”) of the documents given in the directive body.  Relative document names (not beginning with a slash) are relative to the document the directive occurs in, absolute names are relative to the source directory.  A numeric maxdepth option may be given to indicate the depth of the tree; by default, all levels are included. [1]

Consider this example (taken from the Python docs’ library reference index):

.. toctree::
   :maxdepth: 2

   (many more documents listed here)

This accomplishes two things:

  • Tables of contents from all those documents are inserted, with a maximum depth of two, that means one nested heading.  toctree directives in those documents are also taken into account.
  • Sphinx knows the relative order of the documents intro, strings and so forth, and it knows that they are children of the shown document, the library index.  From this information it generates “next chapter”, “previous chapter” and “parent chapter” links.


Document titles in the toctree will be automatically read from the title of the referenced document. If that isn’t what you want, you can specify an explicit title and target using a similar syntax to reST hyperlinks (and Sphinx’s cross-referencing syntax). This looks like:

.. toctree::

   All about strings <strings>

The second line above will link to the strings document, but will use the title “All about strings” instead of the title of the strings document.

You can also add external links, by giving an HTTP URL instead of a document name.

Section numbering

If you want to have section numbers even in HTML output, give the toplevel toctree a numbered option.  For example:

.. toctree::


Numbering then starts at the heading of foo.  Sub-toctrees are automatically numbered (don’t give the numbered flag to those).

Numbering up to a specific depth is also possible, by giving the depth as a numeric argument to numbered.

Additional options

You can use caption option to provide a toctree caption and you can use name option to provide implicit target name that can be referenced by using ref:

.. toctree::
   :caption: Table of Contents
   :name: mastertoc


If you want only the titles of documents in the tree to show up, not other headings of the same level, you can use the titlesonly option:

.. toctree::


You can use “globbing” in toctree directives, by giving the glob flag option.  All entries are then matched against the list of available documents, and matches are inserted into the list alphabetically.  Example:

.. toctree::


This includes first all documents whose names start with intro, then all documents in the recipe folder, then all remaining documents (except the one containing the directive, of course.) [2]

The special entry name self stands for the document containing the toctree directive.  This is useful if you want to generate a “sitemap” from the toctree.

You can use the reversed flag option to reverse the order of the entries in the list. This can be useful when using the glob flag option to reverse the ordering of the files.  Example:

.. toctree::


You can also give a “hidden” option to the directive, like this:

.. toctree::


This will still notify Sphinx of the document hierarchy, but not insert links into the document at the location of the directive – this makes sense if you intend to insert these links yourself, in a different style, or in the HTML sidebar.

In cases where you want to have only one top-level toctree and hide all other lower level toctrees you can add the “includehidden” option to the top-level toctree entry:

.. toctree::


All other toctree entries can then be eliminated by the “hidden” option.

In the end, all documents in the source directory (or subdirectories) must occur in some toctree directive; Sphinx will emit a warning if it finds a file that is not included, because that means that this file will not be reachable through standard navigation.

Use exclude_patterns to explicitly exclude documents or directories from building completely.  Use the “orphan” metadata to let a document be built, but notify Sphinx that it is not reachable via a toctree.

The “master document” (selected by master_doc) is the “root” of the TOC tree hierarchy.  It can be used as the documentation’s main page, or as a “full table of contents” if you don’t give a maxdepth option.

Changed in version 0.3: Added “globbing” option.

Changed in version 0.6: Added “numbered” and “hidden” options as well as external links and support for “self” references.

Changed in version 1.0: Added “titlesonly” option.

Changed in version 1.1: Added numeric argument to “numbered”.

Changed in version 1.2: Added “includehidden” option.

Changed in version 1.3: Added “caption” and “name” option.

Special names

Sphinx reserves some document names for its own use; you should not try to create documents with these names – it will cause problems.

The special document names (and pages generated for them) are:

  • genindex, modindex, search

    These are used for the general index, the Python module index, and the search page, respectively.

    The general index is populated with entries from modules, all index-generating object descriptions, and from index directives.

    The Python module index contains one entry per py:module directive.

    The search page contains a form that uses the generated JSON search index and JavaScript to full-text search the generated documents for search words; it should work on every major browser that supports modern JavaScript.

  • every name beginning with _

    Though only few such names are currently used by Sphinx, you should not create documents or document-containing directories with such names.  (Using _ as a prefix for a custom template directory is fine.)


Be careful with unusual characters in filenames.  Some formats may interpret these characters in unexpected ways:

  • Do not use the colon : for HTML based formats.  Links to other parts may not work.
  • Do not use the plus + for the ePub format.  Some resources may not be found.

Paragraph-level markup

These directives create short paragraphs and can be used inside information units as well as normal text.

.. note::

An especially important bit of information about an API that a user should be aware of when using whatever bit of API the note pertains to.  The content of the directive should be written in complete sentences and include all appropriate punctuation.


.. note::

   This function is not suitable for sending spam e-mails.
.. warning::

An important bit of information about an API that a user should be very aware of when using whatever bit of API the warning pertains to.  The content of the directive should be written in complete sentences and include all appropriate punctuation. This differs from note in that it is recommended over note for information regarding security.

.. versionadded:: version

This directive documents the version of the project which added the described feature to the library or C API. When this applies to an entire module, it should be placed at the top of the module section before any prose.

The first argument must be given and is the version in question; you can add a second argument consisting of a brief explanation of the change.


.. versionadded:: 2.5
   The *spam* parameter.

Note that there must be no blank line between the directive head and the explanation; this is to make these blocks visually continuous in the markup.

.. versionchanged:: version

Similar to versionadded, but describes when and what changed in the named feature in some way (new parameters, changed side effects, etc.).

.. deprecated:: version

Similar to versionchanged, but describes when the feature was deprecated.  An explanation can also be given, for example to inform the reader what should be used instead.  Example:

.. deprecated:: 3.1
   Use :func:`spam` instead.
.. seealso::

Many sections include a list of references to module documentation or external documents.  These lists are created using the seealso directive.

The seealso directive is typically placed in a section just before any subsections.  For the HTML output, it is shown boxed off from the main flow of the text.

The content of the seealso directive should be a reST definition list. Example:

.. seealso::

   Module :py:mod:`zipfile`
      Documentation of the :py:mod:`zipfile` standard module.

   `GNU tar manual, Basic Tar Format <http://link>`_
      Documentation for tar archive files, including GNU tar extensions.

There’s also a “short form” allowed that looks like this:

.. seealso:: modules :py:mod:`zipfile`, :py:mod:`tarfile`

New in version 0.5: The short form.

.. rubric:: title

This directive creates a paragraph heading that is not used to create a table of contents node.


If the title of the rubric is “Footnotes” (or the selected language’s equivalent), this rubric is ignored by the LaTeX writer, since it is assumed to only contain footnote definitions and therefore would create an empty heading.

.. centered::

This directive creates a centered boldfaced line of text.  Use it as follows:


Deprecated since version 1.1: This presentation-only directive is a legacy from older versions.  Use a rst-class directive instead and add an appropriate style.

.. hlist::

This directive must contain a bullet list.  It will transform it into a more compact list by either distributing more than one item horizontally, or reducing spacing between items, depending on the builder.

For builders that support the horizontal distribution, there is a columns option that specifies the number of columns; it defaults to 2.  Example:

.. hlist::
   :columns: 3

   * A list of
   * short items
   * that should be
   * displayed
   * horizontally

New in version 0.6.

Showing code examples

There are multiple ways to show syntax-highlighted literal code blocks in Sphinx: using reST doctest blocks; using reST literal blocks, optionally in combination with the highlight directive; using the code-block directive; and using the literalinclude directive. Doctest blocks can only be used to show interactive Python sessions, while the remaining three can be used for other languages. Of these three, literal blocks are useful when an entire document, or at least large sections of it, use code blocks with the same syntax and which should be styled in the same manner. On the other hand, the code-block directive makes more sense when you want more fine-tuned control over the styling of each block or when you have a document containing code blocks using multiple varied syntaxes. Finally, the literalinclude directive is useful for including entire code files in your documentation.

In all cases, Syntax highlighting is provided by Pygments. When using literal blocks, this is configured using any highlight directives in the source file. When a highlight directive is encountered, it is used until the next highlight directive is encountered. If there is no highlight directive in the file, the global highlighting language is used. This defaults to python but can be configured using the highlight_language config value. The following values are supported:

  • none (no highlighting)
  • default (similar to python3 but with a fallback to none without warning highlighting fails; the default when highlight_language isn’t set)
  • guess (let Pygments guess the lexer based on contents, only works with certain well-recognizable languages)
  • python
  • rest
  • c
  • … and any other lexer alias that Pygments supports

If highlighting with the selected language fails (i.e. Pygments emits an “Error” token), the block is not highlighted in any way.


The list of lexer aliases supported is tied to the Pygment version. If you want to ensure consistent highlighting, you should fix your version of Pygments.

.. highlight:: language


.. highlight:: c

This language is used until the next highlight directive is encountered. As discussed previously, language can be any lexer alias supported by Pygments.

Additional options

Pygments can generate line numbers for code blocks.  To enable this, use the linenothreshold option.

.. highlight:: python
   :linenothreshold: 5

This will produce line numbers for all code blocks longer than five lines.

.. code-block:: [language]


.. code-block:: ruby

   Some Ruby code.

The directive’s alias name sourcecode works as well.  This directive takes a language name as an argument.  It can be any lexer alias supported by Pygments.  If it is not given, the setting of highlight directive will be used.  If not set, highlight_language will be used.

Additional options

Pygments can generate line numbers for code blocks. To enable this for, use the linenos flag option.

.. code-block:: ruby

   Some more Ruby code.

The first line number can be selected with the lineno-start option.  If present, linenos flag is automatically activated:

.. code-block:: ruby
   :lineno-start: 10

   Some more Ruby code, with line numbering starting at 10.

Additionally, an emphasize-lines option can be given to have Pygments emphasize particular lines:

.. code-block:: python
   :emphasize-lines: 3,5

   def some_function():
       interesting = False
       print 'This line is highlighted.'
       print 'This one is not...'
       print '...but this one is.'

A caption option can be given to show that name before the code block. A name option can be provided implicit target name that can be referenced by using ref.  For example:

.. code-block:: python
   :caption: this.py
   :name: this-py

   print 'Explicit is better than implicit.'

A dedent option can be given to strip indentation characters from the code block. For example:

.. code-block:: ruby
   :dedent: 4

       some ruby code

Changed in version 1.1: The emphasize-lines option has been added.

Changed in version 1.3: The lineno-start, caption, name and dedent options have been added.

Changed in version 1.6.6: LaTeX supports the emphasize-lines option.

Changed in version 2.0: The language argument becomes optional.

.. literalinclude:: filename

Longer displays of verbatim text may be included by storing the example text in an external file containing only plain text.  The file may be included using the literalinclude directive. [3] For example, to include the Python source file example.py, use:

.. literalinclude:: example.py

The file name is usually relative to the current file’s path.  However, if it is absolute (starting with /), it is relative to the top source directory.

Additional options

Like code-block, the directive supports the linenos flag option to switch on line numbers, the lineno-start option to select the first line number, the emphasize-lines option to emphasize particular lines, the name option to provide an implicit target name, the dedent option to strip indentation characters for the code block, and a language option to select a language different from the current file’s standard language. In addition, it supports the caption option; however, this can be provided with no argument to use the filename as the caption. Example with options:

.. literalinclude:: example.rb
   :language: ruby
   :emphasize-lines: 12,15-18

Tabs in the input are expanded if you give a tab-width option with the desired tab width.

Include files are assumed to be encoded in the source_encoding. If the file has a different encoding, you can specify it with the encoding option:

.. literalinclude:: example.py
   :encoding: latin-1

The directive also supports including only parts of the file.  If it is a Python module, you can select a class, function or method to include using the pyobject option:

.. literalinclude:: example.py
   :pyobject: Timer.start

This would only include the code lines belonging to the start() method in the Timer class within the file.

Alternately, you can specify exactly which lines to include by giving a lines option:

.. literalinclude:: example.py
   :lines: 1,3,5-10,20-

This includes the lines 1, 3, 5 to 10 and lines 20 to the last line.

Another way to control which part of the file is included is to use the start-after and end-before options (or only one of them).  If start-after is given as a string option, only lines that follow the first line containing that string are included.  If end-before is given as a string option, only lines that precede the first lines containing that string are included. The start-at and end-at options behave in a similar way, but the lines containing the matched string are included.

With lines selected using start-after it is still possible to use lines, the first allowed line having by convention the line number 1.

When lines have been selected in any of the ways described above, the line numbers in emphasize-lines refer to those selected lines, counted consecutively starting at 1.

When specifying particular parts of a file to display, it can be useful to display the original line numbers. This can be done using the lineno-match option, which is however allowed only when the selection consists of contiguous lines.

You can prepend and/or append a line to the included code, using the prepend and append option, respectively.  This is useful e.g. for highlighting PHP code that doesn’t include the <?php/?> markers.

If you want to show the diff of the code, you can specify the old file by giving a diff option:

.. literalinclude:: example.py
   :diff: example.py.orig

This shows the diff between example.py and example.py.orig with unified diff format.

Changed in version 0.4.3: Added the encoding option.

Changed in version 0.6: Added the pyobject, lines, start-after and end-before options, as well as support for absolute filenames.

Changed in version 1.0: Added the prepend, append, and tab-width options.

Changed in version 1.3: Added the diff, lineno-match, caption, name, and dedent options.

Changed in version 1.5: Added the start-at, and end-at options.

Changed in version 1.6: With both start-after and lines in use, the first line as per start-after is considered to be with line number 1 for lines.


.. glossary::

This directive must contain a reST definition-list-like markup with terms and definitions.  The definitions will then be referenceable with the term role.  Example:

.. glossary::

      A structure where information about all documents under the root is
      saved, and used for cross-referencing.  The environment is pickled
      after the parsing stage, so that successive runs only need to read
      and parse new and changed documents.

   source directory
      The directory which, including its subdirectories, contains all
      source files for one Sphinx project.

In contrast to regular definition lists, multiple terms per entry are allowed, and inline markup is allowed in terms.  You can link to all of the terms.  For example:

.. glossary::

   term 1
   term 2
      Definition of both terms.

(When the glossary is sorted, the first term determines the sort order.)

If you want to specify “grouping key” for general index entries, you can put a “key” as “term : key”. For example:

.. glossary::

   term 1 : A
   term 2 : B
      Definition of both terms.

Note that “key” is used for grouping key as is. The “key” isn’t normalized; key “A” and “a” become different groups. The whole characters in “key” is used instead of a first character; it is used for “Combining Character Sequence” and “Surrogate Pairs” grouping key.

In i18n situation, you can specify “localized term : key” even if original text only have “term” part. In this case, translated “localized term” will be categorized in “key” group.

New in version 0.6: You can now give the glossary directive a :sorted: flag that will automatically sort the entries alphabetically.

Changed in version 1.1: Now supports multiple terms and inline markup in terms.

Changed in version 1.4: Index key for glossary term should be considered experimental.

Meta-information markup

.. sectionauthor:: name <email>

Identifies the author of the current section.  The argument should include the author’s name such that it can be used for presentation and email address.  The domain name portion of the address should be lower case. Example:

.. sectionauthor:: Guido van Rossum <guido@python.org>

By default, this markup isn’t reflected in the output in any way (it helps keep track of contributions), but you can set the configuration value show_authors to True to make them produce a paragraph in the output.

.. codeauthor:: name <email>

The codeauthor directive, which can appear multiple times, names the authors of the described code, just like sectionauthor names the author(s) of a piece of documentation.  It too only produces output if the show_authors configuration value is True.

Index-generating markup

Sphinx automatically creates index entries from all object descriptions (like functions, classes or attributes) like discussed in /usage/restructuredtext/domains.

However, there is also explicit markup available, to make the index more comprehensive and enable index entries in documents where information is not mainly contained in information units, such as the language reference.

.. index:: <entries>

This directive contains one or more index entries.  Each entry consists of a type and a value, separated by a colon.

For example:

.. index::
   single: execution; context
   module: __main__
   module: sys
   triple: module; search; path

The execution context


This directive contains five entries, which will be converted to entries in the generated index which link to the exact location of the index statement (or, in case of offline media, the corresponding page number).

Since index directives generate cross-reference targets at their location in the source, it makes sense to put them before the thing they refer to – e.g. a heading, as in the example above.

The possible entry types are:


Creates a single index entry.  Can be made a subentry by separating the subentry text with a semicolon (this notation is also used below to describe what entries are created).


pair: loop; statement is a shortcut that creates two index entries, namely loop; statement and statement; loop.


Likewise, triple: module; search; path is a shortcut that creates three index entries, which are module; search path, search; path, module and path; module search.


see: entry; other creates an index entry that refers from entry to other.


Like see, but inserts “see also” instead of “see”.

module, keyword, operator, object, exception, statement, builtin

These all create two index entries.  For example, module: hashlib creates the entries module; hashlib and hashlib; module.  (These are Python-specific and therefore deprecated.)

You can mark up “main” index entries by prefixing them with an exclamation mark.  The references to “main” entries are emphasized in the generated index.  For example, if two pages contain

.. index:: Python

and one page contains

.. index:: ! Python

then the backlink to the latter page is emphasized among the three backlinks.

For index directives containing only “single” entries, there is a shorthand notation:

.. index:: BNF, grammar, syntax, notation

This creates four index entries.

Changed in version 1.1: Added see and seealso types, as well as marking main entries.


While the index directive is a block-level markup and links to the beginning of the next paragraph, there is also a corresponding role that sets the link target directly where it is used.

The content of the role can be a simple phrase, which is then kept in the text and used as an index entry.  It can also be a combination of text and index entry, styled like with explicit targets of cross-references.  In that case, the “target” part can be a full entry as described for the directive above.  For example:

This is a normal reST :index:`paragraph` that contains several
:index:`index entries <pair: index; entry>`.

New in version 1.1.

Including content based on tags

.. only:: <expression>

Include the content of the directive only if the expression is true.  The expression should consist of tags, like this:

.. only:: html and draft

Undefined tags are false, defined tags (via the -t command-line option or within conf.py, see here) are true.  Boolean expressions, also using parentheses (like html and (latex or draft)) are supported.

The format and the name of the current builder (html, latex or text) are always set as a tag [4].  To make the distinction between format and name explicit, they are also added with the prefix format_ and builder_, e.g. the epub builder defines the tags  html, epub, format_html and builder_epub.

These standard tags are set after the configuration file is read, so they are not available there.

All tags must follow the standard Python identifier syntax as set out in the Identifiers and keywords documentation.  That is, a tag expression may only consist of tags that conform to the syntax of Python variables.  In ASCII, this consists of the uppercase and lowercase letters A through Z, the underscore _ and, except for the first character, the digits 0 through 9.

New in version 0.6.

Changed in version 1.2: Added the name of the builder and the prefixes.


This directive is designed to control only content of document.  It could not control sections, labels and so on.


Use reStructuredText tables, i.e. either

  • grid table syntax (ref),
  • simple table syntax (ref),
  • csv-table syntax,
  • or list-table syntax.

The table directive serves as optional wrapper of the grid and simple syntaxes.

They work fine in HTML output, however there are some gotchas when using tables in LaTeX: the column width is hard to determine correctly automatically.  For this reason, the following directive exists:

.. tabularcolumns:: column spec

This directive gives a “column spec” for the next table occurring in the source file.  The spec is the second argument to the LaTeX tabulary package’s environment (which Sphinx uses to translate tables).  It can have values like


which means three left-adjusted, nonbreaking columns.  For columns with longer text that should automatically be broken, use either the standard p{width} construct, or tabulary’s automatic specifiers:

L flush left column with automatic width
R flush right column with automatic width
C centered column with automatic width
J justified column with automatic width

The automatic widths of the LRCJ columns are attributed by tabulary in proportion to the observed shares in a first pass where the table cells are rendered at their natural “horizontal” widths.

By default, Sphinx uses a table layout with J for every column.

New in version 0.3.

Changed in version 1.6: Merged cells may now contain multiple paragraphs and are much better handled, thanks to custom Sphinx LaTeX macros. This novel situation motivated the switch to J specifier and not L by default.


Sphinx actually uses T specifier having done \newcolumntype{T}{J}. To revert to previous default, insert \newcolumntype{T}{L} in the LaTeX preamble (see latex_elements).

A frequent issue with tabulary is that columns with little contents are “squeezed”. The minimal column width is a tabulary parameter called \tymin. You may set it globally in the LaTeX preamble via \setlength{\tymin}{40pt} for example.

Else, use the tabularcolumns directive with an explicit p{40pt} (for example) for that column. You may use also l specifier but this makes the task of setting column widths more difficult if some merged cell intersects that column.


Tables with more than 30 rows are rendered using longtable, not tabulary, in order to allow pagebreaks. The L, R, … specifiers do not work for these tables.

Tables that contain list-like elements such as object descriptions, blockquotes or any kind of lists cannot be set out of the box with tabulary. They are therefore set with the standard LaTeX tabular (or longtable) environment if you don’t give a tabularcolumns directive. If you do, the table will be set with tabulary but you must use the p{width} construct (or Sphinx’s \X and \Y specifiers described below) for the columns containing these elements.

Literal blocks do not work with tabulary at all, so tables containing a literal block are always set with tabular. The verbatim environment used for literal blocks only works in p{width} (and \X or \Y) columns, hence Sphinx generates such column specs for tables containing literal blocks.

Since Sphinx 1.5, the \X{a}{b} specifier is used (there is a backslash in the specifier letter). It is like p{width} with the width set to a fraction a/b of the current line width. You can use it in the tabularcolumns (it is not a problem if some LaTeX macro is also called \X.)

It is not needed for b to be the total number of columns, nor for the sum of the fractions of the \X specifiers to add  up to one. For example |\X{2}{5}|\X{1}{5}|\X{1}{5}| is legitimate and the table will occupy 80% of the line width, the first of its three columns having the same width as the sum  of the next two.

This is used by the :widths: option of the table directive.

Since Sphinx 1.6, there is also the \Y{f} specifier which admits a decimal argument, such has \Y{0.15}: this would have the same effect as \X{3}{20}.

Changed in version 1.6: Merged cells from complex grid tables (either multi-row, multi-column, or both) now allow blockquotes, lists, literal blocks, … as do regular cells.

Sphinx’s merged cells interact well with p{width}, \X{a}{b}, Y{f} and tabulary’s columns.


tabularcolumns conflicts with :widths: option of table directives.  If both are specified, :widths: option will be ignored.


The input language for mathematics is LaTeX markup.  This is the de-facto standard for plain-text math notation and has the added advantage that no further translation is necessary when building LaTeX output.

Keep in mind that when you put math markup in Python docstrings read by autodoc, you either have to double all backslashes, or use Python raw strings (r"raw").

.. math::

Directive for displayed math (math that takes the whole line for itself).

The directive supports multiple equations, which should be separated by a blank line:

.. math::

   (a + b)^2 = a^2 + 2ab + b^2

   (a - b)^2 = a^2 - 2ab + b^2

In addition, each single equation is set within a split environment, which means that you can have multiple aligned lines in an equation, aligned at & and separated by \\:

.. math::

   (a + b)^2  &=  (a + b)(a + b) \\
              &=  a^2 + 2ab + b^2

For more details, look into the documentation of the AmSMath LaTeX package.

When the math is only one line of text, it can also be given as a directive argument:

.. math:: (a + b)^2 = a^2 + 2ab + b^2

Normally, equations are not numbered.  If you want your equation to get a number, use the label option.  When given, it selects an internal label for the equation, by which it can be cross-referenced, and causes an equation number to be issued.  See eq for an example.  The numbering style depends on the output format.

There is also an option nowrap that prevents any wrapping of the given math in a math environment.  When you give this option, you must make sure yourself that the math is properly set up.  For example:

.. math::

      y    & = & ax^2 + bx + c \\
      f(x) & = & x^2 + 2xy + y^2



Rendering options for math with HTML builders.


Explains how to configure LaTeX builder to support Unicode literals in math mark-up.

Grammar production displays

Special markup is available for displaying the productions of a formal grammar. The markup is simple and does not attempt to model all aspects of BNF (or any derived forms), but provides enough to allow context-free grammars to be displayed in a way that causes uses of a symbol to be rendered as hyperlinks to the definition of the symbol.  There is this directive:

.. productionlist:: [name]

This directive is used to enclose a group of productions.  Each production is given on a single line and consists of a name, separated by a colon from the following definition.  If the definition spans multiple lines, each continuation line must begin with a colon placed at the same column as in the first line.

The argument to productionlist serves to distinguish different sets of production lists that belong to different grammars.

Blank lines are not allowed within productionlist directive arguments.

The definition can contain token names which are marked as interpreted text (e.g. sum ::= `integer` "+" `integer`) – this generates cross-references to the productions of these tokens.  Outside of the production list, you can reference to token productions using token.

Note that no further reST parsing is done in the production, so that you don’t have to escape * or | characters.

The following is an example taken from the Python Reference Manual:

.. productionlist::
   try_stmt: try1_stmt | try2_stmt
   try1_stmt: "try" ":" `suite`
            : ("except" [`expression` ["," `target`]] ":" `suite`)+
            : ["else" ":" `suite`]
            : ["finally" ":" `suite`]
   try2_stmt: "try" ":" `suite`
            : "finally" ":" `suite`



The LaTeX writer only refers the maxdepth option of first toctree directive in the document.


A note on available globbing syntax: you can use the standard shell constructs *, ?, [...] and [!...] with the feature that these all don’t match slashes.  A double star ** can be used to match any sequence of characters including slashes.


There is a standard .. include directive, but it raises errors if the file is not found.  This one only emits a warning.


For most builders name and format are the same. At the moment only builders derived from the html builder distinguish between the builder format and the builder name.

Note that the current builder tag is not available in conf.py, it is only available after the builder is initialized.

Field Lists

As previously discussed, field lists are sequences of fields marked up like this:

:fieldname: Field content

Sphinx provides custom behavior for bibliographic fields compared to docutils.

File-wide metadata

A field list near the top of a file is normally parsed by docutils as the docinfo which is generally used to record the author, date of publication and other metadata.  However, in Sphinx, a field list preceding any other markup is moved from the docinfo to the Sphinx environment as document metadata and is not displayed in the output; a field list appearing after the document title will be part of the docinfo as normal and will be displayed in the output.

At the moment, these metadata fields are recognized:


The maximum depth for a table of contents of this file.

:tocdepth: 2

New in version 0.4.


If set, the web application won’t display a comment form for a page generated from this source file.


If set, warnings about this file not being included in any toctree will be suppressed.


New in version 1.0.


New in version 1.0.

Originally, Sphinx was conceived for a single project, the documentation of the Python language.  Shortly afterwards, it was made available for everyone as a documentation tool, but the documentation of Python modules remained deeply built in – the most fundamental directives, like function, were designed for Python objects.  Since Sphinx has become somewhat popular, interest developed in using it for many different purposes: C/C++ projects, JavaScript, or even reStructuredText markup (like in this documentation).

While this was always possible, it is now much easier to easily support documentation of projects using different programming languages or even ones not supported by the main Sphinx distribution, by providing a domain for every such purpose.

A domain is a collection of markup (reStructuredText directives and roles) to describe and link to objects belonging together, e.g. elements of a programming language.  Directive and role names in a domain have names like domain:name, e.g. py:function.  Domains can also provide custom indices (like the Python Module Index).

Having domains means that there are no naming problems when one set of documentation wants to refer to e.g. C++ and Python classes.  It also means that extensions that support the documentation of whole new languages are much easier to write.

This section describes what the domains that are included with Sphinx provide. The domain API is documented as well, in the section domain-api.

Basic Markup

Most domains provide a number of object description directives, used to describe specific objects provided by modules.  Each directive requires one or more signatures to provide basic information about what is being described, and the content should be the description.  The basic version makes entries in the general index; if no index entry is desired, you can give the directive option flag :noindex:.  An example using a Python domain directive:

.. py:function:: spam(eggs)

   Spam or ham the foo.

This describes the two Python functions spam and ham.  (Note that when signatures become too long, you can break them if you add a backslash to lines that are continued in the next line.  Example:

.. py:function:: filterwarnings(action, message='', category=Warning, \
                                module='', lineno=0, append=False)

(This example also shows how to use the :noindex: flag.)

The domains also provide roles that link back to these object descriptions. For example, to link to one of the functions described in the example above, you could say

The function :py:func:`spam` does a similar thing.

As you can see, both directive and role names contain the domain name and the directive name.

Default Domain

For documentation describing objects from solely one domain, authors will not have to state again its name at each directive, role, etc… after having specified a default. This can be done either via the config value primary_domain or via this directive:

.. default-domain:: name

Select a new default domain.  While the primary_domain selects a global default, this only has an effect within the same file.

If no other default is selected, the Python domain (named py) is the default one, mostly for compatibility with documentation written for older versions of Sphinx.

Directives and roles that belong to the default domain can be mentioned without giving the domain name, i.e.

.. function:: pyfunc()

   Describes a Python function.

Reference to :func:`pyfunc`.

Cross-referencing syntax

For cross-reference roles provided by domains, the same facilities exist as for general cross-references.  See xref-syntax.

In short:

  • You may supply an explicit title and reference target: :role:`title <target>` will refer to target, but the link text will be title.
  • If you prefix the content with !, no reference/hyperlink will be created.
  • If you prefix the content with ~, the link text will only be the last component of the target.  For example, :py:meth:`~Queue.Queue.get` will refer to Queue.Queue.get but only display get as the link text.

The Python Domain

The Python domain (name py) provides the following directives for module declarations:

.. py:module:: name

This directive marks the beginning of the description of a module (or package submodule, in which case the name should be fully qualified, including the package name).  It does not create content (like e.g. py:class does).

This directive will also cause an entry in the global module index.

The platform option, if present, is a comma-separated list of the platforms on which the module is available (if it is available on all platforms, the option should be omitted).  The keys are short identifiers; examples that are in use include “IRIX”, “Mac”, “Windows”, and “Unix”.  It is important to use a key which has already been used when applicable.

The synopsis option should consist of one sentence describing the module’s purpose – it is currently only used in the Global Module Index.

The deprecated option can be given (with no value) to mark a module as deprecated; it will be designated as such in various locations then.

.. py:currentmodule:: name

This directive tells Sphinx that the classes, functions etc. documented from here are in the given module (like py:module), but it will not create index entries, an entry in the Global Module Index, or a link target for py:mod.  This is helpful in situations where documentation for things in a module is spread over multiple files or sections – one location has the py:module directive, the others only py:currentmodule.

The following directives are provided for module and class contents:

.. py:function:: name(parameters)

Describes a module-level function.  The signature should include the parameters as given in the Python function definition, see Python Signatures. For example:

.. py:function:: Timer.repeat(repeat=3, number=1000000)

For methods you should use py:method.

The description normally includes information about the parameters required and how they are used (especially whether mutable objects passed as parameters are modified), side effects, and possible exceptions.

This information can (in any py directive) optionally be given in a structured form, see Info field lists.

.. py:data:: name

Describes global data in a module, including both variables and values used as “defined constants.”  Class and object attributes are not documented using this environment.

.. py:exception:: name

Describes an exception class.  The signature can, but need not include parentheses with constructor arguments.

.. py:class:: name
.. py:class:: name(parameters)

Describes a class.  The signature can optionally include parentheses with parameters which will be shown as the constructor arguments.  See also Python Signatures.

Methods and attributes belonging to the class should be placed in this directive’s body.  If they are placed outside, the supplied name should contain the class name so that cross-references still work.  Example:

.. py:class:: Foo

   .. py:method:: quux()

-- or --

.. py:class:: Bar

.. py:method:: Bar.quux()

The first way is the preferred one.

.. py:attribute:: name

Describes an object data attribute.  The description should include information about the type of the data to be expected and whether it may be changed directly.

.. py:method:: name(parameters)

Describes an object method.  The parameters should not include the self parameter.  The description should include similar information to that described for function.  See also Python Signatures and Info field lists.

.. py:staticmethod:: name(parameters)

Like py:method, but indicates that the method is a static method.

New in version 0.4.

.. py:classmethod:: name(parameters)

Like py:method, but indicates that the method is a class method.

New in version 0.6.

.. py:decorator:: name
.. py:decorator:: name(parameters)

Describes a decorator function.  The signature should represent the usage as a decorator.  For example, given the functions

def removename(func):
    func.__name__ = ''
    return func

def setnewname(name):
    def decorator(func):
        func.__name__ = name
        return func
    return decorator

the descriptions should look like this:

.. py:decorator:: removename

   Remove name of the decorated function.

.. py:decorator:: setnewname(name)

   Set name of the decorated function to *name*.

(as opposed to .. py:decorator:: removename(func).)

There is no py:deco role to link to a decorator that is marked up with this directive; rather, use the py:func role.

.. py:decoratormethod:: name
.. py:decoratormethod:: name(signature)

Same as py:decorator, but for decorators that are methods.

Refer to a decorator method using the py:meth role.

Python Signatures

Signatures of functions, methods and class constructors can be given like they would be written in Python.

Default values for optional arguments can be given (but if they contain commas, they will confuse the signature parser).  Python 3-style argument annotations can also be given as well as return type annotations:

.. py:function:: compile(source : string, filename, symbol='file') -> ast object

For functions with optional parameters that don’t have default values (typically functions implemented in C extension modules without keyword argument support), you can use brackets to specify the optional parts:

compile(source[, filename[, symbol]])

It is customary to put the opening bracket before the comma.

Info field lists

New in version 0.4.

Inside Python object description directives, reST field lists with these fields are recognized and formatted nicely:

  • param, parameter, arg, argument, key, keyword: Description of a parameter.
  • type: Type of a parameter.  Creates a link if possible.
  • raises, raise, except, exception: That (and when) a specific exception is raised.
  • var, ivar, cvar: Description of a variable.
  • vartype: Type of a variable.  Creates a link if possible.
  • returns, return: Description of the return value.
  • rtype: Return type.  Creates a link if possible.

In current release, all var, ivar and cvar are represented as “Variable”.  There is no difference at all.

The field names must consist of one of these keywords and an argument (except for returns and rtype, which do not need an argument).  This is best explained by an example:

.. py:function:: send_message(sender, recipient, message_body, [priority=1])

   Send a message to a recipient

   :param str sender: The person sending the message
   :param str recipient: The recipient of the message
   :param str message_body: The body of the message
   :param priority: The priority of the message, can be a number 1-5
   :type priority: integer or None
   :return: the message id
   :rtype: int
   :raises ValueError: if the message_body exceeds 160 characters
   :raises TypeError: if the message_body is not a basestring

This will render like this:

send_message(sender, recipient, message_body[, priority=1])

Send a message to a recipient

  • sender (str) – The person sending the message
  • recipient (str) – The recipient of the message
  • message_body (str) – The body of the message
  • priority (integer or None) – The priority of the message, can be a number 1-5

the message id

Return type


  • ValueError – if the message_body exceeds 160 characters
  • TypeError – if the message_body is not a basestring

It is also possible to combine parameter type and description, if the type is a single word, like this:

:param int priority: The priority of the message, can be a number 1-5

New in version 1.5.

Container types such as lists and dictionaries can be linked automatically using the following syntax:

:type priorities: list(int)
:type priorities: list[int]
:type mapping: dict(str, int)
:type mapping: dict[str, int]
:type point: tuple(float, float)
:type point: tuple[float, float]

Multiple types in a type field will be linked automatically if separated by the word “or”:

:type an_arg: int or None
:vartype a_var: str or int
:rtype: float or str

Cross-referencing Python objects

The following roles refer to objects in modules and are possibly hyperlinked if a matching identifier is found:


Reference a module; a dotted name may be used.  This should also be used for package names.


Reference a Python function; dotted names may be used.  The role text needs not include trailing parentheses to enhance readability; they will be added automatically by Sphinx if the add_function_parentheses config value is True (the default).


Reference a module-level variable.


Reference a “defined” constant.  This may be a Python variable that is not intended to be changed.


Reference a class; a dotted name may be used.


Reference a method of an object.  The role text can include the type name and the method name; if it occurs within the description of a type, the type name can be omitted.  A dotted name may be used.


Reference a data attribute of an object.


Reference an exception.  A dotted name may be used.


Reference an object of unspecified type.  Useful e.g. as the default_role.

New in version 0.4.

The name enclosed in this markup can include a module name and/or a class name. For example, :py:func:`filter` could refer to a function named filter in the current module, or the built-in function of that name.  In contrast, :py:func:`foo.filter` clearly refers to the filter function in the foo module.

Normally, names in these roles are searched first without any further qualification, then with the current module name prepended, then with the current module and class name (if any) prepended.  If you prefix the name with a dot, this order is reversed.  For example, in the documentation of Python’s codecs module, :py:func:`open` always refers to the built-in function, while :py:func:`.open` refers to codecs.open().

A similar heuristic is used to determine whether the name is an attribute of the currently documented class.

Also, if the name is prefixed with a dot, and no exact match is found, the target is taken as a suffix and all object names with that suffix are searched. For example, :py:meth:`.TarFile.close` references the tarfile.TarFile.close() function, even if the current module is not tarfile.  Since this can get ambiguous, if there is more than one possible match, you will get a warning from Sphinx.

Note that you can combine the ~ and . prefixes: :py:meth:`~.TarFile.close` will reference the tarfile.TarFile.close() method, but the visible link caption will only be close().

The C Domain

The C domain (name c) is suited for documentation of C API.

.. c:function:: function prototype

Describes a C function. The signature should be given as in C, e.g.:

.. c:function:: PyObject* PyType_GenericAlloc(PyTypeObject *type, Py_ssize_t nitems)

This is also used to describe function-like preprocessor macros.  The names of the arguments should be given so they may be used in the description.

Note that you don’t have to backslash-escape asterisks in the signature, as it is not parsed by the reST inliner.

.. c:member:: declaration

Describes a C struct member. Example signature:

.. c:member:: PyObject* PyTypeObject.tp_bases

The text of the description should include the range of values allowed, how the value should be interpreted, and whether the value can be changed. References to structure members in text should use the member role.

.. c:macro:: name

Describes a “simple” C macro.  Simple macros are macros which are used for code expansion, but which do not take arguments so cannot be described as functions.  This is a simple C-language #define.  Examples of its use in the Python documentation include PyObject_HEAD and Py_BEGIN_ALLOW_THREADS.

.. c:type:: name

Describes a C type (whether defined by a typedef or struct). The signature should just be the type name.

.. c:var:: declaration

Describes a global C variable.  The signature should include the type, such as:

.. c:var:: PyObject* PyClass_Type

Cross-referencing C constructs

The following roles create cross-references to C-language constructs if they are defined in the documentation:


Reference a C-language function. Should include trailing parentheses.


Reference a C-language member of a struct.


Reference a “simple” C macro, as defined above.


Reference a C-language type.


Reference a C-language variable.

The C++ Domain

The C++ domain (name cpp) supports documenting C++ projects.

Directives for Declaring Entities

The following directives are available. All declarations can start with a visibility statement (public, private or protected).

.. cpp:class:: class specifier
.. cpp:struct:: class specifier

Describe a class/struct, possibly with specification of inheritance, e.g.,:

.. cpp:class:: MyClass : public MyBase, MyOtherBase

The difference between cpp:class and cpp:struct is only cosmetic: the prefix rendered in the output, and the specifier shown in the index.

The class can be directly declared inside a nested scope, e.g.,:

.. cpp:class:: OuterScope::MyClass : public MyBase, MyOtherBase

A class template can be declared:

.. cpp:class:: template<typename T, std::size_t N> std::array

or with a line break:

.. cpp:class:: template<typename T, std::size_t N> \

Full and partial template specialisations can be declared:

.. cpp:class:: template<> \
               std::array<bool, 256>

.. cpp:class:: template<typename T> \
               std::array<T, 42>

New in version 2.0: The cpp:struct directive.

.. cpp:function:: (member) function prototype

Describe a function or member function, e.g.,:

.. cpp:function:: bool myMethod(int arg1, std::string arg2)

   A function with parameters and types.

.. cpp:function:: bool myMethod(int, double)

   A function with unnamed parameters.

.. cpp:function:: const T &MyClass::operator[](std::size_t i) const

   An overload for the indexing operator.

.. cpp:function:: operator bool() const

   A casting operator.

.. cpp:function:: constexpr void foo(std::string &bar[2]) noexcept

   A constexpr function.

.. cpp:function:: MyClass::MyClass(const MyClass&) = default

   A copy constructor with default implementation.

Function templates can also be described:

.. cpp:function:: template<typename U> \
                  void print(U &&u)

and function template specialisations:

.. cpp:function:: template<> \
                  void print(int i)
.. cpp:member:: (member) variable declaration
.. cpp:var:: (member) variable declaration

Describe a variable or member variable, e.g.,:

.. cpp:member:: std::string MyClass::myMember

.. cpp:var:: std::string MyClass::myOtherMember[N][M]

.. cpp:member:: int a = 42

Variable templates can also be described:

.. cpp:member:: template<class T> \
                constexpr T pi = T(3.1415926535897932385)
.. cpp:type:: typedef declaration
.. cpp:type:: name
.. cpp:type:: type alias declaration

Describe a type as in a typedef declaration, a type alias declaration, or simply the name of a type with unspecified type, e.g.,:

.. cpp:type:: std::vector<int> MyList

   A typedef-like declaration of a type.

.. cpp:type:: MyContainer::const_iterator

   Declaration of a type alias with unspecified type.

.. cpp:type:: MyType = std::unordered_map<int, std::string>

   Declaration of a type alias.

A type alias can also be templated:

.. cpp:type:: template<typename T> \
              MyContainer = std::vector<T>

The example are rendered as follows.

typedef std::vector<int> MyList

A typedef-like declaration of a type.

type MyContainer::const_iterator

Declaration of a type alias with unspecified type.

using MyType = std::unordered_map<int, std::string>

Declaration of a type alias.

template<typename T> using MyContainer = std::vector<T>

.. cpp:enum:: unscoped enum declaration
.. cpp:enum-struct:: scoped enum declaration
.. cpp:enum-class:: scoped enum declaration

Describe a (scoped) enum, possibly with the underlying type specified.  Any enumerators declared inside an unscoped enum will be declared both in the enum scope and in the parent scope.  Examples:

.. cpp:enum:: MyEnum

   An unscoped enum.

.. cpp:enum:: MySpecificEnum : long

   An unscoped enum with specified underlying type.

.. cpp:enum-class:: MyScopedEnum

   A scoped enum.

.. cpp:enum-struct:: protected MyScopedVisibilityEnum : std::underlying_type<MySpecificEnum>::type

   A scoped enum with non-default visibility, and with a specified underlying type.
.. cpp:enumerator:: name
.. cpp:enumerator:: name = constant

Describe an enumerator, optionally with its value defined, e.g.,:

.. cpp:enumerator:: MyEnum::myEnumerator

.. cpp:enumerator:: MyEnum::myOtherEnumerator = 42
.. cpp:union:: name

Describe a union.

New in version 1.8.

.. cpp:concept:: template-parameter-list name

The support for concepts is experimental. It is based on the current draft standard and the Concepts Technical Specification. The features may change as they evolve.

Describe a concept. It must have exactly 1 template parameter list. The name may be a nested name. Example:

.. cpp:concept:: template<typename It> std::Iterator

   Proxy to an element of a notional sequence that can be compared,
   indirected, or incremented.


   .. cpp:var:: It r

      An lvalue.

   **Valid Expressions**

   - :cpp:expr:`*r`, when :cpp:expr:`r` is dereferenceable.
   - :cpp:expr:`++r`, with return type :cpp:expr:`It&`, when :cpp:expr:`r` is incrementable.

This will render as follows:

template<typename It> concept std::Iterator

Proxy to an element of a notional sequence that can be compared, indirected, or incremented.


It r

An lvalue.

Valid Expressions

  • *r, when r is dereferenceable.
  • ++r, with return type It&, when r is incrementable.

New in version 1.5.


Some directives support options:

  • :noindex:, see Basic Markup.
  • :tparam-line-spec:, for templated declarations. If specified, each template parameter will be rendered on a separate line.

    New in version 1.6.

Anonymous Entities

C++ supports anonymous namespaces, classes, enums, and unions. For the sake of documentation they must be given some name that starts with @, e.g., @42 or @data. These names can also be used in cross-references and (type) expressions, though nested symbols will be found even when omitted. The @... name will always be rendered as [anonymous] (possibly as a link).


.. cpp:class:: Data

   .. cpp:union:: @data

      .. cpp:var:: int a

      .. cpp:var:: double b

Explicit ref: :cpp:var:`Data::@data::a`. Short-hand ref: :cpp:var:`Data::a`.

This will be rendered as:

class Data
union [anonymous]

int a

double b

Explicit ref: Data::[anonymous]::a. Short-hand ref: Data::a.

New in version 1.8.

Aliasing Declarations

Sometimes it may be helpful list declarations elsewhere than their main documentation, e.g., when creating a synopsis of a class interface. The following directive can be used for this purpose.

.. cpp:alias:: name or function signature

Insert one or more alias declarations. Each entity can be specified as they can in the cpp:any role. If the name of a function is given (as opposed to the complete signature), then all overloads of the function will be listed.

For example:

.. cpp:alias:: Data::a


int a

void f(double d) const

void f(double d)

void f(int i)

void f()


.. cpp:alias:: void overload_example::C::f(double d) const
               void overload_example::C::f(double d)


void f(double d) const

void f(double d)

New in version 2.0.

Constrained Templates


The support for concepts is experimental. It is based on the current draft standard and the Concepts Technical Specification. The features may change as they evolve.


Sphinx does not currently support requires clauses.


Declarations may use the name of a concept to introduce constrained template parameters, or the keyword auto to introduce unconstrained template parameters:

.. cpp:function:: void f(auto &&arg)

   A function template with a single unconstrained template parameter.

.. cpp:function:: void f(std::Iterator it)

   A function template with a single template parameter, constrained by the
   Iterator concept.

Template Introductions

Simple constrained function or class templates can be declared with a template introduction instead of a template parameter list:

.. cpp:function:: std::Iterator{It} void advance(It &it)

    A function template with a template parameter constrained to be an

.. cpp:class:: std::LessThanComparable{T} MySortedContainer

    A class template with a template parameter constrained to be

They are rendered as follows.

std::Iterator{It} void advance(It &it)

A function template with a template parameter constrained to be an Iterator.

std::LessThanComparable{T} class MySortedContainer

A class template with a template parameter constrained to be LessThanComparable.

Note however that no checking is performed with respect to parameter compatibility. E.g., Iterator{A, B, C} will be accepted as an introduction even though it would not be valid C++.

Inline Expressions and Types


Insert a C++ expression or type either as inline code (cpp:expr) or inline text (cpp:texpr). For example:

.. cpp:var:: int a = 42

.. cpp:function:: int f(int i)

An expression: :cpp:expr:`a * f(a)` (or as text: :cpp:texpr:`a * f(a)`).

A type: :cpp:expr:`const MySortedContainer<int>&`
(or as text :cpp:texpr:`const MySortedContainer<int>&`).

will be rendered as follows:

int a = 42

int f(int i)

An expression: a * f(a) (or as text: a * f(a)).

A type: const MySortedContainer<int>& (or as text const MySortedContainer<int>&).

New in version 1.7: The cpp:expr role.

New in version 1.8: The cpp:texpr role.


Declarations in the C++ domain are as default placed in global scope.  The current scope can be changed using three namespace directives.  They manage a stack declarations where cpp:namespace resets the stack and changes a given scope.

The cpp:namespace-push directive changes the scope to a given inner scope of the current one.

The cpp:namespace-pop directive undoes the most recent cpp:namespace-push directive.

.. cpp:namespace:: scope specification

Changes the current scope for the subsequent objects to the given scope, and resets the namespace directive stack.  Note that the namespace does not need to correspond to C++ namespaces, but can end in names of classes, e.g.,:

.. cpp:namespace:: Namespace1::Namespace2::SomeClass::AnInnerClass

All subsequent objects will be defined as if their name were declared with the scope prepended. The subsequent cross-references will be searched for starting in the current scope.

Using NULL, 0, or nullptr as the scope will change to global scope.

A namespace declaration can also be templated, e.g.,:

.. cpp:class:: template<typename T> \

.. cpp:namespace:: template<typename T> std::vector

.. cpp:function:: std::size_t size() const

declares size as a member function of the class template std::vector.  Equivalently this could have been declared using:

.. cpp:class:: template<typename T> \

   .. cpp:function:: std::size_t size() const


.. cpp:class:: template<typename T> \
.. cpp:namespace-push:: scope specification

Change the scope relatively to the current scope. For example, after:

.. cpp:namespace:: A::B

.. cpp:namespace-push:: C::D

the current scope will be A::B::C::D.

New in version 1.4.

.. cpp:namespace-pop::

Undo the previous cpp:namespace-push directive (not just pop a scope). For example, after:

.. cpp:namespace:: A::B

.. cpp:namespace-push:: C::D

.. cpp:namespace-pop::

the current scope will be A::B (not A::B::C).

If no previous cpp:namespace-push directive has been used, but only a cpp:namespace directive, then the current scope will be reset to global scope.  That is, .. cpp:namespace:: A::B is equivalent to:

.. cpp:namespace:: nullptr

.. cpp:namespace-push:: A::B

New in version 1.4.

Info field lists

The C++ directives support the following info fields (see also Info field lists):

  • param, parameter, arg, argument: Description of a parameter.
  • tparam: Description of a template parameter.
  • returns, return: Description of a return value.
  • throws, throw, exception: Description of a possibly thrown exception.


These roles link to the given declaration types:


Reference a C++ declaration by name (see below for details).  The name must be properly qualified relative to the position of the link.

New in version 2.0: The cpp:struct role as alias for the cpp:class role.

Note on References with Templates Parameters/Arguments

These roles follow the Sphinx xref-syntax rules. This means care must be taken when referencing a (partial) template specialization, e.g. if the link looks like this: :cpp:class:`MyClass<int>`. This is interpreted as a link to int with a title of MyClass. In this case, escape the opening angle bracket with a backslash, like this: :cpp:class:`MyClass\<int>`.

When a custom title is not needed it may be useful to use the roles for inline expressions, cpp:expr and cpp:texpr, where angle brackets do not need escaping.

Declarations without template parameters and template arguments

For linking to non-templated declarations the name must be a nested name, e.g., f or MyClass::f.

Overloaded (member) functions

When a (member) function is referenced using just its name, the reference will point to an arbitrary matching overload. The cpp:any and cpp:func roles will an alternative format, which simply is a complete function declaration. This will resolve to the exact matching overload. As example, consider the following class declaration:

class C

void f(double d) const

void f(double d)

void f(int i)

void f()

References using the cpp:func role:

  • Arbitrary overload: C::f, C::f()
  • Also arbitrary overload: C::f(), C::f()
  • Specific overload: void C::f(), void C::f()
  • Specific overload: void C::f(int), void C::f(int)
  • Specific overload: void C::f(double), void C::f(double)
  • Specific overload: void C::f(double) const, void C::f(double) const

Note that the add_function_parentheses configuration variable does not influence specific overload references.

Templated declarations

Assume the following declarations.

class Wrapper
template<typename TOuter> class Outer

template<typename TInner> class Inner

In general the reference must include the template parameter declarations, and template arguments for the prefix of qualified names. For example:

  • template\<typename TOuter> Wrapper::Outer (template<typename TOuter> Wrapper::Outer)
  • template\<typename TOuter> template\<typename TInner> Wrapper::Outer<TOuter>::Inner (template<typename TOuter> template<typename TInner> Wrapper::Outer<TOuter>::Inner)

Currently the lookup only succeed if the template parameter identifiers are equal strings. That is, template\<typename UOuter> Wrapper::Outer will not work.

As a shorthand notation, if a template parameter list is omitted, then the lookup will assume either a primary template or a non-template, but not a partial template specialisation. This means the following references work as well:

  • Wrapper::Outer (Wrapper::Outer)
  • Wrapper::Outer::Inner (Wrapper::Outer::Inner)
  • template\<typename TInner> Wrapper::Outer::Inner (template<typename TInner> Wrapper::Outer::Inner)

(Full) Template Specialisations

Assume the following declarations.

template<typename TOuter> class Outer

template<typename TInner> class Inner

template<> class Outer<int>

template<typename TInner> class Inner

template<> class Inner<bool>

In general the reference must include a template parameter list for each template argument list.  The full specialisation above can therefore be referenced with template\<> Outer\<int> (template<> Outer<int>) and template\<> template\<> Outer\<int>::Inner\<bool> (template<> template<> Outer<int>::Inner<bool>).  As a shorthand the empty template parameter list can be omitted, e.g., Outer\<int> (Outer<int>) and Outer\<int>::Inner\<bool> (Outer<int>::Inner<bool>).

Partial Template Specialisations

Assume the following declaration.

template<typename T> class Outer<T *>

References to partial specialisations must always include the template parameter lists, e.g., template\<typename T> Outer\<T*> (template<typename T> Outer<T*>).  Currently the lookup only succeed if the template parameter identifiers are equal strings.

Configuration Variables

See cpp-config.

The Standard Domain

The so-called “standard” domain collects all markup that doesn’t warrant a domain of its own.  Its directives and roles are not prefixed with a domain name.

The standard domain is also where custom object descriptions, added using the add_object_type() API, are placed.

There is a set of directives allowing documenting command-line programs:

.. option:: name args, name args, ...

Describes a command line argument or switch.  Option argument names should be enclosed in angle brackets.  Examples:

.. option:: dest_dir

   Destination directory.

.. option:: -m <module>, --module <module>

   Run a module as a script.

The directive will create cross-reference targets for the given options, referenceable by option (in the example case, you’d use something like :option:`dest_dir`, :option:`-m`, or :option:`--module`).

cmdoption directive is a deprecated alias for the option directive.

.. envvar:: name

Describes an environment variable that the documented code or program uses or defines.  Referenceable by envvar.

.. program:: name

Like py:currentmodule, this directive produces no output. Instead, it serves to notify Sphinx that all following option directives document options for the program called name.

If you use program, you have to qualify the references in your option roles by the program name, so if you have the following situation

.. program:: rm

.. option:: -r

   Work recursively.

.. program:: svn

.. option:: -r revision

   Specify the revision to work upon.

then :option:`rm -r` would refer to the first option, while :option:`svn -r` would refer to the second one.

The program name may contain spaces (in case you want to document subcommands like svn add and svn commit separately).

New in version 0.5.

There is also a very generic object description directive, which is not tied to any domain:

.. describe:: text
.. object:: text

This directive produces the same formatting as the specific ones provided by domains, but does not create index entries or cross-referencing targets. Example:

.. describe:: PAPER

   You can set this variable to select a paper size.

The JavaScript Domain

The JavaScript domain (name js) provides the following directives:

.. js:module:: name

This directive sets the module name for object declarations that follow after. The module name is used in the global module index and in cross references. This directive does not create an object heading like py:class would, for example.

By default, this directive will create a linkable entity and will cause an entry in the global module index, unless the noindex option is specified.  If this option is specified, the directive will only update the current module name.

New in version 1.6.

.. js:function:: name(signature)

Describes a JavaScript function or method.  If you want to describe arguments as optional use square brackets as documented for Python signatures.

You can use fields to give more details about arguments and their expected types, errors which may be thrown by the function, and the value being returned:

.. js:function:: $.getJSON(href, callback[, errback])

   :param string href: An URI to the location of the resource.
   :param callback: Gets called with the object.
   :param errback:
       Gets called in case the request fails. And a lot of other
       text so we need multiple lines.
   :throws SomeError: For whatever reason in that case.
   :returns: Something.

This is rendered as:

$.getJSON(href, callback[, errback])
  • href (string) – An URI to the location of the resource.
  • callback – Gets called with the object.
  • errback – Gets called in case the request fails. And a lot of other text so we need multiple lines.

SomeError – For whatever reason in that case.



.. js:method:: name(signature)

This directive is an alias for js:function, however it describes a function that is implemented as a method on a class object.

New in version 1.6.

.. js:class:: name

Describes a constructor that creates an object.  This is basically like a function but will show up with a class prefix:

.. js:class:: MyAnimal(name[, age])

   :param string name: The name of the animal
   :param number age: an optional age for the animal

This is rendered as:

class MyAnimal(name[, age])
  • name (string) – The name of the animal
  • age (number) – an optional age for the animal
.. js:data:: name

Describes a global variable or constant.

.. js:attribute:: object.name

Describes the attribute name of object.

These roles are provided to refer to the described objects:







The reStructuredText domain

The reStructuredText domain (name rst) provides the following directives:

.. rst:directive:: name

Describes a reST directive.  The name can be a single directive name or actual directive syntax (.. prefix and :: suffix) with arguments that will be rendered differently.  For example:

.. rst:directive:: foo

   Foo description.

.. rst:directive:: .. bar:: baz

   Bar description.

will be rendered as:

.. foo::

Foo description.

.. bar:: baz

Bar description.

.. rst:role:: name

Describes a reST role.  For example:

.. rst:role:: foo

   Foo description.

will be rendered as:


Foo description.

These roles are provided to refer to the described objects:



The Math Domain

The math domain (name math) provides the following roles:

.. rst:role:: math:numref

Role for cross-referencing equations defined by math directive via their label.  Example:

.. math:: e^{i\pi} + 1 = 0
   :label: euler

Euler's identity, equation :math:numref:`euler`, was elected one of the
most beautiful mathematical formulas.

New in version 1.8.

More domains

The sphinx-contrib repository contains more domains available as extensions; currently Ada, CoffeeScript, Erlang, HTTP, Lasso, MATLAB, PHP, and Ruby domains. Also available are domains for Chapel, Common Lisp, dqn, Go, Jinja, Operation, and Scala.


Markdown is a lightweight markup language with a simplistic plain text formatting syntax.  It exists in many syntactically different flavors.  To support Markdown-based documentation, Sphinx can use recommonmark. recommonmark is a Docutils bridge to CommonMark-py, a Python package for parsing the CommonMark Markdown flavor.


To configure your Sphinx project for Markdown support, proceed as follows:


Install the Markdown parser recommonmark:

pip install --upgrade recommonmark

The configuration as explained here requires recommonmark version 0.5.0 or later.


Add recommonmark to the list of configured extensions:

extensions = ['recommonmark']

Changed in version 1.8: Version 1.8 deprecates and version 3.0 removes the source_parsers configuration variable that was used by older recommonmark versions.


If you want to use Markdown files with extensions other than .md, adjust the source_suffix variable.  The following example configures Sphinx to parse all files with the extensions .md and .txt as Markdown:

source_suffix = {
    '.rst': 'restructuredtext',
    '.txt': 'markdown',
    '.md': 'markdown',

You can further configure recommonmark to allow custom syntax that standard CommonMark doesn’t support.  Read more in the recommonmark documentation.


The configuration directory must contain a file named conf.py. This file (containing Python code) is called the “build configuration file” and contains (almost) all configuration needed to customize Sphinx input and output behavior.

An optional file docutils.conf can be added to the configuration directory to adjust Docutils configuration if not otherwise overridden or set by Sphinx.

The configuration file is executed as Python code at build time (using execfile(), and with the current directory set to its containing directory), and therefore can execute arbitrarily complex code.  Sphinx then reads simple names from the file’s namespace as its configuration.

Important points to note:

Project information


The documented project’s name.


The author name(s) of the document.  The default value is 'unknown'.


A copyright statement in the style '2008, Author Name'.


The major project version, used as the replacement for |version|.  For example, for the Python documentation, this may be something like 2.6.


The full project version, used as the replacement for |release| and e.g. in the HTML templates.  For example, for the Python documentation, this may be something like 2.6.0rc1.

If you don’t need the separation provided between version and release, just set them both to the same value.

General configuration


A list of strings that are module names of extensions. These can be extensions coming with Sphinx (named sphinx.ext.*) or custom ones.

Note that you can extend sys.path within the conf file if your extensions live in another directory – but make sure you use absolute paths. If your extension path is relative to the configuration directory, use os.path.abspath() like so:

import sys, os


extensions = ['extname']

That way, you can load an extension called extname from the subdirectory sphinxext.

The configuration file itself can be an extension; for that, you only need to provide a setup() function in it.


The file extensions of source files.  Sphinx considers the files with this suffix as sources.  The value can be a dictionary mapping file extensions to file types.  For example:

source_suffix = {
    '.rst': 'restructuredtext',
    '.txt': 'restructuredtext',
    '.md': 'markdown',

By default, Sphinx only supports 'restructuredtext' file type.  You can add a new file type using source parser extensions.  Please read a document of the extension to know which file type the extension supports.

The value may also be a list of file extensions: then Sphinx will consider that they all map to the 'restructuredtext' file type.

Default is {'.rst': 'restructuredtext'}.


file extensions have to start with a dot (e.g. .rst).

Changed in version 1.3: Can now be a list of extensions.

Changed in version 1.8: Support file type mapping


The encoding of all reST source files.  The recommended encoding, and the default value, is 'utf-8-sig'.

New in version 0.5: Previously, Sphinx accepted only UTF-8 encoded sources.


If given, a dictionary of parser classes for different source suffices.  The keys are the suffix, the values can be either a class or a string giving a fully-qualified name of a parser class.  The parser class can be either docutils.parsers.Parser or sphinx.parsers.Parser.  Files with a suffix that is not in the dictionary will be parsed with the default reStructuredText parser.

For example:

source_parsers = {'.md': 'recommonmark.parser.CommonMarkParser'}

Refer to /usage/markdown for more information on using Markdown with Sphinx.

New in version 1.3.

Deprecated since version 1.8: Now Sphinx provides an API Sphinx.add_source_parser() to register a source parser.  Please use it instead.


The document name of the “master” document, that is, the document that contains the root toctree directive.  Default is 'index'.

Changed in version 2.0: The default is changed to 'index' from 'contents'.


A list of glob-style patterns that should be excluded when looking for source files. [1] They are matched against the source file names relative to the source directory, using slashes as directory separators on all platforms.

Example patterns:

  • 'library/xml.rst' – ignores the library/xml.rst file (replaces entry in unused_docs)
  • 'library/xml' – ignores the library/xml directory
  • 'library/xml*' – ignores all files and directories starting with library/xml
  • '**/.svn' – ignores all .svn directories

exclude_patterns is also consulted when looking for static files in html_static_path and html_extra_path.

New in version 1.0.


A list of paths that contain extra templates (or templates that overwrite builtin/theme-specific templates).  Relative paths are taken as relative to the configuration directory.

Changed in version 1.3: As these files are not meant to be built, they are automatically added to exclude_patterns.


A string with the fully-qualified name of a callable (or simply a class) that returns an instance of TemplateBridge. This instance is then used to render HTML documents, and possibly the output of other builders (currently the changes builder).  (Note that the template bridge must be made theme-aware if HTML themes are to be used.)


A string of reStructuredText that will be included at the end of every source file that is read.  This is a possible place to add substitutions that should be available in every file (another being rst_prolog).  An example:

rst_epilog = """
.. |psf| replace:: Python Software Foundation

New in version 0.6.


A string of reStructuredText that will be included at the beginning of every source file that is read.  This is a possible place to add substitutions that should be available in every file (another being rst_epilog).  An example:

rst_prolog = """
.. |psf| replace:: Python Software Foundation

New in version 1.0.


The name of the default domain. Can also be None to disable a default domain.  The default is 'py'. Those objects in other domains (whether the domain name is given explicitly, or selected by a default-domain directive) will have the domain name explicitly prepended when named (e.g., when the default domain is C, Python functions will be named “Python function”, not just “function”).

New in version 1.0.


The name of a reST role (builtin or Sphinx extension) to use as the default role, that is, for text marked up `like this`.  This can be set to 'py:obj' to make `filter` a cross-reference to the Python function “filter”.  The default is None, which doesn’t reassign the default role.

The default role can always be set within individual documents using the standard reST default-role directive.

New in version 0.4.


If true, keep warnings as “system message” paragraphs in the built documents.  Regardless of this setting, warnings are always written to the standard error stream when sphinx-build is run.

The default is False, the pre-0.5 behavior was to always keep them.

New in version 0.5.


A list of warning types to suppress arbitrary warning messages.

Sphinx supports following warning types:

  • app.add_node
  • app.add_directive
  • app.add_role
  • app.add_generic_role
  • app.add_source_parser
  • download.not_readable
  • image.not_readable
  • ref.term
  • ref.ref
  • ref.numref
  • ref.keyword
  • ref.option
  • ref.citation
  • ref.footnote
  • ref.doc
  • ref.python
  • misc.highlighting_failure
  • toc.secnum
  • epub.unknown_project_files

You can choose from these types.

Now, this option should be considered experimental.

New in version 1.4.

Changed in version 1.5: Added misc.highlighting_failure

Changed in version 1.5.1: Added epub.unknown_project_files

Changed in version 1.6: Added ref.footnote


If set to a major.minor version string like '1.1', Sphinx will compare it with its version and refuse to build if it is too old.  Default is no requirement.

New in version 1.0.

Changed in version 1.4: also accepts micro version string


This value can be a dictionary specifying version requirements for extensions in extensions, e.g. needs_extensions = {'sphinxcontrib.something': '1.5'}.  The version strings should be in the form major.minor.  Requirements do not have to be specified for all extensions, only for those you want to check.

This requires that the extension specifies its version to Sphinx (see dev-extensions for how to do that).

New in version 1.3.


A URL to cross-reference manpage directives. If this is defined to https://manpages.debian.org/{path}, the :manpage:`man(1)` role will link to <https://manpages.debian.org/man(1)>. The patterns available are:

  • page - the manual page (man)
  • section - the manual section (1)
  • path - the original manual page and section specified (man(1))

This also supports manpages specified as man.1.


This currently affects only HTML writers but could be expanded in the future.

New in version 1.7.


If true, Sphinx will warn about all references where the target cannot be found.  Default is False.  You can activate this mode temporarily using the -n command-line switch.

New in version 1.0.


A list of (type, target) tuples (by default empty) that should be ignored when generating warnings in “nitpicky mode”.  Note that type should include the domain name if present.  Example entries would be ('py:func', 'int') or ('envvar', 'LD_LIBRARY_PATH').

New in version 1.1.


If true, figures, tables and code-blocks are automatically numbered if they have a caption.  The numref role is enabled. Obeyed so far only by HTML and LaTeX builders. Default is False.


The LaTeX builder always assigns numbers whether this option is enabled or not.

New in version 1.3.


A dictionary mapping 'figure', 'table', 'code-block' and 'section' to strings that are used for format of figure numbers. As a special character, %s will be replaced to figure number.

Default is to use 'Fig. %s' for 'figure', 'Table %s' for 'table', 'Listing %s' for 'code-block' and 'Section' for 'section'.

New in version 1.3.

  • if set to 0, figures, tables and code-blocks are continuously numbered starting at 1.
  • if 1 (default) numbers will be x.1, x.2, … with x the section number (top level sectioning; no x. if no section). This naturally applies only if section numbering has been activated via the :numbered: option of the toctree directive.
  • 2 means that numbers will be x.y.1, x.y.2, … if located in a sub-section (but still x.1, x.2, … if located directly under a section and 1, 2, … if not in any top level section.)
  • etc…

New in version 1.3.

Changed in version 1.7: The LaTeX builder obeys this setting (if numfig is set to True).


If true, the Docutils Smart Quotes transform, originally based on SmartyPants (limited to English) and currently applying to many languages, will be used to convert quotes and dashes to typographically correct entities.  Default: True.

New in version 1.6.6: It replaces deprecated html_use_smartypants. It applies by default to all builders except man and text (see smartquotes_excludes.)

A docutils.conf file located in the configuration directory (or a global ~/.docutils file) is obeyed unconditionally if it deactivates smart quotes via the corresponding Docutils option.  But if it activates them, then smartquotes does prevail.


This string, for use with Docutils 0.14 or later, customizes the Smart Quotes transform.  See the file smartquotes.py at the Docutils repository for details.  The default 'qDe' educates normal quote characters ", ', em- and en-Dashes ---, --, and ellipses ....

New in version 1.6.6.


This is a dict whose default is:

{'languages': ['ja'], 'builders': ['man', 'text']}

Each entry gives a sufficient condition to ignore the smartquotes setting and deactivate the Smart Quotes transform. Accepted keys are as above 'builders' or 'languages'. The values are lists.


Currently, in case of invocation of make with multiple targets, the first target name is the only one which is tested against the 'builders' entry and it decides for all.  Also, a make text following make html needs to be issued in the form make text O="-E" to force re-parsing of source files, as the cached ones are already transformed.  On the other hand the issue does not arise with direct usage of sphinx-build as it caches (in its default usage) the parsed source files in per builder locations.

New in version 1.6.6.


If true, Sphinx verifies server certifications.  Default is True.

New in version 1.5.


A path to a certification file of CA or a path to directory which contains the certificates.  This also allows a dictionary mapping hostname to the path to certificate file. The certificates are used to verify server certifications.

New in version 1.5.


These values determine how to format the current date, used as the replacement for |today|.

  • If you set today to a non-empty value, it is used.
  • Otherwise, the current time is formatted using time.strftime() and the format given in today_fmt.

The default is now today and a today_fmt of '%B %d, %Y' (or, if translation is enabled with language, an equivalent format for the selected locale).


The default language to highlight source code in.  The default is 'python3'.  The value should be a valid Pygments lexer name, see code-examples for more details.

New in version 0.5.

Changed in version 1.4: The default is now 'default'. It is similar to 'python3'; it is mostly a superset of 'python' but it fallbacks to 'none' without warning if failed.  'python3' and other languages will emit warning if failed.  If you prefer Python 2 only highlighting, you can set it back to 'python'.


A dictionary of options that modify how the lexer specified by highlight_language generates highlighted source code. These are lexer-specific; for the options understood by each, see the Pygments documentation.

New in version 1.3.


The style name to use for Pygments highlighting of source code.  If not set, either the theme’s default style or 'sphinx' is selected for HTML output.

Changed in version 0.3: If the value is a fully-qualified name of a custom Pygments style class, this is then used as custom style.


A boolean that decides whether parentheses are appended to function and method role text (e.g. the content of :func:`input`) to signify that the name is callable.  Default is True.


A boolean that decides whether module names are prepended to all object names (for object types where a “module” of some kind is defined), e.g. for py:function directives.  Default is True.


A boolean that decides whether codeauthor and sectionauthor directives produce any output in the built files.


A list of prefixes that are ignored for sorting the Python module index (e.g., if this is set to ['foo.'], then foo.bar is shown under B, not F). This can be handy if you document a project that consists of a single package.  Works only for the HTML builder currently.  Default is [].

New in version 0.6.


Trim spaces before footnote references that are necessary for the reST parser to recognize the footnote, but do not look too nice in the output.

New in version 0.6.


If true, doctest flags (comments looking like # doctest: FLAG, ...) at the ends of lines and <BLANKLINE> markers are removed for all code blocks showing interactive Python sessions (i.e. doctests).  Default is True.  See the extension doctest for more possibilities of including doctests.

New in version 1.0.

Changed in version 1.1: Now also removes <BLANKLINE>.

Options for internationalization

These options influence Sphinx’s Native Language Support.  See the documentation on intl for details.


The code for the language the docs are written in.  Any text automatically generated by Sphinx will be in that language.  Also, Sphinx will try to substitute individual paragraphs from your documents with the translation sets obtained from locale_dirs.  Sphinx will search language-specific figures named by figure_language_filename and substitute them for original figures.  In the LaTeX builder, a suitable language will be selected as an option for the Babel package.  Default is None, which means that no translation will be done.

New in version 0.5.

Changed in version 1.4: Support figure substitution

Currently supported languages by Sphinx are:

  • bn – Bengali
  • ca – Catalan
  • cs – Czech
  • da – Danish
  • de – German
  • en – English
  • es – Spanish
  • et – Estonian
  • eu – Basque
  • fa – Iranian
  • fi – Finnish
  • fr – French
  • he – Hebrew
  • hr – Croatian
  • hu – Hungarian
  • id – Indonesian
  • it – Italian
  • ja – Japanese
  • ko – Korean
  • lt – Lithuanian
  • lv – Latvian
  • mk – Macedonian
  • nb_NO – Norwegian Bokmal
  • ne – Nepali
  • nl – Dutch
  • pl – Polish
  • pt_BR – Brazilian Portuguese
  • pt_PT – European Portuguese
  • ru – Russian
  • si – Sinhala
  • sk – Slovak
  • sl – Slovenian
  • sv – Swedish
  • tr – Turkish
  • uk_UA – Ukrainian
  • vi – Vietnamese
  • zh_CN – Simplified Chinese
  • zh_TW – Traditional Chinese

New in version 0.5.

Directories in which to search for additional message catalogs (see language), relative to the source directory.  The directories on this path are searched by the standard gettext module.

Internal messages are fetched from a text domain of sphinx; so if you add the directory ./locale to this setting, the message catalogs (compiled from .po format using msgfmt) must be in ./locale/language/LC_MESSAGES/sphinx.mo.  The text domain of individual documents depends on gettext_compact.

The default is ['locales'].

Changed in version 1.5: Use locales directory as a default value


New in version 1.1.

If true, a document’s text domain is its docname if it is a top-level project file and its very base directory otherwise.

By default, the document markup/code.rst ends up in the markup text domain.  With this option set to False, it is markup/code.


If true, Sphinx generates uuid information for version tracking in message catalogs. It is used for:

  • Add uid line for each msgids in .pot files.
  • Calculate similarity between new msgids and previously saved old msgids. This calculation takes a long time.

If you want to accelerate the calculation, you can use python-levenshtein 3rd-party package written in C by using pip install python-levenshtein.

The default is False.

New in version 1.3.


If true, Sphinx generates location information for messages in message catalogs.

The default is True.

New in version 1.3.


If true, Sphinx builds mo file for each translation catalog files.

The default is True.

New in version 1.3.


To specify names to enable gettext extracting and translation applying for i18n additionally. You can specify below names:


index terms


literal blocks: :: and code-block.


doctest block


raw content


image/figure uri and alt

For example: gettext_additional_targets = ['literal-block', 'image'].

The default is [].

New in version 1.3.


The filename format for language-specific figures.  The default value is {root}.{language}{ext}.  It will be expanded to dirname/filename.en.png from .. image:: dirname/filename.png. The available format tokens are:

  • {root} - the filename, including any path component, without the file extension, e.g. dirname/filename
  • {path} - the directory path component of the filename, with a trailing slash if non-empty, e.g. dirname/
  • {basename} - the filename without the directory path or file extension components, e.g. filename
  • {ext} - the file extension, e.g. .png
  • {language} - the translation language, e.g. en

For example, setting this to {path}{language}/{basename}{ext} will expand to dirname/en/filename.png instead.

New in version 1.4.

Changed in version 1.5: Added {path} and {basename} tokens.

Options for Math

These options influence Math notations.


Set this option to True if you want all displayed math to be numbered. The default is False.


A string used for formatting the labels of references to equations. The {number} place-holder stands for the equation number.

Example: 'Eq.{number}' gets rendered as, for example, Eq.10.


If True, displayed math equations are numbered across pages when numfig is enabled.  The numfig_secnum_depth setting is respected.  The eq, not numref, role must be used to reference equation numbers.  Default is True.

New in version 1.7.

Options for HTML output

These options influence HTML as well as HTML Help output, and other builders that use Sphinx’s HTMLWriter class.


The “theme” that the HTML output should use.  See the section about theming.  The default is 'alabaster'.

New in version 0.6.


A dictionary of options that influence the look and feel of the selected theme.  These are theme-specific.  For the options understood by the builtin themes, see this section.

New in version 0.6.


A list of paths that contain custom themes, either as subdirectories or as zip files.  Relative paths are taken as relative to the configuration directory.

New in version 0.6.


The style sheet to use for HTML pages.  A file of that name must exist either in Sphinx’s static/ path, or in one of the custom paths given in html_static_path.  Default is the stylesheet given by the selected theme.  If you only want to add or override a few things compared to the theme’s stylesheet, use CSS @import to import the theme’s stylesheet.


The “title” for HTML documentation generated with Sphinx’s own templates. This is appended to the <title> tag of individual pages, and used in the navigation bar as the “topmost” element.  It defaults to '<project> v<revision> documentation'.


A shorter “title” for the HTML docs.  This is used in for links in the header and in the HTML Help docs.  If not given, it defaults to the value of html_title.

New in version 0.4.


The URL which points to the root of the HTML documentation.  It is used to indicate the location of document like canonical_url.

New in version 1.8.


A dictionary of values to pass into the template engine’s context for all pages.  Single values can also be put in this dictionary using the -A command-line option of sphinx-build.

New in version 0.5.


If given, this must be the name of an image file (path relative to the configuration directory) that is the logo of the docs.  It is placed at the top of the sidebar; its width should therefore not exceed 200 pixels. Default: None.

New in version 0.4.1: The image file will be copied to the _static directory of the output HTML, but only if the file does not already exist there.


If given, this must be the name of an image file (path relative to the configuration directory) that is the favicon of the docs.  Modern browsers use this as the icon for tabs, windows and bookmarks.  It should be a Windows-style icon file (.ico), which is 16x16 or 32x32 pixels large.  Default: None.

New in version 0.4: The image file will be copied to the _static directory of the output HTML, but only if the file does not already exist there.


A list of CSS files.  The entry must be a filename string or a tuple containing the filename string and the attributes dictionary.  The filename must be relative to the html_static_path, or a full URI with scheme like http://example.org/style.css.  The attributes is used for attributes of <link> tag.  It defaults to an empty list.


html_css_files = ['custom.css'
                  ('print.css', {'media': 'print'})]

New in version 1.8.


A list of JavaScript filename.  The entry must be a filename string or a tuple containing the filename string and the attributes dictionary.  The filename must be relative to the html_static_path, or a full URI with scheme like http://example.org/script.js.  The attributes is used for attributes of <script> tag.  It defaults to an empty list.


html_js_files = ['script.js',
                 ('custom.js', {'async': 'async'})]

New in version 1.8.


A list of paths that contain custom static files (such as style sheets or script files).  Relative paths are taken as relative to the configuration directory.  They are copied to the output’s _static directory after the theme’s static files, so a file named default.css will overwrite the theme’s default.css.

As these files are not meant to be built, they are automatically excluded from source files.


For security reasons, dotfiles under html_static_path will not be copied.  If you would like to copy them intentionally, please add each filepath to this setting:

html_static_path = ['_static', '_static/.htaccess']

Another way to do that, you can also use html_extra_path.  It allows to copy dotfiles under the directories.

Changed in version 0.4: The paths in html_static_path can now contain subdirectories.

Changed in version 1.0: The entries in html_static_path can now be single files.

Changed in version 1.8: The files under html_static_path are excluded from source files.


A list of paths that contain extra files not directly related to the documentation, such as robots.txt or .htaccess. Relative paths are taken as relative to the configuration directory.  They are copied to the output directory.  They will overwrite any existing file of the same name.

As these files are not meant to be built, they are automatically excluded from source files.

New in version 1.2.

Changed in version 1.4: The dotfiles in the extra directory will be copied to the output directory.  And it refers exclude_patterns on copying extra files and directories, and ignores if path matches to patterns.


If this is not None, a ‘Last updated on:’ timestamp is inserted at every page bottom, using the given strftime() format. The empty string is equivalent to '%b %d, %Y' (or a locale-dependent equivalent).


If true, quotes and dashes are converted to typographically correct entities.  Default: True.

Deprecated since version 1.6: To disable smart quotes, use rather smartquotes.


Sphinx will add “permalinks” for each heading and description environment as paragraph signs that become visible when the mouse hovers over them.

This value determines the text for the permalink; it defaults to "¶". Set it to None or the empty string to disable permalinks.

New in version 0.6: Previously, this was always activated.

Changed in version 1.1: This can now be a string to select the actual text of the link. Previously, only boolean values were accepted.


Custom sidebar templates, must be a dictionary that maps document names to template names.

The keys can contain glob-style patterns [1], in which case all matching documents will get the specified sidebars.  (A warning is emitted when a more than one glob-style pattern matches for any document.)

The values can be either lists or single strings.

  • If a value is a list, it specifies the complete list of sidebar templates to include.  If all or some of the default sidebars are to be included, they must be put into this list as well.

    The default sidebars (for documents that don’t match any pattern) are defined by theme itself.  Builtin themes are using these templates by default: ['localtoc.html', 'relations.html', 'sourcelink.html', 'searchbox.html'].

  • If a value is a single string, it specifies a custom sidebar to be added between the 'sourcelink.html' and 'searchbox.html' entries.  This is for compatibility with Sphinx versions before 1.0.

Deprecated since version 1.7: a single string value for html_sidebars will be removed in 2.0

Builtin sidebar templates that can be rendered are:

  • localtoc.html – a fine-grained table of contents of the current document
  • globaltoc.html – a coarse-grained table of contents for the whole documentation set, collapsed
  • relations.html – two links to the previous and next documents
  • sourcelink.html – a link to the source of the current document, if enabled in html_show_sourcelink
  • searchbox.html – the “quick search” box


html_sidebars = {
   '**': ['globaltoc.html', 'sourcelink.html', 'searchbox.html'],
   'using/windows': ['windowssidebar.html', 'searchbox.html'],

This will render the custom template windowssidebar.html and the quick search box within the sidebar of the given document, and render the default sidebars for all other pages (except that the local TOC is replaced by the global TOC).

New in version 1.0: The ability to use globbing keys and to specify multiple sidebars.

Note that this value only has no effect if the chosen theme does not possess a sidebar, like the builtin scrolls and haiku themes.


Additional templates that should be rendered to HTML pages, must be a dictionary that maps document names to template names.


html_additional_pages = {
    'download': 'customdownload.html',

This will render the template customdownload.html as the page download.html.


If true, generate domain-specific indices in addition to the general index. For e.g. the Python domain, this is the global module index.  Default is True.

This value can be a bool or a list of index names that should be generated. To find out the index name for a specific index, look at the HTML file name. For example, the Python module index has the name 'py-modindex'.

New in version 1.0.


If true, add an index to the HTML documents.  Default is True.

New in version 0.4.


If true, the index is generated twice: once as a single page with all the entries, and once as one page per starting letter.  Default is False.

New in version 0.4.


If true, the reST sources are included in the HTML build as _sources/name.  The default is True.


If true (and html_copy_source is true as well), links to the reST sources will be added to the sidebar.  The default is True.

New in version 0.6.


Suffix to be appended to source links (see html_show_sourcelink), unless they have this suffix already.  Default is '.txt'.

New in version 1.5.


If nonempty, an OpenSearch description file will be output, and all pages will contain a <link> tag referring to it.  Since OpenSearch doesn’t support relative URLs for its search page location, the value of this option must be the base URL from which these documents are served (without trailing slash), e.g. "https://docs.python.org".  The default is ''.


This is the file name suffix for generated HTML files.  The default is ".html".

New in version 0.4.


Suffix for generated links to HTML files.  The default is whatever html_file_suffix is set to; it can be set differently (e.g. to support different web server setups).

New in version 0.6.


If true, “(C) Copyright …” is shown in the HTML footer. Default is True.

New in version 1.0.


If true, “Created using Sphinx” is shown in the HTML footer.  Default is True.

New in version 0.4.


Encoding of HTML output files. Default is 'utf-8'.  Note that this encoding name must both be a valid Python encoding name and a valid HTML charset value.

New in version 1.0.


If true, a list all whose items consist of a single paragraph and/or a sub-list all whose items etc… (recursive definition) will not use the <p> element for any of its items. This is standard docutils behavior. Default: True.

New in version 1.0.


Suffix for section numbers.  Default: ". ".  Set to " " to suppress the final dot on section numbers.

New in version 1.0.


Language to be used for generating the HTML full-text search index.  This defaults to the global language selected with language.  If there is no support for this language, "en" is used which selects the English language.

Support is present for these languages:

  • da – Danish
  • nl – Dutch
  • en – English
  • fi – Finnish
  • fr – French
  • de – German
  • hu – Hungarian
  • it – Italian
  • ja – Japanese
  • no – Norwegian
  • pt – Portuguese
  • ro – Romanian
  • ru – Russian
  • es – Spanish
  • sv – Swedish
  • tr – Turkish
  • zh – Chinese

    Accelerating build speed

    Each language (except Japanese) provides its own stemming algorithm. Sphinx uses a Python implementation by default.  You can use a C implementation to accelerate building the index file.

    • PorterStemmer (en)
    • PyStemmer (all languages)

New in version 1.1: With support for en and ja.

Changed in version 1.3: Added additional languages.


A dictionary with options for the search language support, empty by default. The meaning of these options depends on the language selected.

The English support has no options.

The Japanese support has these options:


is dotted module path string to specify Splitter implementation which should be derived from sphinx.search.ja.BaseSplitter.  If not specified or None is specified, 'sphinx.search.ja.DefaultSplitter' will be used.

You can choose from these modules:


TinySegmenter algorithm. This is default splitter.


MeCab binding. To use this splitter, ‘mecab’ python binding or dynamic link library (‘libmecab.so’ for linux, ‘libmecab.dll’ for windows) is required.


Janome binding. To use this splitter, Janome is required.

Deprecated since version 1.6: 'mecab', 'janome' and 'default' is deprecated. To keep compatibility, 'mecab', 'janome' and 'default' are also acceptable.

Other option values depend on splitter value which you choose.

Options for 'mecab':

is the encoding for the MeCab algorithm.


is the dictionary to use for the MeCab algorithm.


is the library name for finding the MeCab library via ctypes if the Python binding is not installed.

For example:

html_search_options = {
    'type': 'mecab',
    'dic_enc': 'utf-8',
    'dict': '/path/to/mecab.dic',
    'lib': '/path/to/libmecab.so',
Options for 'janome':

is the user dictionary file path for Janome.


is the encoding for the user dictionary file specified by user_dic option. Default is ‘utf8’.

New in version 1.1.

Changed in version 1.4: html_search_options for Japanese is re-organized and any custom splitter can be used by type settings.

The Chinese support has these options:

  • dict  – the jieba dictionary path if want to use custom dictionary.

The name of a JavaScript file (relative to the configuration directory) that implements a search results scorer.  If empty, the default will be used.

New in version 1.2.


If true, images itself links to the original image if it doesn’t have ‘target’ option or scale related options: ‘scale’, ‘width’, ‘height’. The default is True.

New in version 1.3.


The name of math_renderer extension for HTML output.  The default is 'mathjax'.

New in version 1.8.


Output is processed with HTML5 writer.  This feature needs docutils 0.13 or newer.  Default is False.

New in version 1.6.

Deprecated since version 2.0.


Output is processed with HTML4 writer.  Default is False.

Options for Single HTML output


Custom sidebar templates, must be a dictionary that maps document names to template names.  And it only allows a key named ‘index’.  All other keys are ignored.  For more information, refer to html_sidebars.  By default, it is same as html_sidebars.

Options for HTML help output


Output file base name for HTML help builder.  Default is 'pydoc'.


This is the file name suffix for generated HTML help files.  The default is ".html".

New in version 2.0.


Suffix for generated links to HTML files.  The default is ".html".

New in version 2.0.

Options for Apple Help output

New in version 1.3.

These options influence the Apple Help output.  This builder derives from the HTML builder, so the HTML options also apply where appropriate.


Apple Help output will only work on Mac OS X 10.6 and higher, as it requires the hiutil and codesign command line tools, neither of which are Open Source.

You can disable the use of these tools using applehelp_disable_external_tools, but the result will not be a valid help book until the indexer is run over the .lproj folders within the bundle.


The basename for the Apple Help Book.  Defaults to the project name.


The bundle ID for the help book bundle.


You must set this value in order to generate Apple Help.


The development region.  Defaults to 'en-us', which is Apple’s recommended setting.


The bundle version (as a string).  Defaults to '1'.


The help bundle icon file, or None for no icon.  According to Apple’s documentation, this should be a 16-by-16 pixel version of the application’s icon with a transparent background, saved as a PNG file.


The product tag for use with applehelp_kb_url.  Defaults to '<project>-<release>'.


The URL for your knowledgebase server, e.g. https://example.com/kbsearch.py?p='product'&q='query'&l='lang'. Help Viewer will replace the values 'product', 'query' and 'lang' at runtime with the contents of applehelp_kb_product, the text entered by the user in the search box and the user’s system language respectively.

Defaults to None for no remote search.


The URL for remote content.  You can place a copy of your Help Book’s Resources folder at this location and Help Viewer will attempt to use it to fetch updated content.

e.g. if you set it to https://example.com/help/Foo/ and Help Viewer wants a copy of index.html for an English speaking customer, it will look at https://example.com/help/Foo/en.lproj/index.html.

Defaults to None for no remote content.


If True, tell the help indexer to index anchors in the generated HTML. This can be useful for jumping to a particular topic using the AHLookupAnchor function or the openHelpAnchor:inBook: method in your code.  It also allows you to use help:anchor URLs; see the Apple documentation for more information on this topic.


Controls the minimum term length for the help indexer.  Defaults to None, which means the default will be used.


Either a language specification (to use the built-in stopwords), or the path to a stopwords plist, or None if you do not want to use stopwords. The default stopwords plist can be found at /usr/share/hiutil/Stopwords.plist and contains, at time of writing, stopwords for the following languages:

Language Code
English en
German de
Spanish es
French fr
Swedish sv
Hungarian hu
Italian it

Defaults to language, or if that is not set, to en.


Specifies the locale to generate help for.  This is used to determine the name of the .lproj folder inside the Help Book’s Resources, and is passed to the help indexer.

Defaults to language, or if that is not set, to en.


Specifies the help book title.  Defaults to '<project> Help'.


Specifies the identity to use for code signing, or None if code signing is not to be performed.

Defaults to the value of the environment variable CODE_SIGN_IDENTITY, which is set by Xcode for script build phases, or None if that variable is not set.


A list of additional arguments to pass to codesign when signing the help book.

Defaults to a list based on the value of the environment variable OTHER_CODE_SIGN_FLAGS, which is set by Xcode for script build phases, or the empty list if that variable is not set.


The path to the hiutil program.  Defaults to '/usr/bin/hiutil'.


The path to the codesign program.  Defaults to '/usr/bin/codesign'.


If True, the builder will not run the indexer or the code signing tool, no matter what other settings are specified.

This is mainly useful for testing, or where you want to run the Sphinx build on a non-Mac OS X platform and then complete the final steps on OS X for some reason.

Defaults to False.

Options for epub output

These options influence the epub output.  As this builder derives from the HTML builder, the HTML options also apply where appropriate.  The actual values for some of the options is not really important, they just have to be entered into the Dublin Core metadata.


The basename for the epub file.  It defaults to the project name.


The HTML theme for the epub output.  Since the default themes are not optimized for small screen space, using the same theme for HTML and epub output is usually not wise.  This defaults to 'epub', a theme designed to save visual space.


A dictionary of options that influence the look and feel of the selected theme.  These are theme-specific.  For the options understood by the builtin themes, see this section.

New in version 1.2.


The title of the document.  It defaults to the html_title option but can be set independently for epub creation.  It defaults to the project option.

Changed in version 2.0: It defaults to the project option.


The description of the document. The default value is 'unknown'.

New in version 1.4.

Changed in version 1.5: Renamed from epub3_description


The author of the document.  This is put in the Dublin Core metadata.  It defaults to the author option.


The name of a person, organization, etc. that played a secondary role in the creation of the content of an EPUB Publication. The default value is 'unknown'.

New in version 1.4.

Changed in version 1.5: Renamed from epub3_contributor


The language of the document.  This is put in the Dublin Core metadata.  The default is the language option or 'en' if unset.


The publisher of the document.  This is put in the Dublin Core metadata. You may use any sensible string, e.g. the project homepage.  The defaults to the author option.


The copyright of the document.  It defaults to the copyright option but can be set independently for epub creation.


An identifier for the document.  This is put in the Dublin Core metadata. For published documents this is the ISBN number, but you can also use an alternative scheme, e.g. the project homepage.  The default value is 'unknown'.


The publication scheme for the epub_identifier.  This is put in the Dublin Core metadata.  For published books the scheme is 'ISBN'.  If you use the project homepage, 'URL' seems reasonable.  The default value is 'unknown'.


A unique identifier for the document.  This is put in the Dublin Core metadata.  You may use a XML’s Name format string.  You can’t use hyphen, period, numbers as a first character.  The default value is 'unknown'.


The cover page information.  This is a tuple containing the filenames of the cover image and the html template.  The rendered html cover page is inserted as the first item in the spine in content.opf.  If the template filename is empty, no html cover page is created.  No cover at all is created if the tuple is empty.  Examples:

epub_cover = ('_static/cover.png', 'epub-cover.html')
epub_cover = ('_static/cover.png', '')
epub_cover = ()

The default value is ().

New in version 1.1.


A list of CSS files.  The entry must be a filename string or a tuple containing the filename string and the attributes dictionary.  For more information, see html_css_files.

New in version 1.8.


Meta data for the guide element of content.opf. This is a sequence of tuples containing the type, the uri and the title of the optional guide information. See the OPF documentation at http://idpf.org/epub for details. If possible, default entries for the cover and toc types are automatically inserted. However, the types can be explicitly overwritten if the default entries are not appropriate. Example:

epub_guide = (('cover', 'cover.html', u'Cover Page'),)

The default value is ().


Additional files that should be inserted before the text generated by Sphinx. It is a list of tuples containing the file name and the title. If the title is empty, no entry is added to toc.ncx.  Example:

epub_pre_files = [
    ('index.html', 'Welcome'),

The default value is [].


Additional files that should be inserted after the text generated by Sphinx. It is a list of tuples containing the file name and the title.  This option can be used to add an appendix.  If the title is empty, no entry is added to toc.ncx.  The default value is [].


A list of files that are generated/copied in the build directory but should not be included in the epub file.  The default value is [].


The depth of the table of contents in the file toc.ncx.  It should be an integer greater than zero.  The default value is 3.  Note: A deeply nested table of contents may be difficult to navigate.


This flag determines if a toc entry is inserted again at the beginning of its nested toc listing.  This allows easier navigation to the top of a chapter, but can be confusing because it mixes entries of different depth in one list.  The default value is True.


This setting control the scope of the epub table of contents.  The setting can have the following values:

  • 'default' – include all toc entries that are not hidden (default)
  • 'includehidden' – include all toc entries

New in version 1.2.


This flag determines if sphinx should try to fix image formats that are not supported by some epub readers.  At the moment palette images with a small color table are upgraded.  You need Pillow, the Python Image Library, installed to use this option.  The default value is False because the automatic conversion may lose information.

New in version 1.2.


This option specifies the maximum width of images.  If it is set to a value greater than zero, images with a width larger than the given value are scaled accordingly.  If it is zero, no scaling is performed. The default value is 0.  You need the Python Image Library (Pillow) installed to use this option.

New in version 1.2.


Control whether to display URL addresses. This is very useful for readers that have no other means to display the linked URL. The settings can have the following values:

  • 'inline' – display URLs inline in parentheses (default)
  • 'footnote' – display URLs in footnotes
  • 'no' – do not display URLs

The display of inline URLs can be customized by adding CSS rules for the class link-target.

New in version 1.2.


If true, add an index to the epub document.  It defaults to the html_use_index option but can be set independently for epub creation.

New in version 1.2.


It specifies writing direction. It can accept 'horizontal' (default) and 'vertical'

epub_writing_mode 'horizontal' 'vertical'
writing-mode [2] horizontal-tb vertical-rl
page progression left to right right to left
iBook’s Scroll Theme support scroll-axis is vertical. scroll-axis is horizontal.


Options for LaTeX output

These options influence LaTeX output.


The LaTeX engine to build the docs.  The setting can have the following values:

  • 'pdflatex' – PDFLaTeX (default)
  • 'xelatex' – XeLaTeX
  • 'lualatex' – LuaLaTeX
  • 'platex' – pLaTeX (default if language is 'ja')

'pdflatex'’s support for Unicode characters is limited.


2.0 adds to 'pdflatex' support in Latin language document of occasional Cyrillic or Greek letters or words.  This is not automatic, see the discussion of the latex_elements 'fontenc' key.

If your project uses Unicode characters, setting the engine to 'xelatex' or 'lualatex' and making sure to use an OpenType font with wide-enough glyph coverage is often easier than trying to make 'pdflatex' work with the extra Unicode characters.  Since Sphinx 2.0 the default is the GNU FreeFont which covers well Latin, Cyrillic and Greek.

Contrarily to MathJaX math rendering in HTML output, LaTeX requires some extra configuration to support Unicode literals in math: the only comprehensive solution (as far as we know) is to use 'xelatex' or 'lualatex' and to add r'\usepackage{unicode-math}' (e.g. via the latex_elements 'preamble' key).  You may prefer r'\usepackage[math-style=literal]{unicode-math}' to keep a Unicode literal such as α (U+03B1) for example as is in output, rather than being rendered as \alpha.


This value determines how to group the document tree into LaTeX source files. It must be a list of tuples (startdocname, targetname, title, author, documentclass, toctree_only), where the items are:


String that specifies the document name of the LaTeX file’s master document.  All documents referenced by the startdoc document in TOC trees will be included in the LaTeX file.  (If you want to use the default master document for your LaTeX build, provide your master_doc here.)


File name of the LaTeX file in the output directory.


LaTeX document title.  Can be empty to use the title of the startdoc document.  This is inserted as LaTeX markup, so special characters like a backslash or ampersand must be represented by the proper LaTeX commands if they are to be inserted literally.


Author for the LaTeX document.  The same LaTeX markup caveat as for title applies.  Use \\and to separate multiple authors, as in: 'John \\and Sarah' (backslashes must be Python-escaped to reach LaTeX).


Normally, one of 'manual' or 'howto' (provided by Sphinx and based on 'report', resp. 'article'; Japanese documents use 'jsbook', resp. 'jreport'.) “howto” (non-Japanese) documents will not get appendices. Also they have a simpler title page.  Other document classes can be given. Independently of the document class, the “sphinx” package is always loaded in order to define Sphinx’s custom LaTeX commands.


Must be True or False.  If true, the startdoc document itself is not included in the output, only the documents referenced by it via TOC trees.  With this option, you can put extra stuff in the master document that shows up in the HTML, but not the LaTeX output.

New in version 1.2: In the past including your own document class required you to prepend the document class name with the string “sphinx”. This is not necessary anymore.

New in version 0.3: The 6th item toctree_only.  Tuples with 5 items are still accepted.


If given, this must be the name of an image file (relative to the configuration directory) that is the logo of the docs.  It is placed at the top of the title page.  Default: None.


This value determines the topmost sectioning unit. It should be chosen from 'part', 'chapter' or 'section'. The default is None; the topmost sectioning unit is switched by documentclass: section is used if documentclass will be howto, otherwise chapter will be used.

Note that if LaTeX uses \part command, then the numbering of sectioning units one level deep gets off-sync with HTML numbering, because LaTeX numbers continuously \chapter (or \section for howto.)

New in version 1.4.


A list of document names to append as an appendix to all manuals.


If true, generate domain-specific indices in addition to the general index. For e.g. the Python domain, this is the global module index.  Default is True.

This value can be a bool or a list of index names that should be generated, like for html_domain_indices.

New in version 1.0.


If true, add page references after internal references.  This is very useful for printed copies of the manual.  Default is False.

New in version 1.0.


Control whether to display URL addresses.  This is very useful for printed copies of the manual.  The setting can have the following values:

  • 'no' – do not display URLs (default)
  • 'footnote' – display URLs in footnotes
  • 'inline' – display URLs inline in parentheses

New in version 1.0.

Changed in version 1.1: This value is now a string; previously it was a boolean value, and a true value selected the 'inline' display.  For backwards compatibility, True is still accepted.


The default is False: it means that Sphinx’s own macros are used for merged cells from grid tables. They allow general contents (literal blocks, lists, blockquotes, …) but may have problems if the tabularcolumns directive was used to inject LaTeX mark-up of the type >{..}, <{..}, @{..} as column specification.

Setting to True means to use LaTeX’s standard \multicolumn; this is incompatible with literal blocks in the horizontally merged cell, and also with multiple paragraphs in such cell if the table is rendered using tabulary.

New in version 1.6.


If True, the PDF build from the LaTeX files created by Sphinx will use xindy (doc) rather than makeindex for preparing the index of general terms (from index usage).  This means that words with UTF-8 characters will get ordered correctly for the language.

  • This option is ignored if latex_engine is 'platex' (Japanese documents; mendex replaces makeindex then).
  • The default is True for 'xelatex' or 'lualatex' as makeindex, if any indexed term starts with a non-ascii character, creates .ind files containing invalid bytes for UTF-8 encoding. With 'lualatex' this then breaks the PDF build.
  • The default is False for 'pdflatex' but True is recommended for non-English documents as soon as some indexed terms use non-ascii characters from the language script.

Sphinx adds to xindy base distribution some dedicated support for using 'pdflatex' engine with Cyrillic scripts.  And whether with 'pdflatex' or Unicode engines, Cyrillic documents handle correctly the indexing of Latin names, even with diacritics.

New in version 1.8.


New in version 0.5.

Its documentation has moved to /latex.


A dictionary mapping 'howto' and 'manual' to names of real document classes that will be used as the base for the two Sphinx classes.  Default is to use 'article' for 'howto' and 'report' for 'manual'.

New in version 1.0.

Changed in version 1.5: In Japanese docs (language is 'ja'), by default 'jreport' is used for 'howto' and 'jsbook' for 'manual'.


A list of file names, relative to the configuration directory, to copy to the build directory when building LaTeX output.  This is useful to copy files that Sphinx doesn’t copy automatically, e.g. if they are referenced in custom LaTeX added in latex_elements.  Image files that are referenced in source files (e.g. via .. image::) are copied automatically.

You have to make sure yourself that the filenames don’t collide with those of any automatically copied files.

New in version 0.6.

Changed in version 1.2: This overrides the files which is provided from Sphinx such as sphinx.sty.

Options for text output

These options influence text output.


Determines which end-of-line character(s) are used in text output.

  • 'unix': use Unix-style line endings (\n)
  • 'windows': use Windows-style line endings (\r\n)
  • 'native': use the line ending style of the platform the documentation is built on

Default: 'unix'.

New in version 1.1.


A string of 7 characters that should be used for underlining sections. The first character is used for first-level headings, the second for second-level headings and so on.

The default is '*=-~"+`'.

New in version 1.1.


A boolean that decides whether section numbers are included in text output. Default is True.

New in version 1.7.


Suffix for section numbers in text output.  Default: ". ". Set to " " to suppress the final dot on section numbers.

New in version 1.7.

Options for manual page output

These options influence manual page output.


This value determines how to group the document tree into manual pages.  It must be a list of tuples (startdocname, name, description, authors, section), where the items are:


String that specifies the document name of the manual page’s master document. All documents referenced by the startdoc document in TOC trees will be included in the manual file.  (If you want to use the default master document for your manual pages build, use your master_doc here.)


Name of the manual page.  This should be a short string without spaces or special characters.  It is used to determine the file name as well as the name of the manual page (in the NAME section).


Description of the manual page.  This is used in the NAME section.


A list of strings with authors, or a single string.  Can be an empty string or list if you do not want to automatically generate an AUTHORS section in the manual page.


The manual page section.  Used for the output file name as well as in the manual page header.

New in version 1.0.


If true, add URL addresses after links.  Default is False.

New in version 1.1.

Options for Texinfo output

These options influence Texinfo output.


This value determines how to group the document tree into Texinfo source files.  It must be a list of tuples (startdocname, targetname, title, author, dir_entry, description, category, toctree_only), where the items are:


String that specifies the document name of the the Texinfo file’s master document.  All documents referenced by the startdoc document in TOC trees will be included in the Texinfo file.  (If you want to use the default master document for your Texinfo build, provide your master_doc here.)


File name (no extension) of the Texinfo file in the output directory.


Texinfo document title.  Can be empty to use the title of the startdoc document.  Inserted as Texinfo markup, so special characters like @ and {} will need to be escaped to be inserted literally.


Author for the Texinfo document.  Inserted as Texinfo markup.  Use @* to separate multiple authors, as in: 'John@*Sarah'.


The name that will appear in the top-level DIR menu file.


Descriptive text to appear in the top-level DIR menu file.


Specifies the section which this entry will appear in the top-level DIR menu file.


Must be True or False.  If true, the startdoc document itself is not included in the output, only the documents referenced by it via TOC trees.  With this option, you can put extra stuff in the master document that shows up in the HTML, but not the Texinfo output.

New in version 1.1.


A list of document names to append as an appendix to all manuals.

New in version 1.1.


If true, generate domain-specific indices in addition to the general index. For e.g. the Python domain, this is the global module index.  Default is True.

This value can be a bool or a list of index names that should be generated, like for html_domain_indices.

New in version 1.1.


Control how to display URL addresses.

  • 'footnote' – display URLs in footnotes (default)
  • 'no' – do not display URLs
  • 'inline' – display URLs inline in parentheses

New in version 1.1.


If true, do not generate a @detailmenu in the “Top” node’s menu containing entries for each sub-node in the document.  Default is False.

New in version 1.2.


A dictionary that contains Texinfo snippets that override those Sphinx usually puts into the generated .texi files.

  • Keys that you may want to override include:


    Number of spaces to indent the first line of each paragraph, default 2.  Specify 0 for no indentation.


    Number of spaces to indent the lines for examples or literal blocks, default 4.  Specify 0 for no indentation.


    Texinfo markup inserted near the beginning of the file.


    Texinfo markup inserted within the @copying block and displayed after the title.  The default value consists of a simple title page identifying the project.

  • Keys that are set by other options and therefore should not be overridden are:

    'author' 'body' 'date' 'direntry' 'filename' 'project' 'release' 'title'

New in version 1.1.

Options for QtHelp output

These options influence qthelp output.  As this builder derives from the HTML builder, the HTML options also apply where appropriate.


The basename for the qthelp file.  It defaults to the project name.


The namespace for the qthelp file.  It defaults to org.sphinx.<project_name>.<project_version>.


The HTML theme for the qthelp output. This defaults to 'nonav'.


A dictionary of options that influence the look and feel of the selected theme.  These are theme-specific.  For the options understood by the builtin themes, see this section.

Options for the linkcheck builder


A list of regular expressions that match URIs that should not be checked when doing a linkcheck build.  Example:

linkcheck_ignore = [r'http://localhost:\d+/']

New in version 1.1.


The number of times the linkcheck builder will attempt to check a URL before declaring it broken. Defaults to 1 attempt.

New in version 1.4.


A timeout value, in seconds, for the linkcheck builder.  The default is to use Python’s global socket timeout.

New in version 1.1.


The number of worker threads to use when checking links.  Default is 5 threads.

New in version 1.1.


If true, check the validity of #anchors in links. Since this requires downloading the whole document, it’s considerably slower when enabled. Default is True.

New in version 1.2.


A list of regular expressions that match anchors Sphinx should skip when checking the validity of anchors in links. This allows skipping anchors that a website’s JavaScript adds to control dynamic pages or when triggering an internal REST request. Default is ["^!"].


If you want to ignore anchors of a specific page or of pages that match a specific pattern (but still check occurrences of the same page(s) that don’t have anchors), use linkcheck_ignore instead, for example as follows:

linkcheck_ignore = [

New in version 1.5.

Options for the XML builder


If true, pretty-print the XML.  Default is True.

New in version 1.2.



A note on available globbing syntax: you can use the standard shell constructs *, ?, [...] and [!...] with the feature that these all don’t match slashes.  A double star ** can be used to match any sequence of characters including slashes.

Options for the C++ domain


A list of prefixes that will be ignored when sorting C++ objects in the global index.  For example ['awesome_lib::'].

New in version 1.5.


A list of strings that the parser additionally should accept as attributes. This can for example be used when attributes have been #define d for portability.

New in version 1.5.


A list of strings that the parser additionally should accept as attributes with one argument.  That is, if my_align_as is in the list, then my_align_as(X) is parsed as an attribute for all strings X that have balanced braces ((), [], and {}).  This can for example be used when attributes have been #define d for portability.

New in version 1.5.

Example of configuration file

# test documentation build configuration file, created by
# sphinx-quickstart on Sun Jun 26 00:00:43 2016.
# This file is execfile()d with the current directory set to its
# containing dir.
# Note that not all possible configuration values are present in this
# autogenerated file.
# All configuration values have a default; values that are commented out
# serve to show the default.

# If extensions (or modules to document with autodoc) are in another directory,
# add these directories to sys.path here. If the directory is relative to the
# documentation root, use os.path.abspath to make it absolute, like shown here.
# import os
# import sys
# sys.path.insert(0, os.path.abspath('.'))

# -- General configuration ------------------------------------------------

# If your documentation needs a minimal Sphinx version, state it here.
# needs_sphinx = '1.0'

# Add any Sphinx extension module names here, as strings. They can be
# extensions coming with Sphinx (named 'sphinx.ext.*') or your custom
# ones.
extensions = []

# Add any paths that contain templates here, relative to this directory.
templates_path = ['_templates']

# The suffix(es) of source filenames.
# You can specify multiple suffix as a list of string:
# source_suffix = ['.rst', '.md']
source_suffix = '.rst'

# The encoding of source files.
# source_encoding = 'utf-8-sig'

# The master toctree document.
master_doc = 'index'

# General information about the project.
project = u'test'
copyright = u'2016, test'
author = u'test'

# The version info for the project you're documenting, acts as replacement for
# |version| and |release|, also used in various other places throughout the
# built documents.
# The short X.Y version.
version = u'test'
# The full version, including alpha/beta/rc tags.
release = u'test'

# The language for content autogenerated by Sphinx. Refer to documentation
# for a list of supported languages.
# This is also used if you do content translation via gettext catalogs.
# Usually you set "language" from the command line for these cases.
language = None

# There are two options for replacing |today|: either, you set today to some
# non-false value, then it is used:
# today = ''
# Else, today_fmt is used as the format for a strftime call.
# today_fmt = '%B %d, %Y'

# List of patterns, relative to source directory, that match files and
# directories to ignore when looking for source files.
# These patterns also affect html_static_path and html_extra_path
exclude_patterns = ['_build', 'Thumbs.db', '.DS_Store']

# The reST default role (used for this markup: `text`) to use for all
# documents.
# default_role = None

# If true, '()' will be appended to :func: etc. cross-reference text.
# add_function_parentheses = True

# If true, the current module name will be prepended to all description
# unit titles (such as .. function::).
# add_module_names = True

# If true, sectionauthor and moduleauthor directives will be shown in the
# output. They are ignored by default.
# show_authors = False

# The name of the Pygments (syntax highlighting) style to use.
pygments_style = 'sphinx'

# A list of ignored prefixes for module index sorting.
# modindex_common_prefix = []

# If true, keep warnings as "system message" paragraphs in the built documents.
# keep_warnings = False

# If true, `todo` and `todoList` produce output, else they produce nothing.
todo_include_todos = False

# -- Options for HTML output ----------------------------------------------

# The theme to use for HTML and HTML Help pages.  See the documentation for
# a list of builtin themes.
html_theme = 'alabaster'

# Theme options are theme-specific and customize the look and feel of a theme
# further.  For a list of options available for each theme, see the
# documentation.
# html_theme_options = {}

# Add any paths that contain custom themes here, relative to this directory.
# html_theme_path = []

# The name for this set of Sphinx documents.
# "<project> v<release> documentation" by default.
# html_title = u'test vtest'

# A shorter title for the navigation bar.  Default is the same as html_title.
# html_short_title = None

# The name of an image file (relative to this directory) to place at the top
# of the sidebar.
# html_logo = None

# The name of an image file (relative to this directory) to use as a favicon of
# the docs.  This file should be a Windows icon file (.ico) being 16x16 or 32x32
# pixels large.
# html_favicon = None

# Add any paths that contain custom static files (such as style sheets) here,
# relative to this directory. They are copied after the builtin static files,
# so a file named "default.css" will overwrite the builtin "default.css".
html_static_path = ['_static']

# Add any extra paths that contain custom files (such as robots.txt or
# .htaccess) here, relative to this directory. These files are copied
# directly to the root of the documentation.
# html_extra_path = []

# If not None, a 'Last updated on:' timestamp is inserted at every page
# bottom, using the given strftime format.
# The empty string is equivalent to '%b %d, %Y'.
# html_last_updated_fmt = None

# Custom sidebar templates, maps document names to template names.
# html_sidebars = {}

# Additional templates that should be rendered to pages, maps page names to
# template names.
# html_additional_pages = {}

# If false, no module index is generated.
# html_domain_indices = True

# If false, no index is generated.
# html_use_index = True

# If true, the index is split into individual pages for each letter.
# html_split_index = False

# If true, links to the reST sources are added to the pages.
# html_show_sourcelink = True

# If true, "Created using Sphinx" is shown in the HTML footer. Default is True.
# html_show_sphinx = True

# If true, "(C) Copyright ..." is shown in the HTML footer. Default is True.
# html_show_copyright = True

# If true, an OpenSearch description file will be output, and all pages will
# contain a <link> tag referring to it.  The value of this option must be the
# base URL from which the finished HTML is served.
# html_use_opensearch = ''

# This is the file name suffix for HTML files (e.g. ".xhtml").
# html_file_suffix = None

# Language to be used for generating the HTML full-text search index.
# Sphinx supports the following languages:
#   'da', 'de', 'en', 'es', 'fi', 'fr', 'hu', 'it', 'ja'
#   'nl', 'no', 'pt', 'ro', 'ru', 'sv', 'tr', 'zh'
# html_search_language = 'en'

# A dictionary with options for the search language support, empty by default.
# 'ja' uses this config value.
# 'zh' user can custom change `jieba` dictionary path.
# html_search_options = {'type': 'default'}

# The name of a javascript file (relative to the configuration directory) that
# implements a search results scorer. If empty, the default will be used.
# html_search_scorer = 'scorer.js'

# Output file base name for HTML help builder.
htmlhelp_basename = 'testdoc'

# -- Options for LaTeX output ---------------------------------------------

latex_elements = {
    # The paper size ('letterpaper' or 'a4paper').
    # 'papersize': 'letterpaper',

    # The font size ('10pt', '11pt' or '12pt').
    # 'pointsize': '10pt',

    # Additional stuff for the LaTeX preamble.
    # 'preamble': '',

    # Latex figure (float) alignment
    # 'figure_align': 'htbp',

# Grouping the document tree into LaTeX files. List of tuples
# (source start file, target name, title,
#  author, documentclass [howto, manual, or own class]).
latex_documents = [
    (master_doc, 'test.tex', u'test Documentation',
     u'test', 'manual'),

# The name of an image file (relative to this directory) to place at the top of
# the title page.
# latex_logo = None

# If true, show page references after internal links.
# latex_show_pagerefs = False

# If true, show URL addresses after external links.
# latex_show_urls = False

# Documents to append as an appendix to all manuals.
# latex_appendices = []

# If false, no module index is generated.
# latex_domain_indices = True

# -- Options for manual page output ---------------------------------------

# One entry per manual page. List of tuples
# (source start file, name, description, authors, manual section).
man_pages = [
    (master_doc, 'test', u'test Documentation',
     [author], 1)

# If true, show URL addresses after external links.
# man_show_urls = False

# -- Options for Texinfo output -------------------------------------------

# Grouping the document tree into Texinfo files. List of tuples
# (source start file, target name, title, author,
#  dir menu entry, description, category)
texinfo_documents = [
    (master_doc, 'test', u'test Documentation',
     author, 'test', 'One line description of project.',

# Documents to append as an appendix to all manuals.
# texinfo_appendices = []

# If false, no module index is generated.
# texinfo_domain_indices = True

# How to display URL addresses: 'footnote', 'no', or 'inline'.
# texinfo_show_urls = 'footnote'

# If true, do not generate a @detailmenu in the "Top" node's menu.
# texinfo_no_detailmenu = False

# -- A random example -----------------------------------------------------

import sys, os
sys.path.insert(0, os.path.abspath('.'))
exclude_patterns = ['zzz']

numfig = True
#language = 'ja'


autosummary_generate = True
html_theme = 'default'
#source_suffix = ['.rst', '.txt']


These are the built-in Sphinx builders.  More builders can be added by extensions.

The builder’s “name” must be given to the -b command-line option of sphinx-build to select a builder.

class sphinx.builders.html.StandaloneHTMLBuilder

This is the standard HTML builder.  Its output is a directory with HTML files, complete with style sheets and optionally the reST sources.  There are quite a few configuration values that customize the output of this builder, see the chapter html-options for details.

name = 'html'

format = 'html'

supported_image_types = ['image/svg+xml', 'image/png', 'image/gif', 'image/jpeg']

class sphinx.builders.dirhtml.DirectoryHTMLBuilder

This is a subclass of the standard HTML builder.  Its output is a directory with HTML files, where each file is called index.html and placed in a subdirectory named like its page name.  For example, the document markup/rest.rst will not result in an output file markup/rest.html, but markup/rest/index.html.  When generating links between pages, the index.html is omitted, so that the URL would look like markup/rest/.

name = 'dirhtml'

format = 'html'

supported_image_types = ['image/svg+xml', 'image/png', 'image/gif', 'image/jpeg']

New in version 0.6.

class sphinx.builders.singlehtml.SingleFileHTMLBuilder

This is an HTML builder that combines the whole project in one output file. (Obviously this only works with smaller projects.)  The file is named like the master document.  No indices will be generated.

name = 'singlehtml'

format = 'html'

supported_image_types = ['image/svg+xml', 'image/png', 'image/gif', 'image/jpeg']

New in version 1.0.

class sphinx.builders.htmlhelp.HTMLHelpBuilder

This builder produces the same output as the standalone HTML builder, but also generates HTML Help support files that allow the Microsoft HTML Help Workshop to compile them into a CHM file.

name = 'htmlhelp'

format = 'html'

supported_image_types = ['image/png', 'image/gif', 'image/jpeg']

class sphinxcontrib.qthelp.QtHelpBuilder

This builder produces the same output as the standalone HTML builder, but also generates Qt help collection support files that allow the Qt collection generator to compile them.

Changed in version 2.0: Moved to sphinxcontrib.qthelp from sphinx.builders package.

name = 'qthelp'

format = 'html'

supported_image_types = ['image/svg+xml', 'image/png', 'image/gif', 'image/jpeg']

class sphinxcontrib.applehelp.AppleHelpBuilder

This builder produces an Apple Help Book based on the same output as the standalone HTML builder.

If the source directory contains any .lproj folders, the one corresponding to the selected language will have its contents merged with the generated output.  These folders will be ignored by all other documentation types.

In order to generate a valid help book, this builder requires the command line tool hiutil, which is only available on Mac OS X 10.6 and above.  You can disable the indexing step by setting applehelp_disable_external_tools to True, in which case the output will not be valid until hiutil has been run on all of the .lproj folders within the bundle.

name = 'applehelp'

format = 'html'

supported_image_types = ['image/png', 'image/gif', 'image/jpeg', 'image/tiff', 'image/jp2', 'image/svg+xml']

New in version 1.3.

Changed in version 2.0: Moved to sphinxcontrib.applehelp from sphinx.builders package.

class sphinxcontrib.devhelp.DevhelpBuilder

This builder produces the same output as the standalone HTML builder, but also generates GNOME Devhelp support file that allows the GNOME Devhelp reader to view them.

name = 'devhelp'

format = 'html'

supported_image_types = ['image/png', 'image/gif', 'image/jpeg']

Changed in version 2.0: Moved to sphinxcontrib.devhelp from sphinx.builders package.

class sphinx.builders.epub3.Epub3Builder

This builder produces the same output as the standalone HTML builder, but also generates an epub file for ebook readers.  See epub-faq for details about it.  For definition of the epub format, have a look at http://idpf.org/epub or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPUB. The builder creates EPUB 3 files.

name = 'epub'

format = 'html'

supported_image_types = ['image/svg+xml', 'image/png', 'image/gif', 'image/jpeg']

New in version 1.4.

Changed in version 1.5: Since Sphinx-1.5, the epub3 builder is used for the default builder of epub.

class sphinx.builders.latex.LaTeXBuilder

This builder produces a bunch of LaTeX files in the output directory.  You have to specify which documents are to be included in which LaTeX files via the latex_documents configuration value.  There are a few configuration values that customize the output of this builder, see the chapter latex-options for details.

The produced LaTeX file uses several LaTeX packages that may not be present in a “minimal” TeX distribution installation.

On Ubuntu xenial, the following packages need to be installed for successful PDF builds:

  • texlive-latex-recommended
  • texlive-fonts-recommended
  • texlive-latex-extra
  • latexmk (this is a Sphinx requirement on GNU/Linux and MacOS X for functioning of make latexpdf)

Additional packages are needed in some circumstances (see the discussion of the 'fontpkg' key of latex_elements for more information):

  • to support occasional Cyrillic letters or words, and a fortiori if language is set to a Cyrillic language, the package texlive-lang-cyrillic is required, and, with unmodified 'fontpkg', also cm-super or cm-super-minimal,
  • to support occasional Greek letters or words (in text, not in math directive contents), texlive-lang-greek is required, and, with unmodified 'fontpkg', also cm-super or cm-super-minimal,
  • for 'xelatex' or 'lualatex' (see latex_engine), texlive-xetex resp. texlive-luatex, and, if leaving unchanged 'fontpkg', fonts-freefont-otf.

The testing of Sphinx LaTeX is done on Ubuntu xenial whose TeX distribution is based on a TeXLive 2015 snapshot dated March 2016.

Changed in version 1.6: Formerly, testing had been done on Ubuntu precise (TeXLive 2009).

Changed in version 2.0: Formerly, testing had been done on Ubuntu trusty (TeXLive 2013).


Since 1.6, make latexpdf uses latexmk (not on Windows).  This makes sure the needed number of runs is automatically executed to get the cross-references, bookmarks, indices, and tables of contents right.

One can pass to latexmk options via the LATEXMKOPTS Makefile variable. For example:

make latexpdf LATEXMKOPTS="-silent"

reduces console output to a minimum.

Also, if latexmk is at version 4.52b or higher (January 2017) LATEXMKOPTS="-xelatex" speeds up PDF builds via XeLateX in case of numerous graphics inclusions.

To pass options directly to the (pdf|xe|lua)latex binary, use variable LATEXOPTS, for example:

make latexpdf LATEXOPTS="--halt-on-error"

name = 'latex'

format = 'latex'

supported_image_types = ['application/pdf', 'image/png', 'image/jpeg']

Note that a direct PDF builder is being provided by rinohtype. The builder’s name is rinoh. Refer to the rinohtype manual for details.

class sphinx.builders.text.TextBuilder

This builder produces a text file for each reST file – this is almost the same as the reST source, but with much of the markup stripped for better readability.

name = 'text'

format = 'text'

supported_image_types = []

New in version 0.4.

class sphinx.builders.manpage.ManualPageBuilder

This builder produces manual pages in the groff format.  You have to specify which documents are to be included in which manual pages via the man_pages configuration value.

name = 'man'

format = 'man'

supported_image_types = []

New in version 1.0.

class sphinx.builders.texinfo.TexinfoBuilder

This builder produces Texinfo files that can be processed into Info files by the makeinfo program.  You have to specify which documents are to be included in which Texinfo files via the texinfo_documents configuration value.

The Info format is the basis of the on-line help system used by GNU Emacs and the terminal-based program info.  See texinfo-faq for more details.  The Texinfo format is the official documentation system used by the GNU project.  More information on Texinfo can be found at https://www.gnu.org/software/texinfo/.

name = 'texinfo'

format = 'texinfo'

supported_image_types = ['image/png', 'image/jpeg', 'image/gif']

New in version 1.1.

class sphinxcontrib.serializinghtml.SerializingHTMLBuilder

This builder uses a module that implements the Python serialization API (pickle, simplejson, phpserialize, and others) to dump the generated HTML documentation.  The pickle builder is a subclass of it.

A concrete subclass of this builder serializing to the PHP serialization format could look like this:

import phpserialize

class PHPSerializedBuilder(SerializingHTMLBuilder):
    name = 'phpserialized'
    implementation = phpserialize
    out_suffix = '.file.phpdump'
    globalcontext_filename = 'globalcontext.phpdump'
    searchindex_filename = 'searchindex.phpdump'

A module that implements dump(), load(), dumps() and loads() functions that conform to the functions with the same names from the pickle module.  Known modules implementing this interface are simplejson, phpserialize, plistlib, and others.


The suffix for all regular files.


The filename for the file that contains the “global context”.  This is a dict with some general configuration values such as the name of the project.


The filename for the search index Sphinx generates.

See Serialization builder details for details about the output format.

New in version 0.5.

class sphinxcontrib.serializinghtml.PickleHTMLBuilder

This builder produces a directory with pickle files containing mostly HTML fragments and TOC information, for use of a web application (or custom postprocessing tool) that doesn’t use the standard HTML templates.

See Serialization builder details for details about the output format.

name = 'pickle'

The old name web still works as well.

format = 'html'

supported_image_types = ['image/svg+xml', 'image/png', 'image/gif', 'image/jpeg']

The file suffix is .fpickle.  The global context is called globalcontext.pickle, the search index searchindex.pickle.

class sphinxcontrib.serializinghtml.JSONHTMLBuilder

This builder produces a directory with JSON files containing mostly HTML fragments and TOC information, for use of a web application (or custom postprocessing tool) that doesn’t use the standard HTML templates.

See Serialization builder details for details about the output format.

name = 'json'

format = 'html'

supported_image_types = ['image/svg+xml', 'image/png', 'image/gif', 'image/jpeg']

The file suffix is .fjson.  The global context is called globalcontext.json, the search index searchindex.json.

New in version 0.5.

class sphinx.builders.gettext.MessageCatalogBuilder

This builder produces gettext-style message catalogs.  Each top-level file or subdirectory grows a single .pot catalog template.

See the documentation on intl for further reference.

name = 'gettext'

format = ''

supported_image_types = []

New in version 1.1.

class sphinx.builders.changes.ChangesBuilder

This builder produces an HTML overview of all versionadded, versionchanged and deprecated directives for the current version.  This is useful to generate a ChangeLog file, for example.

name = 'changes'

format = ''

supported_image_types = []

class sphinx.builders.dummy.DummyBuilder

This builder produces no output.  The input is only parsed and checked for consistency.  This is useful for linting purposes.

name = 'dummy'

supported_image_types = []

New in version 1.4.

class sphinx.builders.linkcheck.CheckExternalLinksBuilder

This builder scans all documents for external links, tries to open them with requests, and writes an overview which ones are broken and redirected to standard output and to output.txt in the output directory.

name = 'linkcheck'

format = ''

supported_image_types = []

Changed in version 1.5: Since Sphinx-1.5, the linkcheck builder comes to use requests module.

class sphinx.builders.xml.XMLBuilder

This builder produces Docutils-native XML files.  The output can be transformed with standard XML tools such as XSLT processors into arbitrary final forms.

name = 'xml'

format = 'xml'

supported_image_types = []

New in version 1.2.

class sphinx.builders.xml.PseudoXMLBuilder

This builder is used for debugging the Sphinx/Docutils “Reader to Transform to Writer” pipeline. It produces compact pretty-printed “pseudo-XML”, files where nesting is indicated by indentation (no end-tags). External attributes for all elements are output, and internal attributes for any leftover “pending” elements are also given.

name = 'pseudoxml'

format = 'pseudoxml'

supported_image_types = []

New in version 1.2.

Built-in Sphinx extensions that offer more builders are:

Serialization builder details

All serialization builders outputs one file per source file and a few special files.  They also copy the reST source files in the directory _sources under the output directory.

The PickleHTMLBuilder is a builtin subclass that implements the pickle serialization interface.

The files per source file have the extensions of out_suffix, and are arranged in directories just as the source files are.  They unserialize to a dictionary (or dictionary like structure) with these keys:


The HTML “body” (that is, the HTML rendering of the source file), as rendered by the HTML translator.


The title of the document, as HTML (may contain markup).


The table of contents for the file, rendered as an HTML <ul>.


A boolean that is True if the toc contains more than one entry.


The document name of the current file.

parents, prev and next

Information about related chapters in the TOC tree.  Each relation is a dictionary with the keys link (HREF for the relation) and title (title of the related document, as HTML).  parents is a list of relations, while prev and next are a single relation.


The name of the source file under _sources.

The special files are located in the root output directory.  They are:


A pickled dict with these keys:

project, copyright, release, version

The same values as given in the configuration file.




Date of last build.


Name of the used builder, in the case of pickles this is always 'pickle'.


A dictionary of all documents’ titles, as HTML strings.


An index that can be used for searching the documentation.  It is a pickled list with these entries:

  • A list of indexed docnames.
  • A list of document titles, as HTML strings, in the same order as the first list.
  • A dict mapping word roots (processed by an English-language stemmer) to a list of integers, which are indices into the first list.

The build environment.  This is always a pickle file, independent of the builder and a copy of the environment that was used when the builder was started.


Document common members.

Unlike the other pickle files this pickle file requires that the sphinx package is available on unpickling.


Since many projects will need special features in their documentation, Sphinx allows adding “extensions” to the build process, each of which can modify almost any aspect of document processing.

This chapter describes the extensions bundled with Sphinx.  For the API documentation on writing your own extension, refer to dev-extensions.

Built-in extensions

These extensions are built in and can be activated by respective entries in the extensions configuration value:

sphinx.ext.autodoc – Include documentation from docstrings

This extension can import the modules you are documenting, and pull in documentation from docstrings in a semi-automatic way.


For Sphinx (actually, the Python interpreter that executes Sphinx) to find your module, it must be importable.  That means that the module or the package must be in one of the directories on sys.path – adapt your sys.path in the configuration file accordingly.


autodoc imports the modules to be documented.  If any modules have side effects on import, these will be executed by autodoc when sphinx-build is run.

If you document scripts (as opposed to library modules), make sure their main routine is protected by a if __name__ == '__main__' condition.

For this to work, the docstrings must of course be written in correct reStructuredText.  You can then use all of the usual Sphinx markup in the docstrings, and it will end up correctly in the documentation.  Together with hand-written documentation, this technique eases the pain of having to maintain two locations for documentation, while at the same time avoiding auto-generated-looking pure API documentation.

If you prefer NumPy or Google style docstrings over reStructuredText, you can also enable the napoleon extension. napoleon is a preprocessor that converts your docstrings to correct reStructuredText before autodoc processes them.


autodoc provides several directives that are versions of the usual py:module, py:class and so forth.  On parsing time, they import the corresponding module and extract the docstring of the given objects, inserting them into the page source under a suitable py:module, py:class etc.  directive.


Just as py:class respects the current py:module, autoclass will also do so.  Likewise, automethod will respect the current py:class.

.. automodule::
.. autoclass::
.. autoexception::

Document a module, class or exception.  All three directives will by default only insert the docstring of the object itself:

.. autoclass:: Noodle

will produce source like this:

.. class:: Noodle

   Noodle's docstring.

The “auto” directives can also contain content of their own, it will be inserted into the resulting non-auto directive source after the docstring (but before any automatic member documentation).

Therefore, you can also mix automatic and non-automatic member documentation, like so:

.. autoclass:: Noodle
   :members: eat, slurp

   .. method:: boil(time=10)

      Boil the noodle *time* minutes.

Options and advanced usage

  • If you want to automatically document members, there’s a members option:

    .. automodule:: noodle

    will document all module members (recursively), and

    .. autoclass:: Noodle

    will document all non-private member functions and properties (that is, those whose name doesn’t start with _).

    For modules, __all__ will be respected when looking for members unless you give the ignore-module-all flag option.  Without ignore-module-all, the order of the members will also be the order in __all__.

    You can also give an explicit list of members; only these will then be documented:

    .. autoclass:: Noodle
       :members: eat, slurp
  • If you want to make the members option (or other options described below) the default, see autodoc_default_options.


    You can use a negated form, 'no-flag', as an option of autodoc directive, to disable it temporarily.  For example:

    .. automodule:: foo
  • Members without docstrings will be left out, unless you give the undoc-members flag option:

    .. automodule:: noodle
  • “Private” members (that is, those named like _private or __private) will be included if the private-members flag option is given.

    New in version 1.1.

  • Python “special” members (that is, those named like __special__) will be included if the special-members flag option is given:

    .. autoclass:: my.Class

    would document both “private” and “special” members of the class.

    New in version 1.1.

    Changed in version 1.2: The option can now take arguments, i.e. the special members to document.

  • For classes and exceptions, members inherited from base classes will be left out when documenting all members, unless you give the inherited-members flag option, in addition to members:

    .. autoclass:: Noodle

    This can be combined with undoc-members to document all available members of the class or module.

    Note: this will lead to markup errors if the inherited members come from a module whose docstrings are not reST formatted.

    New in version 0.3.

  • It’s possible to override the signature for explicitly documented callable objects (functions, methods, classes) with the regular syntax that will override the signature gained from introspection:

    .. autoclass:: Noodle(type)
       .. automethod:: eat(persona)

    This is useful if the signature from the method is hidden by a decorator.

    New in version 0.4.

  • The automodule, autoclass and autoexception directives also support a flag option called show-inheritance.  When given, a list of base classes will be inserted just below the class signature (when used with automodule, this will be inserted for every class that is documented in the module).

    New in version 0.4.

  • All autodoc directives support the noindex flag option that has the same effect as for standard py:function etc. directives: no index entries are generated for the documented object (and all autodocumented members).

    New in version 0.4.

  • automodule also recognizes the synopsis, platform and deprecated options that the standard py:module directive supports.

    New in version 0.5.

  • automodule and autoclass also has an member-order option that can be used to override the global value of autodoc_member_order for one directive.

    New in version 0.6.

  • The directives supporting member documentation also have a exclude-members option that can be used to exclude single member names from documentation, if all members are to be documented.

    New in version 0.6.

  • In an automodule directive with the members option set, only module members whose __module__ attribute is equal to the module name as given to automodule will be documented.  This is to prevent documentation of imported classes or functions.  Set the imported-members option if you want to prevent this behavior and document all available members.  Note that attributes from imported modules will not be documented, because attribute documentation is discovered by parsing the source file of the current module.

    New in version 1.2.

  • Add a list of modules in the autodoc_mock_imports to prevent import errors to halt the building process when some external dependencies are not importable at build time.

    New in version 1.3.

.. autofunction::
.. autodecorator::
.. autodata::
.. automethod::
.. autoattribute::

These work exactly like autoclass etc., but do not offer the options used for automatic member documentation.

autodata and autoattribute support the annotation option. Without this option, the representation of the object will be shown in the documentation. When the option is given without arguments, only the name of the object will be printed:

.. autodata:: CD_DRIVE

You can tell sphinx what should be printed after the name:

.. autodata:: CD_DRIVE
   :annotation: = your CD device name

For module data members and class attributes, documentation can either be put into a comment with special formatting (using a #: to start the comment instead of just #), or in a docstring after the definition.  Comments need to be either on a line of their own before the definition, or immediately after the assignment on the same line.  The latter form is restricted to one line only.

This means that in the following class definition, all attributes can be autodocumented:

class Foo:
    """Docstring for class Foo."""

    #: Doc comment for class attribute Foo.bar.
    #: It can have multiple lines.
    bar = 1

    flox = 1.5   #: Doc comment for Foo.flox. One line only.

    baz = 2
    """Docstring for class attribute Foo.baz."""

    def __init__(self):
        #: Doc comment for instance attribute qux.
        self.qux = 3

        self.spam = 4
        """Docstring for instance attribute spam."""

Changed in version 0.6: autodata and autoattribute can now extract docstrings.

Changed in version 1.1: Comment docs are now allowed on the same line after an assignment.

Changed in version 1.2: autodata and autoattribute have an annotation option.

Changed in version 2.0: autodecorator added.


If you document decorated functions or methods, keep in mind that autodoc retrieves its docstrings by importing the module and inspecting the __doc__ attribute of the given function or method.  That means that if a decorator replaces the decorated function with another, it must copy the original __doc__ to the new function.

From Python 2.5, functools.wraps() can be used to create well-behaved decorating functions.


There are also config values that you can set:


This value selects what content will be inserted into the main body of an autoclass directive.  The possible values are:


Only the class’ docstring is inserted.  This is the default.  You can still document __init__ as a separate method using automethod or the members option to autoclass.


Both the class’ and the __init__ method’s docstring are concatenated and inserted.


Only the __init__ method’s docstring is inserted.

New in version 0.3.

If the class has no __init__ method or if the __init__ method’s docstring is empty, but the class has a __new__ method’s docstring, it is used instead.

New in version 1.4.


This value selects if automatically documented members are sorted alphabetical (value 'alphabetical'), by member type (value 'groupwise') or by source order (value 'bysource').  The default is alphabetical.

Note that for source order, the module must be a Python module with the source code available.

New in version 0.6.

Changed in version 1.0: Support for 'bysource'.


This value is a list of autodoc directive flags that should be automatically applied to all autodoc directives.  The supported flags are 'members', 'undoc-members', 'private-members', 'special-members', 'inherited-members', 'show-inheritance', 'ignore-module-all' and 'exclude-members'.

New in version 1.0.

Deprecated since version 1.8: Integrated into autodoc_default_options.


The default options for autodoc directives.  They are applied to all autodoc directives automatically.  It must be a dictionary which maps option names to the values.  For example:

autodoc_default_options = {
    'members': 'var1, var2',
    'member-order': 'bysource',
    'special-members': '__init__',
    'undoc-members': True,
    'exclude-members': '__weakref__'

Setting None or True to the value is equivalent to giving only the option name to the directives.

The supported options are 'members', 'member-order', 'undoc-members', 'private-members', 'special-members', 'inherited-members', 'show-inheritance', 'ignore-module-all' and 'exclude-members'.

New in version 1.8.

Changed in version 2.0: Accepts True as a value.


Functions imported from C modules cannot be introspected, and therefore the signature for such functions cannot be automatically determined.  However, it is an often-used convention to put the signature into the first line of the function’s docstring.

If this boolean value is set to True (which is the default), autodoc will look at the first line of the docstring for functions and methods, and if it looks like a signature, use the line as the signature and remove it from the docstring content.

New in version 1.1.


This value contains a list of modules to be mocked up. This is useful when some external dependencies are not met at build time and break the building process. You may only specify the root package of the dependencies themselves and omit the sub-modules:

autodoc_mock_imports = ["django"]

Will mock all imports under the django package.

New in version 1.3.

Changed in version 1.6: This config value only requires to declare the top-level modules that should be mocked.


This value controls the behavior of sphinx-build -W during importing modules. If False is given, autodoc forcedly suppresses the error if the imported module emits warnings.  By default, True.


This value controls the docstrings inheritance. If set to True the docstring for classes or methods, if not explicitly set, is inherited form parents.

The default is True.

New in version 1.7.


autodoc supports to suppress warning messages via suppress_warnings.  It allows following warnings types in addition:

  • autodoc
  • autodoc.import_object

Docstring preprocessing

autodoc provides the following additional events:

autodoc-process-docstring(app, what, name, obj, options, lines)

New in version 0.4.

Emitted when autodoc has read and processed a docstring.  lines is a list of strings – the lines of the processed docstring – that the event handler can modify in place to change what Sphinx puts into the output.

  • app – the Sphinx application object
  • what – the type of the object which the docstring belongs to (one of "module", "class", "exception", "function", "method", "attribute")
  • name – the fully qualified name of the object
  • obj – the object itself
  • options – the options given to the directive: an object with attributes inherited_members, undoc_members, show_inheritance and noindex that are true if the flag option of same name was given to the auto directive
  • lines – the lines of the docstring, see above
autodoc-process-signature(app, what, name, obj, options, signature, return_annotation)

New in version 0.5.

Emitted when autodoc has formatted a signature for an object. The event handler can return a new tuple (signature, return_annotation) to change what Sphinx puts into the output.

  • app – the Sphinx application object
  • what – the type of the object which the docstring belongs to (one of "module", "class", "exception", "function", "method", "attribute")
  • name – the fully qualified name of the object
  • obj – the object itself
  • options – the options given to the directive: an object with attributes inherited_members, undoc_members, show_inheritance and noindex that are true if the flag option of same name was given to the auto directive
  • signature – function signature, as a string of the form "(parameter_1, parameter_2)", or None if introspection didn’t succeed and signature wasn’t specified in the directive.
  • return_annotation – function return annotation as a string of the form " -> annotation", or None if there is no return annotation

The sphinx.ext.autodoc module provides factory functions for commonly needed docstring processing in event autodoc-process-docstring:

sphinx.ext.autodoc.cut_lines(pre, post=0, what=None)

Return a listener that removes the first pre and last post lines of every docstring.  If what is a sequence of strings, only docstrings of a type in what will be processed.

Use like this (e.g. in the setup() function of conf.py):

from sphinx.ext.autodoc import cut_lines
app.connect('autodoc-process-docstring', cut_lines(4, what=['module']))

This can (and should) be used in place of automodule_skip_lines.

sphinx.ext.autodoc.between(marker, what=None, keepempty=False, exclude=False)

Return a listener that either keeps, or if exclude is True excludes, lines between lines that match the marker regular expression.  If no line matches, the resulting docstring would be empty, so no change will be made unless keepempty is true.

If what is a sequence of strings, only docstrings of a type in what will be processed.

Skipping members

autodoc allows the user to define a custom method for determining whether a member should be included in the documentation by using the following event:

autodoc-skip-member(app, what, name, obj, skip, options)

New in version 0.5.

Emitted when autodoc has to decide whether a member should be included in the documentation.  The member is excluded if a handler returns True.  It is included if the handler returns False.

If more than one enabled extension handles the autodoc-skip-member event, autodoc will use the first non-None value returned by a handler. Handlers should return None to fall back to the skipping behavior of autodoc and other enabled extensions.

  • app – the Sphinx application object
  • what – the type of the object which the docstring belongs to (one of "module", "class", "exception", "function", "method", "attribute")
  • name – the fully qualified name of the object
  • obj – the object itself
  • skip – a boolean indicating if autodoc will skip this member if the user handler does not override the decision
  • options – the options given to the directive: an object with attributes inherited_members, undoc_members, show_inheritance and noindex that are true if the flag option of same name was given to the auto directive

sphinx.ext.autosectionlabel – Allow reference sections using its title

New in version 1.4.

This extension allows you to refer sections its title.  This affects to the reference role (ref).

For example:

A Plain Title

This is the text of the section.

It refers to the section title, see :ref:`A Plain Title`.

Internally, this extension generates the labels for each section.  If same section names are used in whole of document, any one is used for a target by default. The autosectionlabel_prefix_document configuration variable can be used to make headings which appear multiple times but in different documents unique.



True to prefix each section label with the name of the document it is in, followed by a colon. For example, index:Introduction for a section called Introduction that appears in document index.rst.  Useful for avoiding ambiguity when the same section heading appears in different documents.


If set, autosectionlabel chooses the sections for labeling by its depth. For example, when set 1 to autosectionlabel_maxdepth, labels are generated only for top level sections, and deeper sections are not labeled.  It defaults to None (disabled).

sphinx.ext.autosummary – Generate autodoc summaries

New in version 0.6.

This extension generates function/method/attribute summary lists, similar to those output e.g. by Epydoc and other API doc generation tools.  This is especially useful when your docstrings are long and detailed, and putting each one of them on a separate page makes them easier to read.

The sphinx.ext.autosummary extension does this in two parts:


There is an autosummary directive for generating summary listings that contain links to the documented items, and short summary blurbs extracted from their docstrings.


Optionally, the convenience script sphinx-autogen or the new autosummary_generate config value can be used to generate short “stub” files for the entries listed in the autosummary directives. These files by default contain only the corresponding sphinx.ext.autodoc directive, but can be customized with templates.

.. autosummary::

Insert a table that contains links to documented items, and a short summary blurb (the first sentence of the docstring) for each of them.

The autosummary directive can also optionally serve as a toctree entry for the included items. Optionally, stub .rst files for these items can also be automatically generated.

For example,

.. currentmodule:: sphinx

.. autosummary::


produces a table like this:

environment.BuildEnvironment([app]) The environment in which the ReST files are translated.
util.relative_uri(base, to) Return a relative URL from base to to.

Autosummary preprocesses the docstrings and signatures with the same autodoc-process-docstring and autodoc-process-signature hooks as autodoc.


  • If you want the autosummary table to also serve as a toctree entry, use the toctree option, for example:

    .. autosummary::
       :toctree: DIRNAME

    The toctree option also signals to the sphinx-autogen script that stub pages should be generated for the entries listed in this directive.  The option accepts a directory name as an argument; sphinx-autogen will by default place its output in this directory. If no argument is given, output is placed in the same directory as the file that contains the directive.

  • If you don’t want the autosummary to show function signatures in the listing, include the nosignatures option:

    .. autosummary::
  • You can specify a custom template with the template option. For example,

    .. autosummary::
       :template: mytemplate.rst

    would use the template mytemplate.rst in your templates_path to generate the pages for all entries listed. See Customizing templates below.

    New in version 1.0.

sphinx-autogen – generate autodoc stub pages

The sphinx-autogen script can be used to conveniently generate stub documentation pages for items included in autosummary listings.

For example, the command

$ sphinx-autogen -o generated *.rst

will read all autosummary tables in the *.rst files that have the :toctree: option set, and output corresponding stub pages in directory generated for all documented items.  The generated pages by default contain text of the form:


.. autofunction:: sphinx.util.relative_uri

If the -o option is not given, the script will place the output files in the directories specified in the :toctree: options.

For more information, refer to the sphinx-autogen documentation

Generating stub pages automatically

If you do not want to create stub pages with sphinx-autogen, you can also use these config values:


Boolean indicating whether to scan all found documents for autosummary directives, and to generate stub pages for each.

Can also be a list of documents for which stub pages should be generated.

The new files will be placed in the directories specified in the :toctree: options of the directives.


This value contains a list of modules to be mocked up.  See autodoc_mock_imports for more details.  It defaults to autodoc_mock_imports.

Customizing templates

New in version 1.0.

You can customize the stub page templates, in a similar way as the HTML Jinja templates, see templating. (TemplateBridge is not supported.)


If you find yourself spending much time tailoring the stub templates, this may indicate that it’s a better idea to write custom narrative documentation instead.

Autosummary uses the following Jinja template files:

  • autosummary/base.rst – fallback template
  • autosummary/module.rst – template for modules
  • autosummary/class.rst – template for classes
  • autosummary/function.rst – template for functions
  • autosummary/attribute.rst – template for class attributes
  • autosummary/method.rst – template for class methods

The following variables available in the templates:


Name of the documented object, excluding the module and class parts.


Name of the documented object, excluding the module parts.


Full name of the documented object, including module and class parts.


Name of the module the documented object belongs to.


Name of the class the documented object belongs to.  Only available for methods and attributes.


A string containing len(full_name) * '='. Use the underline filter instead.


List containing names of all members of the module or class.  Only available for modules and classes.


List containing names of all inherited members of class.  Only available for classes.

New in version 1.8.0.


List containing names of “public” functions in the module.  Here, “public” here means that the name does not start with an underscore. Only available for modules.


List containing names of “public” classes in the module.  Only available for modules.


List containing names of “public” exceptions in the module.  Only available for modules.


List containing names of “public” methods in the class.  Only available for classes.


List containing names of “public” attributes in the class.  Only available for classes.

Additionally, the following filters are available


Escape any special characters in the text to be used in formatting RST contexts. For instance, this prevents asterisks making things bold. This replaces the builtin Jinja escape filter that does html-escaping.

underline(s, line='=')

Add a title underline to a piece of text.

For instance, {{ fullname | escape | underline }} should be used to produce the title of a page.


You can use the autosummary directive in the stub pages. Stub pages are generated also based on these directives.

sphinx.ext.coverage – Collect doc coverage stats

This extension features one additional builder, the CoverageBuilder.

class sphinx.ext.coverage.CoverageBuilder

To use this builder, activate the coverage extension in your configuration file and give -b coverage on the command line.


Write this section.

Several configuration values can be used to specify what the builder should check:








Set to False to not write headlines.

New in version 1.1.


Skip objects that are not documented in the source with a docstring. False by default.

New in version 1.1.

sphinx.ext.doctest – Test snippets in the documentation

This extension allows you to test snippets in the documentation in a natural way.  It works by collecting specially-marked up code blocks and running them as doctest tests.

Within one document, test code is partitioned in groups, where each group consists of:

  • zero or more setup code blocks (e.g. importing the module to test)
  • one or more test blocks

When building the docs with the doctest builder, groups are collected for each document and run one after the other, first executing setup code blocks, then the test blocks in the order they appear in the file.

There are two kinds of test blocks:

  • doctest-style blocks mimic interactive sessions by interleaving Python code (including the interpreter prompt) and output.
  • code-output-style blocks consist of an ordinary piece of Python code, and optionally, a piece of output for that code.


The group argument below is interpreted as follows: if it is empty, the block is assigned to the group named default.  If it is *, the block is assigned to all groups (including the default group).  Otherwise, it must be a comma-separated list of group names.

.. testsetup:: [group]

A setup code block.  This code is not shown in the output for other builders, but executed before the doctests of the group(s) it belongs to.

.. testcleanup:: [group]

A cleanup code block.  This code is not shown in the output for other builders, but executed after the doctests of the group(s) it belongs to.

New in version 1.1.

.. doctest:: [group]

A doctest-style code block.  You can use standard doctest flags for controlling how actual output is compared with what you give as output.  The default set of flags is specified by the doctest_default_flags configuration variable.

This directive supports three options:

  • hide, a flag option, hides the doctest block in other builders.  By default it is shown as a highlighted doctest block.
  • options, a string option, can be used to give a comma-separated list of doctest flags that apply to each example in the tests.  (You still can give explicit flags per example, with doctest comments, but they will show up in other builders too.)
  • pyversion, a string option, can be used to specify the required Python version for the example to be tested. For instance, in the following case the example will be tested only for Python versions greater than 3.3:

    .. doctest::
       :pyversion: > 3.3

    The following operands are supported:

    • ~=: Compatible release clause
    • ==: Version matching clause
    • !=: Version exclusion clause
    • <=, >=: Inclusive ordered comparison clause
    • <, >: Exclusive ordered comparison clause
    • ===: Arbitrary equality clause.

    pyversion option is followed PEP-440: Version Specifiers.

    New in version 1.6.

    Changed in version 1.7: Supported PEP-440 operands and notations

Note that like with standard doctests, you have to use <BLANKLINE> to signal a blank line in the expected output.  The <BLANKLINE> is removed when building presentation output (HTML, LaTeX etc.).

Also, you can give inline doctest options, like in doctest:

>>> datetime.date.now()   # doctest: +SKIP
datetime.date(2008, 1, 1)

They will be respected when the test is run, but stripped from presentation output.

.. testcode:: [group]

A code block for a code-output-style test.

This directive supports one option:

  • hide, a flag option, hides the code block in other builders.  By default it is shown as a highlighted code block.

Code in a testcode block is always executed all at once, no matter how many statements it contains.  Therefore, output will not be generated for bare expressions – use print.  Example:

.. testcode::

   1+1        # this will give no output!
   print 2+2  # this will give output

.. testoutput::


Also, please be aware that since the doctest module does not support mixing regular output and an exception message in the same snippet, this applies to testcode/testoutput as well.

.. testoutput:: [group]

The corresponding output, or the exception message, for the last testcode block.

This directive supports two options:

  • hide, a flag option, hides the output block in other builders.  By default it is shown as a literal block without highlighting.
  • options, a string option, can be used to give doctest flags (comma-separated) just like in normal doctest blocks.


.. testcode::

   print 'Output     text.'

.. testoutput::

   Output text.

The following is an example for the usage of the directives.  The test via doctest and the test via testcode and testoutput are equivalent.

The parrot module

.. testsetup:: *

   import parrot

The parrot module is a module about parrots.

Doctest example:

.. doctest::

   >>> parrot.voom(3000)
   This parrot wouldn't voom if you put 3000 volts through it!

Test-Output example:

.. testcode::


This would output:

.. testoutput::

   This parrot wouldn't voom if you put 3000 volts through it!

Skipping tests conditionally

skipif, a string option, can be used to skip directives conditionally. This may be useful e.g. when a different set of tests should be run depending on the environment (hardware, network/VPN, optional dependencies or different versions of dependencies). The skipif option is supported by all of the doctest directives. Below are typical use cases for skipif when used for different directives:

  • testsetup and testcleanup

    • conditionally skip test setup and/or cleanup
    • customize setup/cleanup code per environment
  • doctest

    • conditionally skip both a test and its output verification
  • testcode

    • conditionally skip a test
    • customize test code per environment
  • testoutput

    • conditionally skip output assertion for a skipped test
    • expect different output depending on the environment

The value of the skipif option is evaluated as a Python expression. If the result is a true value, the directive is omitted from the test run just as if it wasn’t present in the file at all.

Instead of repeating an expression, the doctest_global_setup configuration option can be used to assign it to a variable which can then be used instead.

Here’s an example which skips some tests if Pandas is not installed:


extensions = ['sphinx.ext.doctest']
doctest_global_setup = '''
    import pandas as pd
except ImportError:
    pd = None


.. testsetup::
   :skipif: pd is None

   data = pd.Series([42])

.. doctest::
   :skipif: pd is None

   >>> data.iloc[0]

.. testcode::
   :skipif: pd is None


.. testoutput::
   :skipif: pd is None



The doctest extension uses the following configuration values:


By default, these options are enabled:

  • ELLIPSIS, allowing you to put ellipses in the expected output that match anything in the actual output;
  • IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL, causing everything following the leftmost colon and any module information in the exception name to be ignored;
  • DONT_ACCEPT_TRUE_FOR_1, rejecting “True” in the output where “1” is given – the default behavior of accepting this substitution is a relic of pre-Python 2.2 times.

New in version 1.5.


A list of directories that will be added to sys.path when the doctest builder is used.  (Make sure it contains absolute paths.)


Python code that is treated like it were put in a testsetup directive for every file that is tested, and for every group.  You can use this to e.g. import modules you will always need in your doctests.

New in version 0.6.


Python code that is treated like it were put in a testcleanup directive for every file that is tested, and for every group.  You can use this to e.g. remove any temporary files that the tests leave behind.

New in version 1.1.


If this is a nonempty string (the default is 'default'), standard reST doctest blocks will be tested too.  They will be assigned to the group name given.

reST doctest blocks are simply doctests put into a paragraph of their own, like so:

Some documentation text.

>>> print 1

Some more documentation text.

(Note that no special :: is used to introduce a doctest block; docutils recognizes them from the leading >>>.  Also, no additional indentation is used, though it doesn’t hurt.)

If this value is left at its default value, the above snippet is interpreted by the doctest builder exactly like the following:

Some documentation text.

.. doctest::

   >>> print 1

Some more documentation text.

This feature makes it easy for you to test doctests in docstrings included with the autodoc extension without marking them up with a special directive.

Note though that you can’t have blank lines in reST doctest blocks.  They will be interpreted as one block ending and another one starting.  Also, removal of <BLANKLINE> and # doctest: options only works in doctest blocks, though you may set trim_doctest_flags to achieve that in all code blocks with Python console content.

sphinx.ext.githubpages – Publish HTML docs in GitHub Pages

New in version 1.4.

Changed in version 2.0: Support CNAME file

This extension creates .nojekyll file on generated HTML directory to publish the document on GitHub Pages.

It also creates a CNAME file for custom domains when html_baseurl set.

sphinx.ext.graphviz – Add Graphviz graphs

New in version 0.6.

This extension allows you to embed Graphviz graphs in your documents.

It adds these directives:

.. graphviz::

Directive to embed graphviz code.  The input code for dot is given as the content.  For example:

.. graphviz::

   digraph foo {
      "bar" -> "baz";

In HTML output, the code will be rendered to a PNG or SVG image (see graphviz_output_format).  In LaTeX output, the code will be rendered to an embeddable PDF file.

You can also embed external dot files, by giving the file name as an argument to graphviz and no additional content:

.. graphviz:: external.dot

As for all file references in Sphinx, if the filename is absolute, it is taken as relative to the source directory.

Changed in version 1.1: Added support for external files.

.. graph::

Directive for embedding a single undirected graph.  The name is given as a directive argument, the contents of the graph are the directive content. This is a convenience directive to generate graph <name> { <content> }.

For example:

.. graph:: foo

   "bar" -- "baz";

The graph name is passed unchanged to Graphviz.  If it contains non-alphanumeric characters (e.g. a dash), you will have to double-quote it.

.. digraph::

Directive for embedding a single directed graph.  The name is given as a directive argument, the contents of the graph are the directive content. This is a convenience directive to generate digraph <name> { <content> }.

For example:

.. digraph:: foo

   "bar" -> "baz" -> "quux";

New in version 1.0: All three directives support an alt option that determines the image’s alternate text for HTML output.  If not given, the alternate text defaults to the graphviz code.

New in version 1.1: All three directives support a caption option that can be used to give a caption to the diagram.

Changed in version 1.4: All three directives support a graphviz_dot option that can be switch the dot command within the directive.

New in version 1.5: All three directives support a align option to align the graph horizontal. The values “left”, “center”, “right” are allowed.

New in version 1.6: All three directives support a name option to set the label to graph.

There are also these config values:


The command name with which to invoke dot.  The default is 'dot'; you may need to set this to a full path if dot is not in the executable search path.

Since this setting is not portable from system to system, it is normally not useful to set it in conf.py; rather, giving it on the sphinx-build command line via the -D option should be preferable, like this:

sphinx-build -b html -D graphviz_dot=C:\graphviz\bin\dot.exe . _build/html

Additional command-line arguments to give to dot, as a list.  The default is an empty list.  This is the right place to set global graph, node or edge attributes via dot’s -G, -N and -E options.


The output format for Graphviz when building HTML files.  This must be either 'png' or 'svg'; the default is 'png'. If 'svg' is used, in order to make the URL links work properly, an appropriate target attribute must be set, such as "_top" and "_blank". For example, the link in the following graph should work in the svg output:

.. graphviz::

     digraph example {
         a [label="sphinx", href="http://sphinx-doc.org", target="_top"];
         b [label="other"];
         a -> b;

New in version 1.0: Previously, output always was PNG.

sphinx.ext.ifconfig – Include content based on configuration

This extension is quite simple, and features only one directive:

.. ifconfig::

Include content of the directive only if the Python expression given as an argument is True, evaluated in the namespace of the project’s configuration (that is, all registered variables from conf.py are available).

For example, one could write

.. ifconfig:: releaselevel in ('alpha', 'beta', 'rc')

   This stuff is only included in the built docs for unstable versions.

To make a custom config value known to Sphinx, use add_config_value() in the setup function in conf.py, e.g.:

def setup(app):
    app.add_config_value('releaselevel', '', 'env')

The second argument is the default value, the third should always be 'env' for such values (it selects if Sphinx re-reads the documents if the value changes).

sphinx.ext.imgconverter – A reference image converter using Imagemagick

New in version 1.6.

This extension converts images in your document to appropriate format for builders.  For example, it allows you to use SVG images with LaTeX builder. As a result, you don’t mind what image format the builder supports.

Internally, this extension uses Imagemagick to convert images.


Imagemagick rasterizes a SVG image on conversion.  As a result, the image becomes not scalable.  To avoid that, please use other image converters like sphinxcontrib-svg2pdfconverter (which uses Inkscape or rsvg-convert).



A path to convert command.  By default, the imgconverter uses the command from search paths.


Additional command-line arguments to give to convert, as a list. The default is an empty list [].

sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram – Include inheritance diagrams

New in version 0.6.

This extension allows you to include inheritance diagrams, rendered via the Graphviz extension.

It adds this directive:

.. inheritance-diagram::

This directive has one or more arguments, each giving a module or class name.  Class names can be unqualified; in that case they are taken to exist in the currently described module (see py:module).

For each given class, and each class in each given module, the base classes are determined.  Then, from all classes and their base classes, a graph is generated which is then rendered via the graphviz extension to a directed graph.

This directive supports an option called parts that, if given, must be an integer, advising the directive to keep that many dot-separated parts in the displayed names (from right to left). For example, parts=1 will only display class names, without the names of the modules that contain them.

Changed in version 2.0: The value of for parts can also be negative, indicating how many parts to drop from the left.  For example, if all your class names start with lib., you can give :parts: -1 to remove that prefix from the displayed node names.

The directive also supports a private-bases flag option; if given, private base classes (those whose name starts with _) will be included.

You can use caption option to give a caption to the diagram.

Changed in version 1.1: Added private-bases option; previously, all bases were always included.

Changed in version 1.5: Added caption option

It also supports a top-classes option which requires one or more class names separated by comma. If specified inheritance traversal will stop at the specified class names. Given the following Python module:

      / \
     B   C
    / \ / \
   E   D   F

class A:

class B(A):

class C(A):

class D(B, C):

class E(B):

class F(C):

If you have specified a module in the inheritance diagram like this:

.. inheritance-diagram:: dummy.test
   :top-classes: dummy.test.B, dummy.test.C

any base classes which are ancestors to top-classes and are also defined in the same module will be rendered as stand alone nodes. In this example class A will be rendered as stand alone node in the graph. This is a known issue due to how this extension works internally.

If you don’t want class A (or any other ancestors) to be visible then specify only the classes you would like to generate the diagram for like this:

.. inheritance-diagram:: dummy.test.D dummy.test.E dummy.test.F
   :top-classes: dummy.test.B, dummy.test.C

Changed in version 1.7: Added top-classes option to limit the scope of inheritance graphs.


The following are different inheritance diagrams for the internal InheritanceDiagram class that implements the directive.

With full names:

.. inheritance-diagram:: sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram.InheritanceDiagram

Showing class names only:

.. inheritance-diagram:: sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram.InheritanceDiagram
   :parts: 1

Stopping the diagram at sphinx.util.docutils.SphinxDirective (the highest superclass still part of Sphinx), and dropping the common left-most part (sphinx) from all names:

.. inheritance-diagram:: sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram.InheritanceDiagram
   :top-classes: sphinx.util.docutils.SphinxDirective
   :parts: -1



A dictionary of graphviz graph attributes for inheritance diagrams.

For example:

inheritance_graph_attrs = dict(rankdir="LR", size='"6.0, 8.0"',
                               fontsize=14, ratio='compress')

A dictionary of graphviz node attributes for inheritance diagrams.

For example:

inheritance_node_attrs = dict(shape='ellipse', fontsize=14, height=0.75,
                              color='dodgerblue1', style='filled')

A dictionary of graphviz edge attributes for inheritance diagrams.


Allows mapping the full qualified name of the class to custom values (useful when exposing the underlying path of a class is not desirable, e.g. it’s a private class and should not be instantiated by the user).

For example:

inheritance_alias = {'_pytest.Magic': 'pytest.Magic'}


To use Intersphinx linking, add 'sphinx.ext.intersphinx' to your extensions config value, and use these config values to activate linking:


This config value contains the locations and names of other projects that should be linked to in this documentation.

Relative local paths for target locations are taken as relative to the base of the built documentation, while relative local paths for inventory locations are taken as relative to the source directory.

When fetching remote inventory files, proxy settings will be read from the $HTTP_PROXY environment variable.

Old format for this config value

This is the format used before Sphinx 1.0.  It is still recognized.

A dictionary mapping URIs to either None or an URI.  The keys are the base URI of the foreign Sphinx documentation sets and can be local paths or HTTP URIs.  The values indicate where the inventory file can be found: they can be None (at the same location as the base URI) or another local or HTTP URI.

New format for this config value

New in version 1.0.

A dictionary mapping unique identifiers to a tuple (target, inventory). Each target is the base URI of a foreign Sphinx documentation set and can be a local path or an HTTP URI.  The inventory indicates where the inventory file can be found: it can be None (at the same location as the base URI) or another local or HTTP URI.

The unique identifier can be used to prefix cross-reference targets, so that it is clear which intersphinx set the target belongs to.  A link like :ref:`comparison manual <python:comparisons>` will link to the label “comparisons” in the doc set “python”, if it exists.


To add links to modules and objects in the Python standard library documentation, use:

intersphinx_mapping = {'python': ('https://docs.python.org/3', None)}

This will download the corresponding objects.inv file from the Internet and generate links to the pages under the given URI.  The downloaded inventory is cached in the Sphinx environment, so it must be re-downloaded whenever you do a full rebuild.

A second example, showing the meaning of a non-None value of the second tuple item:

intersphinx_mapping = {'python': ('https://docs.python.org/3',

This will read the inventory from python-inv.txt in the source directory, but still generate links to the pages under https://docs.python.org/3.  It is up to you to update the inventory file as new objects are added to the Python documentation.

Multiple target for the inventory

New in version 1.3.

Alternative files can be specified for each inventory. One can give a tuple for the second inventory tuple item as shown in the following example. This will read the inventory iterating through the (second) tuple items until the first successful fetch. The primary use case for this to specify mirror sites for server downtime of the primary inventory:

intersphinx_mapping = {'python': ('https://docs.python.org/3',
                                  (None, 'python-inv.txt'))}

The maximum number of days to cache remote inventories.  The default is 5, meaning five days.  Set this to a negative value to cache inventories for unlimited time.


The number of seconds for timeout.  The default is None, meaning do not timeout.


timeout is not a time limit on the entire response download; rather, an exception is raised if the server has not issued a response for timeout seconds.



This is a function linkcode_resolve(domain, info), which should return the URL to source code corresponding to the object in given domain with given information.

The function should return None if no link is to be added.

The argument domain specifies the language domain the object is in. info is a dictionary with the following keys guaranteed to be present (dependent on the domain):

  • py: module (name of the module), fullname (name of the object)
  • c: names (list of names for the object)
  • cpp: names (list of names for the object)
  • javascript: object (name of the object), fullname (name of the item)


def linkcode_resolve(domain, info):
    if domain != 'py':
        return None
    if not info['module']:
        return None
    filename = info['module'].replace('.', '/')
    return "https://somesite/sourcerepo/%s.py" % filename

Math support for HTML outputs in Sphinx

New in version 0.5.

Changed in version 1.8: Math support for non-HTML builders is integrated to sphinx-core. So mathbase extension is no longer needed.

Since mathematical notation isn’t natively supported by HTML in any way, Sphinx gives a math support to HTML document with several extensions.

sphinx.ext.imgmath – Render math as images

New in version 1.4.

This extension renders math via LaTeX and dvipng or dvisvgm into PNG or SVG images. This of course means that the computer where the docs are built must have both programs available.

There are various config values you can set to influence how the images are built:


The output image format. The default is 'png'.  It should be either 'png' or 'svg'.


The command name with which to invoke LaTeX.  The default is 'latex'; you may need to set this to a full path if latex is not in the executable search path.

Since this setting is not portable from system to system, it is normally not useful to set it in conf.py; rather, giving it on the sphinx-build command line via the -D option should be preferable, like this:

sphinx-build -b html -D imgmath_latex=C:\tex\latex.exe . _build/html

This value should only contain the path to the latex executable, not further arguments; use imgmath_latex_args for that purpose.


The command name with which to invoke dvipng.  The default is 'dvipng'; you may need to set this to a full path if dvipng is not in the executable search path. This option is only used when imgmath_image_format is set to 'png'.


The command name with which to invoke dvisvgm.  The default is 'dvisvgm'; you may need to set this to a full path if dvisvgm is not in the executable search path.  This option is only used when imgmath_image_format is 'svg'.


Additional arguments to give to latex, as a list.  The default is an empty list.


Additional LaTeX code to put into the preamble of the short LaTeX files that are used to translate the math snippets.  This is empty by default.  Use it e.g. to add more packages whose commands you want to use in the math.


Additional arguments to give to dvipng, as a list.  The default value is ['-gamma', '1.5', '-D', '110', '-bg', 'Transparent'] which makes the image a bit darker and larger then it is by default, and produces PNGs with a transparent background.  This option is used only when imgmath_image_format is 'png'.


Additional arguments to give to dvisvgm, as a list.  The default value is ['--no-fonts'].  This option is used only when imgmath_image_format is 'svg'.


dvipng has the ability to determine the “depth” of the rendered text: for example, when typesetting a fraction inline, the baseline of surrounding text should not be flush with the bottom of the image, rather the image should extend a bit below the baseline.  This is what TeX calls “depth”.  When this is enabled, the images put into the HTML document will get a vertical-align style that correctly aligns the baselines.

Unfortunately, this only works when the preview-latex package is installed. Therefore, the default for this option is False.

Currently this option is only used when imgmath_image_format is 'png'.


Default: True.  If false, do not add the LaTeX code as an “alt” attribute for math images.


The font size (in pt) of the displayed math.  The default value is 12.  It must be a positive integer.

sphinx.ext.mathjax – Render math via JavaScript

New in version 1.1.

This extension puts math as-is into the HTML files.  The JavaScript package MathJax is then loaded and transforms the LaTeX markup to readable math live in the browser.

Because MathJax (and the necessary fonts) is very large, it is not included in Sphinx.


The path to the JavaScript file to include in the HTML files in order to load MathJax.

The default is the https:// URL that loads the JS files from the cdnjs Content Delivery Network. See the MathJax Getting Started page for details. If you want MathJax to be available offline, you have to download it and set this value to a different path.

The path can be absolute or relative; if it is relative, it is relative to the _static directory of the built docs.

For example, if you put MathJax into the static path of the Sphinx docs, this value would be MathJax/MathJax.js.  If you host more than one Sphinx documentation set on one server, it is advisable to install MathJax in a shared location.

You can also give a full https:// URL different from the CDN URL.


The options to script tag for mathjax.  For example, you can set integrity option with following setting:

mathjax_options = {
    'integrity': 'sha384-......',

The default is empty ({}).


The inline configuration options for mathjax.  The value is used as a parameter of MathJax.Hub.Config().  For more information, please read Using in-line configuration options.

For example:

mathjax_config = {
    'extensions': ['tex2jax.js'],
    'jax': ['input/TeX', 'output/HTML-CSS'],

The default is empty (not configured).

sphinx.ext.jsmath – Render math via JavaScript

This extension works just as the MathJax extension does, but uses the older package jsMath.  It provides this config value:


The path to the JavaScript file to include in the HTML files in order to load JSMath.  There is no default.

The path can be absolute or relative; if it is relative, it is relative to the _static directory of the built docs.

For example, if you put JSMath into the static path of the Sphinx docs, this value would be jsMath/easy/load.js.  If you host more than one Sphinx documentation set on one server, it is advisable to install jsMath in a shared location.

sphinx.ext.napoleon – Support for NumPy and Google style docstrings

Module author: Rob Ruana

New in version 1.3.


Are you tired of writing docstrings that look like this:

:param path: The path of the file to wrap
:type path: str
:param field_storage: The :class:`FileStorage` instance to wrap
:type field_storage: FileStorage
:param temporary: Whether or not to delete the file when the File
   instance is destructed
:type temporary: bool
:returns: A buffered writable file descriptor
:rtype: BufferedFileStorage

reStructuredText is great, but it creates visually dense, hard to read docstrings. Compare the jumble above to the same thing rewritten according to the Google Python Style Guide:

    path (str): The path of the file to wrap
    field_storage (FileStorage): The :class:`FileStorage` instance to wrap
    temporary (bool): Whether or not to delete the file when the File
       instance is destructed

    BufferedFileStorage: A buffered writable file descriptor

Much more legible, no?

Napoleon is a extension that enables Sphinx to parse both NumPy and Google style docstrings - the style recommended by Khan Academy.

Napoleon is a pre-processor that parses NumPy and Google style docstrings and converts them to reStructuredText before Sphinx attempts to parse them. This happens in an intermediate step while Sphinx is processing the documentation, so it doesn’t modify any of the docstrings in your actual source code files.

Getting Started


After setting up Sphinx to build your docs, enable napoleon in the Sphinx conf.py file:

# conf.py

# Add napoleon to the extensions list
extensions = ['sphinx.ext.napoleon']

Use sphinx-apidoc to build your API documentation:

$ sphinx-apidoc -f -o docs/source projectdir


Napoleon interprets every docstring that autodoc can find, including docstrings on: modules, classes, attributes, methods, functions, and variables. Inside each docstring, specially formatted Sections are parsed and converted to reStructuredText.

All standard reStructuredText formatting still works as expected.

Docstring Sections

All of the following section headers are supported:

  • Args (alias of Parameters)
  • Arguments (alias of Parameters)
  • Attention
  • Attributes
  • Caution
  • Danger
  • Error
  • Example
  • Examples
  • Hint
  • Important
  • Keyword Args (alias of Keyword Arguments)
  • Keyword Arguments
  • Methods
  • Note
  • Notes
  • Other Parameters
  • Parameters
  • Return (alias of Returns)
  • Returns
  • Raises
  • References
  • See Also
  • Tip
  • Todo
  • Warning
  • Warnings (alias of Warning)
  • Warns
  • Yield (alias of Yields)
  • Yields

Google vs NumPy

Napoleon supports two styles of docstrings: Google and NumPy. The main difference between the two styles is that Google uses indentation to separate sections, whereas NumPy uses underlines.

Google style:

def func(arg1, arg2):
    """Summary line.

    Extended description of function.

        arg1 (int): Description of arg1
        arg2 (str): Description of arg2

        bool: Description of return value

    return True

NumPy style:

def func(arg1, arg2):
    """Summary line.

    Extended description of function.

    arg1 : int
        Description of arg1
    arg2 : str
        Description of arg2

        Description of return value

    return True

NumPy style tends to require more vertical space, whereas Google style tends to use more horizontal space. Google style tends to be easier to read for short and simple docstrings, whereas NumPy style tends be easier to read for long and in-depth docstrings.

The Khan Academy recommends using Google style.

The choice between styles is largely aesthetic, but the two styles should not be mixed. Choose one style for your project and be consistent with it.


For complete examples:

  • example_google
  • example_numpy

Type Annotations

PEP 484 introduced a standard way to express types in Python code. This is an alternative to expressing types directly in docstrings. One benefit of expressing types according to PEP 484 is that type checkers and IDEs can take advantage of them for static code analysis.

Google style with Python 3 type annotations:

def func(arg1: int, arg2: str) -> bool:
    """Summary line.

    Extended description of function.

        arg1: Description of arg1
        arg2: Description of arg2

        Description of return value

    return True

Google style with types in docstrings:

def func(arg1, arg2):
    """Summary line.

    Extended description of function.

        arg1 (int): Description of arg1
        arg2 (str): Description of arg2

        bool: Description of return value

    return True

Python 2/3 compatible annotations aren’t currently supported by Sphinx and won’t show up in the docs.


Listed below are all the settings used by napoleon and their default values. These settings can be changed in the Sphinx conf.py file. Make sure that “sphinx.ext.napoleon” is enabled in conf.py:

# conf.py

# Add any Sphinx extension module names here, as strings
extensions = ['sphinx.ext.napoleon']

# Napoleon settings
napoleon_google_docstring = True
napoleon_numpy_docstring = True
napoleon_include_init_with_doc = False
napoleon_include_private_with_doc = False
napoleon_include_special_with_doc = True
napoleon_use_admonition_for_examples = False
napoleon_use_admonition_for_notes = False
napoleon_use_admonition_for_references = False
napoleon_use_ivar = False
napoleon_use_param = True
napoleon_use_rtype = True

True to parse Google style docstrings. False to disable support for Google style docstrings. Defaults to True.


True to parse NumPy style docstrings. False to disable support for NumPy style docstrings. Defaults to True.


True to list __init___ docstrings separately from the class docstring. False to fall back to Sphinx’s default behavior, which considers the __init___ docstring as part of the class documentation. Defaults to False.

If True:

def __init__(self):
    This will be included in the docs because it has a docstring

def __init__(self):
    # This will NOT be included in the docs

True to include private members (like _membername) with docstrings in the documentation. False to fall back to Sphinx’s default behavior. Defaults to False.

If True:

def _included(self):
    This will be included in the docs because it has a docstring

def _skipped(self):
    # This will NOT be included in the docs

True to include special members (like __membername__) with docstrings in the documentation. False to fall back to Sphinx’s default behavior. Defaults to True.

If True:

def __str__(self):
    This will be included in the docs because it has a docstring
    return unicode(self).encode('utf-8')

def __unicode__(self):
    # This will NOT be included in the docs
    return unicode(self.__class__.__name__)

True to use the .. admonition:: directive for the Example and Examples sections. False to use the .. rubric:: directive instead. One may look better than the other depending on what HTML theme is used. Defaults to False.

This NumPy style snippet will be converted as follows:

This is just a quick example

If True:

.. admonition:: Example

   This is just a quick example

If False:

.. rubric:: Example

This is just a quick example

True to use the .. admonition:: directive for Notes sections. False to use the .. rubric:: directive instead. Defaults to False.


The singular Note section will always be converted to a .. note:: directive.




True to use the .. admonition:: directive for References sections. False to use the .. rubric:: directive instead. Defaults to False.




True to use the :ivar: role for instance variables. False to use the .. attribute:: directive instead. Defaults to False.

This NumPy style snippet will be converted as follows:

attr1 : int
    Description of `attr1`

If True:

:ivar attr1: Description of `attr1`
:vartype attr1: int

If False:

.. attribute:: attr1

   Description of `attr1`

   :type: int

True to use a :param: role for each function parameter. False to use a single :parameters: role for all the parameters. Defaults to True.

This NumPy style snippet will be converted as follows:

arg1 : str
    Description of `arg1`
arg2 : int, optional
    Description of `arg2`, defaults to 0

If True:

:param arg1: Description of `arg1`
:type arg1: str
:param arg2: Description of `arg2`, defaults to 0
:type arg2: int, optional

If False:

:parameters: * **arg1** (*str*) --
               Description of `arg1`
             * **arg2** (*int, optional*) --
               Description of `arg2`, defaults to 0

True to use a :keyword: role for each function keyword argument. False to use a single :keyword arguments: role for all the keywords. Defaults to True.

This behaves similarly to  napoleon_use_param. Note unlike docutils, :keyword: and :param: will not be treated the same way - there will be a separate “Keyword Arguments” section, rendered in the same fashion as “Parameters” section (type links created if possible)




True to use the :rtype: role for the return type. False to output the return type inline with the description. Defaults to True.

This NumPy style snippet will be converted as follows:

    True if successful, False otherwise

If True:

:returns: True if successful, False otherwise
:rtype: bool

If False:

:returns: *bool* -- True if successful, False otherwise

sphinx.ext.todo – Support for todo items

Module author: Daniel Bültmann

New in version 0.5.

There are two additional directives when using this extension:

.. todo::

Use this directive like, for example, note.

It will only show up in the output if todo_include_todos is True.

New in version 1.3.2: This directive supports an class option that determines the class attribute for HTML output.  If not given, the class defaults to admonition-todo.

.. todolist::

This directive is replaced by a list of all todo directives in the whole documentation, if todo_include_todos is True.

These can be configured as seen below.



If this is True, todo and todolist produce output, else they produce nothing.  The default is False.


If this is True, todo emits a warning for each Todo entries. The default is False.

New in version 1.5.


If this is True, todolist produce output without file path and line, The default is False.

New in version 1.4.

autodoc provides the following an additional event:

todo-defined(app, node)

New in version 1.5.

Emitted when a todo is defined. node is the defined sphinx.ext.todo.todo_node node.



If this is True, viewcode extension will emit viewcode-follow-imported event to resolve the name of the module by other extensions.  The default is True.

New in version 1.3.

Changed in version 1.8: Renamed from viewcode_import to viewcode_follow_imported_members.


If this is True, viewcode extension is also enabled even if you use epub builders. This extension generates pages outside toctree, but this is not preferred as epub format.

Until 1.4.x, this extension is always enabled. If you want to generate epub as same as 1.4.x, you should set True, but epub format checker’s score becomes worse.

The default is False.

New in version 1.5.


Not all epub readers support pages generated by viewcode extension. These readers ignore links to pages are not under toctree.

Some reader’s rendering result are corrupted and epubcheck’s score becomes worse even if the reader supports.

viewcode-find-source(app, modname)

New in version 1.8.

Find the source code for a module. An event handler for this event should return a tuple of the source code itself and a dictionary of tags. The dictionary maps the name of a class, function, attribute, etc to a tuple of its type, the start line number, and the end line number. The type should be one of “class”, “def”, or “other”.

  • app – The Sphinx application object.
  • modname – The name of the module to find source code for.
viewcode-follow-imported(app, modname, attribute)

New in version 1.8.

Find the name of the original module for an attribute.

  • app – The Sphinx application object.
  • modname – The name of the module that the attribute belongs to.
  • attribute – The name of the member to follow.

Third-party extensions


This should reference the GitHub organization now

You can find several extensions contributed by users in the Sphinx Contrib repository.  It is open for anyone who wants to maintain an extension publicly; just send a short message asking for write permissions.

There are also several extensions hosted elsewhere.  The Sphinx extension survey and awesome-sphinxdoc contains a comprehensive list.

If you write an extension that you think others will find useful or you think should be included as a part of Sphinx, please write to the project mailing list (join here).

Where to put your own extensions?

Extensions local to a project should be put within the project’s directory structure.  Set Python’s module search path, sys.path, accordingly so that Sphinx can find them.  For example, if your extension foo.py lies in the exts subdirectory of the project root, put into conf.py:

import sys, os


extensions = ['foo']

You can also install extensions anywhere else on sys.path, e.g. in the site-packages directory.


Sphinx provides a number of builders for HTML and HTML-based formats.



Populate when the ‘builders’ document is split up.


New in version 0.6.


This section provides information about using pre-existing HTML themes. If you wish to create your own theme, refer to /theming.

Sphinx supports changing the appearance of its HTML output via themes.  A theme is a collection of HTML templates, stylesheet(s) and other static files. Additionally, it has a configuration file which specifies from which theme to inherit, which highlighting style to use, and what options exist for customizing the theme’s look and feel.

Themes are meant to be project-unaware, so they can be used for different projects without change.

Using a theme

Using a theme provided with Sphinx is easy. Since these do not need to be installed, you only need to set the html_theme config value. For example, to enable the classic theme, add the following to conf.py:

html_theme = "classic"

You can also set theme-specific options using the html_theme_options config value.  These options are generally used to change the look and feel of the theme. For example, to place the sidebar on the right side and a black background for the relation bar (the bar with the navigation links at the page’s top and bottom), add the following conf.py:

html_theme_options = {
    "rightsidebar": "true",
    "relbarbgcolor": "black"

If the theme does not come with Sphinx, it can be in two static forms or as a Python package. For the static forms, either a directory (containing theme.conf and other needed files), or a zip file with the same contents is supported. The directory or zipfile must be put where Sphinx can find it; for this there is the config value html_theme_path. This can be a list of directories, relative to the directory containing conf.py, that can contain theme directories or zip files.  For example, if you have a theme in the file blue.zip, you can put it right in the directory containing conf.py and use this configuration:

html_theme = "blue"
html_theme_path = ["."]

The third form is a Python package.  If a theme you want to use is distributed as a Python package, you can use it after installing

# installing theme package
$ pip install sphinxjp.themes.dotted

Once installed, this can be used in the same manner as a directory or zipfile-based theme:

html_theme = "dotted"

For more information on the design of themes, including information about writing your own themes, refer to /theming.

Builtin themes

Theme overview
[image: alabaster] [image]

[image: classic] [image]

[image: sphinxdoc] [image]

[image: scrolls] [image]

[image: agogo] [image]

[image: traditional] [image]

[image: nature] [image]

[image: haiku] [image]

[image: pyramid] [image]

[image: bizstyle] [image]


Sphinx comes with a selection of themes to choose from.

These themes are:


This is a basically unstyled layout used as the base for the other themes, and usable as the base for custom themes as well.  The HTML contains all important elements like sidebar and relation bar.  There are these options (which are inherited by the other themes):

  • nosidebar (true or false): Don’t include the sidebar.  Defaults to False.
  • sidebarwidth (int or str): Width of the sidebar in pixels. This can be an int, which is interpreted as pixels or a valid CSS dimension string such as ‘70em’ or ‘50%’.  Defaults to 230 pixels.
  • body_min_width (int or str): Minimal width of the document body. This can be an int, which is interpreted as pixels or a valid CSS dimension string such as ‘70em’ or ‘50%’. Use 0 if you don’t want a width limit. Defaults may depend on the theme (often 450px).
  • body_max_width (int or str): Maximal width of the document body. This can be an int, which is interpreted as pixels or a valid CSS dimension string such as ‘70em’ or ‘50%’. Use ‘none’ if you don’t want a width limit. Defaults may depend on the theme (often 800px).

Alabaster theme is a modified “Kr” Sphinx theme from @kennethreitz (especially as used in his Requests project), which was itself originally based on @mitsuhiko’s theme used for Flask & related projects.  Refer to its installation page for information on how to configure html_sidebars for its use.


This is the classic theme, which looks like the Python 2 documentation.  It can be customized via these options:

  • rightsidebar (true or false): Put the sidebar on the right side. Defaults to False.
  • stickysidebar (true or false): Make the sidebar “fixed” so that it doesn’t scroll out of view for long body content.  This may not work well with all browsers.  Defaults to False.
  • collapsiblesidebar (true or false): Add an experimental JavaScript snippet that makes the sidebar collapsible via a button on its side. Defaults to False.
  • externalrefs (true or false): Display external links differently from internal links.  Defaults to False.

There are also various color and font options that can change the color scheme without having to write a custom stylesheet:

  • footerbgcolor (CSS color): Background color for the footer line.
  • footertextcolor (CSS color): Text color for the footer line.
  • sidebarbgcolor (CSS color): Background color for the sidebar.
  • sidebarbtncolor (CSS color): Background color for the sidebar collapse button (used when collapsiblesidebar is True).
  • sidebartextcolor (CSS color): Text color for the sidebar.
  • sidebarlinkcolor (CSS color): Link color for the sidebar.
  • relbarbgcolor (CSS color): Background color for the relation bar.
  • relbartextcolor (CSS color): Text color for the relation bar.
  • relbarlinkcolor (CSS color): Link color for the relation bar.
  • bgcolor (CSS color): Body background color.
  • textcolor (CSS color): Body text color.
  • linkcolor (CSS color): Body link color.
  • visitedlinkcolor (CSS color): Body color for visited links.
  • headbgcolor (CSS color): Background color for headings.
  • headtextcolor (CSS color): Text color for headings.
  • headlinkcolor (CSS color): Link color for headings.
  • codebgcolor (CSS color): Background color for code blocks.
  • codetextcolor (CSS color): Default text color for code blocks, if not set differently by the highlighting style.
  • bodyfont (CSS font-family): Font for normal text.
  • headfont (CSS font-family): Font for headings.

The theme originally used by this documentation. It features a sidebar on the right side. There are currently no options beyond nosidebar and sidebarwidth.


The Sphinx documentation now uses an adjusted version of the sphinxdoc theme.


A more lightweight theme, based on the Jinja documentation.  The following color options are available:

  • headerbordercolor
  • subheadlinecolor
  • linkcolor
  • visitedlinkcolor
  • admonitioncolor

A theme created by Andi Albrecht.  The following options are supported:

  • bodyfont (CSS font family): Font for normal text.
  • headerfont (CSS font family): Font for headings.
  • pagewidth (CSS length): Width of the page content, default 70em.
  • documentwidth (CSS length): Width of the document (without sidebar), default 50em.
  • sidebarwidth (CSS length): Width of the sidebar, default 20em.
  • bgcolor (CSS color): Background color.
  • headerbg (CSS value for “background”): background for the header area, default a grayish gradient.
  • footerbg (CSS value for “background”): background for the footer area, default a light gray gradient.
  • linkcolor (CSS color): Body link color.
  • headercolor1, headercolor2 (CSS color): colors for <h1> and <h2> headings.
  • headerlinkcolor (CSS color): Color for the backreference link in headings.
  • textalign (CSS text-align value): Text alignment for the body, default is justify.

A greenish theme.  There are currently no options beyond nosidebar and sidebarwidth.


A theme from the Pyramid web framework project, designed by Blaise Laflamme. There are currently no options beyond nosidebar and sidebarwidth.


A theme without sidebar inspired by the Haiku OS user guide.  The following options are supported:

  • full_logo (true or false, default False): If this is true, the header will only show the html_logo.  Use this for large logos. If this is false, the logo (if present) will be shown floating right, and the documentation title will be put in the header.
  • textcolor, headingcolor, linkcolor, visitedlinkcolor, hoverlinkcolor (CSS colors): Colors for various body elements.

A theme resembling the old Python documentation.  There are currently no options beyond nosidebar and sidebarwidth.


A theme for the epub builder.  This theme tries to save visual space which is a sparse resource on ebook readers.  The following options are supported:

  • relbar1 (true or false, default True): If this is true, the relbar1 block is inserted in the epub output, otherwise it is omitted.
  • footer  (true or false, default True): If this is true, the footer block is inserted in the epub output, otherwise it is omitted.

A simple bluish theme. The following options are supported beyond nosidebar and sidebarwidth:

  • rightsidebar (true or false): Put the sidebar on the right side. Defaults to False.

New in version 1.3: ‘alabaster’, ‘sphinx_rtd_theme’ and ‘bizstyle’ theme.

Changed in version 1.3: The ‘default’ theme has been renamed to ‘classic’. ‘default’ is still available, however it will emit a notice that it is an alias for the new ‘alabaster’ theme.

Third Party Themes

Theme overview
[image: sphinx_rtd_theme] [image]


There are many third-party themes available. Some of these are general use, while others are specific to an individual project. A section of third-party themes is listed below. Many more can be found on PyPI, GitHub and sphinx-themes.org.


Read the Docs Sphinx Theme. This is a mobile-friendly sphinx theme that was made for readthedocs.org. View a working demo over on readthedocs.org. You can get install and options information at Read the Docs Sphinx Theme page.

Changed in version 1.4: sphinx_rtd_theme has become optional.


New in version 1.1.

Complementary to translations provided for Sphinx-generated messages such as navigation bars, Sphinx provides mechanisms facilitating document translations in itself.  See the intl-options for details on configuration.

[image] Workflow visualization of translations in Sphinx.  (The stick-figure is taken from an XKCD comic.).UNINDENT

Sphinx internationalization details

gettext [1] is an established standard for internationalization and localization.  It naively maps messages in a program to a translated string. Sphinx uses these facilities to translate whole documents.

Initially project maintainers have to collect all translatable strings (also referred to as messages) to make them known to translators.  Sphinx extracts these through invocation of sphinx-build -b gettext.

Every single element in the doctree will end up in a single message which results in lists being equally split into different chunks while large paragraphs will remain as coarsely-grained as they were in the original document.  This grants seamless document updates while still providing a little bit of context for translators in free-text passages.  It is the maintainer’s task to split up paragraphs which are too large as there is no sane automated way to do that.

After Sphinx successfully ran the MessageCatalogBuilder you will find a collection of .pot files in your output directory.  These are catalog templates and contain messages in your original language only.

They can be delivered to translators which will transform them to .po files — so called message catalogs — containing a mapping from the original messages to foreign-language strings.

gettext compiles them into a binary format known as binary catalogs through msgfmt for efficiency reasons.  If you make these files discoverable with locale_dirs for your language, Sphinx will pick them up automatically.

An example: you have a document usage.rst in your Sphinx project.  The gettext builder will put its messages into usage.pot.  Imagine you have Spanish translations [2] stored in usage.po — for your builds to be translated you need to follow these instructions:

  • Compile your message catalog to a locale directory, say locale, so it ends up in ./locale/es/LC_MESSAGES/usage.mo in your source directory (where es is the language code for Spanish.)

    msgfmt "usage.po" -o "locale/es/LC_MESSAGES/usage.mo"
  • Set locale_dirs to ["locale/"].
  • Set language to es (also possible via -D).
  • Run your desired build.

Translating with sphinx-intl

Quick guide

sphinx-intl is a useful tool to work with Sphinx translation flow.  This section describe an easy way to translate with sphinx-intl.


Install sphinx-intl.

$ pip install sphinx-intl

Add configurations to conf.py.

locale_dirs = ['locale/']   # path is example but recommended.
gettext_compact = False     # optional.

This case-study assumes that locale_dirs is set to locale/ and gettext_compact is set to False (the Sphinx document is already configured as such).


Extract translatable messages into pot files.

$ make gettext

The generated pot files will be placed in the _build/gettext directory.


Generate po files.

We’ll use the pot files generated in the above step.

$ sphinx-intl update -p _build/gettext -l de -l ja

Once completed, the generated po files will be placed in the below directories:

  • ./locale/de/LC_MESSAGES/
  • ./locale/ja/LC_MESSAGES/

Translate po files.

AS noted above, these are located in the ./locale/<lang>/LC_MESSAGES directory.  An example of one such file, from Sphinx, builders.po, is given below.

# a5600c3d2e3d48fc8c261ea0284db79b
#: ../../builders.rst:4
msgid "Available builders"

Another case, msgid is multi-line text and contains reStructuredText syntax:

# 302558364e1d41c69b3277277e34b184
#: ../../builders.rst:9
msgid ""
"These are the built-in Sphinx builders. More builders can be added by "
":ref:`extensions <extensions>`."
msgstr ""

Please be careful not to break reST notation.  Most po-editors will help you with that.


Build translated document.

You need a language parameter in conf.py or you may also specify the parameter on the command line.

For for BSD/GNU make, run:

$ make -e SPHINXOPTS="-D language='de'" html

For Windows cmd.exe, run:

> set SPHINXOPTS=-D language=de
> .\make.bat html

For PowerShell, run:

> Set-Item env:SPHINXOPTS "-D language=de"
> .\make.bat html

Congratulations! You got the translated documentation in the _build/html directory.

New in version 1.3: sphinx-build that is invoked by make command will build po files into mo files.

If you are using 1.2.x or earlier, please invoke sphinx-intl build command before make command.


Update your po files by new pot files

If a document is updated, it is necessary to generate updated pot files and to apply differences to translated po files.  In order to apply the updates from a pot file to the po file, use the sphinx-intl update command.

$ sphinx-intl update -p _build/locale

Using Transifex service for team translation

Transifex is one of several services that allow collaborative translation via a web interface.  It has a nifty Python-based command line client that makes it easy to fetch and push translations.


Install transifex-client.

You need tx command to upload resources (pot files).

$ pip install transifex-client

Transifex Client documentation


Create your transifex account and create new project for your document.

Currently, transifex does not allow for a translation project to have more than one version of the document, so you’d better include a version number in your project name.

For example:

Project ID


Project URL



Create config files for tx command.

This process will create .tx/config in the current directory, as well as a ~/.transifexrc file that includes auth information.

$ tx init
Creating .tx folder...
Transifex instance [https://www.transifex.com]:
Please enter your transifex username: <transifex-username>
Password: <transifex-password>

Upload pot files to transifex service.

Register pot files to .tx/config file:

$ cd /your/document/root
$ sphinx-intl update-txconfig-resources --pot-dir _build/locale \
  --transifex-project-name sphinx-document-test_1_0

and upload pot files:

$ tx push -s
Pushing translations for resource sphinx-document-test_1_0.builders:
Pushing source file (locale/pot/builders.pot)
Resource does not exist.  Creating...

Forward the translation on transifex.


Pull translated po files and make translated HTML.

Get translated catalogs and build mo files. For example, to build mo files for German (de):

$ cd /your/document/root
$ tx pull -l de
Pulling translations for resource sphinx-document-test_1_0.builders (...)
 -> de: locale/de/LC_MESSAGES/builders.po

Invoke make html (for BSD/GNU make):

$ make -e SPHINXOPTS="-D language='de'" html

That’s all!


Translating locally and on Transifex

If you want to push all language’s po files, you can be done by using tx push -t command.  Watch out! This operation overwrites translations in transifex.

In other words, if you have updated each in the service and local po files, it would take much time and effort to integrate them.

Contributing to Sphinx reference translation

The recommended way for new contributors to translate Sphinx reference is to join the translation team on Transifex.

There is sphinx translation page for Sphinx (master) documentation.


Login to transifex service.


Go to sphinx translation page.


Click Request language and fill form.


Wait acceptance by transifex sphinx translation maintainers.


(After acceptance) Translate on transifex.



See the GNU gettext utilities for details on that software suite.


Because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Setuptools Integration

Sphinx supports integration with setuptools and distutils through a custom command - BuildDoc.

Using setuptools integration

The Sphinx build can then be triggered from distutils, and some Sphinx options can be set in setup.py or setup.cfg instead of Sphinx’s own configuration file.

For instance, from setup.py:

# this is only necessary when not using setuptools/distribute
from sphinx.setup_command import BuildDoc
cmdclass = {'build_sphinx': BuildDoc}

name = 'My project'
version = '1.2'
release = '1.2.0'
    author='Bernard Montgomery',
    # these are optional and override conf.py settings
        'build_sphinx': {
            'project': ('setup.py', name),
            'version': ('setup.py', version),
            'release': ('setup.py', release),
            'source_dir': ('setup.py', 'doc')}},

If you set Sphinx options directly in the setup() command, replace hyphens in variable names with underscores. In the example above, source-dir becomes source_dir.

Or add this section in setup.cfg:

project = 'My project'
version = 1.2
release = 1.2.0
source-dir = 'doc'

Once configured, call this by calling the relevant command on setup.py:

$ python setup.py build_sphinx

Options for setuptools integration


A boolean that determines whether the saved environment should be discarded on build. Default is false.

This can also be set by passing the -E flag to setup.py:

$ python setup.py build_sphinx -E

A boolean that determines whether all files should be built from scratch. Default is false.

This can also be set by passing the -a flag to setup.py:

$ python setup.py build_sphinx -a

The target source directory. This can be relative to the setup.py or setup.cfg file, or it can be absolute.  It defaults to ./doc or ./docs if either contains a file named conf.py (checking ./doc first); otherwise it defaults to the current directory.

This can also be set by passing the -s flag to setup.py:

$ python setup.py build_sphinx -s $SOURCE_DIR

The target build directory. This can be relative to the setup.py or setup.cfg file, or it can be absolute. Default is ./build/sphinx.


Location of the configuration directory. This can be relative to the setup.py or setup.cfg file, or it can be absolute. Default is to use source-dir.

This can also be set by passing the -c flag to setup.py:

$ python setup.py build_sphinx -c $CONFIG_DIR

New in version 1.0.


The builder or list of builders to use. Default is html.

This can also be set by passing the -b flag to setup.py:

$ python setup.py build_sphinx -b $BUILDER

Changed in version 1.6: This can now be a comma- or space-separated list of builders


A boolean that ensures Sphinx warnings will result in a failed build. Default is false.

This can also be set by passing the -W flag to setup.py:

$ python setup.py build_sphinx -W

New in version 1.5.


The documented project’s name. Default is ''.

New in version 1.0.


The short X.Y version. Default is ''.

New in version 1.0.


The full version, including alpha/beta/rc tags. Default is ''.

New in version 1.0.


How to format the current date, used as the replacement for |today|. Default is ''.

New in version 1.0.


A boolean that ensures index.html will be linked to the master doc. Default is false.

This can also be set by passing the -i flag to setup.py:

$ python setup.py build_sphinx -i

New in version 1.0.


The copyright string. Default is ''.

New in version 1.3.


Run in nit-picky mode.  Currently, this generates warnings for all missing references.  See the config value nitpick_ignore for a way to exclude some references as “known missing”.

New in version 1.8.


A boolean to configure pdb on exception. Default is false.

New in version 1.5.

Sphinx Web Support

New in version 1.1.

Sphinx provides a Python API to easily integrate Sphinx documentation into your web application.  To learn more read the websupportquickstart.

Web Support Quick Start

Building Documentation Data

To make use of the web support package in your application you’ll need to build the data it uses.  This data includes pickle files representing documents, search indices, and node data that is used to track where comments and other things are in a document.  To do this you will need to create an instance of the WebSupport class and call its build() method:

from sphinxcontrib.websupport import WebSupport

support = WebSupport(srcdir='/path/to/rst/sources/',


This will read reStructuredText sources from srcdir and place the necessary data in builddir.  The builddir will contain two sub-directories: one named “data” that contains all the data needed to display documents, search through documents, and add comments to documents.  The other directory will be called “static” and contains static files that should be served from “/static”.


If you wish to serve static files from a path other than “/static”, you can do so by providing the staticdir keyword argument when creating the WebSupport object.

Integrating Sphinx Documents Into Your Webapp

Now that the data is built, it’s time to do something useful with it.  Start off by creating a WebSupport object for your application:

from sphinxcontrib.websupport import WebSupport

support = WebSupport(datadir='/path/to/the/data',

You’ll only need one of these for each set of documentation you will be working with.  You can then call its get_document() method to access individual documents:

contents = support.get_document('contents')

This will return a dictionary containing the following items:

  • body: The main body of the document as HTML
  • sidebar: The sidebar of the document as HTML
  • relbar: A div containing links to related documents
  • title: The title of the document
  • css: Links to CSS files used by Sphinx
  • script: JavaScript containing comment options

This dict can then be used as context for templates.  The goal is to be easy to integrate with your existing templating system.  An example using Jinja2 is:

{%- extends "layout.html" %}

{%- block title %}
    {{ document.title }}
{%- endblock %}

{% block css %}
    {{ super() }}
    {{ document.css|safe }}
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="/static/websupport-custom.css" type="text/css">
{% endblock %}

{%- block script %}
    {{ super() }}
    {{ document.script|safe }}
{%- endblock %}

{%- block relbar %}
    {{ document.relbar|safe }}
{%- endblock %}

{%- block body %}
    {{ document.body|safe }}
{%- endblock %}

{%- block sidebar %}
    {{ document.sidebar|safe }}
{%- endblock %}


To use certain features such as voting, it must be possible to authenticate users.  The details of the authentication are left to your application.  Once a user has been authenticated you can pass the user’s details to certain WebSupport methods using the username and moderator keyword arguments.  The web support package will store the username with comments and votes.  The only caveat is that if you allow users to change their username you must update the websupport package’s data:

support.update_username(old_username, new_username)

username should be a unique string which identifies a user, and moderator should be a boolean representing whether the user has moderation privileges. The default value for moderator is False.

An example Flask function that checks whether a user is logged in and then retrieves a document is:

from sphinxcontrib.websupport.errors import *

def doc(docname):
    username = g.user.name if g.user else ''
    moderator = g.user.moderator if g.user else False
        document = support.get_document(docname, username, moderator)
    except DocumentNotFoundError:
    return render_template('doc.html', document=document)

The first thing to notice is that the docname is just the request path.  This makes accessing the correct document easy from a single view.  If the user is authenticated, then the username and moderation status are passed along with the docname to get_document().  The web support package will then add this data to the COMMENT_OPTIONS that are used in the template.


This only works if your documentation is served from your document root. If it is served from another directory, you will need to prefix the url route with that directory, and give the docroot keyword argument when creating the web support object:

support = WebSupport(..., docroot='docs')


Performing Searches

To use the search form built-in to the Sphinx sidebar, create a function to handle requests to the URL ‘search’ relative to the documentation root.  The user’s search query will be in the GET parameters, with the key q.  Then use the get_search_results() method to retrieve search results. In Flask that would be like this:

def search():
    q = request.args.get('q')
    document = support.get_search_results(q)
    return render_template('doc.html', document=document)

Note that we used the same template to render our search results as we did to render our documents.  That’s because get_search_results() returns a context dict in the same format that get_document() does.

Comments & Proposals

Now that this is done it’s time to define the functions that handle the AJAX calls from the script.  You will need three functions.  The first function is used to add a new comment, and will call the web support method add_comment():

@app.route('/docs/add_comment', methods=['POST'])
def add_comment():
    parent_id = request.form.get('parent', '')
    node_id = request.form.get('node', '')
    text = request.form.get('text', '')
    proposal = request.form.get('proposal', '')
    username = g.user.name if g.user is not None else 'Anonymous'
    comment = support.add_comment(text, node_id='node_id',
                                  username=username, proposal=proposal)
    return jsonify(comment=comment)

You’ll notice that both a parent_id and node_id are sent with the request. If the comment is being attached directly to a node, parent_id will be empty. If the comment is a child of another comment, then node_id will be empty. Then next function handles the retrieval of comments for a specific node, and is aptly named get_data():

def get_comments():
    username = g.user.name if g.user else None
    moderator = g.user.moderator if g.user else False
    node_id = request.args.get('node', '')
    data = support.get_data(node_id, username, moderator)
    return jsonify(**data)

The final function that is needed will call process_vote(), and will handle user votes on comments:

@app.route('/docs/process_vote', methods=['POST'])
def process_vote():
    if g.user is None:
    comment_id = request.form.get('comment_id')
    value = request.form.get('value')
    if value is None or comment_id is None:
    support.process_vote(comment_id, g.user.id, value)
    return "success"

Comment Moderation

By default, all comments added through add_comment() are automatically displayed.  If you wish to have some form of moderation, you can pass the displayed keyword argument:

comment = support.add_comment(text, node_id='node_id',
                              username=username, proposal=proposal,

You can then create a new view to handle the moderation of comments.  It will be called when a moderator decides a comment should be accepted and displayed:

@app.route('/docs/accept_comment', methods=['POST'])
def accept_comment():
    moderator = g.user.moderator if g.user else False
    comment_id = request.form.get('id')
    support.accept_comment(comment_id, moderator=moderator)
    return 'OK'

Rejecting comments happens via comment deletion.

To perform a custom action (such as emailing a moderator) when a new comment is added but not displayed, you can pass callable to the WebSupport class when instantiating your support object:

def moderation_callback(comment):
    """Do something..."""

support = WebSupport(..., moderation_callback=moderation_callback)

The moderation callback must take one argument, which will be the same comment dict that is returned by add_comment().

The WebSupport Class

class sphinxcontrib.websupport.WebSupport

The main API class for the web support package.  All interactions with the web support package should occur through this class.

The class takes the following keyword arguments:


The directory containing reStructuredText source files.


The directory that build data and static files should be placed in.  This should be used when creating a WebSupport object that will be used to build data.


The directory that the web support data is in.  This should be used when creating a WebSupport object that will be used to retrieve data.


This may contain either a string (e.g. ‘xapian’) referencing a built-in search adapter to use, or an instance of a subclass of BaseSearch.


This may contain either a string representing a database uri, or an instance of a subclass of StorageBackend.  If this is not provided, a new sqlite database will be created.


A callable to be called when a new comment is added that is not displayed.  It must accept one argument: a dictionary representing the comment that was added.


If the static files should be created in a different location and not in '/static', this should be a string with the name of that location (e.g. builddir + '/static_files').


If you specify staticdir, you will typically want to adjust staticroot accordingly.


If the static files are not served from '/static', this should be a string with the name of that location (e.g. '/static_files').


If the documentation is not served from the base path of a URL, this should be a string specifying that path (e.g. 'docs').

Changed in version 1.6: WebSupport class is moved to sphinxcontrib.websupport from sphinx.websupport. Please add sphinxcontrib-websupport package in your dependency and use moved class instead.



Build the documentation. Places the data into the outdir directory. Use it like this:

support = WebSupport(srcdir, builddir, search='xapian')

This will read reStructured text files from srcdir. Then it will build the pickles and search index, placing them into builddir. It will also save node data to the database.

WebSupport.get_document(docname, username='', moderator=False)

Load and return a document from a pickle. The document will be a dict object which can be used to render a template:

support = WebSupport(datadir=datadir)
support.get_document('index', username, moderator)

In most cases docname will be taken from the request path and passed directly to this function. In Flask, that would be something like this:

def index(docname):
    username = g.user.name if g.user else ''
    moderator = g.user.moderator if g.user else False
        document = support.get_document(docname, username,
    except DocumentNotFoundError:
    render_template('doc.html', document=document)

The document dict that is returned contains the following items to be used during template rendering.

  • body: The main body of the document as HTML
  • sidebar: The sidebar of the document as HTML
  • relbar: A div containing links to related documents
  • title: The title of the document
  • css: Links to css files used by Sphinx
  • script: Javascript containing comment options

This raises DocumentNotFoundError if a document matching docname is not found.


docname – the name of the document to load.

WebSupport.get_data(node_id, username=None, moderator=False)

Get the comments and source associated with node_id. If username is given vote information will be included with the returned comments. The default CommentBackend returns a dict with two keys, source, and comments. source is raw source of the node and is used as the starting point for proposals a user can add. comments is a list of dicts that represent a comment, each having the following items:

Key Contents
text The comment text.
username The username that was stored with the comment.
id The comment’s unique identifier.
rating The comment’s current rating.
age The time in seconds since the comment was added.
time A dict containing time information. It contains the following keys: year, month, day, hour, minute, second, iso, and delta. iso is the time formatted in ISO 8601 format. delta is a printable form of how old the comment is (e.g. “3 hours ago”).
vote If user_id was given, this will be an integer representing the vote. 1 for an upvote, -1 for a downvote, or 0 if unvoted.
node The id of the node that the comment is attached to. If the comment’s parent is another comment rather than a node, this will be null.
parent The id of the comment that this comment is attached to if it is not attached to a node.
children A list of all children, in this format.
proposal_diff An HTML representation of the differences between the the current source and the user’s proposed source.
  • node_id – the id of the node to get comments for.
  • username – the username of the user viewing the comments.
  • moderator – whether the user is a moderator.
WebSupport.add_comment(text, node_id='', parent_id='', displayed=True, username=None, time=None, proposal=None, moderator=False)

Add a comment to a node or another comment. Returns the comment in the same format as get_comments(). If the comment is being attached to a node, pass in the node’s id (as a string) with the node keyword argument:

comment = support.add_comment(text, node_id=node_id)

If the comment is the child of another comment, provide the parent’s id (as a string) with the parent keyword argument:

comment = support.add_comment(text, parent_id=parent_id)

If you would like to store a username with the comment, pass in the optional username keyword argument:

comment = support.add_comment(text, node=node_id,
  • parent_id – the prefixed id of the comment’s parent.
  • text – the text of the comment.
  • displayed – for moderation purposes
  • username – the username of the user making the comment.
  • time – the time the comment was created, defaults to now.
WebSupport.process_vote(comment_id, username, value)

Process a user’s vote. The web support package relies on the API user to perform authentication. The API user will typically receive a comment_id and value from a form, and then make sure the user is authenticated. A unique username  must be passed in, which will also be used to retrieve the user’s past voting data. An example, once again in Flask:

@app.route('/docs/process_vote', methods=['POST'])
def process_vote():
    if g.user is None:
    comment_id = request.form.get('comment_id')
    value = request.form.get('value')
    if value is None or comment_id is None:
    support.process_vote(comment_id, g.user.name, value)
    return "success"
  • comment_id – the comment being voted on
  • username – the unique username of the user voting
  • value – 1 for an upvote, -1 for a downvote, 0 for an unvote.

Perform a search for the query q, and create a set of search results. Then render the search results as html and return a context dict like the one created by get_document():

document = support.get_search_results(q)

q – the search query

Search Adapters

To create a custom search adapter you will need to subclass the BaseSearch class.  Then create an instance of the new class and pass that as the search keyword argument when you create the WebSupport object:

support = WebSupport(srcdir=srcdir,

For more information about creating a custom search adapter, please see the documentation of the BaseSearch class below.

class sphinxcontrib.websupport.search.BaseSearch

Defines an interface for search adapters.

Changed in version 1.6: BaseSearch class is moved to sphinxcontrib.websupport.search from sphinx.websupport.search.


The following methods are defined in the BaseSearch class. Some methods do not need to be overridden, but some (add_document() and handle_query()) must be overridden in your subclass. For a working example, look at the built-in adapter for whoosh.


Called by the builder to initialize the search indexer. changed is a list of pagenames that will be reindexed. You may want to remove these from the search index before indexing begins.


changed – a list of pagenames that will be re-indexed


Called by the builder when writing has been completed. Use this to perform any finalization or cleanup actions after indexing is complete.

BaseSearch.feed(pagename, filename, title, doctree)

Called by the builder to add a doctree to the index. Converts the doctree to text and passes it to add_document(). You probably won’t want to override this unless you need access to the doctree. Override add_document() instead.

  • pagename – the name of the page to be indexed
  • filename – the name of the original source file
  • title – the title of the page to be indexed
  • doctree – is the docutils doctree representation of the page
BaseSearch.add_document(pagename, filename, title, text)

Called by feed() to add a document to the search index. This method should should do everything necessary to add a single document to the search index.

pagename is name of the page being indexed. It is the combination of the source files relative path and filename, minus the extension. For example, if the source file is “ext/builders.rst”, the pagename would be “ext/builders”. This will need to be returned with search results when processing a query.

  • pagename – the name of the page being indexed
  • filename – the name of the original source file
  • title – the page’s title
  • text – the full text of the page

Called by the web support api to get search results. This method compiles the regular expression to be used when extracting context, then calls handle_query().  You won’t want to override this unless you don’t want to use the included extract_context() method.  Override handle_query() instead.


q – the search query string.


Called by query() to retrieve search results for a search query q. This should return an iterable containing tuples of the following format:

(<path>, <title>, <context>)

path and title are the same values that were passed to add_document(), and context should be a short text snippet of the text surrounding the search query in the document.

The extract_context() method is provided as a simple way to create the context.


q – the search query

BaseSearch.extract_context(text, length=240)

Extract the context for the search query from the document’s full text.

  • text – the full text of the document to create the context for
  • length – the length of the context snippet to return.

Storage Backends

To create a custom storage backend you will need to subclass the StorageBackend class.  Then create an instance of the new class and pass that as the storage keyword argument when you create the WebSupport object:

support = WebSupport(srcdir=srcdir,

For more information about creating a custom storage backend, please see the documentation of the StorageBackend class below.

class sphinxcontrib.websupport.storage.StorageBackend

Defines an interface for storage backends.

Changed in version 1.6: StorageBackend class is moved to sphinxcontrib.websupport.storage from sphinx.websupport.storage.



Called immediately before the build process begins. Use this to prepare the StorageBackend for the addition of nodes.

StorageBackend.add_node(id, document, source)

Add a node to the StorageBackend.

  • id – a unique id for the comment.
  • document – the name of the document the node belongs to.
  • source – the source files name.

Called after a build has completed. Use this to finalize the addition of nodes if needed.

StorageBackend.add_comment(text, displayed, username, time, proposal, node_id, parent_id, moderator)

Called when a comment is being added.

  • text – the text of the comment
  • displayed – whether the comment should be displayed
  • username – the name of the user adding the comment
  • time – a date object with the time the comment was added
  • proposal – the text of the proposal the user made
  • node_id – the id of the node that the comment is being added to
  • parent_id – the id of the comment’s parent comment.
  • moderator – whether the user adding the comment is a moderator
StorageBackend.delete_comment(comment_id, username, moderator)

Delete a comment.

Raises UserNotAuthorizedError if moderator is False and username doesn’t match the username on the comment.

  • comment_id – The id of the comment being deleted.
  • username – The username of the user requesting the deletion.
  • moderator – Whether the user is a moderator.
StorageBackend.get_data(node_id, username, moderator)

Called to retrieve all data for a node. This should return a dict with two keys, source and comments as described by WebSupport’s get_data() method.

  • node_id – The id of the node to get data for.
  • username – The name of the user requesting the data.
  • moderator – Whether the requestor is a moderator.
StorageBackend.process_vote(comment_id, username, value)

Process a vote that is being cast. value will be either -1, 0, or 1.

  • comment_id – The id of the comment being voted on.
  • username – The username of the user casting the vote.
  • value – The value of the vote being cast.
StorageBackend.update_username(old_username, new_username)

If a user is allowed to change their username this method should be called so that there is not stagnate data in the storage system.

  • old_username – The username being changed.
  • new_username – What the username is being changed to.

Called when a moderator accepts a comment. After the method is called the comment should be displayed to all users.


comment_id – The id of the comment being accepted.

Man Pages

These are the applications provided as part of Sphinx.

Core Applications





sphinx-quickstart is an interactive tool that asks some questions about your project and then generates a complete documentation directory and sample Makefile to be used with sphinx-build(1).


-q, --quiet

Quiet mode that will skip interactive wizard to specify options. This option requires -p, -a and -v options.

-h, --help, --version

Display usage summary or Sphinx version.

Structure Options.INDENT 0.0


If specified, separate source and build directories.


Inside the root directory, two more directories will be created; “_templates” for custom HTML templates and “_static” for custom stylesheets and other static files. You can enter another prefix (such as “.”) to replace the underscore.

Project Basic Options.INDENT 0.0

-p PROJECT, --project=PROJECT

Project name will be set. (see project).

-a AUTHOR, --author=AUTHOR

Author names. (see copyright).


Version of project. (see version).

-r RELEASE, --release=RELEASE

Release of project. (see release).

-l LANGUAGE, --language=LANGUAGE

Document language. (see language).


Source file suffix. (see source_suffix).


Master document name. (see master_doc).

Extension Options.INDENT 0.0


Enable sphinx.ext.autodoc extension.


Enable sphinx.ext.doctest extension.


Enable sphinx.ext.intersphinx extension.


Enable sphinx.ext.todo extension.


Enable sphinx.ext.coverage extension.


Enable sphinx.ext.imgmath extension.


Enable sphinx.ext.mathjax extension.


Enable sphinx.ext.ifconfig extension.


Enable sphinx.ext.viewcode extension.


Enable sphinx.ext.githubpages extension.


Enable arbitrary extensions.

Makefile and Batchfile Creation Options.INDENT 0.0

--use-make-mode (-m), --no-use-make-mode (-M)

Makefile/make.bat uses (or doesn’t use) make-mode. Default is use, which generates a more concise Makefile/make.bat.

Changed in version 1.5: make-mode is default.

--makefile, --no-makefile

Create (or not create) makefile.

--batchfile, --no-batchfile

Create (or not create) batchfile

Project templating

New in version 1.5: Project templating options for sphinx-quickstart

-t, --templatedir=TEMPLATEDIR

Template directory for template files.  You can modify the templates of sphinx project files generated by quickstart.  Following Jinja2 template files are allowed:

  • master_doc.rst_t
  • conf.py_t
  • Makefile_t
  • Makefile.new_t
  • make.bat_t
  • make.bat.new_t

In detail, please refer the system template files Sphinx provides. (sphinx/templates/quickstart)


Define a template variable

See also




sphinx-build [options] <sourcedir> <outputdir> [filenames …]


sphinx-build generates documentation from the files in <sourcedir> and places it in the <outputdir>.

sphinx-build looks for <sourcedir>/conf.py for the configuration settings.  sphinx-quickstart(1) may be used to generate template files, including conf.py.

sphinx-build can create documentation in different formats.  A format is selected by specifying the builder name on the command line; it defaults to HTML.  Builders can also perform other tasks related to documentation processing.

By default, everything that is outdated is built.  Output only for selected files can be built by specifying individual filenames.

For a list of available options, refer to sphinx-build -b.


-b buildername

The most important option: it selects a builder.  The most common builders are:


Build HTML pages.  This is the default builder.


Build HTML pages, but with a single directory per document.  Makes for prettier URLs (no .html) if served from a webserver.


Build a single HTML with the whole content.

htmlhelp, qthelp, devhelp, epub

Build HTML files with additional information for building a documentation collection in one of these formats.


Build an Apple Help Book.  Requires hiutil and codesign, which are not Open Source and presently only available on Mac OS X 10.6 and higher.


Build LaTeX sources that can be compiled to a PDF document using pdflatex.


Build manual pages in groff format for UNIX systems.


Build Texinfo files that can be processed into Info files using makeinfo.


Build plain text files.


Build gettext-style message catalogs (.pot files).


Run all doctests in the documentation, if the doctest extension is enabled.


Check the integrity of all external links.


Build Docutils-native XML files.


Build compact pretty-printed “pseudo-XML” files displaying the internal structure of the intermediate document trees.

See /usage/builders/index for a list of all builders shipped with Sphinx.  Extensions can add their own builders.

-M buildername

Alternative to -b. Uses the Sphinx make_mode module, which provides the same build functionality as a default Makefile or Make.bat. In addition to all Sphinx /usage/builders/index, the following build pipelines are available:


Build LaTeX files and run them through pdflatex, or as per latex_engine setting. If language is set to 'ja', will use automatically the platex/dvipdfmx latex to PDF pipeline.


Build Texinfo files and run them through makeinfo.


Sphinx only recognizes the -M option if it is placed first.

New in version 1.2.1.


If given, always write all output files. The default is to only write output files for new and changed source files. (This may not apply to all builders.)


Don’t use a saved environment (the structure caching all cross-references), but rebuild it completely.  The default is to only read and parse source files that are new or have changed since the last run.

-t tag

Define the tag tag.  This is relevant for only directives that only include their content if this tag is set.

New in version 0.6.

-d path

Since Sphinx has to read and parse all source files before it can write an output file, the parsed source files are cached as “doctree pickles”. Normally, these files are put in a directory called .doctrees under the build directory; with this option you can select a different cache directory (the doctrees can be shared between all builders).

-j N

Distribute the build over N processes in parallel, to make building on multiprocessor machines more effective.  Note that not all parts and not all builders of Sphinx can be parallelized.  If auto argument is given, Sphinx uses the number of CPUs as N.

New in version 1.2: This option should be considered experimental.

Changed in version 1.7: Support auto argument.

-c path

Don’t look for the conf.py in the source directory, but use the given configuration directory instead.  Note that various other files and paths given by configuration values are expected to be relative to the configuration directory, so they will have to be present at this location too.

New in version 0.3.


Don’t look for a configuration file; only take options via the -D option.

New in version 0.5.

-D setting=value

Override a configuration value set in the conf.py file.  The value must be a number, string, list or dictionary value.

For lists, you can separate elements with a comma like this: -D html_theme_path=path1,path2.

For dictionary values, supply the setting name and key like this: -D latex_elements.docclass=scrartcl.

For boolean values, use 0 or 1 as the value.

Changed in version 0.6: The value can now be a dictionary value.

Changed in version 1.3: The value can now also be a list value.

-A name=value

Make the name assigned to value in the HTML templates.

New in version 0.5.


Run in nit-picky mode.  Currently, this generates warnings for all missing references.  See the config value nitpick_ignore for a way to exclude some references as “known missing”.


Do not emit colored output.


Increase verbosity (loglevel).  This option can be given up to three times to get more debug logging output.  It implies -T.

New in version 1.2.


Do not output anything on standard output, only write warnings and errors to standard error.


Do not output anything on standard output, also suppress warnings.  Only errors are written to standard error.

-w file

Write warnings (and errors) to the given file, in addition to standard error.


Turn warnings into errors.  This means that the build stops at the first warning and sphinx-build exits with exit status 1.


With -W option, keep going processing when getting warnings to the end of build, and sphinx-build exits with exit status 1.

New in version 1.8.


Display the full traceback when an unhandled exception occurs.  Otherwise, only a summary is displayed and the traceback information is saved to a file for further analysis.

New in version 1.2.


(Useful for debugging only.)  Run the Python debugger, pdb, if an unhandled exception occurs while building.

-h, --help, --version

Display usage summary or Sphinx version.

New in version 1.2.

You can also give one or more filenames on the command line after the source and build directories. Sphinx will then try to build only these output files (and their dependencies).

Environment Variables

The sphinx-build refers following environment variables:


A path to make command.  A command name is also allowed. sphinx-build uses it to invoke sub-build process on make-mode.

Makefile Options

The Makefile and make.bat files created by sphinx-quickstart usually run sphinx-build only with the -b and -d options.  However, they support the following variables to customize behavior:


This sets the 'papersize' key of latex_elements: i.e. PAPER=a4 sets it to 'a4paper' and PAPER=letter to 'letterpaper'.


Usage of this environment variable got broken at Sphinx 1.5 as a4 or letter ended up as option to LaTeX document in place of the needed a4paper, resp. letterpaper.  Fixed at 1.7.7.


The command to use instead of sphinx-build.


The build directory to use instead of the one chosen in sphinx-quickstart.


Additional options for sphinx-build.

Deprecation Warnings

If any deprecation warning like RemovedInSphinxXXXWarning are displayed when building a user’s document, some Sphinx extension is using deprecated features. In that case, please report it to author of the extension.

To disable the deprecation warnings, please set PYTHONWARNINGS= environment variable to your environment. For example:

  • PYTHONWARNINGS= make html (Linux/Mac)
  • export PYTHONWARNINGS= and do make html (Linux/Mac)
  • set PYTHONWARNINGS= and do make html (Windows)
  • modify your Makefile/make.bat and set the environment variable

See also


Additional Applications



sphinx-apidoc [Options] -o <OUTPUT_PATH> <MODULE_PATH> [EXCLUDE_PATTERN, …]


sphinx-apidoc is a tool for automatic generation of Sphinx sources that, using the autodoc extension, document a whole package in the style of other automatic API documentation tools.

MODULE_PATH is the path to a Python package to document, and OUTPUT_PATH is the directory where the generated sources are placed. Any EXCLUDE_PATTERNs given are fnmatch-style file and/or directory patterns that will be excluded from generation.


sphinx-apidoc generates source files that use sphinx.ext.autodoc to document all found modules.  If any modules have side effects on import, these will be executed by autodoc when sphinx-build is run.

If you document scripts (as opposed to library modules), make sure their main routine is protected by a if __name__ == '__main__' condition.



Directory to place the output files. If it does not exist, it is created.

-f, --force

Force overwriting of any existing generated files.

-l, --follow-links

Follow symbolic links.

-n, --dry-run

Do not create any files.

-s <suffix>

Suffix for the source files generated. Defaults to rst.


Maximum depth for the generated table of contents file.


Filename for a table of contents file. Defaults to modules.

-T, --no-toc

Do not create a table of contents file. Ignored when --full is provided.

-F, --full

Generate a full Sphinx project (conf.py, Makefile etc.) using the same mechanism as sphinx-quickstart.

-e, --separate

Put documentation for each module on its own page.

New in version 1.2.

-E, --no-headings

Do not create headings for the modules/packages. This is useful, for example, when docstrings already contain headings.

-P, --private

Include “_private” modules.

New in version 1.2.


By default sphinx-apidoc processes sys.path searching for modules only. Python 3.3 introduced PEP 420 implicit namespaces that allow module path structures such as foo/bar/module.py or foo/bar/baz/__init__.py (notice that bar and foo are namespaces, not modules).

Interpret paths recursively according to PEP-0420.

-M, --module-first

Put module documentation before submodule documentation.

These options are used when --full is specified:


Append module_path to sys.path.

-H <project>

Sets the project name to put in generated files (see project).

-A <author>

Sets the author name(s) to put in generated files (see copyright).

-V <version>

Sets the project version to put in generated files (see version).

-R <release>

Sets the project release to put in generated files (see release).



A comma-separated list of option to append to generated automodule directives. Defaults to members,undoc-members,show-inheritance.

See also

sphinx-build(1), sphinx-autogen(1)



sphinx-autogen [options] <sourcefile> …


sphinx-autogen is a tool for automatic generation of Sphinx sources that, using the autodoc extension, document items included in autosummary listing(s).

sourcefile is the path to one or more reStructuredText documents containing autosummary entries with the :toctree:: option set. sourcefile can be an fnmatch-style pattern.


-o <outputdir>

Directory to place the output file. If it does not exist, it is created. Defaults to the value passed to the :toctree: option.

-s <suffix>, --suffix <suffix>

Default suffix to use for generated files. Defaults to rst.

-t <templates>, --templates <templates>

Custom template directory. Defaults to None.

-i, --imported-members

Document imported members.


Given the following directory structure:

├── index.rst
└── ...
├── foo
│   └── __init__.py
└── bar
    ├── __init__.py
    └── baz
        └── __init__.py

and assuming docs/index.rst contained the following:


.. autosummary::
   :toctree: modules


If you run the following:

$ PYTHONPATH=. sphinx-autodoc doc/index.rst

then the following stub files will be created in docs:

├── index.rst
└── modules
    ├── foobar.bar.rst
    ├── foobar.bar.baz.rst
    └── foobar.foo.rst

and each of those files will contain a autodoc directive and some other information.

See also

sphinx-build(1), sphinx-apidoc(1)

HTML Theming Support

New in version 0.6.


This document provides information about creating your own theme. If you simply wish to use a pre-existing HTML themes, refer to /usage/theming.

Sphinx supports changing the appearance of its HTML output via themes.  A theme is a collection of HTML templates, stylesheet(s) and other static files. Additionally, it has a configuration file which specifies from which theme to inherit, which highlighting style to use, and what options exist for customizing the theme’s look and feel.

Themes are meant to be project-unaware, so they can be used for different projects without change.

Creating themes

Themes take the form of either a directory or a zipfile (whose name is the theme name), containing the following:

  • A theme.conf file.
  • HTML templates, if needed.
  • A static/ directory containing any static files that will be copied to the output static directory on build.  These can be images, styles, script files.

The theme.conf file is in INI format [1] (readable by the standard Python ConfigParser module) and has the following structure:

inherit = base theme
stylesheet = main CSS name
pygments_style = stylename
sidebars = localtoc.html, relations.html, sourcelink.html, searchbox.html

variable = default value
  • The inherit setting gives the name of a “base theme”, or none.  The base theme will be used to locate missing templates (most themes will not have to supply most templates if they use basic as the base theme), its options will be inherited, and all of its static files will be used as well. If you want to also inherit the stylesheet, include it via CSS’ @import in your own.
  • The stylesheet setting gives the name of a CSS file which will be referenced in the HTML header.  If you need more than one CSS file, either include one from the other via CSS’ @import, or use a custom HTML template that adds <link rel="stylesheet"> tags as necessary.  Setting the html_style config value will override this setting.
  • The pygments_style setting gives the name of a Pygments style to use for highlighting.  This can be overridden by the user in the pygments_style config value.
  • The sidebars setting gives the comma separated list of sidebar templates for constructing sidebars.  This can be overridden by the user in the html_sidebars config value.
  • The options section contains pairs of variable names and default values. These options can be overridden by the user in html_theme_options and are accessible from all templates as theme_<name>.

New in version 1.7: sidebar settings

Distribute your theme as a Python package

As a way to distribute your theme, you can use Python package.  Python package brings to users easy setting up ways.

To distribute your theme as a Python package, please define an entry point called sphinx.html_themes in your setup.py file, and write a setup() function to register your themes using add_html_theme() API in it:

# 'setup.py'
    entry_points = {
        'sphinx.html_themes': [
            'name_of_theme = your_package',

# 'your_package.py'
from os import path

def setup(app):
    app.add_html_theme('name_of_theme', path.abspath(path.dirname(__file__)))

If your theme package contains two or more themes, please call add_html_theme() twice or more.

New in version 1.2: ‘sphinx_themes’ entry_points feature.

Deprecated since version 1.6: sphinx_themes entry_points has been deprecated.

New in version 1.6: sphinx.html_themes entry_points feature.


The guide to templating is helpful if you want to write your own templates.  What is important to keep in mind is the order in which Sphinx searches for templates:

  • First, in the user’s templates_path directories.
  • Then, in the selected theme.
  • Then, in its base theme, its base’s base theme, etc.

When extending a template in the base theme with the same name, use the theme name as an explicit directory: {% extends "basic/layout.html" %}.  From a user templates_path template, you can still use the “exclamation mark” syntax as described in the templating document.

Static templates

Since theme options are meant for the user to configure a theme more easily, without having to write a custom stylesheet, it is necessary to be able to template static files as well as HTML files.  Therefore, Sphinx supports so-called “static templates”, like this:

If the name of a file in the static/ directory of a theme (or in the user’s static path, for that matter) ends with _t, it will be processed by the template engine.  The _t will be left from the final file name.  For example, the classic theme has a file static/classic.css_t which uses templating to put the color options into the stylesheet.  When a documentation is built with the classic theme, the output directory will contain a _static/classic.css file where all template tags have been processed.


It is not an executable Python file, as opposed to conf.py, because that would pose an unnecessary security risk if themes are shared.


Sphinx uses the Jinja templating engine for its HTML templates.  Jinja is a text-based engine, and inspired by Django templates, so anyone having used Django will already be familiar with it.  It also has excellent documentation for those who need to make themselves familiar with it.

Do I need to use Sphinx’s templates to produce HTML?

No.  You have several other options:

  • You can write a TemplateBridge subclass that calls your template engine of choice, and set the template_bridge configuration value accordingly.
  • You can write a custom builder that derives from StandaloneHTMLBuilder and calls your template engine of choice.
  • You can use the PickleHTMLBuilder that produces pickle files with the page contents, and postprocess them using a custom tool, or use them in your Web application.

Jinja/Sphinx Templating Primer

The default templating language in Sphinx is Jinja.  It’s Django/Smarty inspired and easy to understand.  The most important concept in Jinja is template inheritance, which means that you can overwrite only specific blocks within a template, customizing it while also keeping the changes at a minimum.

To customize the output of your documentation you can override all the templates (both the layout templates and the child templates) by adding files with the same name as the original filename into the template directory of the structure the Sphinx quickstart generated for you.

Sphinx will look for templates in the folders of templates_path first, and if it can’t find the template it’s looking for there, it falls back to the selected theme’s templates.

A template contains variables, which are replaced with values when the template is evaluated, tags, which control the logic of the template and blocks which are used for template inheritance.

Sphinx’s basic theme provides base templates with a couple of blocks it will fill with data.  These are located in the themes/basic subdirectory of the Sphinx installation directory, and used by all builtin Sphinx themes. Templates with the same name in the templates_path override templates supplied by the selected theme.

For example, to add a new link to the template area containing related links all you have to do is to add a new template called layout.html with the following contents:

{% extends "!layout.html" %}
{% block rootrellink %}
    <li><a href="https://project.invalid/">Project Homepage</a> &raquo;</li>
    {{ super() }}
{% endblock %}

By prefixing the name of the overridden template with an exclamation mark, Sphinx will load the layout template from the underlying HTML theme.

Important: If you override a block, call {{ super() }} somewhere to render the block’s original content in the extended template – unless you don’t want that content to show up.

Working with the builtin templates

The builtin basic theme supplies the templates that all builtin Sphinx themes are based on.  It has the following elements you can override or use:


The following blocks exist in the layout.html template:


The doctype of the output format.  By default this is XHTML 1.0 Transitional as this is the closest to what Sphinx and Docutils generate and it’s a good idea not to change it unless you want to switch to HTML 5 or a different but compatible XHTML doctype.


This block adds a couple of <link> tags to the head section of the template.


This block is empty by default and can be used to add extra contents into the <head> tag of the generated HTML file.  This is the right place to add references to JavaScript or extra CSS files.

relbar1 / relbar2

This block contains the relation bar, the list of related links (the parent documents on the left, and the links to index, modules etc. on the right).  relbar1 appears before the document, relbar2 after the document.  By default, both blocks are filled; to show the relbar only before the document, you would override relbar2 like this:

{% block relbar2 %}{% endblock %}
rootrellink / relbaritems

Inside the relbar there are three sections: The rootrellink, the links from the documentation and the custom relbaritems.  The rootrellink is a block that by default contains a list item pointing to the master document by default, the relbaritems is an empty block.  If you override them to add extra links into the bar make sure that they are list items and end with the reldelim1.


The contents of the document itself.  It contains the block “body” where the individual content is put by subtemplates like page.html.

sidebar1 / sidebar2

A possible location for a sidebar.  sidebar1 appears before the document and is empty by default, sidebar2 after the document and contains the default sidebar.  If you want to swap the sidebar location override this and call the sidebar helper:

{% block sidebar1 %}{{ sidebar() }}{% endblock %}
{% block sidebar2 %}{% endblock %}

(The sidebar2 location for the sidebar is needed by the sphinxdoc.css stylesheet, for example.)


The logo location within the sidebar.  Override this if you want to place some content at the top of the sidebar.


The block for the footer div.  If you want a custom footer or markup before or after it, override this one.

The following four blocks are only used for pages that do not have assigned a list of custom sidebars in the html_sidebars config value.  Their use is deprecated in favor of separate sidebar templates, which can be included via html_sidebars.


The table of contents within the sidebar.

Deprecated since version 1.0.


The relation links (previous, next document) within the sidebar.

Deprecated since version 1.0.


The “Show source” link within the sidebar (normally only shown if this is enabled by html_show_sourcelink).

Deprecated since version 1.0.


The search box within the sidebar.  Override this if you want to place some content at the bottom of the sidebar.

Deprecated since version 1.0.

Configuration Variables

Inside templates you can set a couple of variables used by the layout template using the {% set %} tag:


The delimiter for the items on the left side of the related bar.  This defaults to ' &raquo;' Each item in the related bar ends with the value of this variable.


The delimiter for the items on the right side of the related bar.  This defaults to ' |'.  Each item except of the last one in the related bar ends with the value of this variable.

Overriding works like this:

{% extends "!layout.html" %}
{% set reldelim1 = ' &gt;' %}

Add additional script files here, like this:

{% set script_files = script_files + ["_static/myscript.js"] %}

Deprecated since version 1.8.0: Please use .Sphinx.add_js_file() instead.

Helper Functions

Sphinx provides various Jinja functions as helpers in the template.  You can use them to generate links or output multiply used elements.


Return the path to a Sphinx document as a URL.  Use this to refer to built documents.

pathto(file, 1)

Return the path to a file which is a filename relative to the root of the generated output.  Use this to refer to static files.


Check if a document with the name document exists.


Return the rendered sidebar.


Return the rendered relation bar.


Emit a warning message.

Global Variables

These global variables are available in every template and are safe to use. There are more, but most of them are an implementation detail and might change in the future.


The name of the builder (e.g. html or htmlhelp).


The value of copyright.


The title of the documentation (the value of html_title), except when the “single-file” builder is used, when it is set to None.


True if the built HTML is meant to be embedded in some viewing application that handles navigation, not the web browser, such as for HTML help or Qt help formats.  In this case, the sidebar is not included.


The path to the HTML favicon in the static path, or ''.


The value of the builder’s out_suffix attribute, i.e. the file name extension that the output files will get.  For a standard HTML builder, this is usually .html.


True if the reST document sources are copied (if html_copy_source is True).


The value of language.


The build date.


The path to the HTML logo image in the static path, or ''.


The value of master_doc, for usage with pathto().


The “page name” of the current file, i.e. either the document name if the file is generated from a reST source, or the equivalent hierarchical name relative to the output directory ([directory/]filename_without_extension).


The value of project.


The value of release.


A list of links to put at the left side of the relbar, next to “next” and “prev”.  This usually contains links to the general index and other indices, such as the Python module index.  If you add something yourself, it must be a tuple (pagename, link title, accesskey, link text).


The value of html_short_title.


True if html_show_sourcelink is True.


The version of Sphinx used to build.


The name of the main stylesheet, as given by the theme or html_style.


The title of the current document, as used in the <title> tag.


The value of html_use_opensearch.


The value of version.

In addition to these values, there are also all theme options available (prefixed by theme_), as well as the values given by the user in html_context.

In documents that are created from source files (as opposed to automatically-generated files like the module index, or documents that already are in HTML form), these variables are also available:


A string containing the content of the page in HTML form as produced by the HTML builder, before the theme is applied.


A boolean that is True if the toc contains more than one entry.


Document metadata (a dictionary), see metadata.


A string containing the page’s HTML meta tags.


The next document for the navigation.  This variable is either false or has two attributes link and title.  The title contains HTML markup.  For example, to generate a link to the next page, you can use this snippet:

{% if next %}
<a href="{{ next.link|e }}">{{ next.title }}</a>
{% endif %}

The suffix of the file that was rendered. Since we support a list of source_suffix, this will allow you to properly link to the original source file.


A list of parent documents for navigation, structured like the next item.


Like next, but for the previous page.


The name of the copied source file for the current document.  This is only nonempty if the html_copy_source value is True. This has empty value on creating automatically-generated files.


The page title.


The local table of contents for the current page, rendered as HTML bullet lists.


A callable yielding the global TOC tree containing the current page, rendered as HTML bullet lists.  Optional keyword arguments:

  • collapse (True by default): if true, all TOC entries that are not ancestors of the current page are collapsed
  • maxdepth (defaults to the max depth selected in the toctree directive): the maximum depth of the tree; set it to -1 to allow unlimited depth
  • titles_only (False by default): if true, put only toplevel document titles in the tree
  • includehidden (False by default): if true, the TOC tree will also contain hidden entries.

Latex Customization

The latex target does not benefit from prepared themes.

The latex-options, and particularly among them the latex_elements variable provides much of the interface for customization.

For some details of the LaTeX/PDF builder command line invocation, refer to LaTeXBuilder.


Keep in mind that backslashes must be doubled in Python string literals to avoid interpretation as escape sequences, or use raw strings (as is done here).

# inside conf.py
latex_engine = 'xelatex'
latex_elements = {
    'fontpkg': r'''
\setmainfont{DejaVu Serif}
\setsansfont{DejaVu Sans}
\setmonofont{DejaVu Sans Mono}
    'preamble': r'''
\cftsetpnumwidth {1.25cm}\cftsetrmarg{1.5cm}
    'fncychap': r'\usepackage[Bjornstrup]{fncychap}',
    'printindex': r'\footnotesize\raggedright\printindex',
latex_show_urls = 'footnote'

The latex_elements configuration setting

A dictionary that contains LaTeX snippets overriding those Sphinx usually puts into the generated .tex files.  Its 'sphinxsetup' key is described separately.

  • Keys that you may want to override include:


    Paper size option of the document class ('a4paper' or 'letterpaper'), default 'letterpaper'.


    Point size option of the document class ('10pt', '11pt' or '12pt'), default '10pt'.


    the value of the px when used in image attributes width and height. The default value is '0.75bp' which achieves 96px=1in (in TeX 1in = 72bp = 72.27pt.) To obtain for example 100px=1in use '0.01in' or '0.7227pt' (the latter leads to TeX computing a more precise value, due to the smaller unit used in the specification); for 72px=1in, simply use '1bp'; for 90px=1in, use '0.8bp' or '0.803pt'.

    New in version 1.5.


    A string which will be positioned early in the preamble, designed to contain \\PassOptionsToPackage{options}{foo} commands. Default empty.

    New in version 1.4.


    “babel” package inclusion, default '\\usepackage{babel}' (the suitable document language string is passed as class option, and english is used if no language.) For Japanese documents, the default is the empty string.

    With XeLaTeX and LuaLaTeX, Sphinx configures the LaTeX document to use polyglossia, but one should be aware that current babel has improved its support for Unicode engines in recent years and for some languages it may make sense to prefer babel over polyglossia.


    After modifiying a core LaTeX key like this one, clean up the LaTeX build repertory before next PDF build, else left-over auxiliary files are likely to break the build.

    Changed in version 1.5: For latex_engine set to 'xelatex', the default is '\\usepackage{polyglossia}\n\\setmainlanguage{<language>}'.

    Changed in version 1.6: 'lualatex' uses same default setting as 'xelatex'

    Changed in version 1.7.6: For French, xelatex and lualatex default to using babel, not polyglossia.


    Font package inclusion, the default is '\\usepackage{times}' which uses Times for text, Helvetica for sans serif and Courier for monospace.

    Changed in version 1.2: Defaults to '' when the language uses the Cyrillic script.

    Changed in version 2.0: Support for individual Greek and Cyrillic letters:

    • In order to support occasional Cyrillic (физика частиц) or Greek letters (Σωματιδιακή φυσική) in a document whose language is English or a  Latin European one, the default set-up is enhanced (only for 'pdflatex' engine) to do:


      but this is activated only under the condition that the 'fontenc' key is configured to load the LGR (Greek) and/or X2 (Cyrillic) pdflatex-font encodings (if the language is set to a Cyrillic language, this 'fontpkg' key must be used as “times” package has no direct support for it; then keep only LGR lines from the above, if support is needed for Greek in the text).

      The \substitutefont command is from the eponymous LaTeX package, which is loaded by Sphinx if needed (on Ubuntu xenial it is part of texlive-latex-extra which is a Sphinx requirement).

      Only if the document actually does contain Unicode Greek letters (in text) or Cyrillic letters, will the above default set-up cause additional requirements for the PDF build.  On Ubuntu xenial, texlive-lang-greek, texlive-lang-cyrillic, and (with the above choice of fonts) the cm-super (or cm-super-minimal) package.

    • For 'xelatex' and 'lualatex', the default is to use the FreeFont family:  this OpenType font family supports both Cyrillic and Greek scripts and is available as separate Ubuntu xenial package fonts-freefont-otf, it is not needed to install the big package texlive-fonts-extra.
    • 'platex' (Japanese documents) engine supports individual Cyrillic and Greek letters with no need of extra user set-up.

    Inclusion of the “fncychap” package (which makes fancy chapter titles), default '\\usepackage[Bjarne]{fncychap}' for English documentation (this option is slightly customized by Sphinx), '\\usepackage[Sonny]{fncychap}' for internationalized docs (because the “Bjarne” style uses numbers spelled out in English).  Other “fncychap” styles you can try are “Lenny”, “Glenn”, “Conny”, “Rejne” and “Bjornstrup”.  You can also set this to '' to disable fncychap.

    The default is '' for Japanese documents.


    Additional preamble content, default empty.  One may move all needed macros into some file mystyle.tex.txt of the project source repertory, and get LaTeX to import it at run time:

    'preamble': r'\input{mystyle.tex.txt}',
    # or, if the \ProvidesPackage LaTeX macro is used in a file mystyle.sty
    'preamble': r'\usepackage{mystyle}',

    It is then needed to set appropriately latex_additional_files, for example:

    latex_additional_files = ["mystyle.sty"]

    Latex figure float alignment, default ‘htbp’ (here, top, bottom, page). Whenever an image doesn’t fit into the current page, it will be ‘floated’ into the next page but may be preceded by any other text. If you don’t like this behavior, use ‘H’ which will disable floating and position figures strictly in the order they appear in the source.

    New in version 1.3.


    Additional document content (right before the indices), default empty.

    New in version 1.5.


    Additional footer content (before the indices), default empty.

    Deprecated since version 1.5: Use 'atendofbody' key instead.

  • Keys that don’t need to be overridden unless in special cases are:


    The default is the empty string. Example: 'extraclassoptions': 'openany' will allow chapters (for documents of the 'manual' type) to start on any page.

    New in version 1.2.

    Changed in version 1.6: Added this documentation.


    LaTeX allows by default at most 6 levels for nesting list and quote-like environments, with at most 4 enumerated lists, and 4 bullet lists. Setting this key for example to '10' (as a string) will allow up to 10 nested levels (of all sorts). Leaving it to the empty string means to obey the LaTeX default.


    • Using this key may prove incompatible with some LaTeX packages or special document classes which do their own list customization.
    • The key setting is silently ignored if \usepackage{enumitem} is executed inside the document preamble. Use then rather the dedicated commands of this LaTeX package.

    New in version 1.5.


    “inputenc” package inclusion, defaults to '\\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}' when using pdflatex. Otherwise empty.

    Changed in version 1.4.3: Previously '\\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}' was used for all compilers.


    “cmap” package inclusion, default '\\usepackage{cmap}'.

    New in version 1.2.


    “fontenc” package inclusion, defaults to '\\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}'.

    If 'pdflatex' is the latex_engine, one can add LGR for support of Greek letters in the document, and also X2 (or T2A) for Cyrillic letters, like this:


    Prior to 2.0, Unicode Greek letters were escaped to use LaTeX math mark-up.  This is not the case anymore, and the above must be used (only in case of 'pdflatex' engine) if the source contains such Unicode Greek.

    On Ubuntu xenial, packages texlive-lang-greek and cm-super (for the latter, only if the 'fontpkg' setting is left to its default) are needed for LGR to work.  In place of cm-super one can install smaller cm-super-minimal, but it requires the LaTeX document to execute \usepackage[10pt]{type1ec} before loading fontenc.  Thus, use this key with this extra at its start if needed.

    Changed in version 1.5: Defaults to '\\usepackage{fontspec}' when latex_engine is 'xelatex'.

    Changed in version 1.6: 'lualatex' uses fontspec per default like 'xelatex'.

    Changed in version 2.0: 'lualatex' executes \defaultfontfeatures[\rmfamily,\sffamily]{} to disable TeX ligatures.

    Changed in version 2.0: Detection of LGR, T2A, X2 to trigger support of occasional Greek or Cyrillic ('pdflatex' only, as this support is provided natively by 'platex' and only requires suitable font with 'xelatex'/'lualatex').


    The default ('pdflatex' only) is '\\usepackage{textalpha}', but only if 'fontenc' was modified by user to include LGR option.  If not, the key value will be forced to be the empty string.

    This is needed for pdfLaTeX to support Unicode input of Greek letters such as φύσις.  Expert users may want to load the textalpha package with its option normalize-symbols.


    Unicode Greek (but no further Unicode symbols) in math can be supported by 'pdflatex' from setting this key to r'\usepackage{textalpha,alphabeta}'.  Then :math:`α` (U+03B1) will render as \alpha.  For wider Unicode support in math input, see the discussion of latex_engine.

    With 'platex' (Japanese),  'xelatex' or 'lualatex', this key is ignored.

    New in version 2.0.


    “geometry” package inclusion, the default definition is:


    with an additional [dvipdfm] for Japanese documents. The Sphinx LaTeX style file executes:


    which can be customized via corresponding ‘sphinxsetup’ options.

    New in version 1.5.

    Changed in version 1.5.2: dvipdfm option if latex_engine is 'platex'.

    New in version 1.5.3: The ‘sphinxsetup’ keys for the margins.

    Changed in version 1.5.3: The location in the LaTeX file has been moved to after \usepackage{sphinx} and \sphinxsetup{..}, hence also after insertion of 'fontpkg' key. This is in order to handle the paper layout options in a special way for Japanese documents: the text width will be set to an integer multiple of the zenkaku width, and the text height to an integer multiple of the baseline. See the hmargin documentation for more.


    “hyperref” package inclusion; also loads package “hypcap” and issues \urlstyle{same}. This is done after sphinx.sty file is loaded and before executing the contents of 'preamble' key.


    Loading of packages “hyperref” and “hypcap” is mandatory.

    New in version 1.5: Previously this was done from inside sphinx.sty.


    “maketitle” call, default '\\sphinxmaketitle'. Override if you want to generate a differently styled title page.


    If the key value is set to r'\newcommand\sphinxbackoftitlepage{<Extra material>}\sphinxmaketitle', then <Extra material> will be typeset on back of title page ('manual' docclass only).

    Changed in version 1.8.3: Original \maketitle from document class is not overwritten, hence is re-usable as part of some custom setting for this key.

    New in version 1.8.3: \sphinxbackoftitlepage optional macro.  It can also be defined inside 'preamble' key rather than this one.


    value that prefixes 'release' element on title page, default 'Release'. As for title and author used in the tuples of latex_documents, it is inserted as LaTeX markup.


    “tableofcontents” call, default '\\sphinxtableofcontents' (it is a wrapper of unmodified \tableofcontents, which may itself be customized by user loaded packages.) Override if you want to generate a different table of contents or put content between the title page and the TOC.

    Changed in version 1.5: Previously the meaning of \tableofcontents itself was modified by Sphinx. This created an incompatibility with dedicated packages modifying it also such as “tocloft” or “etoc”.


    Commands used to display transitions, default '\n\n\\bigskip\\hrule\\bigskip\n\n'.  Override if you want to display transitions differently.

    New in version 1.2.

    Changed in version 1.6: Remove unneeded {} after \\hrule.


    “printindex” call, the last thing in the file, default '\\printindex'.  Override if you want to generate the index differently or append some content after the index. For example '\\footnotesize\\raggedright\\printindex' is advisable when the index is full of long entries.


    Customization of fancyvrb LaTeX package.  Sphinx does by default 'fvset': '\\fvset{fontsize=\\small}', to adjust for the large character width of the monospace font, used in code-blocks. You may need to modify this if you use custom fonts.

    New in version 1.8.

    Changed in version 2.0: Due to new default font choice for 'xelatex' and 'lualatex' (FreeFont), Sphinx does \\fvset{fontsize=\\small} also with these engines (and not \\fvset{fontsize=auto}).

  • Keys that are set by other options and therefore should not be overridden are:

    'docclass' 'classoptions' 'title' 'release' 'author' 'makeindex'

'sphinxsetup' key

The 'sphinxsetup' key of latex_elements provides a LaTeX-type customization interface:

latex_elements = {
    'sphinxsetup': 'key1=value1, key2=value2, ...',

It defaults to empty.  If non-empty, it will be passed as argument to the \sphinxsetup macro inside the document preamble, like this:

\sphinxsetup{key1=value1, key2=value2,...}

New in version 1.5.


It is possible to insert further uses of the \sphinxsetup LaTeX macro directly into the body of the document, via the help of the raw directive.  Here is how this present chapter is styled in the PDF output:

.. raw:: latex


at the start of the chapter and:

.. raw:: latex


at its end.

The colors used in the above are provided by the svgnames option of the “xcolor” package:

latex_elements = {
    'passoptionstopackages': r'\PassOptionsToPackage{svgnames}{xcolor}',

LaTeX boolean keys require lowercase true or false values. Spaces around the commas and equal signs are ignored, spaces inside LaTeX macros may be significant.

hmargin, vmargin

The dimensions of the horizontal (resp. vertical) margins, passed as hmargin (resp. vmargin) option to the geometry package. The default is 1in, which is equivalent to {1in,1in}. Example:

'sphinxsetup': 'hmargin={2in,1.5in}, vmargin={1.5in,2in}, marginpar=1in',

Japanese documents currently accept only the one-dimension format for these parameters. The geometry package is then passed suitable options to get the text width set to an exact multiple of the zenkaku width, and the text height set to an integer multiple of the baselineskip, with the closest fit for the margins.


For Japanese 'manual' docclass with pointsize 11pt or 12pt, use the nomag extra document class option (cf. 'extraclassoptions' key of latex_elements) or so-called TeX “true” units:

'sphinxsetup': 'hmargin=1.5truein, vmargin=1.5truein, marginpar=5zw',

New in version 1.5.3.


The \marginparwidth LaTeX dimension, defaults to 0.5in. For Japanese documents, the value is modified to be the closest integer multiple of the zenkaku width.

New in version 1.5.3.


default true. Boolean to specify if code-blocks and literal includes are framed. Setting it to false does not deactivate use of package “framed”, because it is still in use for the optional background colour.


default true. Tells whether long lines in code-block’s contents should wrap.


default t for “top”. Decides the caption position. Alternative is b (“bottom”).

New in version 1.7.


default true. If true, code-blocks display “continued on next page”, “continued from previous page” hints in case of pagebreaks.

New in version 1.6.3.

Changed in version 1.7: the default changed from false to true.

verbatimcontinuedalign, verbatimcontinuesalign

default r. Horizontal position relative to the framed contents: either l (left aligned), r (right aligned) or c (centered).

New in version 1.7.


default true. Tells whether long lines in parsed-literal’s contents should wrap.

New in version 1.5.2: set this option value to false to recover former behaviour.


default true. Allows linebreaks inside inline literals: but extra potential break-points (additionally to those allowed by LaTeX at spaces or for hyphenation) are currently inserted only after the characters . , ; ? ! /. Due to TeX internals, white space in the line will be stretched (or shrunk) in order to accomodate the linebreak.

New in version 1.5: set this option value to false to recover former behaviour.


default \textcolor{red}{\textvisiblespace}. When a long code line is split, the last space character from the source code line right before the linebreak location is typeset using this.


A LaTeX macro inserted at start of continuation code lines. Its (complicated…) default typesets a small red hook pointing to the right:


Changed in version 1.5: The breaking of long code lines was added at 1.4.2. The default definition of the continuation symbol was changed at 1.5 to accomodate various font sizes (e.g. code-blocks can be in footnotes).


default {rgb}{0.126,0.263,0.361}. The colour for titles (as configured via use of package “titlesec”.)


Colours set via 'sphinxsetup'  must obey the syntax of the argument of the color/xcolor packages \definecolor command.


default {rgb}{0.208,0.374,0.486}. A colour passed to hyperref as value of linkcolor  and citecolor.


default {rgb}{0.216,0.439,0.388}. A colour passed to hyperref as value of filecolor, menucolor, and urlcolor.


default {rgb}{1,1,1}. The background colour for code-blocks. The default is white.


default {rgb}{0,0,0}. The frame color, defaults to black.


default {rgb}{0.878,1,1}. The color for highlighted lines.

New in version 1.6.6.


Starting with this colour key, and for all others coming next, the actual names declared to “color” or “xcolor” are prefixed with “sphinx”.


default \fboxsep. The separation between code lines and the frame.


default \fboxrule. The width of the frame around code-blocks.


default 5pt. The separation between contents and frame for contents and topic boxes.


default 4pt. The width of the lateral “shadow” to the right.


default \fboxrule. The width of the frame around topic boxes.

noteBorderColor, hintBorderColor,

importantBorderColor, tipBorderColor default {rgb}{0,0,0} (black). The colour for the two horizontal rules used by Sphinx in LaTeX for styling a note type admonition.

noteborder, hintborder, importantborder, tipborder

default 0.5pt. The width of the two horizontal rules.

warningBorderColor, cautionBorderColor,

attentionBorderColor, dangerBorderColor, errorBorderColor default {rgb}{0,0,0} (black). The colour for the admonition frame.

warningBgColor, cautionBgColor,

attentionBgColor, dangerBgColor, errorBgColor default {rgb}{1,1,1} (white). The background colours for the respective admonitions.

warningborder, cautionborder,

attentionborder, dangerborder, errorborder default 1pt. The width of the frame.


default \mbox{ }. LaTeX macros inserted at the start of the footnote text at bottom of page, after the footnote number.


default \leavevmode\unskip. LaTeX macros inserted before the footnote mark. The default removes possible space before it (else, TeX could insert a linebreak there).

New in version 1.5.


default \sffamily\bfseries. Sets the font used by headings.

LaTeX macros and environments

Here are some macros from the package file sphinx.sty and class files sphinxhowto.cls, sphinxmanual.cls, which have public names thus allowing redefinitions. Check the respective files for the defaults.


  • text styling commands \sphinx<foo> with <foo> being one of strong, bfcode, email, tablecontinued, titleref, menuselection, accelerator, crossref, termref, optional.

    New in version 1.4.5: Use of \sphinx prefixed macro names to limit possibilities of conflict with LaTeX packages.

  • more text styling: \sphinxstyle<bar> with <bar> one of indexentry, indexextra, indexpageref, topictitle, sidebartitle, othertitle, sidebarsubtitle, theadfamily, emphasis, literalemphasis, strong, literalstrong, abbreviation, literalintitle, codecontinued, codecontinues

    New in version 1.5: these macros were formerly hard-coded as non customizable \texttt, \emph, etc…

    New in version 1.6: \sphinxstyletheadfamily which defaults to \sffamily and allows multiple paragraphs in header cells of tables.

    New in version 1.6.3: \sphinxstylecodecontinued and \sphinxstylecodecontinues.

  • the table of contents is typeset via \sphinxtableofcontents which is a wrapper (defined differently in sphinxhowto.cls and in sphinxmanual.cls) of standard \tableofcontents.  The macro \sphinxtableofcontentshook is executed during its expansion right before \tableofcontents itself.

    Changed in version 1.5: formerly, the meaning of \tableofcontents was modified by Sphinx.

    Changed in version 2.0: hard-coded redefinitions of \l@section and \l@subsection formerly done during loading of 'manual' docclass are now executed later via \sphinxtableofcontentshook.  This macro is also executed by the 'howto' docclass, but defaults to empty with it.

  • a custom \sphinxmaketitle is defined in the class files sphinxmanual.cls and sphinxhowto.cls and is used as default setting of 'maketitle' latex_elements key.

    Changed in version 1.8.3: formerly, \maketitle from LaTeX document class was modified by Sphinx.

  • for 'manual' docclass a macro \sphinxbackoftitlepage, if it is defined, gets executed at end of \sphinxmaketitle, before the final \clearpage.  Use either the 'maketitle' key or the 'preamble' key of latex_elements to add a custom definition of \sphinxbackoftitlepage.

    New in version 1.8.3.

  • the citation reference is typeset via \sphinxcite which is a wrapper of standard \cite.


  • a figure may have an optional legend with arbitrary body elements: they are rendered in a sphinxlegend environment. The default definition issues \small, and ends with \par.

    New in version 1.5.6: formerly, the \small was hardcoded in LaTeX writer and the ending \par was lacking.

  • for each admonition type <foo>, the used environment is named sphinx<foo>. They may be \renewenvironment ‘d individually, and must then be defined with one argument (it is the heading of the notice, for example Warning: for warning directive, if English is the document language). Their default definitions use either the sphinxheavybox (for the first listed directives) or the sphinxlightbox environments, configured to use the parameters (colours, border thickness) specific to each type, which can be set via 'sphinxsetup' string.

    Changed in version 1.5: use of public environment names, separate customizability of the parameters, such as noteBorderColor, noteborder, warningBgColor, warningBorderColor, warningborder, …

  • the contents directive (with :local: option) and the topic directive are implemented by environment sphinxShadowBox.

    New in version 1.4.2: former code refactored into an environment allowing page breaks.

    Changed in version 1.5: options shadowsep, shadowsize,  shadowrule.

  • the literal blocks (via :: or code-block), are implemented using sphinxVerbatim environment which is a wrapper of Verbatim environment from package fancyvrb.sty. It adds the handling of the top caption and the wrapping of long lines, and a frame which allows pagebreaks. Inside tables the used environment is sphinxVerbatimintable (it does not draw a frame, but allows a caption).

    Changed in version 1.5: Verbatim keeps exact same meaning as in fancyvrb.sty (also under the name OriginalVerbatim); sphinxVerbatimintable is used inside tables.

    New in version 1.5: options verbatimwithframe, verbatimwrapslines, verbatimsep, verbatimborder.

    New in version 1.6.6: support for :emphasize-lines: option

    New in version 1.6.6: easier customizability of the formatting via exposed to user LaTeX macros such as \sphinxVerbatimHighlightLine.

  • the bibliography uses sphinxthebibliography and the Python Module index as well as the general index both use sphinxtheindex; these environments are wrappers of the thebibliography and respectively theindex environments as provided by the document class (or packages).

    Changed in version 1.5: formerly, the original environments were modified by Sphinx.


  • the section, subsection, …  headings are set using  titlesec’s \titleformat command.
  • for the 'manual' docclass, the chapter headings can be customized using fncychap’s commands \ChNameVar, \ChNumVar, \ChTitleVar. File sphinx.sty has custom re-definitions in case of fncychap option Bjarne.

    Changed in version 1.5: formerly, use of fncychap with other styles than Bjarne was dysfunctional.


As an experimental feature, Sphinx can use user-defined template file for LaTeX source if you have a file named _templates/latex.tex_t in your project.

New in version 1.5: currently all template variables are unstable and undocumented.

Additional files longtable.tex_t, tabulary.tex_t and tabular.tex_t can be added to _templates/ to configure some aspects of table rendering (such as the caption position).

New in version 1.6: currently all template variables are unstable and undocumented.

Developing Extensions for Sphinx

Since many projects will need special features in their documentation, Sphinx is designed to be extensible on several levels.

This is what you can do in an extension: First, you can add new builders to support new output formats or actions on the parsed documents.  Then, it is possible to register custom reStructuredText roles and directives, extending the markup.  And finally, there are so-called “hook points” at strategic places throughout the build process, where an extension can register a hook and run specialized code.

An extension is simply a Python module.  When an extension is loaded, Sphinx imports this module and executes its setup() function, which in turn notifies Sphinx of everything the extension offers – see the extension tutorial for examples.

The configuration file itself can be treated as an extension if it contains a setup() function.  All other extensions to load must be listed in the extensions configuration value.

Discovery of builders by entry point

New in version 1.6.

Builder extensions can be discovered by means of entry points so that they do not have to be listed in the extensions configuration value.

Builder extensions should define an entry point in the sphinx.builders group. The name of the entry point needs to match your builder’s name attribute, which is the name passed to the sphinx-build -b option. The entry point value should equal the dotted name of the extension module. Here is an example of how an entry point for ‘mybuilder’ can be defined in the extension’s setup.py:

    # ...
        'sphinx.builders': [
            'mybuilder = my.extension.module',

Note that it is still necessary to register the builder using add_builder() in the extension’s setup() function.

Important objects

There are several key objects whose API you will use while writing an extension. These are:


The application object (usually called app) is an instance of Sphinx.  It controls most high-level functionality, such as the setup of extensions, event dispatching and producing output (logging).

If you have the environment object, the application is available as env.app.


The build environment object (usually called env) is an instance of BuildEnvironment.  It is responsible for parsing the source documents, stores all metadata about the document collection and is serialized to disk after each build.

Its API provides methods to do with access to metadata, resolving references, etc.  It can also be used by extensions to cache information that should persist for incremental rebuilds.

If you have the application or builder object, the environment is available as app.env or builder.env.


The builder object (usually called builder) is an instance of a specific subclass of Builder.  Each builder class knows how to convert the parsed documents into an output format, or otherwise process them (e.g. check external links).

If you have the application object, the builder is available as app.builder.


The config object (usually called config) provides the values of configuration values set in conf.py as attributes.  It is an instance of Config.

The config is available as app.config or env.config.

To see an example of use of these objects, refer to ../development/tutorials/index.

Build Phases

One thing that is vital in order to understand extension mechanisms is the way in which a Sphinx project is built: this works in several phases.

Phase 0: Initialization

In this phase, almost nothing of interest to us happens.  The source directory is searched for source files, and extensions are initialized. Should a stored build environment exist, it is loaded, otherwise a new one is created.

Phase 1: Reading

In Phase 1, all source files (and on subsequent builds, those that are new or changed) are read and parsed.  This is the phase where directives and roles are encountered by docutils, and the corresponding code is executed.  The output of this phase is a doctree for each source file; that is a tree of docutils nodes.  For document elements that aren’t fully known until all existing files are read, temporary nodes are created.

There are nodes provided by docutils, which are documented in the docutils documentation. Additional nodes are provided by Sphinx and documented here.

During reading, the build environment is updated with all meta- and cross reference data of the read documents, such as labels, the names of headings, described Python objects and index entries.  This will later be used to replace the temporary nodes.

The parsed doctrees are stored on the disk, because it is not possible to hold all of them in memory.

Phase 2: Consistency checks

Some checking is done to ensure no surprises in the built documents.

Phase 3: Resolving

Now that the metadata and cross-reference data of all existing documents is known, all temporary nodes are replaced by nodes that can be converted into output using components called transforms.  For example, links are created for object references that exist, and simple literal nodes are created for those that don’t.

Phase 4: Writing

This phase converts the resolved doctrees to the desired output format, such as HTML or LaTeX.  This happens via a so-called docutils writer that visits the individual nodes of each doctree and produces some output in the process.


Some builders deviate from this general build plan, for example, the builder that checks external links does not need anything more than the parsed doctrees and therefore does not have phases 2–4.

To see an example of application, refer to ../development/tutorials/todo.

Extension metadata

New in version 1.3.

The setup() function can return a dictionary.  This is treated by Sphinx as metadata of the extension.  Metadata keys currently recognized are:

  • 'version': a string that identifies the extension version.  It is used for extension version requirement checking (see needs_extensions) and informational purposes.  If not given, "unknown version" is substituted.
  • 'env_version': an integer that identifies the version of env data structure if the extension stores any data to environment.  It is used to detect the data structure has been changed from last build.  The extensions have to increment the version when data structure has changed.  If not given, Sphinx considers the extension does not stores any data to environment.
  • 'parallel_read_safe': a boolean that specifies if parallel reading of source files can be used when the extension is loaded.  It defaults to False, i.e. you have to explicitly specify your extension to be parallel-read-safe after checking that it is.
  • 'parallel_write_safe': a boolean that specifies if parallel writing of output files can be used when the extension is loaded.  Since extensions usually don’t negatively influence the process, this defaults to True.

APIs used for writing extensions

Application API

Each Sphinx extension is a Python module with at least a setup() function.  This function is called at initialization time with one argument, the application object representing the Sphinx process.

class sphinx.application.Sphinx

This application object has the public API described in the following.

Extension setup

These methods are usually called in an extension’s setup() function.

Examples of using the Sphinx extension API can be seen in the sphinx.ext package.


Import and setup a Sphinx extension module.

Load the extension given by the module name.  Use this if your extension needs the features provided by another extension.  No-op if called twice.


Check the Sphinx version if requested.

Compare version (which must be a major.minor version string, e.g. '1.1') with the version of the running Sphinx, and abort the build when it is too old.

New in version 1.0.

Sphinx.connect(event, callback)

Register callback to be called when event is emitted.

For details on available core events and the arguments of callback functions, please see Sphinx core events.

The method returns a “listener ID” that can be used as an argument to disconnect().


Unregister callback by listener_id.


Register a new builder.

builder must be a class that inherits from Builder.

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.

Sphinx.add_config_value(name, default, rebuild)

Register a configuration value.

This is necessary for Sphinx to recognize new values and set default values accordingly.  The name should be prefixed with the extension name, to avoid clashes.  The default value can be any Python object. The string value rebuild must be one of those values:

  • 'env' if a change in the setting only takes effect when a document is parsed – this means that the whole environment must be rebuilt.
  • 'html' if a change in the setting needs a full rebuild of HTML documents.
  • '' if a change in the setting will not need any special rebuild.

Changed in version 0.6: Changed rebuild from a simple boolean (equivalent to '' or 'env') to a string.  However, booleans are still accepted and converted internally.

Changed in version 0.4: If the default value is a callable, it will be called with the config object as its argument in order to get the default value. This can be used to implement config values whose default depends on other values.


Register an event called name.

This is needed to be able to emit it.

Sphinx.set_translator(name, translator_class)

Register or override a Docutils translator class.

This is used to register a custom output translator or to replace a builtin translator.  This allows extensions to use custom translator and define custom nodes for the translator (see add_node()).

New in version 1.3.

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.

Sphinx.add_node(node, **kwds)

Register a Docutils node class.

This is necessary for Docutils internals.  It may also be used in the future to validate nodes in the parsed documents.

Node visitor functions for the Sphinx HTML, LaTeX, text and manpage writers can be given as keyword arguments: the keyword should be one or more of 'html', 'latex', 'text', 'man', 'texinfo' or any other supported translators, the value a 2-tuple of (visit, depart) methods.  depart can be None if the visit function raises docutils.nodes.SkipNode.  Example:

class math(docutils.nodes.Element): pass

def visit_math_html(self, node):
    self.body.append(self.starttag(node, 'math'))
def depart_math_html(self, node):

app.add_node(math, html=(visit_math_html, depart_math_html))

Obviously, translators for which you don’t specify visitor methods will choke on the node when encountered in a document to translate.

Changed in version 0.5: Added the support for keyword arguments giving visit functions.

Sphinx.add_enumerable_node(node, figtype, title_getter=None, **kwds)

Register a Docutils node class as a numfig target.

Sphinx numbers the node automatically. And then the users can refer it using numref.

figtype is a type of enumerable nodes.  Each figtypes have individual numbering sequences.  As a system figtypes, figure, table and code-block are defined.  It is able to add custom nodes to these default figtypes.  It is also able to define new custom figtype if new figtype is given.

title_getter is a getter function to obtain the title of node.  It takes an instance of the enumerable node, and it must return its title as string.  The title is used to the default title of references for ref.  By default, Sphinx searches docutils.nodes.caption or docutils.nodes.title from the node as a title.

Other keyword arguments are used for node visitor functions. See the Sphinx.add_node() for details.

New in version 1.4.

Sphinx.add_directive(name, func, content, arguments, **options)

Sphinx.add_directive(name, directiveclass)

Register a Docutils directive.

name must be the prospective directive name.  There are two possible ways to write a directive:

  • In the docutils 0.4 style, obj is the directive function. content, arguments and options are set as attributes on the function and determine whether the directive has content, arguments and options, respectively.  This style is deprecated.
  • In the docutils 0.5 style, obj is the directive class. It must already have attributes named has_content, required_arguments, optional_arguments, final_argument_whitespace and option_spec that correspond to the options for the function way.  See the Docutils docs for details.

The directive class must inherit from the class docutils.parsers.rst.Directive.

For example, the (already existing) literalinclude directive would be added like this:

from docutils.parsers.rst import Directive, directives

class LiteralIncludeDirective(Directive):
    has_content = True
    required_arguments = 1
    optional_arguments = 0
    final_argument_whitespace = True
    option_spec = {
        'class': directives.class_option,
        'name': directives.unchanged,

    def run(self):

add_directive('literalinclude', LiteralIncludeDirective)

Changed in version 0.6: Docutils 0.5-style directive classes are now supported.

Deprecated since version 1.8: Docutils 0.4-style (function based) directives support is deprecated.

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.

Sphinx.add_role(name, role)

Register a Docutils role.

name must be the role name that occurs in the source, role the role function. Refer to the Docutils documentation for more information.

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.

Sphinx.add_generic_role(name, nodeclass)

Register a generic Docutils role.

Register a Docutils role that does nothing but wrap its contents in the node given by nodeclass.

New in version 0.6.

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.


Register a domain.

Make the given domain (which must be a class; more precisely, a subclass of Domain) known to Sphinx.

New in version 1.0.

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.


Override a registered domain.

Make the given domain class known to Sphinx, assuming that there is already a domain with its .name.  The new domain must be a subclass of the existing one.

New in version 1.0.

Deprecated since version 1.8: Integrated to add_domain().

Sphinx.add_directive_to_domain(domain, name, func, content, arguments, **options)

Sphinx.add_directive_to_domain(domain, name, directiveclass)

Register a Docutils directive in a domain.

Like add_directive(), but the directive is added to the domain named domain.

New in version 1.0.

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.

Sphinx.add_role_to_domain(domain, name, role)

Register a Docutils role in a domain.

Like add_role(), but the role is added to the domain named domain.

New in version 1.0.

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.

Sphinx.add_index_to_domain(domain, index)

Register a custom index for a domain.

Add a custom index class to the domain named domain.  index must be a subclass of Index.

New in version 1.0.

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.

Sphinx.add_object_type(directivename, rolename, indextemplate='', parse_node=None, ref_nodeclass=None, objname='', doc_field_types=[])

Register a new object type.

This method is a very convenient way to add a new object type that can be cross-referenced.  It will do this:

  • Create a new directive (called directivename) for documenting an object.  It will automatically add index entries if indextemplate is nonempty; if given, it must contain exactly one instance of %s.  See the example below for how the template will be interpreted.
  • Create a new role (called rolename) to cross-reference to these object descriptions.
  • If you provide parse_node, it must be a function that takes a string and a docutils node, and it must populate the node with children parsed from the string.  It must then return the name of the item to be used in cross-referencing and index entries.  See the conf.py file in the source for this documentation for an example.
  • The objname (if not given, will default to directivename) names the type of object.  It is used when listing objects, e.g. in search results.

For example, if you have this call in a custom Sphinx extension:

app.add_object_type('directive', 'dir', 'pair: %s; directive')

you can use this markup in your documents:

.. rst:directive:: function

   Document a function.


See also the :rst:dir:`function` directive.

For the directive, an index entry will be generated as if you had prepended

.. index:: pair: function; directive

The reference node will be of class literal (so it will be rendered in a proportional font, as appropriate for code) unless you give the ref_nodeclass argument, which must be a docutils node class.  Most useful are docutils.nodes.emphasis or docutils.nodes.strong – you can also use docutils.nodes.generated if you want no further text decoration.  If the text should be treated as literal (e.g. no smart quote replacement), but not have typewriter styling, use sphinx.addnodes.literal_emphasis or sphinx.addnodes.literal_strong.

For the role content, you have the same syntactical possibilities as for standard Sphinx roles (see xref-syntax).

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.

Sphinx.add_crossref_type(directivename, rolename, indextemplate='', ref_nodeclass=None, objname='')

Register a new crossref object type.

This method is very similar to add_object_type() except that the directive it generates must be empty, and will produce no output.

That means that you can add semantic targets to your sources, and refer to them using custom roles instead of generic ones (like ref).  Example call:

app.add_crossref_type('topic', 'topic', 'single: %s',

Example usage:

.. topic:: application API

The application API

Some random text here.

See also :topic:`this section <application API>`.

(Of course, the element following the topic directive needn’t be a section.)

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.


Register a Docutils transform to be applied after parsing.

Add the standard docutils Transform subclass transform to the list of transforms that are applied after Sphinx parses a reST document.

priority range categories for Sphinx transforms

Priority Main purpose in Sphinx
0-99 Fix invalid nodes by docutils. Translate a doctree.
100-299 Preparation
300-399 early
400-699 main
700-799 Post processing. Deadline to modify text and referencing.
800-899 Collect referencing and referenced nodes. Domain processing.
900-999 Finalize and clean up.

refs: Transform Priority Range Categories


Register a Docutils transform to be applied before writing.

Add the standard docutils Transform subclass transform to the list of transforms that are applied before Sphinx writes a document.

Sphinx.add_js_file(filename, **kwargs)

Register a JavaScript file to include in the HTML output.

Add filename to the list of JavaScript files that the default HTML template will include.  The filename must be relative to the HTML static path , or a full URI with scheme.  The keyword arguments are also accepted for attributes of <script> tag.


# => <script src="_static/example.js"></script>

app.add_js_file('example.js', async="async")
# => <script src="_static/example.js" async="async"></script>

New in version 0.5.

Changed in version 1.8: Renamed from app.add_javascript(). And it allows keyword arguments as attributes of script tag.

Sphinx.add_css_file(filename, **kwargs)

Register a stylesheet to include in the HTML output.

Add filename to the list of CSS files that the default HTML template will include.  The filename must be relative to the HTML static path, or a full URI with scheme.  The keyword arguments are also accepted for attributes of <link> tag.


# => <link rel="stylesheet" href="_static/custom.css" type="text/css" />

app.add_css_file('print.css', media='print')
# => <link rel="stylesheet" href="_static/print.css"
#          type="text/css" media="print" />

app.add_css_file('fancy.css', rel='alternate stylesheet', title='fancy')
# => <link rel="alternate stylesheet" href="_static/fancy.css"
#          type="text/css" title="fancy" />

New in version 1.0.

Changed in version 1.6: Optional alternate and/or title attributes can be supplied with the alternate (of boolean type) and title (a string) arguments. The default is no title and alternate = False. For more information, refer to the documentation.

Changed in version 1.8: Renamed from app.add_stylesheet(). And it allows keyword arguments as attributes of link tag.

Sphinx.add_latex_package(packagename, options=None)

Register a package to include in the LaTeX source code.

Add packagename to the list of packages that LaTeX source code will include.  If you provide options, it will be taken to usepackage declaration.

# => \usepackage{mypackage}
app.add_latex_package('mypackage', 'foo,bar')
# => \usepackage[foo,bar]{mypackage}

New in version 1.3.

Sphinx.add_lexer(alias, lexer)

Register a new lexer for source code.

Use lexer, which must be an instance of a Pygments lexer class, to highlight code blocks with the given language alias.

New in version 0.6.


Register a new documenter class for the autodoc extension.

Add cls as a new documenter class for the sphinx.ext.autodoc extension.  It must be a subclass of sphinx.ext.autodoc.Documenter.  This allows to auto-document new types of objects.  See the source of the autodoc module for examples on how to subclass Documenter.


Add real docs for Documenter and subclassing

New in version 0.6.

Sphinx.add_autodoc_attrgetter(type, getter)

Register a new getattr-like function for the autodoc extension.

Add getter, which must be a function with an interface compatible to the getattr() builtin, as the autodoc attribute getter for objects that are instances of typ.  All cases where autodoc needs to get an attribute of a type are then handled by this function instead of getattr().

New in version 0.6.


Register a new language for the HTML search index.

Add cls, which must be a subclass of sphinx.search.SearchLanguage, as a support language for building the HTML full-text search index.  The class must have a lang attribute that indicates the language it should be used for.  See html_search_language.

New in version 1.1.

Sphinx.add_source_suffix(suffix, filetype)

Register a suffix of source files.

Same as source_suffix.  The users can override this using the setting.

New in version 1.8.


Register a parser class.

New in version 1.4.

Changed in version 1.8: suffix argument is deprecated.  It only accepts parser argument. Use add_source_suffix() API to register suffix instead.

Changed in version 1.8: Add override keyword.


Register an environment collector class.

Refer to collector-api.

New in version 1.6.

Sphinx.add_html_theme(name, theme_path)

Register a HTML Theme.

The name is a name of theme, and path is a full path to the theme (refs: distribute-your-theme).

New in version 1.6.

Sphinx.add_html_math_renderer(name, inline_renderers, block_renderers)

Register a math renderer for HTML.

The name is a name of math renderer.  Both inline_renderers and block_renderers are used as visitor functions for the HTML writer: the former for inline math node (nodes.math), the latter for block math node (nodes.math_block).  Regarding visitor functions, see add_node() for details.

New in version 1.8.

Sphinx.add_message_catalog(catalog, locale_dir)

Register a message catalog.

The catalog is a name of catalog, and locale_dir is a base path of message catalog.  For more details, see sphinx.locale.get_translation().

New in version 1.8.


Check parallel processing is allowed or not.

typ is a type of processing; 'read' or 'write'.

exception sphinx.application.ExtensionError

All these methods raise this exception if something went wrong with the extension API.

Emitting events

class sphinx.application.Sphinx
emit(event, *arguments)

Emit event and pass arguments to the callback functions.

Return the return values of all callbacks as a list.  Do not emit core Sphinx events in extensions!

emit_firstresult(event, *arguments)

Emit event and pass arguments to the callback functions.

Return the result of the first callback that doesn’t return None.

New in version 0.5.

Sphinx runtime information

The application object also provides runtime information as attributes.


Target project.  See Project.


Source directory.


Directory containing conf.py.


Directory for storing pickled doctrees.


Directory for storing built document.

Sphinx core events

These events are known to the core.  The arguments shown are given to the registered event handlers.  Use connect() in an extension’s setup function (note that conf.py can also have a setup function) to connect handlers to the events.  Example:

def source_read_handler(app, docname, source):
    print('do something here...')

def setup(app):
    app.connect('source-read', source_read_handler)

Emitted when the builder object has been created.  It is available as app.builder.

config-inited(app, config)

Emitted when the config object has been initialized.

New in version 1.8.

env-get-outdated(app, env, added, changed, removed)

Emitted when the environment determines which source files have changed and should be re-read.  added, changed and removed are sets of docnames that the environment has determined.  You can return a list of docnames to re-read in addition to these.

New in version 1.1.

env-purge-doc(app, env, docname)

Emitted when all traces of a source file should be cleaned from the environment, that is, if the source file is removed or before it is freshly read.  This is for extensions that keep their own caches in attributes of the environment.

For example, there is a cache of all modules on the environment.  When a source file has been changed, the cache’s entries for the file are cleared, since the module declarations could have been removed from the file.

New in version 0.5.

env-before-read-docs(app, env, docnames)

Emitted after the environment has determined the list of all added and changed files and just before it reads them.  It allows extension authors to reorder the list of docnames (inplace) before processing, or add more docnames that Sphinx did not consider changed (but never add any docnames that are not in env.found_docs).

You can also remove document names; do this with caution since it will make Sphinx treat changed files as unchanged.

New in version 1.3.

source-read(app, docname, source)

Emitted when a source file has been read.  The source argument is a list whose single element is the contents of the source file.  You can process the contents and replace this item to implement source-level transformations.

For example, if you want to use $ signs to delimit inline math, like in LaTeX, you can use a regular expression to replace $...$ by :math:`...`.

New in version 0.5.

doctree-read(app, doctree)

Emitted when a doctree has been parsed and read by the environment, and is about to be pickled.  The doctree can be modified in-place.

missing-reference(app, env, node, contnode)

Emitted when a cross-reference to a Python module or object cannot be resolved.  If the event handler can resolve the reference, it should return a new docutils node to be inserted in the document tree in place of the node node.  Usually this node is a reference node containing contnode as a child.

  • env – The build environment (app.builder.env).
  • node – The pending_xref node to be resolved.  Its attributes reftype, reftarget, modname and classname attributes determine the type and target of the reference.
  • contnode – The node that carries the text and formatting inside the future reference and should be a child of the returned reference node.

New in version 0.5.

doctree-resolved(app, doctree, docname)

Emitted when a doctree has been “resolved” by the environment, that is, all references have been resolved and TOCs have been inserted.  The doctree can be modified in place.

Here is the place to replace custom nodes that don’t have visitor methods in the writers, so that they don’t cause errors when the writers encounter them.

env-merge-info(app, env, docnames, other)

This event is only emitted when parallel reading of documents is enabled.  It is emitted once for every subprocess that has read some documents.

You must handle this event in an extension that stores data in the environment in a custom location.  Otherwise the environment in the main process will not be aware of the information stored in the subprocess.

other is the environment object from the subprocess, env is the environment from the main process.  docnames is a set of document names that have been read in the subprocess.

For a sample of how to deal with this event, look at the standard sphinx.ext.todo extension.  The implementation is often similar to that of env-purge-doc, only that information is not removed, but added to the main environment from the other environment.

New in version 1.3.

env-updated(app, env)

Emitted when the update() method of the build environment has completed, that is, the environment and all doctrees are now up-to-date.

You can return an iterable of docnames from the handler.  These documents will then be considered updated, and will be (re-)written during the writing phase.

New in version 0.5.

Changed in version 1.3: The handlers’ return value is now used.

env-check-consistency(app, env)

Emitted when Consistency checks phase.  You can check consistency of metadata for whole of documents.

New in version 1.6: As a experimental event


Emitted when the HTML builder is starting to write non-document pages.  You can add pages to write by returning an iterable from this event consisting of (pagename, context, templatename).

New in version 1.0.

html-page-context(app, pagename, templatename, context, doctree)

Emitted when the HTML builder has created a context dictionary to render a template with – this can be used to add custom elements to the context.

The pagename argument is the canonical name of the page being rendered, that is, without .html suffix and using slashes as path separators.  The templatename is the name of the template to render, this will be 'page.html' for all pages from reST documents.

The context argument is a dictionary of values that are given to the template engine to render the page and can be modified to include custom values.  Keys must be strings.

The doctree argument will be a doctree when the page is created from a reST documents; it will be None when the page is created from an HTML template alone.

You can return a string from the handler, it will then replace 'page.html' as the HTML template for this page.

New in version 0.4.

Changed in version 1.3: The return value can now specify a template name.

build-finished(app, exception)

Emitted when a build has finished, before Sphinx exits, usually used for cleanup.  This event is emitted even when the build process raised an exception, given as the exception argument.  The exception is reraised in the application after the event handlers have run.  If the build process raised no exception, exception will be None.  This allows to customize cleanup actions depending on the exception status.

New in version 0.5.

Checking the Sphinx version

Use this to adapt your extension to API changes in Sphinx.

sphinx.version_info = (2, 0, 1, 'final', 0)

Version info for better programmatic use.

A tuple of five elements; for Sphinx version 1.2.1 beta 3 this would be (1, 2, 1, 'beta', 3). The fourth element can be one of: alpha, beta, rc, final. final always has 0 as the last element.

New in version 1.2: Before version 1.2, check the string sphinx.__version__.

The Config object

class sphinx.config.Config(*args)

Configuration file abstraction.

The config object makes the values of all config values available as attributes.

It is exposed via the sphinx.application.Application.config and sphinx.environment.Environment.config attributes. For example, to get the value of language, use either app.config.language or env.config.language.

The template bridge

class sphinx.application.TemplateBridge

This class defines the interface for a “template bridge”, that is, a class that renders templates given a template name and a context.

init(builder, theme=None, dirs=None)

Called by the builder to initialize the template system.

builder is the builder object; you’ll probably want to look at the value of builder.config.templates_path.

theme is a sphinx.theming.Theme object or None; in the latter case, dirs can be list of fixed directories to look for templates.


Called by the builder to determine if output files are outdated because of template changes.  Return the mtime of the newest template file that was changed.  The default implementation returns 0.

render(template, context)

Called by the builder to render a template given as a filename with a specified context (a Python dictionary).

render_string(template, context)

Called by the builder to render a template given as a string with a specified context (a Python dictionary).


exception sphinx.errors.SphinxError

Base class for Sphinx errors.

This is the base class for “nice” exceptions.  When such an exception is raised, Sphinx will abort the build and present the exception category and message to the user.

Extensions are encouraged to derive from this exception for their custom errors.

Exceptions not derived from SphinxError are treated as unexpected and shown to the user with a part of the traceback (and the full traceback saved in a temporary file).


Description of the exception “category”, used in converting the exception to a string (“category: message”).  Should be set accordingly in subclasses.

exception sphinx.errors.ConfigError

Configuration error.

exception sphinx.errors.ExtensionError(message, orig_exc=None)

Extension error.

exception sphinx.errors.ThemeError

Theme error.

exception sphinx.errors.VersionRequirementError

Incompatible Sphinx version error.

Project API

class sphinx.project.Project(srcdir, source_suffix)

A project is source code set of Sphinx document.


Find all document files in the source directory and put them in docnames.

doc2path(docname, basedir=True)

Return the filename for the document name.

If basedir is True, return as an absolute path. Else, return as a relative path to the source directory.


Return the docname for the filename if the file is document.

filename should be absolute or relative to the source directory.


Take over a result of last build.

docnames = None

The name of documents belongs to this project.

source_suffix = None

source_suffix. Same as source_suffix.

srcdir = None

Source directory.

Build environment API

class sphinx.environment.BuildEnvironment



Reference to the Sphinx (application) object.


Reference to the Config object.


Target project.  See Project.


Source directory.


Directory for storing pickled doctrees.


A set of all existing docnames.


Dictionary mapping docnames to “metadata” (see metadata).


Dictionary mapping docnames to the docutils node for their main title.


Returns the docname of the document currently being parsed.

Utility methods

doc2path(docname, base=True, suffix=None)

Return the filename for the document name.

If base is True, return absolute path under self.srcdir. If base is None, return relative path to self.srcdir. If base is a path string, return absolute path under that. If suffix is not None, add it instead of config.source_suffix.

relfn2path(filename, docname=None)

Return paths to a file referenced from a document, relative to documentation root and absolute.

In the input “filename”, absolute filenames are taken as relative to the source dir, while relative filenames are relative to the dir of the containing document.


Add filename as a dependency of the current document.

This means that the document will be rebuilt if this file changes.

filename should be absolute or relative to the source directory.


Return a serial number, e.g. for index entry targets.

The number is guaranteed to be unique in the current document.


Add the current document to the list of documents that will automatically be re-read at the next build.

Builder API


Expand this.

class sphinx.builders.Builder

This is the base class for all builders.

These attributes should be set on builder classes:

name = ''

The builder’s name, for the -b command line option.

format = ''

The builder’s output format, or ‘’ if no document output is produced.

epilog = ''

The message emitted upon successful build completion. This can be a printf-style template string with the following keys: outdir, project

supported_image_types = []

The list of MIME types of image formats supported by the builder. Image files are searched in the order in which they appear here.

supported_remote_images = False

The builder supports remote images or not.

supported_data_uri_images = False

The builder supports data URIs or not.

default_translator_class = None

default translator class for the builder.  This can be overridden by app.set_translator().

These methods are predefined and will be called from the application:

get_relative_uri(from_, to, typ=None)

Return a relative URI between two source filenames.

May raise environment.NoUri if there’s no way to return a sensible URI.


Build all source files.


Only rebuild as much as needed for changes in the filenames.


Only rebuild what was changed or added since last build.

build(docnames, summary=None, method='update')

Main build method.

First updates the environment, and then calls write().

These methods can be overridden in concrete builder classes:


Load necessary templates and perform initialization.  The default implementation does nothing.


Return an iterable of output files that are outdated, or a string describing what an update build will build.

If the builder does not output individual files corresponding to source files, return a string here.  If it does, return an iterable of those files that need to be written.

get_target_uri(docname, typ=None)

Return the target URI for a document name.

typ can be used to qualify the link characteristic for individual builders.


A place where you can add logic before write_doc() is run

write_doc(docname, doctree)

Where you actually write something to the filesystem.


Finish the building process.

The default implementation does nothing.

Environment Collector API

class sphinx.environment.collectors.EnvironmentCollector

An EnvironmentCollector is a specific data collector from each document.

It gathers data and stores BuildEnvironment as a database.  Examples of specific data would be images, download files, section titles, metadatas, index entries and toctrees, etc.

clear_doc(app, env, docname)

Remove specified data of a document.

This method is called on the removal of the document.

get_outdated_docs(app, env, added, changed, removed)

Return a list of docnames to re-read.

This methods is called before reading the documents.

get_updated_docs(app, env)

Return a list of docnames to re-read.

This methods is called after reading the whole of documents (experimental).

merge_other(app, env, docnames, other)

Merge in specified data regarding docnames from a different BuildEnvironment object which coming from a subprocess in parallel builds.

process_doc(app, doctree)

Process a document and gather specific data from it.

This method is called after the document is read.

Docutils markup API

This section describes the API for adding ReST markup elements (roles and directives).



Directives are handled by classes derived from docutils.parsers.rst.Directive.  They have to be registered by an extension using Sphinx.add_directive() or Sphinx.add_directive_to_domain().

class docutils.parsers.rst.Directive

The markup syntax of the new directive is determined by the follow five class attributes:

required_arguments = 0

Number of required directive arguments.

optional_arguments = 0

Number of optional arguments after the required arguments.

final_argument_whitespace = False

May the final argument contain whitespace?

option_spec = None

Mapping of option names to validator functions.

Option validator functions take a single parameter, the option argument (or None if not given), and should validate it or convert it to the proper form.  They raise ValueError or TypeError to indicate failure.

There are several predefined and possibly useful validators in the docutils.parsers.rst.directives module.

has_content = False

May the directive have content?

New directives must implement the run() method:


This method must process the directive arguments, options and content, and return a list of Docutils/Sphinx nodes that will be inserted into the document tree at the point where the directive was encountered.

Instance attributes that are always set on the directive are:


The directive name (useful when registering the same directive class under multiple names).


The arguments given to the directive, as a list.


The options given to the directive, as a dictionary mapping option names to validated/converted values.


The directive content, if given, as a ViewList.


The absolute line number on which the directive appeared.  This is not always a useful value; use srcline instead.


Internal offset of the directive content.  Used when calling nested_parse (see below).


The string containing the entire directive.


The state and state machine which controls the parsing.  Used for nested_parse.


Docutils represents document source lines in a class docutils.statemachine.ViewList.  This is a list with extended functionality – for one, slicing creates views of the original list, and also the list contains information about the source line numbers.

The Directive.content attribute is a ViewList.  If you generate content to be parsed as ReST, you have to create a ViewList yourself.  Important for content generation are the following points:

  • The constructor takes a list of strings (lines) and a source (document) name.
  • The .append() method takes a line and a source name as well.

Parsing directive content as ReST

Many directives will contain more markup that must be parsed.  To do this, use one of the following APIs from the Directive.run() method:

  • self.state.nested_parse
  • sphinx.util.nodes.nested_parse_with_titles() – this allows titles in the parsed content.

Both APIs parse the content into a given node. They are used like this:

node = docutils.nodes.paragraph()
# either
nested_parse_with_titles(self.state, self.result, node)
# or
self.state.nested_parse(self.result, 0, node)

sphinx.util.docutils.switch_source_input() allows to change a target file during nested_parse.  It is useful to mixed contents.  For example, sphinx. ext.autodoc uses it to parse docstrings:

from sphinx.util.docutils import switch_source_input

# Switch source_input between parsing content.
# Inside this context, all parsing errors and warnings are reported as
# happened in new source_input (in this case, ``self.result``).
with switch_source_input(self.state, self.result):
    node = docutils.nodes.paragraph()
    self.state.nested_parse(self.result, 0, node)

Deprecated since version 1.7: Until Sphinx-1.6, sphinx.ext.autodoc.AutodocReporter is used for this purpose. For now, it is replaced by switch_source_input().

If you don’t need the wrapping node, you can use any concrete node type and return node.children from the Directive.


Creating directives

HOWTO of the Docutils documentation

Domain API

class sphinx.domains.Domain(env)

A Domain is meant to be a group of “object” description directives for objects of a similar nature, and corresponding roles to create references to them.  Examples would be Python modules, classes, functions etc., elements of a templating language, Sphinx roles and directives, etc.

Each domain has a separate storage for information about existing objects and how to reference them in self.data, which must be a dictionary.  It also must implement several functions that expose the object information in a uniform way to parts of Sphinx that allow the user to reference or search for objects in a domain-agnostic way.

About self.data: since all object and cross-referencing information is stored on a BuildEnvironment instance, the domain.data object is also stored in the env.domaindata dict under the key domain.name.  Before the build process starts, every active domain is instantiated and given the environment object; the domaindata dict must then either be nonexistent or a dictionary whose ‘version’ key is equal to the domain class’ data_version attribute.  Otherwise, OSError is raised and the pickled environment is discarded.

add_object_type(name, objtype)

Add an object type.


Do consistency checks (experimental).


Remove traces of a document in the domain-specific inventories.


Return a directive adapter class that always gives the registered directive its full name (‘domain:name’) as self.name.


Get type of enumerable nodes (experimental).


Return full qualified name for given node.


Return an iterable of “object descriptions”, which are tuples with five items:

  • name     – fully qualified name
  • dispname – name to display when searching/linking
  • type     – object type, a key in self.object_types
  • docname  – the document where it is to be found
  • anchor   – the anchor name for the object
  • priority – how “important” the object is (determines placement in search results)

    • 1: default priority (placed before full-text matches)
    • 0: object is important (placed before default-priority objects)
    • 2: object is unimportant (placed after full-text matches)
    • -1: object should not show up in search at all
get_type_name(type, primary=False)

Return full name for given ObjType.

merge_domaindata(docnames, otherdata)

Merge in data regarding docnames from a different domaindata inventory (coming from a subprocess in parallel builds).

process_doc(env, docname, document)

Process a document after it is read by the environment.


Process a pending xref created in a doc field. For example, attach information about the current scope.

resolve_any_xref(env, fromdocname, builder, target, node, contnode)

Resolve the pending_xref node with the given target.

The reference comes from an “any” or similar role, which means that we don’t know the type.  Otherwise, the arguments are the same as for resolve_xref().

The method must return a list (potentially empty) of tuples ('domain:role', newnode), where 'domain:role' is the name of a role that could have created the same reference, e.g. 'py:func'. newnode is what resolve_xref() would return.

New in version 1.3.

resolve_xref(env, fromdocname, builder, typ, target, node, contnode)

Resolve the pending_xref node with the given typ and target.

This method should return a new node, to replace the xref node, containing the contnode which is the markup content of the cross-reference.

If no resolution can be found, None can be returned; the xref node will then given to the missing-reference event, and if that yields no resolution, replaced by contnode.

The method can also raise sphinx.environment.NoUri to suppress the missing-reference event being emitted.


Return a role adapter function that always gives the registered role its full name (‘domain:name’) as the first argument.

dangling_warnings = {}

role name -> a warning message if reference is missing

data = None

data value

data_version = 0

data version, bump this when the format of self.data changes

directives = {}

directive name -> directive class

enumerable_nodes = {}

node_class -> (enum_node_type, title_getter)

indices = []

a list of Index subclasses

initial_data = {}

data value for a fresh environment

label = ''

domain label: longer, more descriptive (used in messages)

name = ''

domain name: should be short, but unique

object_types = {}

type (usually directive) name -> ObjType instance

roles = {}

role name -> role callable

class sphinx.domains.ObjType(lname, *roles, **attrs)

An ObjType is the description for a type of object that a domain can document.  In the object_types attribute of Domain subclasses, object type names are mapped to instances of this class.

Constructor arguments:

  • lname: localized name of the type (do not include domain name)
  • roles: all the roles that can refer to an object of this type
  • attrs: object attributes – currently only “searchprio” is known, which defines the object’s priority in the full-text search index, see Domain.get_objects().
class sphinx.domains.Index(domain)

An Index is the description for a domain-specific index.  To add an index to a domain, subclass Index, overriding the three name attributes:

  • name is an identifier used for generating file names.
  • localname is the section title for the index.
  • shortname is a short name for the index, for use in the relation bar in HTML output.  Can be empty to disable entries in the relation bar.

and providing a generate() method.  Then, add the index class to your domain’s indices list.  Extensions can add indices to existing domains using add_index_to_domain().


Return entries for the index given by name.  If docnames is given, restrict to entries referring to these docnames.

The return value is a tuple of (content, collapse), where collapse is a boolean that determines if sub-entries should start collapsed (for output formats that support collapsing sub-entries).

content is a sequence of (letter, entries) tuples, where letter is the “heading” for the given entries, usually the starting letter.

entries is a sequence of single entries, where a single entry is a sequence [name, subtype, docname, anchor, extra, qualifier, descr]. The items in this sequence have the following meaning:

  • name – the name of the index entry to be displayed
  • subtype – sub-entry related type: 0 – normal entry 1 – entry with sub-entries 2 – sub-entry
  • docname – docname where the entry is located
  • anchor – anchor for the entry within docname
  • extra – extra info for the entry
  • qualifier – qualifier for the description
  • descr – description for the entry

Qualifier and description are not rendered e.g. in LaTeX output.

Parser API

The docutils documentation describes parsers as follows:

The Parser analyzes the input document and creates a node tree representation.

In Sphinx, the parser modules works as same as docutils.  The parsers are registered to Sphinx by extensions using Application APIs; Sphinx.add_source_suffix() and Sphinx.add_source_parser().

The source suffix is a mapping from file suffix to file type.  For example, .rst file is mapped to 'restructuredtext' type.  Sphinx uses the file type to looking for parsers from registered list.  On searching, Sphinx refers to the Parser.supported attribute and picks up a parser which contains the file type in the attribute.

The users can override the source suffix mappings using source_suffix like following:

# a mapping from file suffix to file types
source_suffix = {
    '.rst': 'restructuredtext',
    '.md': 'markdown',

You should indicate file types your parser supports. This will allow users to configure their settings appropriately.

class sphinx.parsers.Parser

A base class of source parsers.  The additional parsers should inherit this class instead of docutils.parsers.Parser.  Compared with docutils.parsers.Parser, this class improves accessibility to Sphinx APIs.

The subclasses can access following objects and functions:


The application object (sphinx.application.Sphinx)


The config object (sphinx.config.Config)


The environment object (sphinx.environment.BuildEnvironment)


Emit a warning. (Same as sphinx.application.Sphinx.warn())


Emit a informational message. (Same as sphinx.application.Sphinx.info())

Deprecated since version 1.6: warn() and info() is deprecated.  Use sphinx.util.logging instead.

Doctree node classes added by Sphinx

Nodes for domain-specific object descriptions

class sphinx.addnodes.desc(rawsource='', *children, **attributes)

Node for object descriptions.

This node is similar to a “definition list” with one definition.  It contains one or more desc_signature and a desc_content.

class sphinx.addnodes.desc_signature(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for object signatures.

The “term” part of the custom Sphinx definition list.

As default the signature is a single line signature, but set is_multiline = True to describe a multi-line signature. In that case all child nodes must be desc_signature_line nodes.

class sphinx.addnodes.desc_signature_line(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for a line in a multi-line object signatures.

It should only be used in a desc_signature with is_multiline set. Set add_permalink = True for the line that should get the permalink.

class sphinx.addnodes.desc_addname(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for additional name parts (module name, class name).

class sphinx.addnodes.desc_type(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for return types or object type names.

class sphinx.addnodes.desc_returns(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for a “returns” annotation (a la -> in Python).

class sphinx.addnodes.desc_name(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for the main object name.

class sphinx.addnodes.desc_parameterlist(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for a general parameter list.

class sphinx.addnodes.desc_parameter(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for a single parameter.

class sphinx.addnodes.desc_optional(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for marking optional parts of the parameter list.

class sphinx.addnodes.desc_annotation(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for signature annotations (not Python 3-style annotations).

class sphinx.addnodes.desc_content(rawsource='', *children, **attributes)

Node for object description content.

This is the “definition” part of the custom Sphinx definition list.

New admonition-like constructs

class sphinx.addnodes.versionmodified(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for version change entries.

Currently used for “versionadded”, “versionchanged” and “deprecated” directives.

class sphinx.addnodes.seealso(rawsource='', *children, **attributes)

Custom “see also” admonition.

Other paragraph-level nodes

class sphinx.addnodes.compact_paragraph(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for a compact paragraph (which never makes a <p> node).

New inline nodes

class sphinx.addnodes.index(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for index entries.

This node is created by the index directive and has one attribute, entries.  Its value is a list of 5-tuples of (entrytype, entryname, target, ignored, key).

entrytype is one of “single”, “pair”, “double”, “triple”.

key is categorization characters (usually a single character) for general index page. For the details of this, please see also: glossary and issue #2320.

class sphinx.addnodes.pending_xref(rawsource='', *children, **attributes)

Node for cross-references that cannot be resolved without complete information about all documents.

These nodes are resolved before writing output, in BuildEnvironment.resolve_references.

class sphinx.addnodes.literal_emphasis(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node that behaves like emphasis, but further text processors are not applied (e.g. smartypants for HTML output).

class sphinx.addnodes.abbreviation(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for abbreviations with explanations.

Deprecated since version 2.0.

class sphinx.addnodes.download_reference(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for download references, similar to pending_xref.

Special nodes

class sphinx.addnodes.only(rawsource='', *children, **attributes)

Node for “only” directives (conditional inclusion based on tags).

class sphinx.addnodes.meta(rawsource='', *children, **attributes)

Node for meta directive – same as docutils’ standard meta node, but pickleable.

class sphinx.addnodes.highlightlang(rawsource='', *children, **attributes)

Inserted to set the highlight language and line number options for subsequent code blocks.

You should not need to generate the nodes below in extensions.

class sphinx.addnodes.glossary(rawsource='', *children, **attributes)

Node to insert a glossary.

class sphinx.addnodes.toctree(rawsource='', *children, **attributes)

Node for inserting a “TOC tree”.

class sphinx.addnodes.start_of_file(rawsource='', *children, **attributes)

Node to mark start of a new file, used in the LaTeX builder only.

class sphinx.addnodes.productionlist(rawsource='', *children, **attributes)

Node for grammar production lists.

Contains production nodes.

class sphinx.addnodes.production(rawsource='', text='', *children, **attributes)

Node for a single grammar production rule.

Logging API


Get logger wrapped by sphinx.util.logging.SphinxLoggerAdapter.

Sphinx logger always uses sphinx.* namespace to be independent from settings of root logger.  It ensures logging is consistent even if a third-party extension or imported application resets logger settings.

Example usage:

>>> from sphinx.util import logging
>>> logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)
>>> logger.info('Hello, this is an extension!')
Hello, this is an extension!
class sphinx.util.logging.SphinxLoggerAdapter(logging.LoggerAdapter)

LoggerAdapter allowing type and subtype keywords.

error(msg, *args, **kwargs)

critical(msg, *args, **kwargs)

warning(msg, *args, **kwargs)

Logs a message on this logger with the specified level. Basically, the arguments are as with python’s logging module.

In addition, Sphinx logger supports following keyword arguments:

type, *subtype*

Categories of warning logs.  It is used to suppress warnings by suppress_warnings setting.


Where the warning happened.  It is used to include the path and line number in each log.  It allows docname, tuple of docname and line number and nodes:

logger = sphinx.util.logging.getLogger(__name__)
logger.warning('Warning happened!', location='index')
logger.warning('Warning happened!', location=('chapter1/index', 10))
logger.warning('Warning happened!', location=some_node)

The color of logs.  By default, error level logs are colored as "darkred", critical level ones is not colored, and warning level ones are colored as "red".

log(level, msg, *args, **kwargs)

info(msg, *args, **kwargs)

verbose(msg, *args, **kwargs)

debug(msg, *args, **kwargs)

Logs a message to this logger with the specified level. Basically, the arguments are as with python’s logging module.

In addition, Sphinx logger supports following keyword arguments:


If true, the logger does not fold lines at the end of the log message. The default is False.


Where the message emitted.  For more detail, see SphinxLoggerAdapter.warning().


The color of logs.  By default, info and verbose level logs are not colored, and debug level ones are colored as "darkgray".


Contextmanager to pend logging all logs temporary.

For example:

>>> with pending_logging():
>>>     logger.warning('Warning message!')  # not flushed yet
>>>     some_long_process()
Warning message!  # the warning is flushed here

Contextmanager to pend logging warnings temporary.

Similar to pending_logging().


Prepend prefix to all records for a while.

For example:

>>> with prefixed_warnings("prefix:"):
>>>     logger.warning('Warning message!')  # => prefix: Warning message!

New in version 2.0.

i18n API

sphinx.locale.init(locale_dirs, language, catalog='sphinx', namespace='general')

Look for message catalogs in locale_dirs and ensure that there is at least a NullTranslations catalog set in translators.  If called multiple times or if several .mo files are found, their contents are merged together (thus making init reentrant).

sphinx.locale.init_console(locale_dir, catalog)

Initialize locale for console.

New in version 1.8.

sphinx.locale.get_translation(catalog, namespace='general')

Get a translation function based on the catalog and namespace.

The extension can use this API to translate the messages on the extension:

import os
from sphinx.locale import get_translation

_ = get_translation(__name__)
text = _('Hello Sphinx!')

def setup(app):
    package_dir = path.abspath(path.dirname(__file__))
    locale_dir = os.path.join(package_dir, 'locales')
    app.add_message_catalog(__name__, locale_dir)

With this code, sphinx searches a message catalog from ${package_dir}/locales/${language}/LC_MESSAGES/${__name__}.mo (ex. sphinxcontrib.applehelp.mo).  Of course, you can use arbitrary catalog name instead of __name__.  The language is used for the searching.

New in version 1.8.

sphinx.locale._(message, *args)

Translation function for messages on documentation (menu, labels, themes and so on). This function follows language setting.

sphinx.locale.__(message, *args)

Translation function for console messages This function follows locale setting (LC_ALL, LC_MESSAGES and so on).


Sphinx provides utility classes and functions to develop extensions.

Base classes for components

These base classes are useful to allow your extensions to obtain Sphinx components (e.g. Config, BuildEnvironment and so on) easily.


The subclasses of them might not work with bare docutils because they are strongly coupled with Sphinx.

class sphinx.transforms.SphinxTransform(document, startnode=None)

A base class of Transforms.

Compared with docutils.transforms.Transform, this class improves accessibility to Sphinx APIs.


Reference to the Sphinx object.


Reference to the Config object.


Reference to the BuildEnvironment object.

class sphinx.util.docutils.SphinxDirective(name, arguments, options, content, lineno, content_offset, block_text, state, state_machine)

A base class for Sphinx directives.

This class provides helper methods for Sphinx directives.


The subclasses of this class might not work with docutils. This class is strongly coupled with Sphinx.


Reference to the Config object.


Reference to the BuildEnvironment object.

class sphinx.util.docutils.SphinxRole

A base class for Sphinx roles.

This class provides helper methods for Sphinx roles.


The subclasses of this class might not work with docutils. This class is strongly coupled with Sphinx.


Reference to the Config object.

content = None

A list of strings, the directive content for customization


Reference to the BuildEnvironment object.

inliner = None

The docutils.parsers.rst.states.Inliner object.

lineno = None

The line number where the interpreted text begins.

name = None

The role name actually used in the document.

options = None

A dictionary of directive options for customization

rawtext = None

A string containing the entire interpreted text input.

text = None

The interpreted text content.

class sphinx.util.docutils.ReferenceRole

A base class for reference roles.

The reference roles can accpet link title <target> style as a text for the role.  The parsed result; link title and target will be stored to self.title and self.target.

has_explicit_title = None

A boolean indicates the role has explicit title or not.

target = None

The link target for the interpreted text.

title = None

The link title for the interpreted text.

class sphinx.transforms.post_transforms.images.ImageConverter(*args, **kwargs)

A base class for image converters.

An image converter is kind of Docutils transform module.  It is used to convert image files which does not supported by builder to appropriate format for that builder.

For example, LaTeX builder supports PDF, PNG and JPEG as image formats.  However it does not support SVG images. For such case, to use image converters allows to embed these unsupported images into the document.  One of image converters; sphinx.ext.imgconverter can convert a SVG image to PNG format using Imagemagick internally.

There are three steps to make your custom image converter:


Make a subclass of ImageConverter class


Override conversion_rules, is_available() and convert()


Register your image converter to Sphinx using Sphinx.add_post_transform()

convert(_from, _to)

Convert a image file to expected format.

_from is a path for source image file, and _to is a path for destination file.


Return the image converter is available or not.

conversion_rules = []

A conversion rules the image converter supports. It is represented as a list of pair of source image format (mimetype) and destination one:

conversion_rules = [
    ('image/svg+xml', 'image/png'),
    ('image/gif', 'image/png'),
    ('application/pdf', 'image/png'),

Deprecated APIs

On developing Sphinx, we are always careful to the compatibility of our APIs. But, sometimes, the change of interface are needed for some reasons.  In such cases, we’ve marked them as deprecated. And they are kept during the two major versions (for more details, please see deprecation-policy).

The following is a list of deprecated interfaces.

deprecated APIs

Target Deprecated (will be) Removed Alternatives
encoding argument of autodoc.Documenter.get_doc(), autodoc.DocstringSignatureMixin.get_doc(), autodoc.DocstringSignatureMixin._find_signature(), and autodoc.ClassDocumenter.get_doc() 2.0 4.0 N/A
arguments of EpubBuilder.build_mimetype(), EpubBuilder.build_container(), EpubBuilder.build_content(), EpubBuilder.build_toc() and EpubBuilder.build_epub() 2.0 4.0 N/A
arguments of Epub3Builder.build_navigation_doc() 2.0 4.0 N/A
nodetype argument of sphinx.search.WordCollector.is_meta_keywords() 2.0 4.0 N/A
suffix argument of BuildEnvironment.doc2path() 2.0 4.0 N/A
string style base argument of BuildEnvironment.doc2path() 2.0 4.0 os.path.join()
sphinx.addnodes.abbreviation 2.0 4.0 docutils.nodes.abbreviation
sphinx.builders.applehelp 2.0 4.0 sphinxcontrib.applehelp
sphinx.builders.devhelp 2.0 4.0 sphinxcontrib.devhelp
sphinx.builders.epub3.Epub3Builder.validate_config_value() 2.0 4.0 sphinx.builders.epub3.validate_config_values()
sphinx.builders.html.JSONHTMLBuilder 2.0 4.0 sphinx.builders.serializinghtml.JSONHTMLBuilder
sphinx.builders.html.PickleHTMLBuilder 2.0 4.0 sphinx.builders.serializinghtml.PickleHTMLBuilder
sphinx.builders.html.SerializingHTMLBuilder 2.0 4.0 sphinx.builders.serializinghtml.SerializingHTMLBuilder
sphinx.builders.html.SingleFileHTMLBuilder 2.0 4.0 sphinx.builders.singlehtml.SingleFileHTMLBuilder
sphinx.builders.html.WebHTMLBuilder 2.0 4.0 sphinx.builders.serializinghtml.PickleHTMLBuilder
sphinx.builders.htmlhelp 2.0 4.0 sphinxcontrib.htmlhelp
sphinx.builders.htmlhelp.HTMLHelpBuilder.open_file() 2.0 4.0 open()
sphinx.builders.qthelp 2.0 4.0 sphinxcontrib.qthelp
sphinx.cmd.quickstart.term_decode() 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.cmd.quickstart.TERM_ENCODING 2.0 4.0 sys.stdin.encoding
sphinx.config.check_unicode() 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.config.string_classes 2.0 4.0 [str]
sphinx.domains.cpp.DefinitionError.description 2.0 4.0 str(exc)
sphinx.domains.cpp.NoOldIdError.description 2.0 4.0 str(exc)
sphinx.domains.cpp.UnsupportedMultiCharacterCharLiteral.decoded 2.0 4.0 str(exc)
sphinx.ext.autosummary.Autosummary.warn() 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.ext.autosummary.Autosummary.genopt 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.ext.autosummary.Autosummary.warnings 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.ext.autosummary.Autosummary.result 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.ext.doctest.doctest_encode() 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.ext.jsmath 2.0 4.0 sphinxcontrib.jsmath
sphinx.roles.abbr_role() 2.0 4.0 sphinx.roles.Abbreviation
sphinx.roles.emph_literal_role() 2.0 4.0 sphinx.roles.EmphasizedLiteral
sphinx.roles.menusel_role() 2.0 4.0 sphinx.roles.GUILabel or sphinx.roles.MenuSelection
sphinx.roles.index_role() 2.0 4.0 sphinx.roles.Index
sphinx.roles.indexmarkup_role() 2.0 4.0 sphinx.roles.PEP or sphinx.roles.RFC
sphinx.testing.util.remove_unicode_literal() 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.util.attrdict 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.util.force_decode() 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.util.get_matching_docs() 2.0 4.0 sphinx.util.get_matching_files()
sphinx.util.inspect.Parameter 2.0 3.0 N/A
sphinx.util.jsonimpl 2.0 4.0 sphinxcontrib.serializinghtml.jsonimpl
sphinx.util.osutil.EEXIST 2.0 4.0 errno.EEXIST or FileExistsError
sphinx.util.osutil.EINVAL 2.0 4.0 errno.EINVAL
sphinx.util.osutil.ENOENT 2.0 4.0 errno.ENOENT or FileNotFoundError
sphinx.util.osutil.EPIPE 2.0 4.0 errno.ENOENT or BrokenPipeError
sphinx.util.osutil.walk() 2.0 4.0 os.walk()
sphinx.util.pycompat.NoneType 2.0 4.0 sphinx.util.typing.NoneType
sphinx.util.pycompat.TextIOWrapper 2.0 4.0 io.TextIOWrapper
sphinx.util.pycompat.UnicodeMixin 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.util.pycompat.htmlescape() 2.0 4.0 html.escape()
sphinx.util.pycompat.indent() 2.0 4.0 textwrap.indent()
sphinx.util.pycompat.sys_encoding 2.0 4.0 sys.getdefaultencoding()
sphinx.util.pycompat.terminal_safe() 2.0 4.0 sphinx.util.console.terminal_safe()
sphinx.util.pycompat.u 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.util.PeekableIterator 2.0 4.0 N/A
Omitting the filename argument in an overriddent IndexBuilder.feed() method. 2.0 4.0 IndexBuilder.feed(docname, filename, title, doctree)
sphinx.writers.latex.ExtBabel 2.0 4.0 sphinx.builders.latex.util.ExtBabel
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.babel_defmacro() 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.application.Sphinx._setting_up_extension 2.0 3.0 N/A
The importer argument of sphinx.ext.autodoc.importer._MockModule 2.0 3.0 N/A
sphinx.ext.autodoc.importer._MockImporter 2.0 3.0 N/A
sphinx.io.SphinxBaseFileInput 2.0 3.0 N/A
sphinx.io.SphinxFileInput.supported 2.0 3.0 N/A
sphinx.io.SphinxRSTFileInput 2.0 3.0 N/A
sphinx.registry.SphinxComponentRegistry.add_source_input() 2.0 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator._make_visit_admonition() 2.0 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.collect_footnotes() 2.0 4.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.texinfo.TexinfoTranslator._make_visit_admonition() 2.0 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.text.TextTranslator._make_depart_admonition() 2.0 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.generate_numfig_format() 2.0 4.0 N/A
highlightlang 1.8 4.0 highlight
add_stylesheet() 1.8 4.0 add_css_file()
add_javascript() 1.8 4.0 add_js_file()
autodoc_default_flags 1.8 4.0 autodoc_default_options
content arguments of sphinx.util.image.guess_mimetype() 1.8 3.0 N/A
gettext_compact arguments of sphinx.util.i18n.find_catalog_source_files() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.io.SphinxI18nReader.set_lineno_for_reporter() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.io.SphinxI18nReader.line 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.directives.other.VersionChanges 1.8 3.0 sphinx.domains.changeset.VersionChanges
sphinx.highlighting.PygmentsBridge.unhighlight() 1.8 3.0 N/A
trim_doctest_flags arguments of sphinx.highlighting.PygmentsBridge 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.ext.mathbase 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.ext.mathbase.MathDomain 1.8 3.0 sphinx.domains.math.MathDomain
sphinx.ext.mathbase.MathDirective 1.8 3.0 sphinx.directives.patches.MathDirective
sphinx.ext.mathbase.math_role() 1.8 3.0 docutils.parsers.rst.roles.math_role()
sphinx.ext.mathbase.setup_math() 1.8 3.0 add_html_math_renderer()
sphinx.ext.mathbase.is_in_section_title() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.ext.mathbase.get_node_equation_number() 1.8 3.0 sphinx.util.math.get_node_equation_number()
sphinx.ext.mathbase.wrap_displaymath() 1.8 3.0 sphinx.util.math.wrap_displaymath()
sphinx.ext.mathbase.math (node) 1.8 3.0 docutils.nodes.math
sphinx.ext.mathbase.displaymath (node) 1.8 3.0 docutils.nodes.math_block
sphinx.ext.mathbase.eqref (node) 1.8 3.0 sphinx.builders.latex.nodes.math_reference
viewcode_import (config value) 1.8 3.0 viewcode_follow_imported_members
sphinx.writers.latex.Table.caption_footnotetexts 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.Table.header_footnotetexts 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.footnotestack 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.in_container_literal_block 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.next_section_ids 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.next_hyperlink_ids 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.restrict_footnote() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.unrestrict_footnote() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.push_hyperlink_ids() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.pop_hyperlink_ids() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.bibitems 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.hlsettingstack 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.ExtBabel.get_shorthandoff() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.html.HTMLTranslator.highlightlang() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.html.HTMLTranslator.highlightlang_base() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.html.HTMLTranslator.highlightlangopts() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.html.HTMLTranslator.highlightlinenothreshold() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.html5.HTMLTranslator.highlightlang() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.html5.HTMLTranslator.highlightlang_base() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.html5.HTMLTranslator.highlightlangopts() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.html5.HTMLTranslator.highlightlinenothreshold() 1.8 3.0 N/A
sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.check_latex_elements() 1.8 3.0 Nothing
sphinx.application.CONFIG_FILENAME 1.8 3.0 sphinx.config.CONFIG_FILENAME
Config.check_unicode() 1.8 3.0 sphinx.config.check_unicode()
Config.check_types() 1.8 3.0 sphinx.config.check_confval_types()
dirname, filename and tags arguments of Config.__init__() 1.8 3.0 Config.read()
The value of html_search_options 1.8 3.0 see html_search_options
sphinx.versioning.prepare() 1.8 3.0 sphinx.versioning.UIDTransform
Sphinx.override_domain() 1.8 3.0 add_domain()
Sphinx.import_object() 1.8 3.0 sphinx.util.import_object()
suffix argument of add_source_parser() 1.8 3.0 add_source_suffix()
BuildEnvironment.load() 1.8 3.0 pickle.load()
BuildEnvironment.loads() 1.8 3.0 pickle.loads()
BuildEnvironment.frompickle() 1.8 3.0 pickle.load()
BuildEnvironment.dump() 1.8 3.0 pickle.dump()
BuildEnvironment.dumps() 1.8 3.0 pickle.dumps()
BuildEnvironment.topickle() 1.8 3.0 pickle.dump()
BuildEnvironment._nitpick_ignore 1.8 3.0 nitpick_ignore
BuildEnvironment.versionchanges 1.8 3.0 N/A
BuildEnvironment.update() 1.8 3.0 Builder.read()
BuildEnvironment.read_doc() 1.8 3.0 Builder.read_doc()
BuildEnvironment._read_serial() 1.8 3.0 Builder.read()
BuildEnvironment._read_parallel() 1.8 3.0 Builder.read()
BuildEnvironment.write_doctree() 1.8 3.0 Builder.write_doctree()
BuildEnvironment.note_versionchange() 1.8 3.0 ChangesDomain.note_changeset()
warn() (template helper function) 1.8 3.0 warning()
source_parsers 1.8 3.0 add_source_parser()
sphinx.util.docutils.directive_helper() 1.8 3.0 Directive class of docutils
sphinx.cmdline 1.8 3.0 sphinx.cmd.build
sphinx.make_mode 1.8 3.0 sphinx.cmd.make_mode
sphinx.locale.l_() 1.8 3.0 sphinx.locale._()
sphinx.locale.lazy_gettext() 1.8 3.0 sphinx.locale._()
sphinx.locale.mygettext() 1.8 3.0 sphinx.locale._()
sphinx.util.copy_static_entry() 1.5 3.0 sphinx.util.fileutil.copy_asset()
sphinx.build_main() 1.7 2.0 sphinx.cmd.build.build_main()
sphinx.ext.intersphinx.debug() 1.7 2.0 sphinx.ext.intersphinx.inspect_main()
sphinx.ext.autodoc.format_annotation() 1.7 2.0 sphinx.util.inspect.Signature
sphinx.ext.autodoc.formatargspec() 1.7 2.0 sphinx.util.inspect.Signature
sphinx.ext.autodoc.AutodocReporter 1.7 2.0 sphinx.util.docutils.switch_source_input()
sphinx.ext.autodoc.add_documenter() 1.7 2.0 add_autodocumenter()
sphinx.ext.autodoc.AutoDirective._register 1.7 2.0 add_autodocumenter()
AutoDirective._special_attrgetters 1.7 2.0 add_autodoc_attrgetter()
Sphinx.warn(), Sphinx.info() 1.6 2.0 logging-api
BuildEnvironment.set_warnfunc() 1.6 2.0 logging-api
BuildEnvironment.note_toctree() 1.6 2.0 Toctree.note() (in sphinx.environment.adapters.toctree)
BuildEnvironment.get_toc_for() 1.6 2.0 Toctree.get_toc_for() (in sphinx.environment.adapters.toctree)
BuildEnvironment.get_toctree_for() 1.6 2.0 Toctree.get_toctree_for() (in sphinx.environment.adapters.toctree)
BuildEnvironment.create_index() 1.6 2.0 IndexEntries.create_index() (in sphinx.environment.adapters.indexentries)
sphinx.websupport 1.6 2.0 sphinxcontrib-websupport
StandaloneHTMLBuilder.css_files 1.6 2.0 add_stylesheet()
document.settings.gettext_compact 1.8 1.8 gettext_compact
Sphinx.status_iterator() 1.6 1.7 sphinx.util.status_iterator()
Sphinx.old_status_iterator() 1.6 1.7 sphinx.util.old_status_iterator()
Sphinx._directive_helper() 1.6 1.7 sphinx.util.docutils.directive_helper()
sphinx.util.compat.Directive 1.6 1.7 docutils.parsers.rst.Directive
sphinx.util.compat.docutils_version 1.6 1.7 sphinx.util.docutils.__version_info__

On deprecating on public APIs (internal functions and classes), we also follow the policy as much as possible.

Extension Tutorials

Refer to the following tutorials to get started with extension development.

Developing a “Hello world” directive

The objective of this tutorial is to create a very basic extension that adds a new directive that outputs a paragraph containing hello world.

Only basic information is provided in this tutorial. For more information, refer to the other tutorials that go into more details.


For this extension, you will need some basic understanding of docutils and Python.

Creating a new extension file

Your extension file could be in any folder of your project. In our case, let’s do the following:


Create an _ext folder in source.


Create a new Python file in the _ext folder called helloworld.py.

Here is an example of the folder structure you might obtain:

└── source
    ├── _ext
    │   └── helloworld.py
    ├── _static
    ├── _themes
    ├── conf.py
    ├── somefolder
    ├── somefile.rst
    └── someotherfile.rst

Writing the extension

Open helloworld.py and paste the following code in it:

from docutils import nodes
from docutils.parsers.rst import Directive

class HelloWorld(Directive):
    def run(self):
        paragraph_node = nodes.paragraph(text='Hello World!')
        return [paragraph_node]

def setup(app):
    app.add_directive("helloworld", HelloWorld)

Some essential things are happening in this example, and you will see them in all directives:

Directive declaration

Our new directive is declared in the HelloWorld class, it extends docutilsDirective class. All extensions that create directives should extend this class.

run method

This method is a requirement and it is part of every directive. It contains the main logic of the directive and it returns a list of docutils nodes to be processed by Sphinx.



docutils nodes

The run method returns a list of nodes. Nodes are docutils’ way of representing the content of a document. There are many types of nodes available: text, paragraph, reference, table, etc.


The docutils documentation on nodes

The nodes.paragraph class creates a new paragraph node. A paragraph node typically contains some text that we can set during instantiation using the text parameter.

setup function

This function is a requirement. We use it to plug our new directive into Sphinx. The simplest thing you can do it call the app.add_directive method.


The first argument is the name of the directive itself as used in an rST file.

In our case, we would use helloworld:

Some intro text here...

.. helloworld::

Some more text here...

Updating the conf.py file

The extension file has to be declared in your conf.py file to make Sphinx aware of it:


Open conf.py. It is in the source folder by default.


Add sys.path.append(os.path.abspath("./_ext")) before the extensions variable declaration (if it exists).


Update or create the extensions list and add the extension file name to the list:


You can now use the extension.

Some intro text here...

.. helloworld::

Some more text here...

The sample above would generate:

Some intro text here...

Hello World!

Some more text here...

This is the very basic principle of an extension that creates a new directive.

For a more advanced example, refer to todo.

Further reading

You can create your own nodes if needed, refer to the todo for more information.

Developing a “TODO” extension

This section is intended as a walkthrough for the creation of custom extensions. It covers the basics of writing and activating an extension, as well as commonly used features of extensions.

As an example, we will cover a “todo” extension that adds capabilities to include todo entries in the documentation, and to collect these in a central place.  (A similar “todo” extension is distributed with Sphinx.)

Extension Design


To understand the design this extension, refer to important-objects and build-phases.

We want the extension to add the following to Sphinx:

  • A “todo” directive, containing some content that is marked with “Todo”, and only shown in the output if a new config value is set.  (Todo entries should not be in the output by default.)
  • A “todolist” directive that creates a list of all todo entries throughout the documentation.

For that, we will need to add the following elements to Sphinx:

  • New directives, called todo and todolist.
  • New document tree nodes to represent these directives, conventionally also called todo and todolist.  We wouldn’t need new nodes if the new directives only produced some content representable by existing nodes.
  • A new config value todo_include_todos (config value names should start with the extension name, in order to stay unique) that controls whether todo entries make it into the output.
  • New event handlers: one for the doctree-resolved event, to replace the todo and todolist nodes, and one for env-purge-doc (the reason for that will be covered later).

The Setup Function

The new elements are added in the extension’s setup function.  Let us create a new Python module called todo.py and add the setup function:

def setup(app):
    app.add_config_value('todo_include_todos', False, 'html')

                 html=(visit_todo_node, depart_todo_node),
                 latex=(visit_todo_node, depart_todo_node),
                 text=(visit_todo_node, depart_todo_node))

    app.add_directive('todo', TodoDirective)
    app.add_directive('todolist', TodolistDirective)
    app.connect('doctree-resolved', process_todo_nodes)
    app.connect('env-purge-doc', purge_todos)

    return {'version': '0.1'}   # identifies the version of our extension

The calls in this function refer to classes and functions not yet written.  What the individual calls do is the following:

  • add_config_value() lets Sphinx know that it should recognize the new config value todo_include_todos, whose default value should be False (this also tells Sphinx that it is a boolean value).

    If the third argument was 'html', HTML documents would be full rebuild if the config value changed its value.  This is needed for config values that influence reading (build phase 1).

  • add_node() adds a new node class to the build system.  It also can specify visitor functions for each supported output format.  These visitor functions are needed when the new nodes stay until phase 4 – since the todolist node is always replaced in phase 3, it doesn’t need any.

    We need to create the two node classes todo and todolist later.

  • add_directive() adds a new directive, given by name and class.

    The handler functions are created later.

  • Finally, connect() adds an event handler to the event whose name is given by the first argument.  The event handler function is called with several arguments which are documented with the event.

The Node Classes

Let’s start with the node classes:

from docutils import nodes

class todo(nodes.Admonition, nodes.Element):

class todolist(nodes.General, nodes.Element):

def visit_todo_node(self, node):

def depart_todo_node(self, node):

Node classes usually don’t have to do anything except inherit from the standard docutils classes defined in docutils.nodes.  todo inherits from Admonition because it should be handled like a note or warning, todolist is just a “general” node.


Many extensions will not have to create their own node classes and work fine with the nodes already provided by docutils and Sphinx.

The Directive Classes

A directive class is a class deriving usually from docutils.parsers.rst.Directive.  The directive interface is also covered in detail in the docutils documentation; the important thing is that the class should have attributes that configure the allowed markup, and a run method that returns a list of nodes.

The todolist directive is quite simple:

from docutils.parsers.rst import Directive

class TodolistDirective(Directive):

    def run(self):
        return [todolist('')]

An instance of our todolist node class is created and returned.  The todolist directive has neither content nor arguments that need to be handled.

The todo directive function looks like this:

from sphinx.locale import _

class TodoDirective(Directive):

    # this enables content in the directive
    has_content = True

    def run(self):
        env = self.state.document.settings.env

        targetid = "todo-%d" % env.new_serialno('todo')
        targetnode = nodes.target('', '', ids=[targetid])

        todo_node = todo('\n'.join(self.content))
        todo_node += nodes.title(_('Todo'), _('Todo'))
        self.state.nested_parse(self.content, self.content_offset, todo_node)

        if not hasattr(env, 'todo_all_todos'):
            env.todo_all_todos = []
            'docname': env.docname,
            'lineno': self.lineno,
            'todo': todo_node.deepcopy(),
            'target': targetnode,

        return [targetnode, todo_node]

Several important things are covered here. First, as you can see, you can refer to the build environment instance using self.state.document.settings.env.

Then, to act as a link target (from the todolist), the todo directive needs to return a target node in addition to the todo node.  The target ID (in HTML, this will be the anchor name) is generated by using env.new_serialno which returns a new unique integer on each call and therefore leads to unique target names.  The target node is instantiated without any text (the first two arguments).

On creating admonition node, the content body of the directive are parsed using self.state.nested_parse.  The first argument gives the content body, and the second one gives content offset.  The third argument gives the parent node of parsed result, in our case the todo node.

Then, the todo node is added to the environment.  This is needed to be able to create a list of all todo entries throughout the documentation, in the place where the author puts a todolist directive.  For this case, the environment attribute todo_all_todos is used (again, the name should be unique, so it is prefixed by the extension name).  It does not exist when a new environment is created, so the directive must check and create it if necessary.  Various information about the todo entry’s location are stored along with a copy of the node.

In the last line, the nodes that should be put into the doctree are returned: the target node and the admonition node.

The node structure that the directive returns looks like this:

| target node        |
| todo node          |
     | admonition title   |
     | paragraph          |
     | ...                |

The Event Handlers

Finally, let’s look at the event handlers.  First, the one for the env-purge-doc event:

def purge_todos(app, env, docname):
    if not hasattr(env, 'todo_all_todos'):
    env.todo_all_todos = [todo for todo in env.todo_all_todos
                          if todo['docname'] != docname]

Since we store information from source files in the environment, which is persistent, it may become out of date when the source file changes.  Therefore, before each source file is read, the environment’s records of it are cleared, and the env-purge-doc event gives extensions a chance to do the same. Here we clear out all todos whose docname matches the given one from the todo_all_todos list.  If there are todos left in the document, they will be added again during parsing.

The other handler belongs to the doctree-resolved event.  This event is emitted at the end of phase 3 and allows custom resolving to be done:

def process_todo_nodes(app, doctree, fromdocname):
    if not app.config.todo_include_todos:
        for node in doctree.traverse(todo):

    # Replace all todolist nodes with a list of the collected todos.
    # Augment each todo with a backlink to the original location.
    env = app.builder.env

    for node in doctree.traverse(todolist):
        if not app.config.todo_include_todos:

        content = []

        for todo_info in env.todo_all_todos:
            para = nodes.paragraph()
            filename = env.doc2path(todo_info['docname'], base=None)
            description = (
                _('(The original entry is located in %s, line %d and can be found ') %
                (filename, todo_info['lineno']))
            para += nodes.Text(description, description)

            # Create a reference
            newnode = nodes.reference('', '')
            innernode = nodes.emphasis(_('here'), _('here'))
            newnode['refdocname'] = todo_info['docname']
            newnode['refuri'] = app.builder.get_relative_uri(
                fromdocname, todo_info['docname'])
            newnode['refuri'] += '#' + todo_info['target']['refid']
            para += newnode
            para += nodes.Text('.)', '.)')

            # Insert into the todolist


It is a bit more involved.  If our new “todo_include_todos” config value is false, all todo and todolist nodes are removed from the documents.

If not, todo nodes just stay where and how they are.  Todolist nodes are replaced by a list of todo entries, complete with backlinks to the location where they come from.  The list items are composed of the nodes from the todo entry and docutils nodes created on the fly: a paragraph for each entry, containing text that gives the location, and a link (reference node containing an italic node) with the backreference.  The reference URI is built by app.builder.get_relative_uri which creates a suitable URI depending on the used builder, and appending the todo node’s (the target’s) ID as the anchor name.

Sphinx FAQ

This is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Sphinx.  Feel free to suggest new entries!

How do I…

… create PDF files without LaTeX?

rinohtype provides a PDF builder that can be used as a drop-in replacement for the LaTeX builder.

… get section numbers?

They are automatic in LaTeX output; for HTML, give a :numbered: option to the toctree directive where you want to start numbering.

… customize the look of the built HTML files?

Use themes, see /usage/theming.

… add global substitutions or includes?

Add them in the rst_prolog or rst_epilog config value.

… display the whole TOC tree in the sidebar?

Use the toctree callable in a custom layout template, probably in the sidebartoc block.

… write my own extension?

See the /development/tutorials/index.

… convert from my existing docs using MoinMoin markup?

The easiest way is to convert to xhtml, then convert xhtml to reST. You’ll still need to mark up classes and such, but the headings and code examples come through cleanly.

… create HTML slides from Sphinx documents?

See the “Hieroglyph” package at https://github.com/nyergler/hieroglyph.

For many more extensions and other contributed stuff, see the sphinx-contrib repository.

Using Sphinx with…

Read the Docs

https://readthedocs.org is a documentation hosting service based around Sphinx. They will host sphinx documentation, along with supporting a number of other features including version support, PDF generation, and more. The Getting Started guide is a good place to start.


There’s a third-party extension providing an api role which refers to Epydoc’s API docs for a given identifier.


Michael Jones is developing a reST/Sphinx bridge to doxygen called breathe.


Glenn Hutchings has written a SCons build script to build Sphinx documentation; it is hosted here: https://bitbucket.org/zondo/sphinx-scons


Jannis Leidel wrote a setuptools command that automatically uploads Sphinx documentation to the PyPI package documentation area at https://pythonhosted.org/.

GitHub Pages

Directories starting with underscores are ignored by default which breaks static files in Sphinx.  GitHub’s preprocessor can be disabled to support Sphinx HTML output properly.


See https://bitbucket.org/kevindunn/sphinx-wiki/wiki/Home, a project by Kevin Dunn.

Google Analytics

You can use a custom layout.html template, like this:

{% extends "!layout.html" %}

{%- block extrahead %}
{{ super() }}
<script type="text/javascript">
  var _gaq = _gaq || [];
  _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'XXX account number XXX']);
{% endblock %}

{% block footer %}
{{ super() }}
<div class="footer">This page uses <a href="https://analytics.google.com/">
Google Analytics</a> to collect statistics. You can disable it by blocking
the JavaScript coming from www.google-analytics.com.
<script type="text/javascript">
  (function() {
    var ga = document.createElement('script');
    ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ?
              'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
    ga.setAttribute('async', 'true');
{% endblock %}

Epub info

The following list gives some hints for the creation of epub files:

  • Split the text into several files. The longer the individual HTML files are, the longer it takes the ebook reader to render them.  In extreme cases, the rendering can take up to one minute.
  • Try to minimize the markup.  This also pays in rendering time.
  • For some readers you can use embedded or external fonts using the CSS @font-face directive.  This is extremely useful for code listings which are often cut at the right margin.  The default Courier font (or variant) is quite wide and you can only display up to 60 characters on a line.  If you replace it with a narrower font, you can get more characters on a line.  You may even use FontForge and create narrow variants of some free font.  In my case I get up to 70 characters on a line.

    You may have to experiment a little until you get reasonable results.

  • Test the created epubs. You can use several alternatives.  The ones I am aware of are Epubcheck, Calibre, FBreader (although it does not render the CSS), and Bookworm.  For Bookworm, you can download the source from https://code.google.com/archive/p/threepress and run your own local server.
  • Large floating divs are not displayed properly. If they cover more than one page, the div is only shown on the first page. In that case you can copy the epub.css from the sphinx/themes/epub/static/ directory to your local _static/ directory and remove the float settings.
  • Files that are inserted outside of the toctree directive must be manually included. This sometimes applies to appendixes, e.g. the glossary or the indices.  You can add them with the epub_post_files option.
  • The handling of the epub cover page differs from the reStructuredText procedure which automatically resolves image paths and puts the images into the _images directory.  For the epub cover page put the image in the html_static_path directory and reference it with its full path in the epub_cover config option.
  • kindlegen command can convert from epub3 resulting file to .mobi file for Kindle. You can get yourdoc.mobi under _build/epub after the following command:

    $ make epub
    $ kindlegen _build/epub/yourdoc.epub

    The kindlegen command doesn’t accept documents that have section titles surrounding toctree directive:

    Section Title
    .. toctree::
    Section After Toc Tree

    kindlegen assumes all documents order in line, but the resulting document has complicated order for kindlegen:

    ``parent.xhtml`` -> ``child.xhtml`` -> ``parent.xhtml``

    If you get the following error, fix your document structure:

    Error(prcgen):E24011: TOC section scope is not included in the parent chapter:(title)
    Error(prcgen):E24001: The table of content could not be built.

Texinfo info

There are two main programs for reading Info files, info and GNU Emacs.  The info program has less features but is available in most Unix environments and can be quickly accessed from the terminal.  Emacs provides better font and color display and supports extensive customization (of course).


The following notes may be helpful if you want to create Texinfo files:

  • Each section corresponds to a different node in the Info file.
  • Colons (:) cannot be properly escaped in menu entries and xrefs. They will be replaced with semicolons (;).
  • Links to external Info files can be created using the somewhat official URI scheme info.  For example:

  • Inline markup

    The standard formatting for *strong* and _emphasis_ can result in ambiguous output when used to markup parameter names and other values.  Since this is a fairly common practice, the default formatting has been changed so that emphasis and strong are now displayed like `literal's.

    The standard formatting can be re-enabled by adding the following to your conf.py:

    texinfo_elements = {'preamble': """
    @definfoenclose strong,*,*
    @definfoenclose emph,_,_



A class (inheriting from Builder) that takes parsed documents and performs an action on them.  Normally, builders translate the documents to an output format, but it is also possible to use the builder builders that e.g. check for broken links in the documentation, or build coverage information.

See /usage/builders/index for an overview over Sphinx’s built-in builders.

configuration directory

The directory containing conf.py.  By default, this is the same as the source directory, but can be set differently with the -c command-line option.


A reStructuredText markup element that allows marking a block of content with special meaning.  Directives are supplied not only by docutils, but Sphinx and custom extensions can add their own.  The basic directive syntax looks like this:

.. directivename:: argument ...
   :option: value

   Content of the directive.

See rst-directives for more information.

document name

Since reST source files can have different extensions (some people like .txt, some like .rst – the extension can be configured with source_suffix) and different OSes have different path separators, Sphinx abstracts them: document names are always relative to the source directory, the extension is stripped, and path separators are converted to slashes.  All values, parameters and such referring to “documents” expect such document names.

Examples for document names are index, library/zipfile, or reference/datamodel/types.  Note that there is no leading or trailing slash.


A domain is a collection of markup (reStructuredText directives and roles) to describe and link to objects belonging together, e.g. elements of a programming language.  Directive and role names in a domain have names like domain:name, e.g. py:function.

Having domains means that there are no naming problems when one set of documentation wants to refer to e.g. C++ and Python classes.  It also means that extensions that support the documentation of whole new languages are much easier to write.

For more information, refer to /usage/restructuredtext/domains.


A structure where information about all documents under the root is saved, and used for cross-referencing.  The environment is pickled after the parsing stage, so that successive runs only need to read and parse new and changed documents.


A custom role, directive or other aspect of Sphinx that allows users to modify any aspect of the build process within Sphinx.

For more information, refer to /usage/extensions/index.

master document

The document that contains the root toctree directive.


The basic building block of Sphinx documentation.  Every “object directive” (e.g. function or object) creates such a block; and most objects can be cross-referenced to.


The feature which is warned will be removed in Sphinx-XXX version. It usually caused from Sphinx extensions which is using deprecated. See also when-deprecation-warnings-are-displayed.


A reStructuredText markup element that allows marking a piece of text. Like directives, roles are extensible.  The basic syntax looks like this: :rolename:`content`.  See rst-inline-markup for details.

source directory

The directory which, including its subdirectories, contains all source files for one Sphinx project.


An easy-to-read, what-you-see-is-what-you-get plaintext markup syntax and parser system.

Sphinx Developer’s Guide


This document describes the development process of Sphinx, a documentation system used by developers to document systems used by other developers to develop other systems that may also be documented using Sphinx.

  • Bug Reports and Feature Requests
  • Contributing to Sphinx

    • Getting Started
    • Core Developers
    • Locale updates
  • Coding Guide

    • Debugging Tips
  • Branch Model
  • Deprecating a feature
  • Deprecation policy
  • Unit Testing

The Sphinx source code is managed using Git and is hosted on GitHub.

git clone git://github.com/sphinx-doc/sphinx

Community.INDENT 0.0

sphinx-users <sphinx-users@googlegroups.com>

Mailing list for user support.

sphinx-dev <sphinx-dev@googlegroups.com>

Mailing list for development related discussions.

#sphinx-doc on irc.freenode.net

IRC channel for development questions and user support.

Bug Reports and Feature Requests

If you have encountered a problem with Sphinx or have an idea for a new feature, please submit it to the issue tracker on GitHub or discuss it on the sphinx-dev mailing list.

For bug reports, please include the output produced during the build process and also the log file Sphinx creates after it encounters an unhandled exception.  The location of this file should be shown towards the end of the error message.

Including or providing a link to the source files involved may help us fix the issue.  If possible, try to create a minimal project that produces the error and post that instead.

Contributing to Sphinx

The recommended way for new contributors to submit code to Sphinx is to fork the repository on GitHub and then submit a pull request after committing the changes.  The pull request will then need to be approved by one of the core developers before it is merged into the main repository.


Check for open issues or open a fresh issue to start a discussion around a feature idea or a bug.


If you feel uncomfortable or uncertain about an issue or your changes, feel free to email the sphinx-dev mailing list.


Fork the repository on GitHub to start making your changes to the master branch for next MAJOR version, or X.Y branch for next MINOR version (see Branch Model).


Write a test which shows that the bug was fixed or that the feature works as expected.


Send a pull request and bug the maintainer until it gets merged and published. Make sure to add yourself to AUTHORS and the change to CHANGES.

Getting Started

These are the basic steps needed to start developing on Sphinx.


Create an account on GitHub.


Fork the main Sphinx repository (sphinx-doc/sphinx) using the GitHub interface.


Clone the forked repository to your machine.

git clone https://github.com/USERNAME/sphinx
cd sphinx

Checkout the appropriate branch.

Sphinx adopts Semantic Versioning 2.0.0 (refs: https://semver.org/ ).

For changes that preserves backwards-compatibility of API and features, they should be included in the next MINOR release, use the X.Y branch.

git checkout X.Y

For incompatible or other substantial changes that should wait until the next MAJOR release, use the master branch.

For urgent release, a new PATCH branch must be branched from the newest release tag (see Branch Model for detail).


Setup a virtual environment.

This is not necessary for unit testing, thanks to tox, but it is necessary if you wish to run sphinx-build locally or run unit tests without the help of tox.

virtualenv ~/.venv
. ~/.venv/bin/activate
pip install -e .

Create a new working branch.  Choose any name you like.

git checkout -b feature-xyz

Hack, hack, hack.

For tips on working with the code, see the Coding Guide.


Test, test, test.

Testing is best done through tox, which provides a number of targets and allows testing against multiple different Python environments:

  • To list all possible targets:

    tox -av
  • To run unit tests for a specific Python version, such as 3.6:

    tox -e py36
  • To run unit tests for a specific Python version and turn on deprecation warnings on so they’re shown in the test output:

    PYTHONWARNINGS=all tox -e py36
  • To run code style and type checks:

    tox -e mypy
    tox -e flake8
  • Arguments to pytest can be passed via tox, e.g. in order to run a particular test:

    tox -e py36 tests/test_module.py::test_new_feature
  • To build the documentation:

    tox -e docs
  • To build the documentation in multiple formats:

    tox -e docs -- -b html,latexpdf
  • To run JavaScript tests with Karma, execute the following commands (requires Node.js):

    npm install
    npm run test

You can also test by installing dependencies in your local environment.

pip install .[test]

New unit tests should be included in the tests directory where necessary:

  • For bug fixes, first add a test that fails without your changes and passes after they are applied.
  • Tests that need a sphinx-build run should be integrated in one of the existing test modules if possible.  New tests that to @with_app and then build_all for a few assertions are not good since the test suite should not take more than a minute to run.

Please add a bullet point to CHANGES if the fix or feature is not trivial (small doc updates, typo fixes).  Then commit:

git commit -m '#42: Add useful new feature that does this.'

GitHub recognizes certain phrases that can be used to automatically update the issue tracker.

For example:

git commit -m 'Closes #42: Fix invalid markup in docstring of Foo.bar.'

would close issue #42.


Push changes in the branch to your forked repository on GitHub.

git push origin feature-xyz

Submit a pull request from your branch to the respective branch (master or X.Y).


Wait for a core developer to review your changes.

Core Developers

The core developers of Sphinx have write access to the main repository.  They can commit changes, accept/reject pull requests, and manage items on the issue tracker.

You do not need to be a core developer or have write access to be involved in the development of Sphinx.  You can submit patches or create pull requests from forked repositories and have a core developer add the changes for you.

The following are some general guidelines for core developers:

  • Questionable or extensive changes should be submitted as a pull request instead of being committed directly to the main repository.  The pull request should be reviewed by another core developer before it is merged.
  • Trivial changes can be committed directly but be sure to keep the repository in a good working state and that all tests pass before pushing your changes.
  • When committing code written by someone else, please attribute the original author in the commit message and any relevant CHANGES entry.

Locale updates

The parts of messages in Sphinx that go into builds are translated into several locales.  The translations are kept as gettext .po files translated from the master template sphinx/locale/sphinx.pot.

Sphinx uses Babel to extract messages and maintain the catalog files.  It is integrated in setup.py:

  • Use python setup.py extract_messages to update the .pot template.
  • Use python setup.py update_catalog to update all existing language catalogs in sphinx/locale/*/LC_MESSAGES with the current messages in the template file.
  • Use python setup.py compile_catalog to compile the .po files to binary .mo files and .js files.

When an updated .po file is submitted, run compile_catalog to commit both the source and the compiled catalogs.

When a new locale is submitted, add a new directory with the ISO 639-1 language identifier and put sphinx.po in there.  Don’t forget to update the possible values for language in doc/config.rst.

The Sphinx core messages can also be translated on Transifex.  There exists a client tool named tx in the Python package “transifex_client”, which can be used to pull translations in .po format from Transifex.  To do this, go to sphinx/locale and then run tx pull -f -l LANG where LANG is an existing language identifier.  It is good practice to run python setup.py update_catalog afterwards to make sure the .po file has the canonical Babel formatting.

Coding Guide

  • Try to use the same code style as used in the rest of the project.  See the Pocoo Styleguide for more information.
  • For non-trivial changes, please update the CHANGES file.  If your changes alter existing behavior, please document this.
  • New features should be documented.  Include examples and use cases where appropriate.  If possible, include a sample that is displayed in the generated output.
  • When adding a new configuration variable, be sure to document it and update sphinx/cmd/quickstart.py if it’s important enough.
  • Add appropriate unit tests.

Debugging Tips

  • Delete the build cache before building documents if you make changes in the code by running the command make clean or using the sphinx-build -E option.
  • Use the sphinx-build -P option to run pdb on exceptions.
  • Use node.pformat() and node.asdom().toxml() to generate a printable representation of the document structure.
  • Set the configuration variable keep_warnings to True so warnings will be displayed in the generated output.
  • Set the configuration variable nitpicky to True so that Sphinx will complain about references without a known target.
  • Set the debugging options in the Docutils configuration file.
  • JavaScript stemming algorithms in sphinx/search/*.py (except en.py) are generated by this modified snowballcode generator. Generated JSX files are in this repository. You can get the resulting JavaScript files using the following command:

    npm install
    node_modules/.bin/grunt build # -> dest/*.global.js

Branch Model

Sphinx project uses following branches for developing that conforms to Semantic Versioning 2.0.0 (refs: https://semver.org/ ).


Development for MAJOR version. All changes including incompatible behaviors and public API updates are allowed.


Where X.Y is the MAJOR.MINOR release.  Used to maintain current MINOR release. All changes are allowed if the change preserves backwards-compatibility of API and features.

Only the most recent MAJOR.MINOR branch is currently retained. When a new MAJOR version is released, the old MAJOR.MINOR branch will be deleted and replaced by an equivalent tag.


Where X.Y.Z is the MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH release.  Only backwards-compatible bug fixes are allowed. In Sphinx project, PATCH version is used for urgent bug fix.

MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH branch will be branched from the v prefixed release tag (ex. make 2.3.1 that branched from v2.3.0) when a urgent release is needed. When new PATCH version is released, the branch will be deleted and replaced by an equivalent tag (ex. v2.3.1).

Deprecating a feature

There are a couple reasons that code in Sphinx might be deprecated:

  • If a feature has been improved or modified in a backwards-incompatible way, the old feature or behavior will be deprecated.
  • Sometimes Sphinx will include a backport of a Python library that’s not included in a version of Python that Sphinx currently supports. When Sphinx no longer needs to support the older version of Python that doesn’t include the library, the library will be deprecated in Sphinx.

As the Deprecation policy describes, the first release of Sphinx that deprecates a feature (A.B) should raise a RemovedInSphinxXXWarning (where XX is the Sphinx version where the feature will be removed) when the deprecated feature is invoked. Assuming we have good test coverage, these warnings are converted to errors when running the test suite with warnings enabled:

pytest -Wall

Thus, when adding a RemovedInSphinxXXWarning you need to eliminate or silence any warnings generated when running the tests.

Deprecation policy

MAJOR and MINOR releases may deprecate certain features from previous releases. If a feature is deprecated in a release A.x, it will continue to work in all A.x.x versions (for all versions of x). It will continue to work in all B.x.x versions but raise deprecation warnings. Deprecated features will be removed at the C.0.0. It means the deprecated feature will work during 2 MAJOR releases at least.

So, for example, if we decided to start the deprecation of a function in Sphinx 2.x:

  • Sphinx 2.x will contain a backwards-compatible replica of the function which will raise a RemovedInSphinx40Warning.
  • Sphinx 3.x will still contain the backwards-compatible replica.
  • Sphinx 4.0 will remove the feature outright.

The warnings are displayed by default. You can turn off display of these warnings with:

  • PYTHONWARNINGS= make html (Linux/Mac)
  • export PYTHONWARNINGS= and do make html (Linux/Mac)
  • set PYTHONWARNINGS= and do make html (Windows)

Unit Testing

Sphinx has been tested with pytest runner. Sphinx developers write unit tests using pytest notation. Utility functions and pytest fixtures for testing are provided in sphinx.testing. If you are a developer of Sphinx extensions, you can write unit tests with using pytest. At this time, sphinx.testing will help your test implementation.

How to use pytest fixtures that are provided by sphinx.testing? You can require 'sphinx.testing.fixtures' in your test modules or conftest.py files like this:

pytest_plugins = 'sphinx.testing.fixtures'

If you want to know more detailed usage, please refer to tests/conftest.py and other test_*.py files under tests directory.


Prior to Sphinx - 1.5.2, Sphinx was running the test with nose.

New in version 1.6: sphinx.testing as a experimental.

New in version 1.8: Sphinx also runs JavaScript tests.

Changes in Sphinx

Release 2.0.1 (released Apr 08, 2019)

Bugs fixed

  • LaTeX: some system labels are not translated
  • RemovedInSphinx30Warning is marked as pending
  • deprecation warnings are not emitted

    • sphinx.application.CONFIG_FILENAME
    • sphinx.builders.htmlhelp
    • viewcode_import
  • #6208: C++, properly parse full xrefs that happen to have a short xref as prefix.
  • #6220, #6225: napoleon: AttributeError is raised for raised section having references
  • #6245: circular import error on importing SerializingHTMLBuilder
  • #6243: LaTeX: ‘releasename’ setting for latex_elements is ignored
  • #6244: html: Search function is broken with 3rd party themes
  • #6263: html: HTML5Translator crashed with invalid field node
  • #6262: html theme: The style of field lists has changed in bizstyle theme

Release 2.0.0 (released Mar 29, 2019)



  • LaTeX builder now depends on TeX Live 2015 or above.
  • LaTeX builder (with 'pdflatex' latex_engine) will process Unicode Greek letters in text (not in math mark-up) via the text font and will not escape them to math mark-up. See the discussion of the 'fontenc' key of latex_elements; such (optional) support for Greek adds, for example on Ubuntu xenial, the texlive-lang-greek and (if default font set-up is not modified) cm-super(-minimal) as additional Sphinx LaTeX requirements.
  • LaTeX builder with latex_engine set to 'xelatex' or to 'lualatex' requires (by default) the FreeFont fonts, which in Ubuntu xenial are provided by package fonts-freefont-otf, and e.g. in Fedora 29 via package texlive-gnu-freefont.
  • requests 2.5.0 or above
  • The six package is no longer a dependency
  • The sphinxcontrib-websupport package is no longer a dependency
  • Some packages are separated to sub packages:

    • sphinxcontrib.applehelp
    • sphinxcontrib.devhelp
    • sphinxcontrib.htmlhelp
    • sphinxcontrib.jsmath
    • sphinxcontrib.serializinghtml
    • sphinxcontrib.qthelp

Incompatible changes


  • Drop python 2.7 and 3.4 support
  • Drop docutils 0.11 support
  • Drop features and APIs deprecated in 1.7.x
  • The default setting for master_doc is changed to 'index' which has been longly used as default of sphinx-quickstart.
  • LaTeX: Move message resources to sphinxmessage.sty
  • LaTeX: Stop using \captions<lang> macro for some labels
  • LaTeX: for 'xelatex' and 'lualatex', use the FreeFont OpenType fonts as default choice (refs: #5645)
  • LaTeX: 'xelatex' and 'lualatex' now use \small in code-blocks (due to FreeMono character width) like 'pdflatex' already did (due to Courier character width).  You may need to adjust this via latex_elements 'fvset' key, in case of usage of some other OpenType fonts (refs: #5768)
  • LaTeX: Greek letters in text are not escaped to math mode mark-up, and they will use the text font not the math font. The LGR font encoding must be added to the 'fontenc' key of latex_elements for this to work (only if it is needed by the document, of course).
  • LaTeX: setting the language to 'en' triggered Sonny option of fncychap, now it is Bjarne to match case of no language specified. (refs: #5772)
  • #5770: doctest: Follow highlight_language on highlighting doctest block.  As a result, they are highlighted as python3 by default.
  • The order of argument for HTMLTranslator, HTML5Translator and ManualPageTranslator are changed
  • LaTeX: hard-coded redefinitions of \l@section and \l@subsection formerly done during loading of 'manual' docclass get executed later, at time of \sphinxtableofcontents.  This means that custom user definitions from LaTeX preamble now get overwritten.  Use \sphinxtableofcontentshook to insert custom user definitions.  See latex-macros.
  • quickstart: Simplify generated conf.py
  • #4148: quickstart: some questions are removed.  They are still able to specify via command line options
  • websupport: unbundled from sphinx core. Please use sphinxcontrib-websupport
  • C++, the visibility of base classes is now always rendered as present in the input. That is, private is now shown, where it was ellided before.
  • LaTeX: graphics inclusion of oversized images rescales to not exceed the text width and height, even if width and/or height option were used. (refs: #5956)
  • epub: epub_title defaults to the project option
  • #4550: All tables and figures without align option are displayed to center
  • #4587: html: Output HTML5 by default


  • texinfo: image files are copied into name-figure directory



  • Support for evaluating Python 2 syntax is deprecated. This includes configuration files which should be converted to Python 3.
  • The arguments of EpubBuilder.build_mimetype(), EpubBuilder.build_container(), EpubBuilder.bulid_content(), EpubBuilder.build_toc() and EpubBuilder.build_epub()
  • The arguments of Epub3Builder.build_navigation_doc()
  • The config variables

    • html_experimental_html5_writer
  • The encoding argument of autodoc.Documenter.get_doc(), autodoc.DocstringSignatureMixin.get_doc(), autodoc.DocstringSignatureMixin._find_signature(), and autodoc.ClassDocumenter.get_doc() are deprecated.
  • The importer argument of sphinx.ext.autodoc.importer._MockModule
  • The nodetype argument of sphinx.search.WordCollector. is_meta_keywords()
  • The suffix argument of env.doc2path() is deprecated.
  • The string style base argument of env.doc2path() is deprecated.
  • The fallback to allow omitting the filename argument from an overridden IndexBuilder.feed() method is deprecated.
  • sphinx.addnodes.abbreviation
  • sphinx.application.Sphinx._setting_up_extension
  • sphinx.builders.epub3.Epub3Builder.validate_config_value()
  • sphinx.builders.html.SingleFileHTMLBuilder
  • sphinx.builders.htmlhelp.HTMLHelpBuilder.open_file()
  • sphinx.cmd.quickstart.term_decode()
  • sphinx.cmd.quickstart.TERM_ENCODING
  • sphinx.config.check_unicode()
  • sphinx.config.string_classes
  • sphinx.domains.cpp.DefinitionError.description
  • sphinx.domains.cpp.NoOldIdError.description
  • sphinx.domains.cpp.UnsupportedMultiCharacterCharLiteral.decoded
  • sphinx.ext.autodoc.importer._MockImporter
  • sphinx.ext.autosummary.Autosummary.warn()
  • sphinx.ext.autosummary.Autosummary.genopt
  • sphinx.ext.autosummary.Autosummary.warnings
  • sphinx.ext.autosummary.Autosummary.result
  • sphinx.ext.doctest.doctest_encode()
  • sphinx.io.SphinxBaseFileInput
  • sphinx.io.SphinxFileInput.supported
  • sphinx.io.SphinxRSTFileInput
  • sphinx.registry.SphinxComponentRegistry.add_source_input()
  • sphinx.roles.abbr_role()
  • sphinx.roles.emph_literal_role()
  • sphinx.roles.menusel_role()
  • sphinx.roles.index_role()
  • sphinx.roles.indexmarkup_role()
  • sphinx.testing.util.remove_unicode_literal()
  • sphinx.util.attrdict
  • sphinx.util.force_decode()
  • sphinx.util.get_matching_docs()
  • sphinx.util.inspect.Parameter
  • sphinx.util.jsonimpl
  • sphinx.util.osutil.EEXIST
  • sphinx.util.osutil.EINVAL
  • sphinx.util.osutil.ENOENT
  • sphinx.util.osutil.EPIPE
  • sphinx.util.osutil.walk()
  • sphinx.util.PeekableIterator
  • sphinx.util.pycompat.NoneType
  • sphinx.util.pycompat.TextIOWrapper
  • sphinx.util.pycompat.UnicodeMixin
  • sphinx.util.pycompat.htmlescape
  • sphinx.util.pycompat.indent
  • sphinx.util.pycompat.sys_encoding
  • sphinx.util.pycompat.terminal_safe()
  • sphinx.util.pycompat.u
  • sphinx.writers.latex.ExtBabel
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator._make_visit_admonition()
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.babel_defmacro()
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.collect_footnotes()
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.generate_numfig_format()
  • sphinx.writers.texinfo.TexinfoTranslator._make_visit_admonition()
  • sphinx.writers.text.TextTranslator._make_depart_admonition()
  • template variables for LaTeX template

    • logo
    • numfig_format
    • pageautorefname
    • translatablestrings

For more details, see deprecation APIs list.

Features added


  • #1618: The search results preview of generated HTML documentation is reader-friendlier: instead of showing the snippets as raw reStructuredText markup, Sphinx now renders the corresponding HTML.  This means the Sphinx extension Sphinx: pretty search results is no longer necessary.  Note that changes to the search function of your custom or 3rd-party HTML template might overwrite this improvement.
  • #4182: autodoc: Support suppress_warnings
  • #5533: autodoc: autodoc_default_options supports member-order
  • #5394: autodoc: Display readable names in type annotations for mocked objects
  • #5459: autodoc: autodoc_default_options accepts True as a value
  • #1148: autodoc: Add autodecorator directive for decorators
  • #5635: autosummary: Add autosummary_mock_imports to mock external libraries on importing targets
  • #4018: htmlhelp: Add htmlhelp_file_suffix and htmlhelp_link_suffix
  • #5559: text: Support complex tables (colspan and rowspan)
  • LaTeX: support rendering (not in math, yet) of Greek and Cyrillic Unicode letters in non-Cyrillic document even with 'pdflatex' as latex_engine (refs: #5645)
  • #5660: The versionadded, versionchanged and deprecated directives are now generated with their own specific CSS classes (added, changed and deprecated, respectively) in addition to the generic versionmodified class.
  • #5841: apidoc: Add –extensions option to sphinx-apidoc
  • #4981: C++, added an alias directive for inserting lists of declarations, that references existing declarations (e.g., for making a synopsis).
  • C++: add cpp:struct to complement cpp:class.
  • #1341 the HTML search considers words that contain a search term of length three or longer a match.
  • #4611: epub: Show warning for duplicated ToC entries
  • #1851: Allow to omit an argument for code-block directive.  If omitted, it follows highlight or highlight_language
  • #4587: html: Add html4_writer to use old HTML4 writer
  • #6016: HTML search: A placeholder for the search summary prevents search result links from changing their position when the search terminates.  This makes navigating search results easier.
  • #5196: linkcheck also checks remote images exist
  • #5924: githubpages: create CNAME file for custom domains when html_baseurl set
  • #4261: autosectionlabel: restrict the labeled sections by new config value; autosectionlabel_maxdepth

Bugs fixed


  • #1682: LaTeX: writer should not translate Greek unicode, but use textgreek package
  • #5247: LaTeX: PDF does not build with default font config for Russian language and 'xelatex' or 'lualatex' as latex_engine (refs: #5251)
  • #5248: LaTeX: Greek letters in section titles disappear from PDF bookmarks
  • #5249: LaTeX: Unicode Greek letters in math directive break PDF build (fix requires extra set-up, see latex_elements 'textgreek' key and/or latex_engine setting)
  • #5772: LaTeX: should the Bjarne style of fncychap be used for English also if passed as language option?
  • #5179: LaTeX: (lualatex only) escaping of > by \textgreater{} is not enough as \textgreater{}\textgreater{} applies TeX-ligature
  • LaTeX: project name is not escaped if latex_documents omitted
  • LaTeX: authors are not shown if latex_documents omitted
  • HTML: Invalid HTML5 file is generated for a glossary having multiple terms for one description (refs: #4611)
  • QtHelp: OS dependent path separator is used in .qhp file
  • HTML search: search always returns nothing when multiple search terms are used and one term is shorter than three characters


  • #6096: html: Anchor links are not added to figures
  • #3620: html: Defer searchindex.js rather than loading it via ajax
  • #6113: html: Table cells and list items have large margins
  • #5508: linenothreshold option for highlight directive was ignored
  • texinfo: make install-info causes syntax error
  • texinfo: make install-info fails on macOS
  • #3079: texinfo: image files are not copied on make install-info
  • #5391: A cross reference in heading is rendered as literal
  • #5946: C++, fix cpp:alias problems in LaTeX (and singlehtml)
  • #6147: classes attribute of citation_reference node is lost
  • AssertionError is raised when custom citation_reference node having classes attribute refers missing citation (refs: #6147)
  • #2155: Support code directive
  • C++, fix parsing of braced initializers.
  • #6172: AttributeError is raised for old styled index nodes
  • #4872: inheritance_diagram: correctly describe behavior of parts option in docs, allow negative values.
  • #6178: i18n: Captions missing in translations for hidden TOCs

2.0.0 final

  • #6196: py domain: unexpected prefix is generated



  • Stop to use SPHINX_TEST_TEMPDIR envvar


  • Add a helper function: sphinx.testing.restructuredtext.parse()

Release 1.8.5 (released Mar 10, 2019)

Bugs fixed

  • LaTeX: Remove extraneous space after author names on PDF title page (refs: #6004)
  • #6026: LaTeX: A cross reference to definition list does not work
  • #6046: LaTeX: TypeError is raised when invalid latex_elements given
  • #6067: LaTeX: images having a target are concatenated to next line
  • #6067: LaTeX: images having a target are not aligned even if specified
  • #6149: LaTeX: :index: role in titles causes Use of \@icentercr doesn't match its definition error on latexpdf build
  • #6019: imgconverter: Including multipage PDF fails
  • #6047: autodoc: autofunction emits a warning for method objects
  • #6028: graphviz: Ensure the graphviz filenames are reproducible
  • #6068: doctest: skipif option may remove the code block from documentation
  • #6136: :name: option for math directive causes a crash
  • #6139: intersphinx: ValueError on failure reporting
  • #6135: changes: Fix UnboundLocalError when any module found
  • #3859: manpage: code-block captions are not displayed correctly

Release 1.8.4 (released Feb 03, 2019)

Bugs fixed

  • #3707: latex: no bold checkmark (✔) available.
  • #5605: with the documentation language set to Chinese, English words could not be searched.
  • #5889: LaTeX: user numfig_format is stripped of spaces and may cause build failure
  • C++, fix hyperlinks for declarations involving east cv-qualifiers.
  • #5755: C++, fix duplicate declaration error on function templates with constraints in the return type.
  • C++, parse unary right fold expressions and binary fold expressions.
  • pycode could not handle egg files on windows
  • #5928: KeyError: ‘DOCUTILSCONFIG’ when running build
  • #5936: LaTeX: PDF build broken by inclusion of image taller than page height in an admonition
  • #5231: “make html” does not read and build “po” files in “locale” dir
  • #5954: :scale: image option may break PDF build if image in an admonition
  • #5966: mathjax has not been loaded on incremental build
  • #5960: LaTeX: modified PDF layout since September 2018 TeXLive update of parskip.sty
  • #5948: LaTeX: duplicated labels are generated for sections
  • #5958: versionadded directive causes crash with Python 3.5.0
  • #5995: autodoc: autodoc_mock_imports conflict with metaclass on Python 3.7
  • #5871: texinfo: a section title . is not allowed

Release 1.8.3 (released Dec 26, 2018)

Features added

  • LaTeX: it is possible to insert custom material to appear on back of title page, see discussion of 'maketitle' key of latex_elements ('manual' docclass only)

Bugs fixed

  • #5725: mathjax: Use CDN URL for “latest” version by default
  • #5460: html search does not work with some 3rd party themes
  • #5520: LaTeX, caption package incompatibility since Sphinx 1.6
  • #5614: autodoc: incremental build is broken when builtin modules are imported
  • #5627: qthelp: index.html missing in QtHelp
  • #5659: linkcheck: crashes for a hyperlink containing multibyte character
  • #5754: DOC: Fix some mistakes in /latex
  • #5810: LaTeX: sphinxVerbatim requires explicit “hllines” set-up since 1.6.6 (refs: #1238)
  • #5636: C++, fix parsing of floating point literals.
  • #5496 (again): C++, fix assertion in partial builds with duplicates.
  • #5724: quickstart: sphinx-quickstart fails when $LC_ALL is empty
  • #1956: Default conf.py is not PEP8-compliant
  • #5849: LaTeX: document class \maketitle is overwritten with no possibility to use original meaning in place of Sphinx custom one
  • #5834: apidoc: wrong help for --tocfile
  • #5800: todo: crashed if todo is defined in TextElement
  • #5846: htmlhelp: convert hex escaping to decimal escaping in .hhc/.hhk files
  • htmlhelp: broken .hhk file generated when title contains a double quote

Release 1.8.2 (released Nov 11, 2018)

Incompatible changes

  • #5497: Do not include MathJax.js and jsmath.js unless it is really needed

Features added

  • #5471: Show appropriate deprecation warnings

Bugs fixed

  • #5490: latex: enumerated list causes a crash with recommonmark
  • #5492: sphinx-build fails to build docs w/ Python < 3.5.2
  • #3704: latex: wrong \label positioning for figures with a legend
  • #5496: C++, fix assertion when a symbol is declared more than twice.
  • #5493: gettext: crashed with broken template
  • #5495: csv-table directive with file option in included file is broken (refs: #4821)
  • #5498: autodoc: unable to find type hints for a functools.partial
  • #5480: autodoc: unable to find type hints for unresolvable Forward references
  • #5419: incompatible math_block node has been generated
  • #5548: Fix ensuredir() in case of pre-existing file
  • #5549: graphviz Correctly deal with non-existing static dir
  • #3002: i18n: multiple footnote_references referring same footnote cause duplicated node_ids
  • #5563: latex: footnote_references generated by extension causes a LaTeX builder crash
  • #5561: make all-pdf fails with old xindy version
  • #5557: quickstart: –no-batchfile isn’t honored
  • #3080: texinfo: multiline rubrics are broken
  • #3080: texinfo: multiline citations are broken

Release 1.8.1 (released Sep 22, 2018)

Incompatible changes

  • LaTeX \pagestyle commands have been moved to the LaTeX template. No changes in PDF, except possibly if \sphinxtableofcontents, which contained them, had been customized in conf.py. (refs: #5455)

Bugs fixed

  • #5418: Incorrect default path for sphinx-build -d/doctrees files
  • #5421: autodoc emits deprecation warning for autodoc_default_flags
  • #5422: lambda object causes PicklingError on storing environment
  • #5417: Sphinx fails to build with syntax error in Python 2.7.5
  • #4911: add latexpdf to make.bat for non make-mode
  • #5436: Autodoc does not work with enum subclasses with properties/methods
  • #5437: autodoc: crashed on modules importing eggs
  • #5433: latex: ImportError: cannot import name ‘DEFAULT_SETTINGS’
  • #5431: autodoc: autofunction emits a warning for callable objects
  • #5457: Fix TypeError in error message when override is prohibited
  • #5453: PDF builds of ‘howto’ documents have no page numbers
  • #5463: mathbase: math_role and MathDirective was disappeared in 1.8.0
  • #5454: latex: Index has disappeared from PDF for Japanese documents
  • #5432: py domain: :type: field can’t process :term: references
  • #5426: py domain: TypeError has been raised for class attribute

Release 1.8.0 (released Sep 13, 2018)



  • LaTeX: latex_use_xindy, if True (default for xelatex/lualatex), instructs make latexpdf to use xindy for general index.  Make sure your LaTeX distribution includes it. (refs: #5134)
  • LaTeX: latexmk is required for make latexpdf on Windows

Incompatible changes


  • #5282: html theme: refer pygments_style settings of HTML themes preferentially
  • The URL of download files are changed
  • #5127: quickstart: Makefile and make.bat are not overwritten if exists


  • #5156: the sphinx.ext.graphviz: extension runs `dot in the directory of the document being built instead of in the root directory of the documentation.
  • #4460: extensions which stores any data to environment should return the version of its env data structure as metadata.  In detail, please see ext-metadata.
  • Sphinx expects source parser modules to have supported file formats as Parser.supported attribute
  • The default value of epub_author and epub_publisher are changed from 'unknown' to the value of author.  This is same as a conf.py file sphinx-build generates.
  • The gettext_compact attribute is removed from document.settings object.  Please use config.gettext_compact instead.
  • The processing order on reading phase is changed.  smart_quotes, sphinx domains, doctree-read event and versioning doctrees are invoked earlier than so far.  For more details, please read a description of Sphinx.add_transform()
  • #4827: All substitution_definition nodes are removed from doctree on reading phase
  • docutils.conf in $HOME or /etc directories are ignored.  Only docutils.conf from confdir is obeyed.
  • #789: :samp: role supports to escape curly braces with backslash
  • #4811: The files under html_static_path are excluded from source files.
  • latex: Use \sphinxcite for citation references instead \hyperref
  • The config value viewcode_import is renamed to viewcode_follow_imported_members (refs: #4035)
  • #1857: latex: latex_show_pagerefs does not add pagerefs for citations
  • #4648: latex: Now “rubric” elements are rendered as unnumbered section title
  • #4983: html: The anchor for productionlist tokens has been changed
  • Modifying a template variable script_files in templates is allowed now. Please use app.add_js_file() instead.
  • #5072: Save environment object also with only new documents
  • #5035: qthelp builder allows dashes in qthelp_namespace
  • LaTeX: with lualatex or xelatex use by default xindy as UTF-8 able replacement of makeindex (refs: #5134).  After upgrading Sphinx, please clean latex build repertory of existing project before new build.
  • #5163: html: hlist items are now aligned to top
  • highlightlang directive is processed on resolving phase
  • #4000: LaTeX: template changed.  Following elements moved to it:

    • \begin{document}
    • shorthandoff variable
    • maketitle variable
    • tableofcontents variable



  • sphinx.io.SphinxI18nReader.set_lineno_for_reporter() is deprecated
  • sphinx.io.SphinxI18nReader.line is deprecated
  • sphinx.util.i18n.find_catalog_source_file() has changed; the gettext_compact argument has been deprecated
  • #5403: sphinx.util.images.guess_mimetype() has changed; the content argument has been deprecated


  • source_parsers is deprecated
  • autodoc_default_flags is deprecated
  • quickstart: --epub option becomes default, so it is deprecated
  • Drop function based directive support.  For now, Sphinx only supports class based directives (see Directive)
  • sphinx.util.docutils.directive_helper() is deprecated
  • sphinx.cmdline is deprecated
  • sphinx.make_mode is deprecated
  • sphinx.locale.l_() is deprecated
  • #2157: helper function warn() for HTML themes is deprecated
  • app.override_domain() is deprecated
  • app.add_stylesheet() is deprecated
  • app.add_javascript() is deprecated
  • app.import_object() is deprecated
  • app.add_source_parser() has changed;  the suffix argument has been deprecated
  • sphinx.versioning.prepare() is deprecated
  • Config.__init__() has changed;  the dirname, filename and tags argument has been deprecated
  • Config.check_types() is deprecated
  • Config.check_unicode() is deprecated
  • sphinx.application.CONFIG_FILENAME is deprecated
  • highlightlang directive is deprecated
  • BuildEnvironment.load() is deprecated
  • BuildEnvironment.loads() is deprecated
  • BuildEnvironment.frompickle() is deprecated
  • env.read_doc() is deprecated
  • env.update() is deprecated
  • env._read_serial() is deprecated
  • env._read_parallel() is deprecated
  • env.write_doctree() is deprecated
  • env._nitpick_ignore is deprecated
  • env.versionchanges is deprecated
  • env.dump() is deprecated
  • env.dumps() is deprecated
  • env.topickle() is deprecated
  • env.note_versionchange() is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.Table.caption_footnotetexts is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.Table.header_footnotetexts is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.footnotestack is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.in_container_literal_block is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.next_section_ids is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.next_hyperlink_ids is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.restrict_footnote() is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.unrestrict_footnote() is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.push_hyperlink_ids() is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.pop_hyperlink_ids() is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.check_latex_elements() is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.bibitems is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.LaTeXTranslator.hlsettingstack is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.latex.ExtBabel.get_shorthandoff() is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.html.HTMLTranslator.highlightlang is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.html.HTMLTranslator.highlightlang_base is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.html.HTMLTranslator.highlightlangopts is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.html.HTMLTranslator.highlightlinenothreshold is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.html5.HTMLTranslator.highlightlang is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.html5.HTMLTranslator.highlightlang_base is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.html5.HTMLTranslator.highlightlangopts is deprecated
  • sphinx.writers.html5.HTMLTranslator.highlightlinenothreshold is deprecated
  • sphinx.ext.mathbase extension is deprecated
  • sphinx.ext.mathbase.math node is deprecated
  • sphinx.ext.mathbase.displaymath node is deprecated
  • sphinx.ext.mathbase.eqref node is deprecated
  • sphinx.ext.mathbase.is_in_section_title() is deprecated
  • sphinx.ext.mathbase.MathDomain is deprecated
  • sphinx.ext.mathbase.MathDirective is deprecated
  • sphinx.ext.mathbase.math_role is deprecated
  • sphinx.ext.mathbase.setup_math() is deprecated
  • sphinx.directives.other.VersionChanges is deprecated
  • sphinx.highlighting.PygmentsBridge.unhighlight() is deprecated
  • sphinx.ext.mathbase.get_node_equation_number() is deprecated
  • sphinx.ext.mathbase.wrap_displaymath() is deprecated
  • The trim_doctest_flags argument of sphinx.highlighting.PygmentsBridge is deprecated

For more details, see deprecation APIs list

Features added


  • #5388: Ensure frozen object descriptions are reproducible
  • #5362: apidoc: Add --tocfile option to change the filename of ToC


  • Add config-inited event
  • Add sphinx.config.Any to represent the config value accepts any type of value
  • source_suffix allows a mapping fileext to file types
  • Add author as a configuration value
  • #2852: imgconverter: Support to convert GIF to PNG
  • sphinx-build command supports i18n console output
  • Add app.add_message_catalog() and sphinx.locale.get_translations() to support translation for 3rd party extensions
  • helper function warning() for HTML themes is added
  • Add Domain.enumerable_nodes to manage own enumerable nodes for domains (experimental)
  • Add a new keyword argument override to Application APIs
  • LaTeX: new key 'fvset' for latex_elements. For XeLaTeX/LuaLaTeX its default sets fanvyvrb to use normal, not small, fontsize in code-blocks (refs: #4793)
  • Add html_css_files and epub_css_files for adding CSS files from configuration
  • Add html_js_files for adding JS files from configuration
  • #4834: Ensure set object descriptions are reproducible.
  • #4828: Allow to override numfig_format partially.  Full definition is not needed.
  • Improve warning messages during including (refs: #4818)
  • LaTeX: separate customizability of guilabel and menuselection (refs: #4830)
  • Add Config.read() classmethod to create a new config object from configuration file
  • #4866: Wrap graphviz diagrams in <div> tag
  • viewcode: Add viewcode-find-source and viewcode-follow-imported to load source code without loading
  • #4785: napoleon: Add strings to translation file for localisation
  • #4927: Display a warning when invalid values are passed to linenothreshold option of highlight directive
  • C++:

    • Add a cpp:texpr role as a sibling to cpp:expr.
    • Add support for unions.
    • #3593, #2683: add support for anonymous entities using names staring with @.
    • #5147: add support for (most) character literals.
    • Cross-referencing entities inside primary templates is supported, and now properly documented.
    • #1552: add new cross-referencing format for cpp:any and cpp:func roles, for referencing specific function overloads.
  • #3606: MathJax should be loaded with async attribute
  • html: Output canonical_url metadata if html_baseurl set (refs: #4193)
  • #5029: autosummary: expose inherited_members to template
  • #3784: mathjax: Add mathjax_options to give options to script tag for mathjax
  • #4362: latex: Don’t overwrite .tex file if document not changed
  • #1431: latex: Add alphanumeric enumerated list support
  • Add latex_use_xindy for UTF-8 savvy indexing, defaults to True if latex_engine is 'xelatex' or 'lualatex'. (refs: #5134, #5192, #5212)
  • #4976: SphinxLoggerAdapter.info() now supports location parameter
  • #5122: setuptools: support nitpicky option
  • #2820: autoclass directive supports nested class
  • Add app.add_html_math_renderer() to register a math renderer for HTML
  • Apply trim_doctest_flags to all builders (cf. text, manpages)
  • #5140: linkcheck: Add better Accept header to HTTP client
  • #4614: sphinx-build: Add --keep-going option to show all warnings
  • Add math:numref role to refer equations (Same as eq)
  • quickstart: epub builder is enabled by default
  • #5246: Add singlehtml_sidebars to configure sidebars for singlehtml builder
  • #5273: doctest: Skip doctest conditionally
  • #5306: autodoc: emit a warning for invalid typehints
  • #4075, #5215: autodoc: Add autodoc_default_options which accepts option values as dict

Bugs fixed


  • html: search box overrides to other elements if scrolled
  • i18n: warnings for translation catalogs have wrong line numbers (refs: #5321)
  • #5325: latex: cross references has been broken by multiply labeled objects
  • C++, fixes for symbol addition and lookup. Lookup should no longer break in partial builds. See also #5337.
  • #5348: download reference to remote file is not displayed
  • #5282: html theme: pygments_style of theme was overridden by conf.py by default
  • #4379: toctree shows confusing warning when document is excluded
  • #2401: autodoc: :members: causes :special-members: not to be shown
  • autodoc: ImportError is replaced by AttributeError for deeper module
  • #2720, #4034: Incorrect links with :download:, duplicate names, and parallel builds
  • #5290: autodoc: failed to analyze source code in egg package
  • #5399: Sphinx crashes if unknown po file exists


  • i18n: message catalogs were reset on each initialization
  • #4850: latex: footnote inside footnote was not rendered
  • #4945: i18n: fix lang_COUNTRY not fallback correctly for IndexBuilder. Thanks to Shengjing Zhu.
  • #4983: productionlist directive generates invalid IDs for the tokens
  • #5132: (lualatex) PDF build fails if indexed word starts with Unicode character
  • #5133: latex: index headings “Symbols” and “Numbers” not internationalized
  • #5114: sphinx-build: Handle errors on scanning documents
  • epub: spine has been broken when “self” is listed on toctree (refs: #4611)
  • #344: autosummary does not understand docstring of module level attributes
  • #5191: C++, prevent nested declarations in functions to avoid lookup problems.
  • #5126: C++, add missing isPack method for certain template parameter types.
  • #5187: C++, parse attributes on declarators as well.
  • C++, parse delete expressions and basic new expressions as well.
  • #5002: graphviz: SVGs do not adapt to the column width

Features removed


  • sphinx.ext.pngmath extension



  • #5083: Fix wrong make.bat option for internationalization.
  • #5115: napoleon: add admonitions added by #4613 to the docs.

Release 1.7.9 (released Sep 05, 2018)

Features added

  • #5359: Make generated texinfo files reproducible by sorting the anchors

Bugs fixed

  • #5361: crashed on incremental build if document uses include directive

Release 1.7.8 (released Aug 29, 2018)

Incompatible changes

  • The type of env.included has been changed to dict of set

Bugs fixed

  • #5320: intersphinx: crashed if invalid url given
  • #5326: manpage: crashed when invalid docname is specified as man_pages
  • #5322: autodoc: Any typehint causes formatting error
  • #5327: “document isn’t included in any toctree” warning on rebuild with generated files
  • #5335: quickstart: escape sequence has been displayed with MacPorts’ python

Release 1.7.7 (released Aug 19, 2018)

Bugs fixed

  • #5198: document not in toctree warning when including files only for parallel builds
  • LaTeX: reduce “Token not allowed in a PDF string” hyperref warnings in latex console output (refs: #5236)
  • LaTeX: suppress “remreset Warning: The remreset package is obsolete” in latex console output with recent LaTeX (refs: #5237)
  • #5234: PDF output: usage of PAPER environment variable is broken since Sphinx 1.5
  • LaTeX: fix the latex_engine documentation regarding Latin Modern font with XeLaTeX/LuaLateX (refs: #5251)
  • #5280: autodoc: Fix wrong type annotations for complex typing
  • autodoc: Optional types are wrongly rendered
  • #5291: autodoc crashed by ForwardRef types
  • #5211: autodoc: No docs generated for functools.partial functions
  • #5306: autodoc: getargspec() raises NameError for invalid typehints
  • #5298: imgmath: math_number_all causes equations to have two numbers in html
  • #5294: sphinx-quickstart blank prompts in PowerShell

Release 1.7.6 (released Jul 17, 2018)

Bugs fixed

  • #5037: LaTeX \sphinxupquote{} breaks in Russian
  • sphinx.testing uses deprecated pytest API; Node.get_marker(name)
  • #5016: crashed when recommonmark.AutoStrictify is enabled
  • #5022: latex: crashed with docutils package provided by Debian/Ubuntu
  • #5009: latex: a label for table is vanished if table does not have a caption
  • #5048: crashed with numbered toctree
  • #2410: C, render empty argument lists for macros.
  • C++, fix lookup of full template specializations with no template arguments.
  • #4667: C++, fix assertion on missing references in global scope when using intersphinx. Thanks to Alan M. Carroll.
  • #5019: autodoc: crashed by Form Feed Character
  • #5032: autodoc: loses the first staticmethod parameter for old styled classes
  • #5036: quickstart: Typing Ctrl-U clears the whole of line
  • #5066: html: “relations” sidebar is not shown by default
  • #5091: latex: curly braces in index entries are not handled correctly
  • #5070: epub: Wrong internal href fragment links
  • #5104: apidoc: Interface of sphinx.apidoc:main() has changed
  • #4272: PDF builds of French projects have issues with XeTeX
  • #5076: napoleon raises RuntimeError with python 3.7
  • #5125: sphinx-build: Interface of sphinx:main() has changed
  • sphinx-build: sphinx.cmd.build.main() refers sys.argv instead of given argument
  • #5146: autosummary: warning is emitted when the first line of docstring ends with literal notation
  • autosummary: warnings of autosummary indicates wrong location (refs: #5146)
  • #5143: autodoc: crashed on inspecting dict like object which does not support sorting
  • #5139: autodoc: Enum argument missing if it shares value with another
  • #4946: py domain: rtype field could not handle “None” as a type
  • #5176: LaTeX: indexing of terms containing @, !, or " fails
  • #5161: html: crashes if copying static files are failed
  • #5167: autodoc: Fix formatting type annotations for tuples with more than two arguments
  • #3329: i18n: crashed by auto-symbol footnote references
  • #5158: autosummary: module summary has been broken when it starts with heading

Release 1.7.5 (released May 29, 2018)

Bugs fixed

  • #4924: html search: Upper characters problem in any other languages
  • #4932: apidoc: some subpackage is ignored if sibling subpackage contains a module starting with underscore
  • #4863, #4938, #4939: i18n doesn’t handle correctly node.title as used for contents, topic, admonition, table and section.
  • #4913: i18n: literal blocks in bullet list are not translated
  • #4962: C++, raised TypeError on duplicate declaration.
  • #4825: C++, properly parse expr roles and give better error messages when (escaped) line breaks are present.
  • C++, properly use desc_addname nodes for prefixes of names.
  • C++, parse pack expansions in function calls.
  • #4915, #4916: links on search page are broken when using dirhtml builder
  • #4969: autodoc: constructor method should not have return annotation
  • latex: deeply nested enumerated list which is beginning with non-1 causes LaTeX engine crashed
  • #4978: latex: shorthandoff is not set up for Brazil locale
  • #4928: i18n: Ignore dot-directories like .git/ in LC_MESSAGES/
  • #4946: py domain: type field could not handle “None” as a type
  • #4979: latex: Incorrect escaping of curly braces in index entries
  • #4956: autodoc: Failed to extract document from a subclass of the class on mocked module
  • #4973: latex: glossary directive adds whitespace to each item
  • #4980: latex: Explicit labels on code blocks are duplicated
  • #4919: node.asdom() crashes if toctree has :numbered: option
  • #4914: autodoc: Parsing error when using dataclasses without default values
  • #4931: autodoc: crashed when handler for autodoc-skip-member raises an error
  • #4931: autodoc: crashed when subclass of mocked class are processed by napoleon module
  • #5007: sphinx-build crashes when error log contains a “%” character

Release 1.7.4 (released Apr 25, 2018)

Bugs fixed

  • #4885, #4887: domains: Crashed with duplicated objects
  • #4889: latex: sphinx.writers.latex causes recursive import

Release 1.7.3 (released Apr 23, 2018)

Bugs fixed

  • #4769: autodoc loses the first staticmethod parameter
  • #4790: autosummary: too wide two column tables in PDF builds
  • #4795: Latex customization via _templates/longtable.tex_t is broken
  • #4789: imgconverter: confused by convert.exe of Windows
  • #4783: On windows, Sphinx crashed when drives of srcdir and outdir are different
  • #4812: autodoc ignores type annotated variables
  • #4817: wrong URLs on warning messages
  • #4784: latex: latex_show_urls assigns incorrect footnote numbers if hyperlinks exists inside substitutions
  • #4837: latex with class memoir Error: Font command \sf is not supported
  • #4803: latex: too slow in proportion to number of auto numbered footnotes
  • #4838: htmlhelp: The entries in .hhp file is not ordered
  • toctree directive tries to glob for URL having query_string
  • #4871: html search: Upper characters problem in German
  • #4717: latex: Compilation for German docs failed with LuaLaTeX and XeLaTeX
  • #4459: duplicated labels detector does not work well in parallel build
  • #4878: Crashed with extension which returns invalid metadata

Release 1.7.2 (released Mar 21, 2018)

Incompatible changes

  • #4520: apidoc: folders with an empty __init__.py are no longer excluded from TOC

Bugs fixed

  • #4669: sphinx.build_main and sphinx.make_main throw NameError
  • #4685: autosummary emits meaningless warnings
  • autodoc: crashed when invalid options given
  • pydomain: always strip parenthesis if empty (refs: #1042)
  • #4689: autosummary: unexpectedly strips docstrings containing “i.e.”
  • #4701: viewcode: Misplaced <div> in viewcode html output
  • #4444: Don’t require numfig to use :numref: on sections
  • #4727: Option clash for package textcomp
  • #4725: Sphinx does not work with python 3.5.0 and 3.5.1
  • #4716: Generation PDF file with TexLive on Windows, file not found error
  • #4574: vertical space before equation in latex
  • #4720: message when an image is mismatched for builder is not clear
  • #4655, #4684: Incomplete localization strings in Polish and Chinese
  • #2286: Sphinx crashes when error is happens in rendering HTML pages
  • #4688: Error to download remote images having long URL
  • #4754: sphinx/pycode/__init__.py raises AttributeError
  • #1435: qthelp builder should htmlescape keywords
  • epub: Fix docTitle elements of toc.ncx is not escaped
  • #4520: apidoc: Subpackage not in toc (introduced in 1.6.6) now fixed
  • #4767: html: search highlighting breaks mathjax equations

Release 1.7.1 (released Feb 23, 2018)


  • #4623: sphinx.build_main() is deprecated.
  • autosummary: The interface of sphinx.ext.autosummary.get_documenter() has been changed (Since 1.7.0)
  • #4664: sphinx.ext.intersphinx.debug() is deprecated.

For more details, see deprecation APIs list

Bugs fixed

  • #4608: epub: Invalid meta tag is generated
  • #4260: autodoc: keyword only argument separator is not disappeared if it is appeared at top of the argument list
  • #4622: epub: epub_scheme does not effect to content.opf
  • #4627: graphviz: Fit graphviz images to page
  • #4617: quickstart: PROJECT_DIR argument is required
  • #4623: sphinx.build_main no longer exists in 1.7.0
  • #4615: The argument of sphinx.build has been changed in 1.7.0
  • autosummary: The interface of sphinx.ext.autosummary.get_documenter() has been changed
  • #4630: Have order on msgids in sphinx.pot deterministic
  • #4563: autosummary: Incorrect end of line punctuation detection
  • #4577: Enumerated sublists with explicit start with wrong number
  • #4641: A external link in TOC cannot contain “?” with :glob: option
  • C++, add missing parsing of explicit casts and typeid in expression parsing.
  • C++, add missing parsing of this in expression parsing.
  • #4655: Fix incomplete localization strings in Polish
  • #4653: Fix error reporting for parameterless ImportErrors
  • #4664: Reading objects.inv fails again
  • #4662: any refs with term targets crash when an ambiguity is encountered

Release 1.7.0 (released Feb 12, 2018)



  • Add packaging package

Incompatible changes


  • #3668: The arguments has changed of main functions for each command
  • #3893: Unknown html_theme_options throw warnings instead of errors
  • #3927: Python parameter/variable types should match classes, not all objects
  • #3962: sphinx-apidoc now recognizes given directory as an implicit namespace package when --implicit-namespaces option given, not subdirectories of given directory.
  • #3929: apidoc: Move sphinx.apidoc to sphinx.ext.apidoc
  • #4226: apidoc: Generate new style makefile (make-mode)
  • #4274: sphinx-build returns 2 as an exit code on argument error
  • #4389: output directory will be created after loading extensions
  • autodoc does not generate warnings messages to the generated document even if keep_warnings is True.  They are only emitted to stderr.
  • shebang line is removed from generated conf.py
  • #2557: autodoc: autodoc_mock_imports only mocks specified modules with their descendants.  It does not mock their ancestors.  If you want to mock them, please specify the name of ancestors explicitly.
  • #3620: html theme: move DOCUMENTATION_OPTIONS to independent JavaScript file (refs: #4295)
  • #4246: Limit width of text body for all themes. Configurable via theme options body_min_width and body_max_width.
  • #4771: apidoc: The exclude_patterns arguments are ignored if they are placed just after command line options


  • #4467: html theme: Rename csss block to css



  • using a string value for html_sidebars is deprecated and only list values will be accepted at 2.0.
  • format_annotation() and formatargspec() is deprecated.  Please use sphinx.util.inspect.Signature instead.
  • sphinx.ext.autodoc.AutodocReporter is replaced by sphinx.util.docutils. switch_source_input() and now deprecated.  It will be removed in Sphinx-2.0.
  • sphinx.ext.autodoc.add_documenter() and AutoDirective._register is now deprecated.  Please use app.add_autodocumenter() instead.
  • AutoDirective._special_attrgetters is now deprecated.  Please use app.add_autodoc_attrgetter() instead.

Features added


  • C++, handle decltype(auto).
  • #2406: C++, add proper parsing of expressions, including linking of identifiers.
  • C++, add a cpp:expr role for inserting inline C++ expressions or types.
  • C++, support explicit member instantiations with shorthand template prefix.
  • C++, make function parameters linkable, like template params.
  • #3638: Allow to change a label of reference to equation using math_eqref_format
  • Now suppress_warnings accepts following configurations:

    • ref.python (ref: #3866)
  • #3872: Add latex key to configure literal blocks caption position in PDF output (refs #3792, #1723)
  • In case of missing docstring try to retrieve doc from base classes (ref: #3140)
  • #4023: Clarify error message when any role has more than one target.
  • #3973: epub: allow to override build date
  • #3972: epub: Sort manifest entries by filename
  • #4052: viewcode: Sort before highlighting module code
  • #1448: qthelp: Add new config value; qthelp_namespace
  • #4140: html themes: Make body tag inheritable
  • #4168: improve zh search with jieba
  • HTML themes can set up default sidebars through theme.conf
  • #3160: html: Use <kdb> to represent :kbd: role
  • #4212: autosummary: catch all exceptions when importing modules
  • #4166: Add math_numfig for equation numbering by section (refs: #3991, #4080). Thanks to Oliver Jahn.
  • #4311: Let LaTeX obey numfig_secnum_depth for figures, tables, and code-blocks
  • #947: autodoc now supports ignore-module-all to ignore a module’s __all__
  • #4332: Let LaTeX obey math_numfig for equation numbering
  • #4093: sphinx-build creates empty directories for unknown targets/builders
  • Add top-classes option for the sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram extension to limit the scope of inheritance graphs.
  • #4183: doctest: :pyversion: option also follows PEP-440 specification
  • #4235: html: Add manpages_url to make manpage roles to hyperlinks
  • #3570: autodoc: Do not display ‘typing.’ module for type hints
  • #4354: sphinx-build now emits finish message.  Builders can modify it through Builder.epilog attribute
  • #4245: html themes: Add language to javascript vars list
  • #4079: html: Add notranslate class to each code-blocks, literals and maths to let Google Translate know they are not translatable
  • #4137: doctest: doctest block is always highlighted as python console (pycon)
  • #4137: doctest: testcode block is always highlighted as python
  • #3998: text: Assign section numbers by default.  You can control it using text_add_secnumbers and text_secnumber_suffix


  • #4271: sphinx-build supports an option called -j auto to adjust numbers of processes automatically.
  • Napoleon: added option to specify custom section tags.

Features removed


  • Configuration variables

    • html_use_smartypants
    • latex_keep_old_macro_names
    • latex_elements[‘footer’]
  • utility methods of sphinx.application.Sphinx class

    • buildername (property)
    • _display_chunk()
    • old_status_iterator()
    • status_iterator()
    • _directive_helper()
  • utility methods of sphinx.environment.BuildEnvironment class

    • currmodule (property)
    • currclass (property)
  • epub2 builder
  • prefix and colorfunc parameter for warn()
  • sphinx.util.compat module
  • sphinx.util.nodes.process_only_nodes()
  • LaTeX environment notice, use sphinxadmonition instead
  • LaTeX \sphinxstylethead, use \sphinxstyletheadfamily
  • C++, support of function concepts. Thanks to mickk-on-cpp.
  • Not used and previously not documented LaTeX macros \shortversion and \setshortversion

Bugs fixed


  • #3882: Update the order of files for HTMLHelp and QTHelp
  • #3962: sphinx-apidoc does not recognize implicit namespace packages correctly
  • #4094: C++, allow empty template argument lists.
  • C++, also hyperlink types in the name of declarations with qualified names.
  • C++, do not add index entries for declarations inside concepts.
  • C++, support the template disambiguator for dependent names.
  • #4314: For PDF ‘howto’ documents, numbering of code-blocks differs from the one of figures and tables
  • #4330: PDF ‘howto’ documents have an incoherent default LaTeX tocdepth counter setting
  • #4198: autosummary emits multiple ‘autodoc-process-docstring’ event. Thanks to Joel Nothman.
  • #4081: Warnings and errors colored the same when building
  • latex: Do not display ‘Release’ label if release is not set


  • #4415: autodoc classifies inherited classmethods as regular methods
  • #4415: autodoc classifies inherited staticmethods as regular methods
  • #4472: DOCUMENTATION_OPTIONS is not defined
  • #4491: autodoc: prefer _MockImporter over other importers in sys.meta_path
  • #4490: autodoc: type annotation is broken with python 3.7.0a4+
  • utils package is no longer installed
  • #3952: apidoc: module header is too escaped
  • #4275: Formats accepted by sphinx.util.i18n.format_date are limited
  • #4493: recommonmark raises AttributeError if AutoStructify enabled
  • #4209: intersphinx: In link title, “v” should be optional if target has no version
  • #4230: slowdown in writing pages with sphinx 1.6
  • #4522: epub: document is not rebuilt even if config changed


  • #4019: inheritance_diagram AttributeError stopping make process
  • #4531: autosummary: methods are not treated as attributes
  • #4538: autodoc: sphinx.ext.autodoc.Options has been moved
  • #4539: autodoc emits warnings for partialmethods
  • #4223: doctest: failing tests reported in wrong file, at wrong line
  • i18n: message catalogs are not compiled if specific filenames are given for sphinx-build as arguments (refs: #4560)
  • #4027: sphinx.ext.autosectionlabel now expects labels to be the same as they are in the raw source; no smart quotes, nothig fancy.
  • #4581: apidoc: Excluded modules still included



  • Add support for docutils 0.14
  • Add tests for the sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram extension.

Release 1.6.7 (released Feb 04, 2018)

Bugs fixed

  • #1922: html search: Upper characters problem in French
  • #4412: Updated jQuery version from 3.1.0 to 3.2.1
  • #4438: math: math with labels with whitespace cause html error
  • #2437: make full reference for classes, aliased with “alias of”
  • #4434: pure numbers as link targets produce warning
  • #4477: Build fails after building specific files
  • #4449: apidoc: include “empty” packages that contain modules
  • #3917: citation labels are transformed to ellipsis
  • #4501: graphviz: epub3 validation error caused if graph is not clickable
  • #4514: graphviz: workaround for wrong map ID which graphviz generates
  • #4525: autosectionlabel does not support parallel build
  • #3953: Do not raise warning when there is a working intersphinx inventory
  • #4487: math: ValueError is raised on parallel build. Thanks to jschueller.
  • #2372: autosummary: invalid signatures are shown for type annotated functions
  • #3942: html: table is not aligned to center even if :align: center

Release 1.6.6 (released Jan 08, 2018)

Features added

  • #4181: autodoc: Sort dictionary keys when possible
  • VerbatimHighlightColor is a new LaTeX ‘sphinxsetup’ key (refs: #4285)
  • Easier customizability of LaTeX macros involved in rendering of code-blocks
  • Show traceback if conf.py raises an exception (refs: #4369)
  • Add smartquotes to disable smart quotes through conf.py (refs: #3967)
  • Add smartquotes_action and smartquotes_excludes (refs: #4142, #4357)

Bugs fixed

  • #4334: sphinx-apidoc: Don’t generate references to non-existing files in TOC
  • #4206: latex: reST label between paragraphs loses paragraph break
  • #4231: html: Apply fixFirefoxAnchorBug only under Firefox
  • #4221: napoleon depends on autodoc, but users need to load it manually
  • #2298: automodule fails to document a class attribute
  • #4099: C++: properly link class reference to class from inside constructor
  • #4267: PDF build broken by Unicode U+2116 NUMERO SIGN character
  • #4249: PDF output: Pygments error highlighting increases line spacing in code blocks
  • #1238: Support :emphasize-lines: in PDF output
  • #4279: Sphinx crashes with pickling error when run with multiple processes and remote image
  • #1421: Respect the quiet flag in sphinx-quickstart
  • #4281: Race conditions when creating output directory
  • #4315: For PDF ‘howto’ documents, latex_toplevel_sectioning='part' generates \chapter commands
  • #4214: Two todolist directives break sphinx-1.6.5
  • Fix links to external option docs with intersphinx (refs: #3769)
  • #4091: Private members not documented without :undoc-members:

Release 1.6.5 (released Oct 23, 2017)

Features added

  • #4107: Make searchtools.js compatible with pre-Sphinx1.5 templates
  • #4112: Don’t override the smart_quotes setting if it was already set
  • #4125: Display reference texts of original and translated passages on i18n warning message
  • #4147: Include the exception when logging PO/MO file read/write

Bugs fixed

  • #4085: Failed PDF build from image in parsed-literal using :align: option
  • #4100: Remove debug print from autodoc extension
  • #3987: Changing theme from alabaster causes HTML build to fail
  • #4096: C++, don’t crash when using the wrong role type. Thanks to mitya57.
  • #4070, #4111: crashes when the warning message contains format strings (again)
  • #4108: Search word highlighting breaks SVG images
  • #3692: Unable to build HTML if writing .buildinfo failed
  • #4152: HTML writer crashes if a field list is placed on top of the document
  • #4063: Sphinx crashes when labeling directive .. todolist::
  • #4134: [doc] docutils.conf is not documented explicitly
  • #4169: Chinese language doesn’t trigger Chinese search automatically
  • #1020: ext.todo todolist not linking to the page in pdflatex
  • #3965: New quickstart generates wrong SPHINXBUILD in Makefile
  • #3739: :module: option is ignored at content of pyobjects
  • #4149: Documentation: Help choosing latex_engine
  • #4090: [doc] latex_additional_files with extra LaTeX macros should not use .tex extension
  • Failed to convert reST parser error to warning (refs: #4132)

Release 1.6.4 (released Sep 26, 2017)

Features added

  • #3926: Add autodoc_warningiserror to suppress the behavior of -W option during importing target modules on autodoc

Bugs fixed

  • #3924: docname lost after dynamically parsing RST in extension
  • #3946: Typo in sphinx.sty (this was a bug with no effect in default context)
  • pep

    and :rfc: does not supports default-role directive (refs: #3960)

  • #3960: default_role = ‘guilabel’ not functioning
  • Missing texinputs_win/Makefile to be used in latexpdf builder on windows.
  • #4026: nature: Fix macOS Safari scrollbar color
  • #3877: Fix for C++ multiline signatures.
  • #4006: Fix crash on parallel build
  • #3969: private instance attributes causes AttributeError
  • #4041: C++, remove extra name linking in function pointers.
  • #4038: C, add missing documentation of member role.
  • #4044: An empty multicolumn cell causes extra row height in PDF output
  • #4049: Fix typo in output of sphinx-build -h
  • #4062: hashlib.sha1() must take bytes, not unicode on Python 3
  • Avoid indent after index entries in latex (refs: #4066)
  • #4070: crashes when the warning message contains format strings
  • #4067: Return non-zero exit status when make subprocess fails
  • #4055: graphviz: the :align: option does not work for SVG output
  • #4055: graphviz: the :align: center option does not work for latex output
  • #4051: warn() function for HTML theme outputs ‘None’ string

Release 1.6.3 (released Jul 02, 2017)

Features added

  • latex: hint that code-block continues on next page (refs: #3764, #3792)

Bugs fixed

  • #3821: Failed to import sphinx.util.compat with docutils-0.14rc1
  • #3829: sphinx-quickstart template is incomplete regarding use of alabaster
  • #3772: ‘str object’ has no attribute ‘filename’
  • Emit wrong warnings if citation label includes hyphens (refs: #3565)
  • #3858: Some warnings are not colored when using –color option
  • #3775: Remove unwanted whitespace in default template
  • #3835: sphinx.ext.imgmath fails to convert SVG images if project directory name contains spaces
  • #3850: Fix color handling in make mode’s help command
  • #3865: use of self.env.warn in sphinx extension fails
  • #3824: production lists apply smart quotes transform since Sphinx 1.6.1
  • latex: fix \sphinxbfcode swallows initial space of argument
  • #3878: Quotes in auto-documented class attributes should be straight quotes in PDF output
  • #3881: LaTeX figure floated to next page sometimes leaves extra vertical whitespace
  • #3885: duplicated footnotes raises IndexError
  • #3873: Failure of deprecation warning mechanism of sphinx.util.compat.Directive
  • #3874: Bogus warnings for “citation not referenced” for cross-file citations
  • #3860: Don’t download images when builders not supported images
  • #3860: Remote image URIs without filename break builders not supported remote images
  • #3833: command line messages are translated unintentionally with language setting.
  • #3840: make checking epub_uid strict
  • #3851, #3706: Fix about box drawing characters for PDF output
  • #3900: autosummary could not find methods
  • #3902: Emit error if latex_documents contains non-unicode string in py2

Release 1.6.2 (released May 28, 2017)

Incompatible changes

  • #3789: Do not require typing module for python>=3.5

Bugs fixed

  • #3754: HTML builder crashes if HTML theme appends own stylesheets
  • #3756: epub: Entity ‘mdash’ not defined
  • #3758: Sphinx crashed if logs are emitted in conf.py
  • #3755: incorrectly warns about dedent with literalinclude
  • #3742: RTD PDF builds of Sphinx own docs are missing an index entry in the bookmarks and table of contents. This is rtfd/readthedocs.org#2857 issue, a workaround is obtained using some extra LaTeX code in Sphinx’s own conf.py
  • #3770: Build fails when a “code-block” has the option emphasize-lines and the number indicated is higher than the number of lines
  • #3774: Incremental HTML building broken when using citations
  • #3763: got epubcheck validations error if epub_cover is set
  • #3779: ‘ImportError’ in sphinx.ext.autodoc due to broken ‘sys.meta_path’. Thanks to Tatiana Tereshchenko.
  • #3796: env.resolve_references() crashes when non-document node given
  • #3803: Sphinx crashes with invalid PO files
  • #3791: PDF “continued on next page” for long tables isn’t internationalized
  • #3788: smartquotes emits warnings for unsupported languages
  • #3807: latex Makefile for make latexpdf is only for unixen
  • #3781: double hyphens in option directive are compiled as endashes
  • #3817: latex builder raises AttributeError

Release 1.6.1 (released May 16, 2017)



  • (updated) latex output is tested with Ubuntu trusty’s texlive packages (Feb. 2014) and earlier tex installations may not be fully compliant, particularly regarding Unicode engines xelatex and lualatex
  • (added) latexmk is required for make latexpdf on GNU/Linux and Mac OS X (refs: #3082)

Incompatible changes


  • #1061, #2336, #3235: Now generation of autosummary doesn’t contain imported members by default. Thanks to Luc Saffre.
  • LaTeX \includegraphics command isn’t overloaded: only \sphinxincludegraphics has the custom code to fit image to available width if oversized.
  • The subclasses of sphinx.domains.Index should override generate() method.  The default implementation raises NotImplementedError
  • LaTeX positioned long tables horizontally centered, and short ones flushed left (no text flow around table.) The position now defaults to center in both cases, and it will obey Docutils 0.13 :align: option (refs #3415, #3377)
  • option directive also allows all punctuations for the option name (refs: #3366)
  • #3413: if literalinclude’s :start-after: is used, make :lines: relative (refs #3412)
  • literalinclude directive does not allow the combination of :diff: option and other options (refs: #3416)
  • LuaLaTeX engine uses fontspec like XeLaTeX. It is advised latex_engine = 'lualatex' be used only on up-to-date TeX installs (refs #3070, #3466)
  • latex_keep_old_macro_names default value has been changed from True to False. This means that some LaTeX macros for styling are by default defined only with \sphinx.. prefixed names. (refs: #3429)
  • Footer “Continued on next page” of LaTeX longtable’s now not framed (refs: #3497)
  • #3529: The arguments of BuildEnvironment.__init__ is changed
  • #3082: Use latexmk for pdf (and dvi) targets (Unix-like platforms only)
  • #3558: Emit warnings if footnotes and citations are not referenced.  The warnings can be suppressed by suppress_warnings.
  • latex made available (non documented) colour macros from a file distributed with pdftex engine for Plain TeX. This is removed in order to provide better support for multiple TeX engines. Only interface from color or xcolor packages should be used by extensions of Sphinx latex writer. (refs #3550)
  • Builder.env is not filled at instantiation
  • #3594: LaTeX: single raw directive has been considered as block level element
  • #3639: If html_experimental_html5_writer is available, epub builder use it by default.
  • Sphinx.add_source_parser() raises an error if duplicated


  • #3345: Replace the custom smartypants code with Docutils’ smart_quotes. Thanks to Dmitry Shachnev, and to Günter Milde at Docutils.


  • LaTeX package eqparbox is not used and not loaded by Sphinx anymore
  • LaTeX package multirow is not used and not loaded by Sphinx anymore
  • Add line numbers to citation data in std domain

1.6 final

  • LaTeX package threeparttable is not used and not loaded by Sphinx anymore (refs #3686, #3532, #3377)

Features removed

  • Configuration variables

    • epub3_contributor
    • epub3_description
    • epub3_page_progression_direction
    • html_translator_class
    • html_use_modindex
    • latex_font_size
    • latex_paper_size
    • latex_preamble
    • latex_use_modindex
    • latex_use_parts
  • termsep node
  • defindex.html template
  • LDML format support in today, today_fmt and html_last_updated_fmt
  • :inline: option for the directives of sphinx.ext.graphviz extension
  • sphinx.ext.pngmath extension
  • sphinx.util.compat.make_admonition()

Features added


  • #3136: Add :name: option to the directives in sphinx.ext.graphviz
  • #2336: Add imported_members option to sphinx-autogen command to document imported members.
  • C++, add :tparam-line-spec: option to templated declarations. When specified, each template parameter will be rendered on a separate line.
  • #3359: Allow sphinx.js in a user locale dir to override sphinx.js from Sphinx
  • #3303: Add :pyversion: option to the doctest directive.
  • #3378: (latex) support for :widths: option of table directives (refs: #3379, #3381)
  • #3402: Allow to suppress “download file not readable” warnings using suppress_warnings.
  • #3377: latex: Add support for Docutils 0.13 :align: option for tables (but does not implement text flow around table).
  • latex: footnotes from inside tables are hyperlinked (except from captions or headers) (refs: #3422)
  • Emit warning if over dedent has detected on literalinclude directive (refs: #3416)
  • Use for LuaLaTeX same default settings as for XeLaTeX (i.e. fontspec and polyglossia). (refs: #3070, #3466)
  • Make 'extraclassoptions' key of latex_elements public (refs #3480)
  • #3463: Add warning messages for required EPUB3 metadata. Add default value to epub_description to avoid warning like other settings.
  • #3476: setuptools: Support multiple builders
  • latex: merged cells in LaTeX tables allow code-blocks, lists, blockquotes… as do normal cells (refs: #3435)
  • HTML builder uses experimental HTML5 writer if html_experimental_html5_writer is True and docutils 0.13 or later is installed.
  • LaTeX macros to customize space before and after tables in PDF output (refs #3504)
  • #3348: Show decorators in literalinclude and viewcode directives
  • #3108: Show warning if :start-at: and other literalinclude options does not match to the text
  • #3609: Allow to suppress “duplicate citation” warnings using suppress_warnings
  • #2803: Discovery of builders by entry point
  • #1764, #1676: Allow setting ‘rel’ and ‘title’ attributes for stylesheets
  • #3589: Support remote images on non-HTML builders
  • #3589: Support images in Data URI on non-HTML builders
  • #2961: improve autodoc_mock_imports. Now the config value only requires to declare the top-level modules that should be mocked. Thanks to Robin Jarry.
  • #3449: On py3, autodoc use inspect.signature for more accurate signature calculation. Thanks to Nathaniel J. Smith.
  • #3641: Epub theme supports HTML structures that are generated by HTML5 writer.
  • #3644 autodoc uses inspect instead of checking types. Thanks to Jeroen Demeyer.
  • Add a new extension; sphinx.ext.imgconverter. It converts images in the document to appropriate format for builders
  • latex: Use templates to render tables (refs #3389, 2a37b0e)


  • LATEXMKOPTS variable for the Makefile in $BUILDDIR/latex to pass options to latexmk when executing make latexpdf (refs #3695, #3720)
  • Add a new event env-check-consistency to check consistency to extensions
  • Add Domain.check_consistency() to check consistency

Bugs fixed


  • literalinclude directive expands tabs after dedent-ing (refs: #3416)
  • #1574: Paragraphs in table cell doesn’t work in Latex output
  • #3288: Table with merged headers not wrapping text
  • #3491: Inconsistent vertical space around table and longtable in PDF
  • #3506: Depart functions for all admonitions in HTML writer now properly pass node to depart_admonition.
  • #2693: Sphinx latex style file wrongly inhibits colours for section headings for latex+dvi(ps,pdf,pdfmx)
  • C++, properly look up any references.
  • #3624: sphinx.ext.intersphinx couldn’t load inventories compressed with gzip
  • #3551: PDF information dictionary is lacking author and title data
  • #3351: intersphinx does not refers context like py:module, py:class and so on.
  • Fail to load template file if the parent template is archived


  • #3661: sphinx-build crashes on parallel build
  • #3669: gettext builder fails with “ValueError: substring not found”
  • #3660: Sphinx always depends on sphinxcontrib-websupport and its dependencies
  • #3472: smart quotes getting wrong in latex (at least with list of strings via autoattribute) (refs: #3345, #3666)


  • #3588: No compact (p tag) html output in the i18n document build even when html_compact_lists is True.
  • The make latexpdf from 1.6b1 (for GNU/Linux and Mac OS, using latexmk) aborted earlier in case of LaTeX errors than was the case with 1.5 series, due to hard-coded usage of --halt-on-error option. (refs #3695)
  • #3683: sphinx.websupport module is not provided by default
  • #3683: Failed to build document if builder.css_file.insert() is called
  • #3714: viewcode extension not taking highlight_code='none' in account
  • #3698: Moving :doc: to std domain broke backwards compatibility
  • #3633: misdetect unreferenced citations

1.6 final

  • LaTeX tables do not allow multiple paragraphs in a header cell
  • LATEXOPTS is not passed over correctly to pdflatex since 1.6b3
  • #3532: Figure or literal block captions in cells of short tables cause havoc in PDF output
  • Fix: in PDF captions of tables are rendered differently whether table is of longtable class or not (refs #3686)
  • #3725: Todo looks different from note in LaTeX output
  • #3479: stub-columns have no effect in LaTeX output
  • #3738: Nonsensical code in theming.py
  • #3746: PDF builds fail with latexmk 4.48 or earlier due to undefined options -pdfxe and -pdflua



  • sphinx.util.compat.Directive class is now deprecated. Please use instead docutils.parsers.rst.Directive
  • sphinx.util.compat.docutils_version is now deprecated
  • #2367: Sphinx.warn(), Sphinx.info() and other logging methods are now deprecated.  Please use sphinx.util.logging (logging-api) instead.
  • #3318: notice is now deprecated as LaTeX environment name and will be removed at Sphinx 1.7. Extension authors please use sphinxadmonition instead (as Sphinx does since 1.5.)
  • Sphinx.status_iterator() and Sphinx.old_status_iterator() is now deprecated.  Please use sphinx.util:status_iterator() instead.
  • Sphinx._directive_helper() is deprecated. Please use sphinx.util.docutils.directive_helper() instead.
  • BuildEnvironment.set_warnfunc() is now deprecated
  • Following methods of BuildEnvironment is now deprecated.

    • BuildEnvironment.note_toctree()
    • BuildEnvironment.get_toc_for()
    • BuildEnvironment.get_toctree_for()
    • BuildEnvironment.create_index()

    Please use sphinx.environment.adapters modules instead.

  • latex package  footnote is not loaded anymore by its bundled replacement footnotehyper-sphinx. The redefined macros keep the same names as in the original package.
  • #3429: deprecate config setting latex_keep_old_macro_names. It will be removed at 1.7, and already its default value has changed from True to False.
  • #3221: epub2 builder is deprecated
  • #3254: sphinx.websupport is now separated into independent package; sphinxcontrib-websupport.  sphinx.websupport will be removed in Sphinx-2.0.
  • #3628: sphinx_themes entry_point is deprecated.  Please use sphinx.html_themes instead.


  • #3662: builder.css_files is deprecated.  Please use add_stylesheet() API instead.

1.6 final

  • LaTeX \sphinxstylethead is deprecated at 1.6 and will be removed at 1.7. Please move customization into new macro \sphinxstyletheadfamily.


1.6 final

  • #3458: Add sphinx.testing (experimental)

Release 1.6 (unreleased)

  • not released (because of package script error)

Release 1.5.6 (released May 15, 2017)

Bugs fixed

  • #3614: Sphinx crashes with requests-2.5.0
  • #3618: autodoc crashes with tupled arguments
  • #3664: No space after the bullet in items of a latex list produced by Sphinx
  • #3657: EPUB builder crashes if a document starting with genindex exists
  • #3588: No compact (p tag) html output in the i18n document build even when html_compact_lists is True.
  • #3685: AttributeError when using 3rd party domains
  • #3702: LaTeX writer styles figure legends with a hard-coded \small
  • #3708: LaTeX writer allows irc scheme
  • #3717: Stop enforcing that favicon’s must be .ico
  • #3731, #3732: Protect isenumclass predicate against non-class arguments
  • #3320: Warning about reference target not being found for container types
  • Misspelled ARCHIVEPREFIX in Makefile for latex build repertory

Release 1.5.5 (released Apr 03, 2017)

Bugs fixed

  • #3597: python domain raises UnboundLocalError if invalid name given
  • #3599: Move to new MathJax CDN

Release 1.5.4 (released Apr 02, 2017)

Features added

  • #3470: Make genindex support all kinds of letters, not only Latin ones

Bugs fixed

  • #3445: setting 'inputenc' key to \\usepackage[utf8x]{inputenc} leads to failed PDF build
  • EPUB file has duplicated nav.xhtml link in content.opf except first time build
  • #3488: objects.inv has broken when release or version contain return code
  • #2073, #3443, #3490: gettext builder that writes pot files unless the content are same without creation date. Thanks to Yoshiki Shibukawa.
  • #3487: intersphinx: failed to refer options
  • #3496: latex longtable’s last column may be much wider than its contents
  • #3507: wrong quotes in latex output for productionlist directive
  • #3533: Moving from Sphinx 1.3.1 to 1.5.3 breaks LaTeX compilation of links rendered as code
  • #2665, #2607: Link names in C++ docfields, and make it possible for other domains.
  • #3542: C++, fix parsing error of non-type template argument with template.
  • #3065, #3520: python domain fails to recognize nested class
  • #3575: Problems with pdflatex in a Turkish document built with sphinx has reappeared (refs #2997, #2397)
  • #3577: Fix intersphinx debug tool
  • A LaTeX command such as \\large inserted in the title items of latex_documents causes failed PDF build (refs #3551, #3567)

Release 1.5.3 (released Feb 26, 2017)

Features added

  • Support requests-2.0.0 (experimental) (refs: #3367)
  • (latex) PDF page margin dimensions may be customized (refs: #3387)
  • literalinclude directive allows combination of :pyobject: and :lines: options (refs: #3416)
  • #3400: make-mode doesn’t use subprocess on building docs

Bugs fixed

  • #3370: the caption of code-block is not picked up for translation
  • LaTeX: release is not escaped (refs: #3362)
  • #3364: sphinx-quickstart prompts overflow on Console with 80 chars width
  • since 1.5, PDF’s TOC and bookmarks lack an entry for general Index (refs: #3383)
  • #3392: 'releasename' in latex_elements is not working
  • #3356: Page layout for Japanese 'manual' docclass has a shorter text area
  • #3394: When 'pointsize' is not 10pt, Japanese 'manual' document gets wrong PDF page dimensions
  • #3399: quickstart: conf.py was not overwritten by template
  • #3366: option directive does not allow punctuations
  • #3410: return code in release breaks html search
  • #3427: autodoc: memory addresses are not stripped on Windows
  • #3428: xetex build tests fail due to fontspec v2.6 defining \strong
  • #3349: Result of IndexBuilder.load() is broken
  • #3450: &nbsp is appeared in EPUB docs
  • #3418: Search button is misaligned in nature and pyramid theme
  • #3421: Could not translate a caption of tables
  • #3552: linkcheck raises UnboundLocalError

Release 1.5.2 (released Jan 22, 2017)

Incompatible changes

  • Dependency requirement updates: requests 2.4.0 or above (refs: #3268, #3310)

Features added

  • #3241: emit latex warning if buggy titlesec (ref #3210)
  • #3194: Refer the $MAKE environment variable to determine make command
  • Emit warning for nested numbered toctrees (refs: #3142)
  • #978: intersphinx_mapping also allows a list as a parameter
  • #3340: (LaTeX) long lines in parsed-literal are wrapped like in code-block, inline math and footnotes are fully functional.

Bugs fixed

  • #3246: xapian search adapter crashes
  • #3253: In Py2 environment, building another locale with a non-captioned toctree produces None captions
  • #185: References to section title including raw node has broken
  • #3255: In Py3.4 environment, autodoc doesn’t support documentation for attributes of Enum class correctly.
  • #3261: latex_use_parts makes sphinx crash
  • The warning type misc.highlighting_failure does not work
  • #3294: add_latex_package() make crashes non-LaTeX builders
  • The caption of table are rendered as invalid HTML (refs: #3287)
  • #3268: Sphinx crashes with requests package from Debian jessie
  • #3284: Sphinx crashes on parallel build with an extension which raises unserializable exception
  • #3315: Bibliography crashes on latex build with docclass ‘memoir’
  • #3328: Could not refer rubric implicitly
  • #3329: emit warnings if po file is invalid and can’t read it. Also writing mo too
  • #3337: Ugly rendering of definition list term’s classifier
  • #3335: gettext does not extract field_name of a field in a field_list
  • #2952: C++, fix refs to operator() functions.
  • Fix Unicode super- and subscript digits in code-block and parsed-literal LaTeX output (ref #3342)
  • LaTeX writer: leave " character inside parsed-literal as is (ref #3341)
  • #3234: intersphinx failed for encoded inventories
  • #3158: too much space after captions in PDF output
  • #3317: An URL in parsed-literal contents gets wrongly rendered in PDF if with hyphen
  • LaTeX crash if the filename of an image inserted in parsed-literal via a substitution contains an hyphen (ref #3340)
  • LaTeX rendering of inserted footnotes in parsed-literal is wrong (ref #3340)
  • Inline math in parsed-literal is not rendered well by LaTeX (ref #3340)
  • #3308: Parsed-literals don’t wrap very long lines with pdf builder (ref #3340)
  • #3295: Could not import extension sphinx.builders.linkcheck
  • #3285: autosummary: asterisks are escaped twice
  • LaTeX, pass dvipdfm option to geometry package for Japanese documents (ref #3363)
  • Fix parselinenos() could not parse left half open range (cf. “-4”)

Release 1.5.1 (released Dec 13, 2016)

Features added

  • #3214: Allow to suppress “unknown mimetype” warnings from epub builder using suppress_warnings.

Bugs fixed

  • #3195: Can not build in parallel
  • #3198: AttributeError is raised when toctree has ‘self’
  • #3211: Remove untranslated sphinx locale catalogs (it was covered by untranslated it_IT)
  • #3212: HTML Builders crashes with docutils-0.13
  • #3207: more latex problems with references inside parsed-literal directive (\DUrole)
  • #3205: sphinx.util.requests crashes with old pyOpenSSL (< 0.14)
  • #3220: KeyError when having a duplicate citation
  • #3200: LaTeX: xref inside desc_name not allowed
  • #3228: build_sphinx command crashes when missing dependency
  • #2469: Ignore updates of catalog files for gettext builder. Thanks to Hiroshi Ohkubo.
  • #3183: Randomized jump box order in generated index page.

Release 1.5 (released Dec 5, 2016)

Incompatible changes


  • latex, package fancybox is not any longer a dependency of sphinx.sty
  • Use 'locales' as a default value of locale_dirs
  • latex, package ifthen is not any longer a dependency of sphinx.sty
  • latex, style file does not modify fancyvrb’s Verbatim (also available as OriginalVerbatim) but uses sphinxVerbatim for name of custom wrapper.
  • latex, package newfloat is not used (and not included) anymore (ref #2660; it was used since 1.3.4 and shipped with Sphinx since 1.4).
  • latex, literal blocks in tables do not use OriginalVerbatim but sphinxVerbatimintable which handles captions and wraps lines (ref #2704).
  • latex, replace pt by TeX equivalent bp if found in width or height attribute of an image.
  • latex, if width or height attribute of an image is given with no unit, use px rather than ignore it.
  • latex: Separate stylesheets of pygments to independent .sty file
  • #2454: The filename of sourcelink is now changed.  The value of html_sourcelink_suffix will be appended to the original filename (like index.rst.txt).
  • sphinx.util.copy_static_entry() is now deprecated. Use sphinx.util.fileutil.copy_asset() instead.
  • sphinx.util.osutil.filecopy() skips copying if the file has not been changed (ref: #2510, #2753)
  • Internet Explorer 6-8, Opera 12.1x or Safari 5.1+ support is dropped because jQuery version is updated from 1.11.0 to 3.1.0 (ref: #2634, #2773)
  • QtHelpBuilder doesn’t generate search page (ref: #2352)
  • QtHelpBuilder uses nonav theme instead of default one to improve readability.
  • latex: To provide good default settings to Japanese documents, Sphinx uses jreport and jsbook as docclass if language is ja.
  • sphinx-quickstart now allows a project version is empty
  • Fix :download: role on epub/qthelp builder. They ignore the role because they don’t support it.
  • sphinx.ext.viewcode doesn’t work on epub building by default. viewcode_enable_epub option
  • sphinx.ext.viewcode disabled on singlehtml builder.
  • Use make-mode of sphinx-quickstart by default.  To disable this, use -M option
  • Fix genindex.html, Sphinx’s document template, link address to itself to satisfy xhtml standard.
  • Use epub3 builder by default.  And the old epub builder is renamed to epub2.
  • Fix epub and epub3 builders that contained links to genindex even if epub_use_index = False.
  • html_translator_class is now deprecated. Use Sphinx.set_translator() API instead.
  • Drop python 2.6 and 3.3 support
  • Drop epub3 builder’s epub3_page_progression_direction option (use epub3_writing_mode).
  • #2877: Rename latex_elements['footer'] to latex_elements['atendofbody']


  • #2983: Rename epub3_description and epub3_contributor to epub_description and epub_contributor.
  • Remove themes/basic/defindex.html; no longer used
  • Sphinx does not ship anymore (but still uses) LaTeX style file fncychap
  • #2435: Slim down quickstarted conf.py
  • The sphinx.sty latex package does not load itself “hyperref”, as this is done later in the preamble of the latex output via 'hyperref' key.
  • Sphinx does not ship anymore a custom modified LaTeX style file tabulary. The non-modified package is used.
  • #3057: By default, footnote marks in latex PDF output are not preceded by a space anymore, \sphinxBeforeFootnote allows user customization if needed.
  • LaTeX target requires that option hyperfootnotes of package hyperref be left unchanged to its default (i.e. true) (refs: #3022)

1.5 final

  • #2986: themes/basic/defindex.html is now deprecated
  • Emit warnings that will be deprecated in Sphinx 1.6 by default. Users can change the behavior by setting the environment variable PYTHONWARNINGS. Please refer when-deprecation-warnings-are-displayed.
  • #2454: new JavaScript variable SOURCELINK_SUFFIX is added


These features are removed in Sphinx-1.6:

  • LDML format  support in i18n feature
  • sphinx.addnodes.termsep
  • Some functions and classes in sphinx.util.pycompat: zip_longest, product, all, any, next, open, class_types, base_exception, relpath, StringIO, BytesIO. Please use the standard library version instead;

If any deprecation warning like RemovedInSphinxXXXWarning are displayed, please refer when-deprecation-warnings-are-displayed.

Features added


  • #2951: Add --implicit-namespaces PEP-0420 support to apidoc.
  • Add :caption: option for sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram.
  • #2471: Add config variable for default doctest flags.
  • Convert linkcheck builder to requests for better encoding handling
  • #2463, #2516: Add keywords of “meta” directive to search index
  • :maxdepth: option of toctree affects secnumdepth (ref: #2547)
  • #2575: Now sphinx.ext.graphviz allows :align: option
  • Show warnings if unknown key is specified to latex_elements
  • Show warnings if no domains match with primary_domain (ref: #2001)
  • C++, show warnings when the kind of role is misleading for the kind of target it refers to (e.g., using the class role for a function).
  • latex, writer abstracts more of text styling into customizable macros, e.g. the visit_emphasis will output \sphinxstyleemphasis rather than \emph (which may be in use elsewhere or in an added LaTeX package). See list at end of sphinx.sty (ref: #2686)
  • latex, public names for environments and parameters used by note, warning, and other admonition types, allowing full customizability from the 'preamble' key or an input file (ref: feature request #2674, #2685)
  • latex, better computes column widths of some tables (as a result, there will be slight changes as tables now correctly fill the line width; ref: #2708)
  • latex, sphinxVerbatim environment is more easily customizable (ref: #2704). In addition to already existing VerbatimColor and VerbatimBorderColor:

    • two lengths \sphinxverbatimsep and \sphinxverbatimborder,
    • booleans \ifsphinxverbatimwithframe and \ifsphinxverbatimwrapslines.
  • latex, captions for literal blocks inside tables are handled, and long code lines wrapped to fit table cell (ref: #2704)
  • #2597: Show warning messages as darkred
  • latex, allow image dimensions using px unit (default is 96px=1in)
  • Show warnings if invalid dimension units found
  • #2650: Add --pdb option to setup.py command
  • latex, make the use of \small for code listings customizable (ref #2721)
  • #2663: Add --warning-is-error option to setup.py command
  • Show warnings if deprecated latex options are used
  • Add sphinx.config.ENUM to check the config values is in candidates
  • math: Add hyperlink marker to each equations in HTML output
  • Add new theme nonav that doesn’t include any navigation links. This is for any help generator like qthelp.
  • #2680: sphinx.ext.todo now emits warnings if todo_emit_warnings enabled. Also, it emits an additional event named todo-defined to handle the Todo entries in 3rd party extensions.
  • Python domain signature parser now uses the xref mixin for ‘exceptions’, allowing exception classes to be autolinked.
  • #2513: Add latex_engine to switch the LaTeX engine by conf.py
  • #2682: C++, basic support for attributes (C++11 style and GNU style). The new configuration variables ‘cpp_id_attributes’ and ‘cpp_paren_attributes’ can be used to introduce custom attributes.
  • #1958: C++, add configuration variable ‘cpp_index_common_prefix’ for removing prefixes from the index text of C++ objects.
  • C++, added concept directive. Thanks to mickk-on-cpp.
  • C++, added support for template introduction syntax. Thanks to mickk-on-cpp.
  • #2725: latex builder: allow to use user-defined template file (experimental)
  • apidoc now avoids invalidating cached files by not writing to files whose content doesn’t change. This can lead to significant performance wins if apidoc is run frequently.
  • #2851: sphinx.ext.math emits missing-reference event if equation not found
  • #1210: eqref role now supports cross reference
  • #2892: Added -a (--append-syspath) option to sphinx-apidoc
  • #1604: epub3 builder: Obey font-related CSS when viewing in iBooks.
  • #646: option directive support ‘.’ character as a part of options
  • Add document about kindlegen and fix document structure for it.
  • #2474: Add intersphinx_timeout option to sphinx.ext.intersphinx
  • #2926: EPUB3 builder supports vertical mode (epub3_writing_mode option)
  • #2695: build_sphinx subcommand for setuptools handles exceptions as same as sphinx-build does
  • #326: numref role can also refer sections
  • #2916: numref role can also refer caption as an its linktext


  • #3008: linkcheck builder ignores self-signed certificate URL
  • #3020: new 'geometry' key to latex_elements whose default uses LaTeX style file geometry.sty to set page layout
  • #2843: Add :start-at: and :end-at: options to literalinclude directive
  • #2527: Add :reversed: option to toctree directive
  • Add -t and -d option to sphinx-quickstart to support templating generated sphinx project.
  • #3028: Add {path} and {basename} to the format of figure_language_filename
  • new 'hyperref' key in the latex_elements dictionary (ref #3030)
  • #3022: Allow code-blocks in footnotes for LaTeX PDF output


  • #2513: A better default settings for XeLaTeX
  • #3096: 'maxlistdepth' key to work around LaTeX list limitations
  • #3060: autodoc supports documentation for attributes of Enum class. Now autodoc render just the value of Enum attributes instead of Enum attribute representation.
  • Add --extensions to sphinx-quickstart to support enable arbitrary extensions from command line (ref: #2904)
  • #3104, #3122: 'sphinxsetup' for key=value styling of Sphinx LaTeX
  • #3071: Autodoc: Allow mocked module decorators to pass-through functions unchanged
  • #2495: linkcheck: Allow skipping anchor checking using linkcheck_anchors_ignore
  • #3083: let Unicode no-break space act like LaTeX ~ (fixed #3019)
  • #3116: allow word wrap in PDF output for inline literals (ref #3110)
  • #930: sphinx-apidoc allow wildcards for excluding paths. Thanks to Nick Coghlan.
  • #3121: add inlineliteralwraps option to control if inline literal word-wraps in latex

1.5 final

  • #3095: Add tls_verify and tls_cacerts to support self-signed HTTPS servers in linkcheck and intersphinx
  • #2215: make.bat generated by sphinx-quickstart can be called from another dir. Thanks to Timotheus Kampik.
  • #3185: Add new warning type misc.highlighting_failure

Bugs fixed


  • #2707: (latex) the column width is badly computed for tabular
  • #2799: Sphinx installs roles and directives automatically on importing sphinx module.  Now Sphinx installs them on running application.
  • sphinx.ext.autodoc crashes if target code imports * from mock modules by autodoc_mock_imports.
  • #1953: Sphinx.add_node does not add handlers the translator installed by html_translator_class
  • #1797: text builder inserts blank line on top
  • #2894: quickstart main() doesn’t use argv argument
  • #2874: gettext builder could not extract all text under the only directives
  • #2485: autosummary crashes with multiple source_suffix values
  • #1734: Could not translate the caption of toctree directive
  • Could not translate the content of meta directive (ref: #1734)
  • #2550: external links are opened in help viewer
  • #2687: Running Sphinx multiple times produces ‘already registered’ warnings


  • #2810: Problems with pdflatex in an Italian document
  • Use latex_elements.papersize to specify papersize of LaTeX in Makefile
  • #2988: linkcheck: retry with GET request if denied HEAD request
  • #2990: linkcheck raises “Can’t convert ‘bytes’ object to str implicitly” error if linkcheck_anchors enabled
  • #3004: Invalid link types “top” and “up” are used
  • #3009: Bad rendering of parsed-literals in LaTeX since Sphinx 1.4.4
  • #3000: option directive generates invalid HTML anchors
  • #2984: Invalid HTML has been generated if html_split_index enabled
  • #2986: themes/basic/defindex.html should be changed for html5 friendly
  • #2987: Invalid HTML has been generated if multiple IDs are assigned to a list
  • #2891: HTML search does not provide all the results
  • #1986: Title in PDF Output
  • #147: Problem with latex chapter style
  • #3018: LaTeX problem with page layout dimensions and chapter titles
  • Fix an issue with \pysigline in LaTeX style file (ref #3023)
  • #3038: sphinx.ext.math* raises TypeError if labels are duplicated
  • #3031: incompatibility with LaTeX package tocloft
  • #3003: literal blocks in footnotes are not supported by Latex
  • #3047: spacing before footnote in pdf output is not coherent and allows breaks
  • #3045: HTML search index creator should ignore “raw” content if now html
  • #3039: English stemmer returns wrong word if the word is capitalized
  • Fix make-mode Makefile template (ref #3056, #2936)


  • #2432: Fix unwanted * between varargs and keyword only args. Thanks to Alex Grönholm.
  • #3062: Failed to build PDF using 1.5a2 (undefined \hypersetup for Japanese documents since PR#3030)
  • Better rendering of multiline signatures in html.
  • #777: LaTeX output “too deeply nested” (ref #3096)
  • Let LaTeX image inclusion obey scale before textwidth fit (ref #2865, #3059)
  • #3019: LaTeX fails on description of C function with arguments (ref #3083)
  • fix latex inline literals where < > - gobbled a space

1.5 final

  • #3069: Even if 'babel' key is set to empty string, LaTeX output contains one \addto\captions...
  • #3123: user 'babel' key setting is not obeyed anymore
  • #3155: Fix JavaScript for html_sourcelink_suffix fails with IE and Opera
  • #3085: keep current directory after breaking build documentation. Thanks to Timotheus Kampik.
  • #3181: pLaTeX crashes with a section contains endash
  • #3180: latex: add stretch/shrink between successive singleline or multipleline cpp signatures (ref #3072)
  • #3128: globing images does not support .svgz file
  • #3015: fix a broken test on Windows.
  • #1843: Fix documentation of descriptor classes that have a custom metaclass. Thanks to Erik Bray.
  • #3190: util.split_docinfo fails to parse multi-line field bodies
  • #3024, #3037: In Python3, application.Sphinx._log crushed when the log message cannot be encoded into console encoding.


  • To simplify, sphinx uses external mock package even if unittest.mock exists.

Release 1.4.9 (released Nov 23, 2016)

Bugs fixed

  • #2936: Fix doc/Makefile that can’t build man because doc/man exists
  • #3058: Using the same ‘caption’ attribute in multiple ‘toctree’ directives results in warning / error
  • #3068: Allow the ‘=’ character in the -D option of sphinx-build.py
  • #3074: add_source_parser() crashes in debug mode
  • #3135: sphinx.ext.autodoc crashes with plain Callable
  • #3150: Fix query word splitter in JavaScript. It behaves as same as Python’s regular expression.
  • #3093: gettext build broken on substituted images.
  • #3093: gettext build broken on image node under note directive.
  • imgmath: crashes on showing error messages if image generation failed
  • #3117: LaTeX writer crashes if admonition is placed before first section title
  • #3164: Change search order of sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram

Release 1.4.8 (released Oct 1, 2016)

Bugs fixed

  • #2996: The wheel package of Sphinx got crash with ImportError

Release 1.4.7 (released Oct 1, 2016)

Bugs fixed

  • #2890: Quickstart should return an error consistently on all error conditions
  • #2870: flatten genindex columns’ heights.
  • #2856: Search on generated HTML site doesn’t find some symbols
  • #2882: Fall back to a GET request on 403 status in linkcheck
  • #2902: jsdump.loads fails to load search index if keywords starts with underscore
  • #2900: Fix epub content.opf: add auto generated orphan files to spine.
  • #2899: Fix hasdoc() function in Jinja2 template. It will detect genindex, search also.
  • #2901: Fix epub result: skip creating links from image tags to original image files.
  • #2917: inline code is hyphenated on HTML
  • #1462: autosummary warns for namedtuple with attribute with trailing underscore
  • Could not reference equations if :nowrap: option specified
  • #2873: code-block overflow in latex (due to commas)
  • #1060, #2056: sphinx.ext.intersphinx: broken links are generated if relative paths are used in intersphinx_mapping
  • #2931: code-block directive with same :caption: causes warning of duplicate target.  Now code-block and literalinclude does not define hyperlink target using its caption automatically.
  • #2962: latex: missing label of longtable
  • #2968: autodoc: show-inheritance option breaks docstrings

Release 1.4.6 (released Aug 20, 2016)

Incompatible changes

  • #2867: linkcheck builder crashes with six-1.4.  Now Sphinx depends on six-1.5 or later

Bugs fixed

  • applehelp: Sphinx crashes if hiutil or codesign commands not found
  • Fix make clean abort issue when build dir contains regular files like DS_Store.
  • Reduce epubcheck warnings/errors:

    • Fix DOCTYPE to html5
    • Change extension from .html to .xhtml.
    • Disable search page on epub results
  • #2778: Fix autodoc crashes if obj.__dict__ is a property method and raises exception
  • Fix duplicated toc in epub3 output.
  • #2775: Fix failing linkcheck with servers not supporting identity encoding
  • #2833: Fix formatting instance annotations in ext.autodoc.
  • #1911: -D option of sphinx-build does not override the extensions variable
  • #2789: sphinx.ext.intersphinx generates wrong hyperlinks if the inventory is given
  • parsing errors for caption of code-blocks are displayed in document (ref: #2845)
  • #2846: singlehtml builder does not include figure numbers
  • #2816: Fix data from builds cluttering the Domain.initial_data class attributes

Release 1.4.5 (released Jul 13, 2016)

Incompatible changes

  • latex, inclusion of non-inline images from image directive resulted in non-coherent whitespaces depending on original image width; new behaviour by necessity differs from earlier one in some cases. (ref: #2672)
  • latex, use of \includegraphics to refer to Sphinx custom variant is deprecated; in future it will revert to original LaTeX macro, custom one already has alternative name \sphinxincludegraphics.

Features added

  • new config option latex_keep_old_macro_names, defaults to True. If False, lets macros (for text styling) be defined only with \sphinx-prefixed names.
  • latex writer allows user customization of “shadowed” boxes (topics), via three length variables.
  • woff-format web font files now supported by the epub builder.

Bugs fixed

  • jsdump fix for python 3: fixes the HTML search on python > 3
  • #2676: (latex) Error with verbatim text in captions since Sphinx 1.4.4
  • #2629: memoir class crashes LaTeX. Fixed by latex_keep_old_macro_names=False (ref 2675)
  • #2684: sphinx.ext.intersphinx crashes with six-1.4.1
  • #2679: float package needed for 'figure_align': 'H' latex option
  • #2671: image directive may lead to inconsistent spacing in pdf
  • #2705: toctree generates empty bullet_list if :titlesonly: specified
  • #2479: sphinx.ext.viewcode uses python2 highlighter by default
  • #2700: HtmlHelp builder has hard coded index.html
  • latex, since 1.4.4 inline literal text is followed by spurious space
  • #2722: C++, fix id generation for var/member declarations to include namespaces.
  • latex, images (from image directive) in lists or quoted blocks did not obey indentation (fixed together with #2671)
  • #2733: since Sphinx-1.4.4 make latexpdf generates lots of hyperref warnings
  • #2731: sphinx.ext.autodoc does not access propertymethods which raises any exceptions
  • #2666: C++, properly look up nested names involving constructors.
  • #2579: Could not refer a label including both spaces and colons via sphinx.ext.intersphinx
  • #2718: Sphinx crashes if the document file is not readable
  • #2699: hyperlinks in help HTMLs are broken if html_file_suffix is set
  • #2723: extra spaces in latex pdf output from multirow cell
  • #2735: latexpdf Underfull \hbox (badness 10000) warnings from title page
  • #2667: latex crashes if resized images appeared in section title
  • #2763: (html) Provide default value for required alt attribute for image tags of SVG source, required to validate and now consistent w/ other formats.

Release 1.4.4 (released Jun 12, 2016)

Bugs fixed

  • #2630: latex: sphinx.sty notice environment formatting problem
  • #2632: Warning directives fail in quote environment latex build
  • #2633: Sphinx crashes with old styled indices
  • Fix a \begin{\minipage} typo in sphinx.sty from 1.4.2 (ref: 68becb1)
  • #2622: Latex produces empty pages after title and table of contents
  • #2640: 1.4.2 LaTeX crashes if code-block inside warning directive
  • Let LaTeX use straight quotes also in inline code (ref #2627)
  • #2351: latex crashes if enumerated lists are placed on footnotes
  • #2646: latex crashes if math contains twice empty lines
  • #2480: sphinx.ext.autodoc: memory addresses were shown
  • latex: allow code-blocks appearing inside lists and quotes at maximal nesting depth (ref #777, #2624, #2651)
  • #2635: Latex code directives produce inconsistent frames based on viewing resolution
  • #2639: Sphinx now bundles iftex.sty
  • Failed to build PDF with framed.sty 0.95
  • Sphinx now bundles needspace.sty

Release 1.4.3 (released Jun 5, 2016)

Bugs fixed

  • #2530: got “Counter too large” error on building PDF if large numbered footnotes existed in admonitions
  • width option of figure directive does not work if align option specified at same time (ref: #2595)
  • #2590: The inputenc package breaks compiling under lualatex and xelatex
  • #2540: date on latex front page use different font
  • Suppress “document isn’t included in any toctree” warning if the document is included (ref: #2603)
  • #2614: Some tables in PDF output will end up shifted if user sets non zero parindent in preamble
  • #2602: URL redirection breaks the hyperlinks generated by sphinx.ext.intersphinx
  • #2613: Show warnings if merged extensions are loaded
  • #2619: make sure amstext LaTeX package always loaded (ref: d657225, 488ee52, 9d82cad and #2615)
  • #2593: latex crashes if any figures in the table

Release 1.4.2 (released May 29, 2016)

Features added

  • Now suppress_warnings accepts following configurations (ref: #2451, #2466):

    • app.add_node
    • app.add_directive
    • app.add_role
    • app.add_generic_role
    • app.add_source_parser
    • image.data_uri
    • image.nonlocal_uri
  • #2453: LaTeX writer allows page breaks in topic contents; and their horizontal extent now fits in the line width (with shadow in margin). Also warning-type admonitions allow page breaks and their vertical spacing has been made more coherent with the one for hint-type notices (ref #2446).
  • #2459: the framing of literal code-blocks in LaTeX output (and not only the code lines themselves) obey the indentation in lists or quoted blocks.
  • #2343: the long source lines in code-blocks are wrapped (without modifying the line numbering) in LaTeX output (ref #1534, #2304).

Bugs fixed

  • #2370: the equations are slightly misaligned in LaTeX writer
  • #1817, #2077: suppress pep8 warnings on conf.py generated by sphinx-quickstart
  • #2407: building docs crash if document includes large data image URIs
  • #2436: Sphinx does not check version by needs_sphinx if loading extensions failed
  • #2397: Setup shorthandoff for Turkish documents
  • #2447: VerbatimBorderColor wrongly used also for captions of PDF
  • #2456: C++, fix crash related to document merging (e.g., singlehtml and Latex builders).
  • #2446: latex(pdf) sets local tables of contents (or more generally topic nodes) in unbreakable boxes, causes overflow at bottom
  • #2476: Omit MathJax markers if :nowrap: is given
  • #2465: latex builder fails in case no caption option is provided to toctree directive
  • Sphinx crashes if self referenced toctree found
  • #2481: spelling mistake for mecab search splitter. Thanks to Naoki Sato.
  • #2309: Fix could not refer “indirect hyperlink targets” by ref-role
  • intersphinx fails if mapping URL contains any port
  • #2088: intersphinx crashes if the mapping URL requires basic auth
  • #2304: auto line breaks in latexpdf codeblocks
  • #1534: Word wrap long lines in Latex verbatim blocks
  • #2460: too much white space on top of captioned literal blocks in PDF output
  • Show error reason when multiple math extensions are loaded (ref: #2499)
  • #2483: any figure number was not assigned if figure title contains only non text objects
  • #2501: Unicode subscript numbers are normalized in LaTeX
  • #2492: Figure directive with :figwidth: generates incorrect Latex-code
  • The caption of figure is always put on center even if :align: was specified
  • #2526: LaTeX writer crashes if the section having only images
  • #2522: Sphinx touches mo files under installed directory that caused permission error.
  • #2536: C++, fix crash when an immediately nested scope has the same name as the current scope.
  • #2555: Fix crash on any-references with unicode.
  • #2517: wrong bookmark encoding in PDF if using LuaLaTeX
  • #2521: generated Makefile causes BSD make crashed if sphinx-build not found
  • #2470: typing backport package causes autodoc errors with python 2.7
  • sphinx.ext.intersphinx crashes if non-string value is used for key of intersphinx_mapping
  • #2518: intersphinx_mapping disallows non alphanumeric keys
  • #2558: unpack error on devhelp builder
  • #2561: Info builder crashes when a footnote contains a link
  • #2565: The descriptions of objects generated by sphinx.ext.autosummary overflow lines at LaTeX writer
  • Extend pdflatex config in sphinx.sty to subparagraphs (ref: #2551)
  • #2445: rst_prolog and rst_epilog affect to non reST sources
  • #2576: sphinx.ext.imgmath crashes if subprocess raises error
  • #2577: sphinx.ext.imgmath: Invalid argument are passed to dvisvgm
  • #2556: Xapian search does not work with Python 3
  • #2581: The search doesn’t work if language=”es” (Spanish)
  • #2382: Adjust spacing after abbreviations on figure numbers in LaTeX writer
  • #2383: The generated footnote by latex_show_urls overflows lines
  • #2497, #2552: The label of search button does not fit for the button itself

Release 1.4.1 (released Apr 12, 2016)

Incompatible changes

  • The default format of today_fmt and html_last_updated_fmt is back to strftime format again.  Locale Date Markup Language is also supported for backward compatibility until Sphinx-1.5.


  • Added Welsh translation, thanks to Geraint Palmer.
  • Added Greek translation, thanks to Stelios Vitalis.
  • Added Esperanto translation, thanks to Dinu Gherman.
  • Added Hindi translation, thanks to Purnank H. Ghumalia.
  • Added Romanian translation, thanks to Razvan Stefanescu.

Bugs fixed

  • C++, added support for extern and thread_local.
  • C++, type declarations are now using the prefixes typedef, using, and type, depending on the style of declaration.
  • #2413: C++, fix crash on duplicate declarations
  • #2394: Sphinx crashes when html_last_updated_fmt is invalid
  • #2408: dummy builder not available in Makefile and make.bat
  • #2412: hyperlink targets are broken in LaTeX builder
  • figure directive crashes if non paragraph item is given as caption
  • #2418: time formats no longer allowed in today_fmt
  • #2395: Sphinx crashes if unicode character in image filename
  • #2396: “too many values to unpack” in genindex-single
  • #2405: numref link in PDF jumps to the wrong location
  • #2414: missing number in PDF hyperlinks to code listings
  • #2440: wrong import for gmtime. Thanks to Uwe L. Korn.

Release 1.4 (released Mar 28, 2016)

Incompatible changes

  • Drop PorterStemmer package support. Use PyStemmer instead of PorterStemmer to accelerate stemming.
  • sphinx_rtd_theme has become optional. Please install it manually. Refs #2087, #2086, #1845 and #2097. Thanks to Victor Zverovich.
  • #2231: Use DUrole instead of DUspan for custom roles in LaTeX writer. It enables to take title of roles as an argument of custom macros.
  • #2022: ‘Thumbs.db’ and ‘.DS_Store’ are added to exclude_patterns default values in conf.py that will be provided on sphinx-quickstart.
  • #2027, #2208: The html_title accepts string values only. And The None value cannot be accepted.
  • sphinx.ext.graphviz: show graph image in inline by default
  • #2060, #2224: The manpage role now generate sphinx.addnodes.manpage node instead of sphinx.addnodes.literal_emphasis node.
  • #2022: html_extra_path also copies dotfiles in the extra directory, and refers to exclude_patterns to exclude extra files and directories.
  • #2300: enhance autoclass:: to use the docstring of __new__ if __init__ method’s is missing of empty
  • #2251: Previously, under glossary directives, multiple terms for one definition are converted into single term node and the each terms in the term node are separated by termsep node. In new implementation, each terms are converted into individual term nodes and termsep node is removed. By this change, output layout of every builders are changed a bit.
  • The default highlight language is now Python 3.  This means that source code is highlighted as Python 3 (which is mostly a superset of Python 2), and no parsing is attempted to distinguish valid code.  To get the old behavior back, add highlight_language = "python" to conf.py.
  • Locale Date Markup Language like "MMMM dd, YYYY" is default format for today_fmt and html_last_updated_fmt. However strftime format like "%B %d, %Y" is also supported for backward compatibility until Sphinx-1.5. Later format will be disabled from Sphinx-1.5.
  • #2327: latex_use_parts is deprecated now. Use latex_toplevel_sectioning instead.
  • #2337: Use \url{URL} macro instead of \href{URL}{URL} in LaTeX writer.
  • #1498: manpage writer: don’t make whole of item in definition list bold if it includes strong node.
  • #582: Remove hint message from quick search box for html output.
  • #2378: Sphinx now bundles newfloat.sty

Features added

  • #2092: add todo directive support in napoleon package.
  • #1962: when adding directives, roles or nodes from an extension, warn if such an element is already present (built-in or added by another extension).
  • #1909: Add “doc” references to Intersphinx inventories.
  • C++ type alias support (e.g., .. type:: T = int).
  • C++ template support for classes, functions, type aliases, and variables (#1729, #1314).
  • C++, added new scope management directives namespace-push and namespace-pop.
  • #1970: Keyboard shortcuts to navigate Next and Previous topics
  • Intersphinx: Added support for fetching Intersphinx inventories with URLs using HTTP basic auth.
  • C++, added support for template parameter in function info field lists.
  • C++, added support for pointers to member (function).
  • #2113: Allow :class: option to code-block directive.
  • #2192: Imgmath (pngmath with svg support).
  • #2200: Support XeTeX and LuaTeX for the LaTeX builder.
  • #1906: Use xcolor over color for fcolorbox where available for LaTeX output.
  • #2216: Texinputs makefile improvements.
  • #2170: Support for Chinese language search index.
  • #2214: Add sphinx.ext.githubpages to publish the docs on GitHub Pages
  • #1030: Make page reference names for latex_show_pagerefs translatable
  • #2162: Add Sphinx.add_source_parser() to add source_suffix and source_parsers from extension
  • #2207: Add sphinx.parsers.Parser class; a base class for new parsers
  • #656: Add graphviz_dot option to graphviz directives to switch the dot command
  • #1939: Added the dummy builder: syntax check without output.
  • #2230: Add math_number_all option to number all displayed math in math extensions
  • #2235: needs_sphinx supports micro version comparison
  • #2282: Add “language” attribute to html tag in the “basic” theme
  • #1779: Add EPUB 3 builder
  • #1751: Add todo_link_only to avoid file path and line indication on todolist. Thanks to Francesco Montesano.
  • #2199: Use imagesize package to obtain size of images.
  • #1099: Add configurable retries to the linkcheck builder. Thanks to Alex Gaynor. Also don’t check anchors starting with !.
  • #2300: enhance autoclass:: to use the docstring of __new__ if __init__ method’s is missing of empty
  • #1858: Add Sphinx.add_enumerable_node() to add enumerable nodes for numfig feature
  • #1286, #2099: Add sphinx.ext.autosectionlabel extension to allow reference sections using its title. Thanks to Tadhg O’Higgins.
  • #1854: Allow to choose Janome for Japanese splitter.
  • #1853: support custom text splitter on html search with language='ja'.
  • #2320: classifier of glossary terms can be used for index entries grouping key. The classifier also be used for translation. See also glossary-directive.
  • #2308: Define \tablecontinued macro to redefine the style of continued label for longtables.
  • Select an image by similarity if multiple images are globbed by .. image:: filename.*
  • #1921: Support figure substitutions by language and figure_language_filename
  • #2245: Add latex_elements["passoptionstopackages"] option to call PassOptionsToPackages in early stage of preambles.
  • #2340: Math extension: support alignment of multiple equations for MathJax.
  • #2338: Define \titleref macro to redefine the style of title-reference roles.
  • Define \menuselection and \accelerator macros to redefine the style of menuselection roles.
  • Define \crossref macro to redefine the style of references
  • #2301: Texts in the classic html theme should be hyphenated.
  • #2355: Define \termref macro to redefine the style of term roles.
  • Add suppress_warnings to suppress arbitrary warning message (experimental)
  • #2229: Fix no warning is given for unknown options
  • #2327: Add latex_toplevel_sectioning to switch the top level sectioning of LaTeX document.

Bugs fixed

  • #1913: C++, fix assert bug for enumerators in next-to-global and global scope.
  • C++, fix parsing of ‘signed char’ and ‘unsigned char’ as types.
  • C++, add missing support for ‘friend’ functions.
  • C++, add missing support for virtual base classes (thanks to Rapptz).
  • C++, add support for final classes.
  • C++, fix parsing of types prefixed with ‘enum’.
  • #2023: Dutch search support uses Danish stemming info.
  • C++, add support for user-defined literals.
  • #1804: Now html output wraps overflowed long-line-text in the sidebar. Thanks to Hassen ben tanfous.
  • #2183: Fix porterstemmer causes make json to fail.
  • #1899: Ensure list is sent to OptParse.
  • #2164: Fix wrong check for pdftex inside sphinx.sty (for graphicx package option).
  • #2165, #2218: Remove faulty and non-need conditional from sphinx.sty.
  • Fix broken LaTeX code is generated if unknown language is given
  • #1944: Fix rst_prolog breaks file-wide metadata
  • #2074: make gettext should use canonical relative paths for .pot. Thanks to anatoly techtonik.
  • #2311: Fix sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram raises AttributeError
  • #2251: Line breaks in .rst files are transferred to .pot files in a wrong way.
  • #794: Fix date formatting in latex output is not localized
  • Remove image/gif from supported_image_types of LaTeX writer (#2272)
  • Fix ValueError is raised if LANGUAGE is empty string
  • Fix unpack warning is shown when the directives generated from Sphinx.add_crossref_type is used
  • The default highlight language is now default.  This means that source code is highlighted as Python 3 (which is mostly a superset of Python 2) if possible. To get the old behavior back, add highlight_language = "python" to conf.py.
  • #2329: Refresh environment forcedly if source directory has changed.
  • #2331: Fix code-blocks are filled by block in dvi; remove xcdraw option from xcolor package
  • Fix the confval type checker emits warnings if unicode is given to confvals which expects string value
  • #2360: Fix numref in LaTeX output is broken
  • #2361: Fix additional paragraphs inside the “compound” directive are indented
  • #2364: Fix KeyError ‘rootSymbol’ on Sphinx upgrade from older version.
  • #2348: Move amsmath and amssymb to before fontpkg on LaTeX writer.
  • #2368: Ignore emacs lock files like .#foo.rst by default.
  • #2262: literal_block and its caption has been separated by pagebreak in LaTeX output.
  • #2319: Fix table counter is overridden by code-block’s in LaTeX.  Thanks to jfbu.
  • Fix unpack warning if combined with 3rd party domain extensions.
  • #1153: Fix figures in sidebar causes latex build error.
  • #2358: Fix user-preamble could not override the tocdepth definition.
  • #2358: Reduce tocdepth if part or chapter is used for top_sectionlevel.
  • #2351: Fix footnote spacing
  • #2363: Fix toctree() in templates generates broken links in SingleHTMLBuilder.
  • #2366: Fix empty hyperref is generated on toctree in HTML builder.


  • #1757: Fix for usage of html_last_updated_fmt. Thanks to Ralf Hemmecke.

Release 1.3.6 (released Feb 29, 2016)

Features added

  • #1873, #1876, #2278: Add page_source_suffix html context variable. This should be introduced with source_parsers feature. Thanks for Eric Holscher.

Bugs fixed

  • #2265: Fix babel is used in spite of disabling it on latex_elements
  • #2295: Avoid mutating dictionary errors while enumerating members in autodoc with Python 3
  • #2291: Fix pdflatex “Counter too large” error from footnotes inside tables of contents
  • #2292: Fix some footnotes disappear from LaTeX output
  • #2287: sphinx.transforms.Locale always uses rst parser. Sphinx i18n feature should support parsers that specified source_parsers.
  • #2290: Fix sphinx.ext.mathbase use of amsfonts may break user choice of math fonts
  • #2324: Print a hint how to increase the recursion limit when it is hit.
  • #1565, #2229: Revert new warning; the new warning will be triggered from version 1.4 on.
  • #2329: Refresh environment forcedly if source directory has changed.
  • #2019: Fix the domain objects in search result are not escaped

Release 1.3.5 (released Jan 24, 2016)

Bugs fixed

  • Fix line numbers was not shown on warnings in LaTeX and texinfo builders
  • Fix filenames were not shown on warnings of citations
  • Fix line numbers was not shown on warnings in LaTeX and texinfo builders
  • Fix line numbers was not shown on warnings of indices
  • #2026: Fix LaTeX builder raises error if parsed-literal includes links
  • #2243: Ignore strange docstring types for classes, do not crash
  • #2247: Fix #2205 breaks make html for definition list with classifiers that contains regular-expression like string
  • #1565: Sphinx will now emit a warning that highlighting was skipped if the syntax is incorrect for code-block, literalinclude and so on.
  • #2211: Fix paragraphs in table cell doesn’t work in Latex output
  • #2253: :pyobject: option of literalinclude directive can’t detect indented body block when the block starts with blank or comment lines.
  • Fix TOC is not shown when no :maxdepth: for toctrees (ref: #771)
  • Fix warning message for :numref: if target is in orphaned doc (ref: #2244)

Release 1.3.4 (released Jan 12, 2016)

Bugs fixed

  • #2134: Fix figure caption with reference causes latex build error
  • #2094: Fix rubric with reference not working in Latex
  • #2147: Fix literalinclude code in latex does not break in pages
  • #1833: Fix email addresses is showed again if latex_show_urls is not None
  • #2176: sphinx.ext.graphviz: use <object> instead of <img> to embed svg
  • #967: Fix SVG inheritance diagram is not hyperlinked (clickable)
  • #1237: Fix footnotes not working in definition list in LaTeX
  • #2168: Fix raw directive does not work for text writer
  • #2171: Fix cannot linkcheck url with unicode
  • #2182: LaTeX: support image file names with more than 1 dots
  • #2189: Fix previous sibling link for first file in subdirectory uses last file, not intended previous from root toctree
  • #2003: Fix decode error under python2 (only) when make linkcheck is run
  • #2186: Fix LaTeX output of mathbb in math
  • #1480, #2188: LaTeX: Support math in section titles
  • #2071: Fix same footnote in more than two section titles => LaTeX/PDF Bug
  • #2040: Fix UnicodeDecodeError in sphinx-apidoc when author contains non-ascii characters
  • #2193: Fix shutil.SameFileError if source directory and destination directory are same
  • #2178: Fix unparsable C++ cross-reference when referencing a function with :cpp:any:
  • #2206: Fix Sphinx latex doc build failed due to a footnotes
  • #2201: Fix wrong table caption for tables with over 30 rows
  • #2213: Set <blockquote> in the classic theme to fit with <p>
  • #1815: Fix linkcheck does not raise an exception if warniserror set to true and link is broken
  • #2197: Fix slightly cryptic error message for missing index.rst file
  • #1894: Unlisted phony targets in quickstart Makefile
  • #2125: Fix unifies behavior of collapsed fields (GroupedField and TypedField)
  • #1408: Check latex_logo validity before copying
  • #771: Fix latex output doesn’t set tocdepth
  • #1820: On Windows, console coloring is broken with colorama version 0.3.3. Now sphinx use colorama>=0.3.5 to avoid this problem.
  • #2072: Fix footnotes in chapter-titles do not appear in PDF output
  • #1580: Fix paragraphs in longtable don’t work in Latex output
  • #1366: Fix centered image not centered in latex
  • #1860: Fix man page using :samp: with braces - font doesn’t reset
  • #1610: Sphinx crashes in Japanese indexing in some systems
  • Fix Sphinx crashes if mecab initialization failed
  • #2160: Fix broken TOC of PDFs if section includes an image
  • #2172: Fix dysfunctional admonition \py@lightbox in sphinx.sty. Thanks to jfbu.
  • #2198,#2205: make gettext generate broken msgid for definition lists.
  • #2062: Escape characters in doctests are treated incorrectly with Python 2.
  • #2225: Fix if the option does not begin with dash, linking is not performed
  • #2226: Fix math is not HTML-encoded when :nowrap: is given (jsmath, mathjax)
  • #1601, #2220: ‘any’ role breaks extended domains behavior. Affected extensions doesn’t support resolve_any_xref and resolve_xref returns problematic node instead of None. sphinxcontrib-httpdomain is one of them.
  • #2229: Fix no warning is given for unknown options

Release 1.3.3 (released Dec 2, 2015)

Bugs fixed

  • #2177: Fix parallel hangs
  • #2012: Fix exception occurred if numfig_format is invalid
  • #2142: Provide non-minified JS code in sphinx/search/non-minified-js/*.js for source distribution on PyPI.
  • #2148: Error while building devhelp target with non-ASCII document.

Release 1.3.2 (released Nov 29, 2015)

Features added

  • #1935: Make “numfig_format” overridable in latex_elements.

Bugs fixed

  • #1976: Avoid “2.0” version of Babel because it doesn’t work with Windows environment.
  • Add a “default.css” stylesheet (which imports “classic.css”) for compatibility.
  • #1788: graphviz extension raises exception when caption option is present.
  • #1789: :pyobject: option of literalinclude directive includes following lines after class definitions
  • #1790: literalinclude strips empty lines at the head and tail
  • #1802: load plugin themes automatically when theme.conf use it as ‘inherit’. Thanks to Takayuki Hirai.
  • #1794: custom theme extended from alabaster or sphinx_rtd_theme can’t find base theme.
  • #1834: compatibility for docutils-0.13: handle_io_errors keyword argument for docutils.io.FileInput cause TypeError.
  • #1823: ‘.’ as <module_path> for sphinx-apidoc cause an unfriendly error. Now ‘.’ is converted to absolute path automatically.
  • Fix a crash when setting up extensions which do not support metadata.
  • #1784: Provide non-minified JS code in sphinx/search/non-minified-js/*.js
  • #1822, #1892: Fix regression for #1061. autosummary can’t generate doc for imported members since sphinx-1.3b3. Thanks to Eric Larson.
  • #1793, #1819: “see also” misses a linebreak in text output. Thanks to Takayuki Hirai.
  • #1780, #1866: “make text” shows “class” keyword twice. Thanks to Takayuki Hirai.
  • #1871: Fix for LaTeX output of tables with one column and multirows.
  • Work around the lack of the HTMLParserError exception in Python 3.5.
  • #1949: Use safe_getattr in the coverage builder to avoid aborting with descriptors that have custom behavior.
  • #1915: Do not generate smart quotes in doc field type annotations.
  • #1796: On py3, automated .mo building caused UnicodeDecodeError.
  • #1923: Use babel features only if the babel latex element is nonempty.
  • #1942: Fix a KeyError in websupport.
  • #1903: Fix strange id generation for glossary terms.
  • make text will crush if a definition list item has more than 1 classifiers as: term : classifier1 : classifier2.
  • #1855: make gettext generates broken po file for definition lists with classifier.
  • #1869: Fix problems when dealing with files containing non-ASCII characters. Thanks to Marvin Schmidt.
  • #1798: Fix building LaTeX with references in titles.
  • #1725: On py2 environment, doctest with using non-ASCII characters causes 'ascii' codec can't decode byte exception.
  • #1540: Fix RuntimeError with circular referenced toctree
  • #1983: i18n translation feature breaks references which uses section name.
  • #1990: Use caption of toctree to title of tableofcontents in LaTeX
  • #1987: Fix ampersand is ignored in :menuselection: and :guilabel: on LaTeX builder
  • #1994: More supporting non-standard parser (like recommonmark parser) for Translation and WebSupport feature. Now node.rawsource is fall backed to node.astext() during docutils transforming.
  • #1989: “make blahblah” on Windows indicate help messages for sphinx-build every time. It was caused by wrong make.bat that generated by Sphinx-1.3.0/1.3.1.
  • On Py2 environment, conf.py that is generated by sphinx-quickstart should have u prefixed config value for ‘version’ and ‘release’.
  • #2102: On Windows + Py3, using |today| and non-ASCII date format will raise UnicodeEncodeError.
  • #1974: UnboundLocalError: local variable ‘domain’ referenced before assignment when using any role and sphinx.ext.intersphinx in same time.
  • #2121: multiple words search doesn’t find pages when words across on the page title and the page content.
  • #1884, #1885: plug-in html themes cannot inherit another plug-in theme. Thanks to Suzumizaki.
  • #1818: sphinx.ext.todo directive generates broken html class attribute as ‘admonition-‘ when language is specified with non-ASCII linguistic area like ‘ru’ or ‘ja’. To fix this, now todo directive can use :class: option.
  • #2140: Fix footnotes in table has broken in LaTeX
  • #2127: MecabBinder for html searching feature doesn’t work with Python 3. Thanks to Tomoko Uchida.

Release 1.3.1 (released Mar 17, 2015)

Bugs fixed

  • #1769: allows generating quickstart files/dirs for destination dir that doesn’t overwrite existent files/dirs. Thanks to WAKAYAMA shirou.
  • #1773: sphinx-quickstart doesn’t accept non-ASCII character as a option argument.
  • #1766: the message “least Python 2.6 to run” is at best misleading.
  • #1772: cross reference in docstrings like :param .write: breaks building.
  • #1770, #1774: literalinclude with empty file occurs exception. Thanks to Takayuki Hirai.
  • #1777: Sphinx 1.3 can’t load extra theme. Thanks to tell-k.
  • #1776: source_suffix = ['.rst'] cause unfriendly error on prior version.
  • #1771: automated .mo building doesn’t work properly.
  • #1783: Autodoc: Python2 Allow unicode string in __all__. Thanks to Jens Hedegaard Nielsen.
  • #1781: Setting html_domain_indices to a list raises a type check warnings.

Release 1.3 (released Mar 10, 2015)

Incompatible changes

  • Roles ref, term and menusel now don’t generate emphasis nodes anymore.  If you want to keep italic style, adapt your stylesheet.
  • Role numref uses %s as special character to indicate position of figure numbers instead # symbol.

Features added

  • Add convenience directives and roles to the C++ domain: directive cpp:var as alias for cpp:member, role :cpp:var as alias for :cpp:member, and role any for cross-reference to any C++ declaraction. #1577, #1744
  • The source_suffix config value can now be a list of multiple suffixes.
  • Add the ability to specify source parsers by source suffix with the source_parsers config value.
  • #1675: A new builder, AppleHelpBuilder, has been added that builds Apple Help Books.

Bugs fixed

  • 1.3b3 change breaks a previous gettext output that contains duplicated msgid such as “foo bar” and “version changes in 1.3: foo bar”.
  • #1745: latex builder cause maximum recursion depth exceeded when a footnote has a footnote mark itself.
  • #1748: SyntaxError in sphinx/ext/ifconfig.py with Python 2.6.
  • #1658, #1750: No link created (and warning given) if option does not begin with -, / or +. Thanks to Takayuki Hirai.
  • #1753: C++, added missing support for more complex declarations.
  • #1700: Add :caption: option for toctree.
  • #1742: :name: option is provided for toctree, code-block and literalinclude directives.
  • #1756: Incorrect section titles in search that was introduced from 1.3b3.
  • #1746: C++, fixed name lookup procedure, and added missing lookups in declarations.
  • #1765: C++, fix old id generation to use fully qualified names.


  • #1651: Add vartype field description for python domain.

Release 1.3b3 (released Feb 24, 2015)

Incompatible changes

  • Dependency requirement updates: docutils 0.11, Pygments 2.0
  • The gettext_enables config value has been renamed to gettext_additional_targets.
  • #1735: Use https://docs.python.org/ instead of http protocol. It was used for sphinx.ext.intersphinx and some documentation.

Features added

  • #1346: Add new default theme;

    • Add ‘alabaster’ theme.
    • Add ‘sphinx_rtd_theme’ theme.
    • The ‘default’ html theme has been renamed to ‘classic’. ‘default’ is still available, however it will emit notice a recommendation that using new ‘alabaster’ theme.
  • Added highlight_options configuration value.
  • The language config value is now available in the HTML templates.
  • The env-updated event can now return a value, which is interpreted as an iterable of additional docnames that need to be rewritten.
  • #772: Support for scoped and unscoped enums in C++. Enumerators in unscoped enums are injected into the parent scope in addition to the enum scope.
  • Add todo_include_todos config option to quickstart conf file, handled as described in documentation.
  • HTML breadcrumb items tag has class “nav-item” and “nav-item-N” (like nav-item-0, 1, 2…).
  • New option sphinx-quickstart --use-make-mode for generating Makefile that use sphinx-build make-mode.
  • #1235: i18n: several node can be translated if it is set to gettext_additional_targets in conf.py. Supported nodes are:

    • ‘literal-block’
    • ‘doctest-block’
    • ‘raw’
    • ‘image’
  • #1227: Add html_scaled_image_link config option to conf.py, to control scaled image link.

Bugs fixed

  • LaTeX writer now generates correct markup for cells spanning multiple rows.
  • #1674: Do not crash if a module’s __all__ is not a list of strings.
  • #1629: Use VerbatimBorderColor to add frame to code-block in LaTeX
  • On windows, make-mode didn’t work on Win32 platform if sphinx was invoked as python sphinx-build.py.
  • #1687: linkcheck now treats 401 Unauthorized responses as “working”.
  • #1690: toctrees with glob option now can also contain entries for single documents with explicit title.
  • #1591: html search results for C++ elements now has correct interpage links.
  • bizstyle theme: nested long title pages make long breadcrumb that breaks page layout.
  • bizstyle theme: all breadcrumb items become ‘Top’ on some mobile browser (iPhone5s safari).
  • #1722: restore toctree() template function behavior that was changed at 1.3b1.
  • #1732: i18n: localized table caption raises exception.
  • #1718: :numref: does not work with capital letters in the label
  • #1630: resolve CSS conflicts, div.container css target for literal block wrapper now renamed to div.literal-block-wrapper.
  • sphinx.util.pycompat has been restored in its backwards-compatibility; slated for removal in Sphinx 1.4.
  • #1719: LaTeX writer does not respect numref_format option in captions

Release 1.3b2 (released Dec 5, 2014)

Incompatible changes

  • update bundled ez_setup.py for setuptools-7.0 that requires Python 2.6 or later.

Features added

  • #1597: Added possibility to return a new template name from html-page-context.
  • PR#314, #1150: Configuration values are now checked for their type.  A warning is raised if the configured and the default value do not have the same type and do not share a common non-trivial base class.

Bugs fixed

  • PR#311: sphinx-quickstart does not work on python 3.4.
  • Fix autodoc_docstring_signature not working with signatures in class docstrings.
  • Rebuilding cause crash unexpectedly when source files were added.
  • #1607: Fix a crash when building latexpdf with “howto” class
  • #1251: Fix again. Sections which depth are lower than :tocdepth: should not be shown on localtoc sidebar.
  • make-mode didn’t work on Win32 platform if sphinx was installed by wheel package.

Release 1.3b1 (released Oct 10, 2014)

Incompatible changes

  • Dropped support for Python 2.5, 3.1 and 3.2.
  • Dropped support for docutils versions up to 0.9.
  • Removed the sphinx.ext.oldcmarkup extension.
  • The deprecated config values exclude_trees, exclude_dirnames and unused_docs have been removed.
  • A new node, sphinx.addnodes.literal_strong, has been added, for text that should appear literally (i.e. no smart quotes) in strong font.  Custom writers will have to be adapted to handle this node.
  • PR#269, #1476: replace <tt> tag by <code>. User customized stylesheets should be updated If the css contain some styles for tt> tag. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • #1543: templates_path is automatically added to exclude_patterns to avoid reading autosummary rst templates in the templates directory.
  • Custom domains should implement the new Domain.resolve_any_xref method to make the any role work properly.
  • gettext builder: gettext doesn’t emit uuid information to generated pot files by default. Please set True to gettext_uuid to emit uuid information. Additionally, if the python-levenshtein 3rd-party package is installed, it will improve the calculation time.
  • gettext builder: disable extracting/apply ‘index’ node by default. Please set ‘index’ to gettext_enables to enable extracting index entries.
  • PR#307: Add frame to code-block in LaTeX. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.

Features added

  • Add support for Python 3.4.
  • Add support for docutils 0.12
  • Added sphinx.ext.napoleon extension for NumPy and Google style docstring support.
  • Added support for parallel reading (parsing) of source files with the sphinx-build -j option.  Third-party extensions will need to be checked for compatibility and may need to be adapted if they store information in the build environment object.  See env-merge-info.
  • Added the any role that can be used to find a cross-reference of any type in any domain.  Custom domains should implement the new Domain.resolve_any_xref method to make this work properly.
  • Exception logs now contain the last 10 messages emitted by Sphinx.
  • Added support for extension versions (a string returned by setup(), these can be shown in the traceback log files).  Version requirements for extensions can be specified in projects using the new needs_extensions config value.
  • Changing the default role within a document with the default-role directive is now supported.
  • PR#214: Added stemming support for 14 languages, so that the built-in document search can now handle these.  Thanks to Shibukawa Yoshiki.
  • PR#296, PR#303, #76: numfig feature: Assign numbers to figures, tables and code-blocks. This feature is configured with numfig, numfig_secnum_depth and numfig_format. Also numref role is available. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • PR#202: Allow “.” and “~” prefixed references in :param: doc fields for Python.
  • PR#184: Add autodoc_mock_imports, allowing to mock imports of external modules that need not be present when autodocumenting.
  • #925: Allow list-typed config values to be provided on the command line, like -D key=val1,val2.
  • #668: Allow line numbering of code-block and literalinclude directives to start at an arbitrary line number, with a new lineno-start option.
  • PR#172, PR#266: The code-block and literalinclude directives now can have a caption option that shows a filename before the code in the output. Thanks to Nasimul Haque, Takeshi Komiya.
  • Prompt for the document language in sphinx-quickstart.
  • PR#217: Added config values to suppress UUID and location information in generated gettext catalogs.
  • PR#236, #1456: apidoc: Add a -M option to put module documentation before submodule documentation. Thanks to Wes Turner and Luc Saffre.
  • #1434: Provide non-minified JS files for jquery.js and underscore.js to clarify the source of the minified files.
  • PR#252, #1291: Windows color console support. Thanks to meu31.
  • PR#255: When generating latex references, also insert latex target/anchor for the ids defined on the node. Thanks to Olivier Heurtier.
  • PR#229: Allow registration of other translators. Thanks to Russell Sim.
  • Add app.set_translator() API to register or override a Docutils translator class like html_translator_class.
  • PR#267, #1134: add ‘diff’ parameter to literalinclude. Thanks to Richard Wall and WAKAYAMA shirou.
  • PR#272: Added ‘bizstyle’ theme. Thanks to Shoji KUMAGAI.
  • Automatically compile *.mo files from *.po files when gettext_auto_build is True (default) and *.po is newer than *.mo file.
  • #623: sphinx.ext.viewcode supports imported function/class aliases.
  • PR#275: sphinx.ext.intersphinx supports multiple target for the inventory. Thanks to Brigitta Sipocz.
  • PR#261: Added the env-before-read-docs event that can be connected to modify the order of documents before they are read by the environment.
  • #1284: Program options documented with option can now start with +.
  • PR#291: The caption of code-block is recognized as a title of ref target. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • PR#298: Add new API: add_latex_package(). Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • #1344: add gettext_enables to enable extracting ‘index’ to gettext catalog output / applying translation catalog to generated documentation.
  • PR#301, #1583: Allow the line numbering of the directive literalinclude to match that of the included file, using a new lineno-match option. Thanks to Jeppe Pihl.
  • PR#299: add various options to sphinx-quickstart. Quiet mode option --quiet will skips wizard mode. Thanks to WAKAYAMA shirou.
  • #1623: Return types specified with :rtype: are now turned into links if possible.

Bugs fixed

  • #1438: Updated jQuery version from 1.8.3 to 1.11.1.
  • #1568: Fix a crash when a “centered” directive contains a reference.
  • Now sphinx.ext.autodoc works with python-2.5 again.
  • #1563: add_search_language() raises AssertionError for correct type of argument. Thanks to rikoman.
  • #1174: Fix smart quotes being applied inside roles like program or makevar.
  • PR#235: comment db schema of websupport lacked a length of the node_id field. Thanks to solos.
  • #1466,PR#241: Fix failure of the cpp domain parser to parse C+11 “variadic templates” declarations. Thanks to Victor Zverovich.
  • #1459,PR#244: Fix default mathjax js path point to http:// that cause mixed-content error on HTTPS server. Thanks to sbrandtb and robo9k.
  • PR#157: autodoc remove spurious signatures from @property decorated attributes. Thanks to David Ham.
  • PR#159: Add coverage targets to quickstart generated Makefile and make.bat. Thanks to Matthias Troffaes.
  • #1251: When specifying toctree :numbered: option and :tocdepth: metadata, sub section number that is larger depth than :tocdepth: is shrunk.
  • PR#260: Encode underscore in citation labels for latex export. Thanks to Lennart Fricke.
  • PR#264: Fix could not resolve xref for figure node with :name: option. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • PR#265: Fix could not capture caption of graphviz node by xref. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • PR#263, #1013, #1103: Rewrite of C++ domain. Thanks to Jakob Lykke Andersen.

    • Hyperlinks to all found nested names and template arguments (#1103).
    • Support for function types everywhere, e.g., in std::function<bool(int, int)> (#1013).
    • Support for virtual functions.
    • Changed interpretation of function arguments to following standard prototype declarations, i.e., void f(arg) means that arg is the type of the argument, instead of it being the name.
    • Updated tests.
    • Updated documentation with elaborate description of what declarations are supported and how the namespace declarations influence declaration and cross-reference lookup.
    • Index names may be different now. Elements are indexed by their fully qualified name. It should be rather easy to change this behaviour and potentially index by namespaces/classes as well.
  • PR#258, #939: Add dedent option for code-block and literalinclude. Thanks to Zafar Siddiqui.
  • PR#268: Fix numbering section does not work at singlehtml mode. It still ad-hoc fix because there is a issue that section IDs are conflicted. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • PR#273, #1536: Fix RuntimeError with numbered circular toctree. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • PR#274: Set its URL as a default title value if URL appears in toctree. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • PR#276, #1381: rfc and pep roles support custom link text. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • PR#277, #1513: highlights for function pointers in argument list of c:function. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • PR#278: Fix section entries were shown twice if toctree has been put under only directive. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • #1547: pgen2 tokenizer doesn’t recognize ... literal (Ellipsis for py3).
  • PR#294: On LaTeX builder, wrap float environment on writing literal_block to avoid separation of caption and body. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • PR#295, #1520: make.bat latexpdf mechanism to cd back to the current directory. Thanks to Peter Suter.
  • PR#297, #1571: Add imgpath property to all builders. It make easier to develop builder extensions. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • #1584: Point to master doc in HTML “top” link.
  • #1585: Autosummary of modules broken in Sphinx-1.2.3.
  • #1610: Sphinx cause AttributeError when MeCab search option is enabled and python-mecab is not installed.
  • #1674: Do not crash if a module’s __all__ is not a list of strings.
  • #1673: Fix crashes with nitpick_ignore and :doc: references.
  • #1686: ifconfig directive doesn’t care about default config values.
  • #1642: Fix only one search result appearing in Chrome.


  • Add clarification about the syntax of tags. (doc/markup/misc.rst)

Release 1.2.3 (released Sep 1, 2014)

Features added

  • #1518: sphinx-apidoc command now has a --version option to show version information and exit
  • New locales: Hebrew, European Portuguese, Vietnamese.

Bugs fixed

  • #636: Keep straight single quotes in literal blocks in the LaTeX build.
  • #1419: Generated i18n sphinx.js files are missing message catalog entries from ‘.js_t’ and ‘.html’. The issue was introduced from Sphinx-1.1
  • #1363: Fix i18n: missing python domain’s cross-references with currentmodule directive or currentclass directive.
  • #1444: autosummary does not create the description from attributes docstring.
  • #1457: In python3 environment, make linkcheck cause “Can’t convert ‘bytes’ object to str implicitly” error when link target url has a hash part. Thanks to Jorge_C.
  • #1467: Exception on Python3 if nonexistent method is specified by automethod
  • #1441: autosummary can’t handle nested classes correctly.
  • #1499: With non-callable setup in a conf.py, now sphinx-build emits a user-friendly error message.
  • #1502: In autodoc, fix display of parameter defaults containing backslashes.
  • #1226: autodoc, autosummary: importing setup.py by automodule will invoke setup process and execute sys.exit(). Now sphinx avoids SystemExit exception and emits warnings without unexpected termination.
  • #1503: py:function directive generate incorrectly signature when specifying a default parameter with an empty list []. Thanks to Geert Jansen.
  • #1508: Non-ASCII filename raise exception on make singlehtml, latex, man, texinfo and changes.
  • #1531: On Python3 environment, docutils.conf with ‘source_link=true’ in the general section cause type error.
  • PR#270, #1533: Non-ASCII docstring cause UnicodeDecodeError when uses with inheritance-diagram directive. Thanks to WAKAYAMA shirou.
  • PR#281, PR#282, #1509: Todo extension not compatible with websupport. Thanks to Takeshi Komiya.
  • #1477: gettext does not extract nodes.line in a table or list.
  • #1544: make text generates wrong table when it has empty table cells.
  • #1522: Footnotes from table get displayed twice in LaTeX. This problem has been appeared from Sphinx-1.2.1 by #949.
  • #508: Sphinx every time exit with zero when is invoked from setup.py command. ex. python setup.py build_sphinx -b doctest return zero even if doctest failed.

Release 1.2.2 (released Mar 2, 2014)

Bugs fixed

  • PR#211: When checking for existence of the html_logo file, check the full relative path and not the basename.
  • PR#212: Fix traceback with autodoc and __init__ methods without docstring.
  • PR#213: Fix a missing import in the setup command.
  • #1357: Option names documented by option are now again allowed to not start with a dash or slash, and referencing them will work correctly.
  • #1358: Fix handling of image paths outside of the source directory when using the “wildcard” style reference.
  • #1374: Fix for autosummary generating overly-long summaries if first line doesn’t end with a period.
  • #1383: Fix Python 2.5 compatibility of sphinx-apidoc.
  • #1391: Actually prevent using “pngmath” and “mathjax” extensions at the same time in sphinx-quickstart.
  • #1386: Fix bug preventing more than one theme being added by the entry point mechanism.
  • #1370: Ignore “toctree” nodes in text writer, instead of raising.
  • #1364: Fix ‘make gettext’ fails when the ‘.. todolist::’ directive is present.
  • #1367: Fix a change of PR#96 that break sphinx.util.docfields.Field.make_field interface/behavior for item argument usage.


  • Extended the documentation about building extensions.

Release 1.2.1 (released Jan 19, 2014)

Bugs fixed

  • #1335: Fix autosummary template overloading with exclamation prefix like {% extends "!autosummary/class.rst" %} cause infinite recursive function call. This was caused by PR#181.
  • #1337: Fix autodoc with autoclass_content="both" uses useless object.__init__ docstring when class does not have __init__. This was caused by a change for #1138.
  • #1340: Can’t search alphabetical words on the HTML quick search generated with language=’ja’.
  • #1319: Do not crash if the html_logo file does not exist.
  • #603: Do not use the HTML-ized title for building the search index (that resulted in “literal” being found on every page with a literal in the title).
  • #751: Allow production lists longer than a page in LaTeX by using longtable.
  • #764: Always look for stopwords lowercased in JS search.
  • #814: autodoc: Guard against strange type objects that don’t have __bases__.
  • #932: autodoc: Do not crash if __doc__ is not a string.
  • #933: Do not crash if an option value is malformed (contains spaces but no option name).
  • #908: On Python 3, handle error messages from LaTeX correctly in the pngmath extension.
  • #943: In autosummary, recognize “first sentences” to pull from the docstring if they contain uppercase letters.
  • #923: Take the entire LaTeX document into account when caching pngmath-generated images.  This rebuilds them correctly when pngmath_latex_preamble changes.
  • #901: Emit a warning when using docutils’ new “math” markup without a Sphinx math extension active.
  • #845: In code blocks, when the selected lexer fails, display line numbers nevertheless if configured.
  • #929: Support parsed-literal blocks in LaTeX output correctly.
  • #949: Update the tabulary.sty packed with Sphinx.
  • #1050: Add anonymous labels into objects.inv to be referenced via intersphinx.
  • #1095: Fix print-media stylesheet being included always in the “scrolls” theme.
  • #1085: Fix current classname not getting set if class description has :noindex: set.
  • #1181: Report option errors in autodoc directives more gracefully.
  • #1155: Fix autodocumenting C-defined methods as attributes in Python 3.
  • #1233: Allow finding both Python classes and exceptions with the “class” and “exc” roles in intersphinx.
  • #1198: Allow “image” for the “figwidth” option of the figure directive as documented by docutils.
  • #1152: Fix pycode parsing errors of Python 3 code by including two grammar versions for Python 2 and 3, and loading the appropriate version for the running Python version.
  • #1017: Be helpful and tell the user when the argument to option does not match the required format.
  • #1345: Fix two bugs with nitpick_ignore; now you don’t have to remove the store environment for changes to have effect.
  • #1072: In the JS search, fix issues searching for upper-cased words by lowercasing words before stemming.
  • #1299: Make behavior of the math directive more consistent and avoid producing empty environments in LaTeX output.
  • #1308: Strip HTML tags from the content of “raw” nodes before feeding it to the search indexer.
  • #1249: Fix duplicate LaTeX page numbering for manual documents.
  • #1292: In the linkchecker, retry HEAD requests when denied by HTTP 405. Also make the redirect code apparent and tweak the output a bit to be more obvious.
  • #1285: Avoid name clashes between C domain objects and section titles.
  • #848: Always take the newest code in incremental rebuilds with the sphinx.ext.viewcode extension.
  • #979, #1266: Fix exclude handling in sphinx-apidoc.
  • #1302: Fix regression in sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram when documenting classes that can’t be pickled.
  • #1316: Remove hard-coded font-face resources from epub theme.
  • #1329: Fix traceback with empty translation msgstr in .po files.
  • #1300: Fix references not working in translated documents in some instances.
  • #1283: Fix a bug in the detection of changed files that would try to access doctrees of deleted documents.
  • #1330: Fix exclude_patterns behavior with subdirectories in the html_static_path.
  • #1323: Fix emitting empty <ul> tags in the HTML writer, which is not valid HTML.
  • #1147: Don’t emit a sidebar search box in the “singlehtml” builder.


  • #1325: Added a “Intersphinx” tutorial section. (doc/tutorial.rst)

Release 1.2 (released Dec 10, 2013)

Features added

  • Added sphinx.version_info tuple for programmatic checking of the Sphinx version.

Incompatible changes

  • Removed the sphinx.ext.refcounting extension – it is very specific to CPython and has no place in the main distribution.

Bugs fixed

  • Restore versionmodified CSS class for versionadded/changed and deprecated directives.
  • PR#181: Fix html_theme_path = ['.'] is a trigger of rebuild all documents always (This change keeps the current “theme changes cause a rebuild” feature).
  • #1296: Fix invalid charset in HTML help generated HTML files for default locale.
  • PR#190: Fix gettext does not extract figure caption and rubric title inside other blocks. Thanks to Michael Schlenker.
  • PR#176: Make sure setup_command test can always import Sphinx. Thanks to Dmitry Shachnev.
  • #1311: Fix test_linkcode.test_html fails with C locale and Python 3.
  • #1269: Fix ResourceWarnings with Python 3.2 or later.
  • #1138: Fix: When autodoc_docstring_signature = True and autoclass_content = 'init' or 'both', __init__ line should be removed from class documentation.

Release 1.2 beta3 (released Oct 3, 2013)

Features added

  • The Sphinx error log files will now include a list of the loaded extensions for help in debugging.

Incompatible changes

  • PR#154: Remove “sphinx” prefix from LaTeX class name except ‘sphinxmanual’ and ‘sphinxhowto’. Now you can use your custom document class without ‘sphinx’ prefix. Thanks to Erik B.

Bugs fixed

  • #1265: Fix i18n: crash when translating a section name that is pointed to from a named target.
  • A wrong condition broke the search feature on first page that is usually index.rst.  This issue was introduced in 1.2b1.
  • #703: When Sphinx can’t decode filenames with non-ASCII characters, Sphinx now catches UnicodeError and will continue if possible instead of raising the exception.

Release 1.2 beta2 (released Sep 17, 2013)

Features added

  • apidoc now ignores “_private” modules by default, and has an option -P to include them.
  • apidoc now has an option to not generate headings for packages and modules, for the case that the module docstring already includes a reST heading.
  • PR#161: apidoc can now write each module to a standalone page instead of combining all modules in a package on one page.
  • Builders: rebuild i18n target document when catalog updated.
  • Support docutils.conf ‘writers’ and ‘html4css1 writer’ section in the HTML writer.  The latex, manpage and texinfo writers also support their respective ‘writers’ sections.
  • The new html_extra_path config value allows to specify directories with files that should be copied directly to the HTML output directory.
  • Autodoc directives for module data and attributes now support an annotation option, so that the default display of the data/attribute value can be overridden.
  • PR#136: Autodoc directives now support an imported-members option to include members imported from different modules.
  • New locales: Macedonian, Sinhala, Indonesian.
  • Theme package collection by using setuptools plugin mechanism.

Incompatible changes

  • PR#144, #1182: Force timezone offset to LocalTimeZone on POT-Creation-Date that was generated by gettext builder. Thanks to masklinn and Jakub Wilk.

Bugs fixed

  • PR#132: Updated jQuery version to 1.8.3.
  • PR#141, #982: Avoid crash when writing PNG file using Python 3. Thanks to Marcin Wojdyr.
  • PR#145: In parallel builds, sphinx drops second document file to write. Thanks to tychoish.
  • PR#151: Some styling updates to tables in LaTeX.
  • PR#153: The “extensions” config value can now be overridden.
  • PR#155: Added support for some C++11 function qualifiers.
  • Fix: ‘make gettext’ caused UnicodeDecodeError when templates contain utf-8 encoded strings.
  • #828: use inspect.getfullargspec() to be able to document functions with keyword-only arguments on Python 3.
  • #1090: Fix i18n: multiple cross references (term, ref, doc) in the same line return the same link.
  • #1157: Combination of ‘globaltoc.html’ and hidden toctree caused exception.
  • #1159: fix wrong generation of objects inventory for Python modules, and add a workaround in intersphinx to fix handling of affected inventories.
  • #1160: Citation target missing caused an AssertionError.
  • #1162, PR#139: singlehtml builder didn’t copy images to _images/.
  • #1173: Adjust setup.py dependencies because Jinja2 2.7 discontinued compatibility with Python < 3.3 and Python < 2.6.  Thanks to Alexander Dupuy.
  • #1185: Don’t crash when a Python module has a wrong or no encoding declared, and non-ASCII characters are included.
  • #1188: sphinx-quickstart raises UnicodeEncodeError if “Project version” includes non-ASCII characters.
  • #1189: “Title underline is too short” WARNING is given when using fullwidth characters to “Project name” on quickstart.
  • #1190: Output TeX/texinfo/man filename has no basename (only extension) when using non-ASCII characters in the “Project name” on quickstart.
  • #1192: Fix escaping problem for hyperlinks in the manpage writer.
  • #1193: Fix i18n: multiple link references in the same line return the same link.
  • #1176: Fix i18n: footnote reference number missing for auto numbered named footnote and auto symbol footnote.
  • PR#146,#1172: Fix ZeroDivisionError in parallel builds. Thanks to tychoish.
  • #1204: Fix wrong generation of links to local intersphinx targets.
  • #1206: Fix i18n: gettext did not translate admonition directive’s title.
  • #1232: Sphinx generated broken ePub files on Windows.
  • #1259: Guard the debug output call when emitting events; to prevent the repr() implementation of arbitrary objects causing build failures.
  • #1142: Fix NFC/NFD normalizing problem of rst filename on Mac OS X.
  • #1234: Ignoring the string consists only of white-space characters.

Release 1.2 beta1 (released Mar 31, 2013)

Incompatible changes

  • Removed sphinx.util.compat.directive_dwim() and sphinx.roles.xfileref_role() which were deprecated since version 1.0.
  • PR#122: the files given in latex_additional_files now override TeX files included by Sphinx, such as sphinx.sty.
  • PR#124: the node generated by versionadded, versionchanged and deprecated directives now includes all added markup (such as “New in version X”) as child nodes, and no additional text must be generated by writers.
  • PR#99: the seealso directive now generates admonition nodes instead of the custom seealso node.

Features added

  • Markup

    • The toctree directive and the toctree() template function now have an includehidden option that includes hidden toctree entries (bugs #790 and #1047).  A bug in the maxdepth option for the toctree() template function has been fixed (bug #1046).
    • PR#99: Strip down seealso directives to normal admonitions.  This removes their unusual CSS classes (admonition-see-also), inconsistent LaTeX admonition title (“See Also” instead of “See also”), and spurious indentation in the text builder.
  • HTML builder

    • #783: Create a link to full size image if it is scaled with width or height.
    • #1067: Improve the ordering of the JavaScript search results: matches in titles come before matches in full text, and object results are better categorized. Also implement a pluggable search scorer.
    • #1053: The “rightsidebar” and “collapsiblesidebar” HTML theme options now work together.
    • Update to jQuery 1.7.1 and Underscore.js 1.3.1.
  • Texinfo builder

    • An “Index” node is no longer added when there are no entries.
    • “deffn” categories are no longer capitalized if they contain capital letters.
    • desc_annotation nodes are now rendered.
    • strong and emphasis nodes are now formatted like literals. The reason for this is because the standard Texinfo markup (*strong* and _emphasis_) resulted in confusing output due to the common usage of using these constructs for documenting parameter names.
    • Field lists formatting has been tweaked to better display “Info field lists”.
    • system_message and problematic nodes are now formatted in a similar fashion as done by the text builder.
    • “en-dash” and “em-dash” conversion of hyphens is no longer performed in option directive signatures.
    • @ref is now used instead of @pxref for cross-references which prevents the word “see” from being added before the link (does not affect the Info output).
    • The @finalout command has been added for better TeX output.
    • transition nodes are now formatted using underscores (“_”) instead of asterisks (“*”).
    • The default value for the paragraphindent has been changed from 2 to 0 meaning that paragraphs are no longer indented by default.
    • #1110: A new configuration value texinfo_no_detailmenu has been added for controlling whether a @detailmenu is added in the “Top” node’s menu.
    • Detailed menus are no longer created except for the “Top” node.
    • Fixed an issue where duplicate domain indices would result in invalid output.
  • LaTeX builder:

    • PR#115: Add 'transition' item in latex_elements for customizing how transitions are displayed. Thanks to Jeff Klukas.
    • PR#114: The LaTeX writer now includes the “cmap” package by default. The 'cmappkg' item in latex_elements can be used to control this. Thanks to Dmitry Shachnev.
    • The 'fontpkg' item in latex_elements now defaults to '' when the language uses the Cyrillic script.  Suggested by Dmitry Shachnev.
    • The latex_documents, texinfo_documents, and man_pages configuration values will be set to default values based on the master_doc if not explicitly set in conf.py. Previously, if these values were not set, no output would be generated by their respective builders.
  • Internationalization:

    • Add i18n capabilities for custom templates.  For example: The Sphinx reference documentation in doc directory provides a sphinx.pot file with message strings from doc/_templates/*.html when using make gettext.
    • PR#61,#703: Add support for non-ASCII filename handling.
  • Other builders:

    • Added the Docutils-native XML and pseudo-XML builders.  See XMLBuilder and PseudoXMLBuilder.
    • PR#45: The linkcheck builder now checks #anchors for existence.
    • PR#123, #1106: Add epub_use_index configuration value.  If provided, it will be used instead of html_use_index for epub builder.
    • PR#126: Add epub_tocscope configuration value. The setting controls the generation of the epub toc. The user can now also include hidden toc entries.
    • PR#112: Add epub_show_urls configuration value.
  • Extensions:

    • PR#52: special_members flag to autodoc now behaves like members.
    • PR#47: Added sphinx.ext.linkcode extension.
    • PR#25: In inheritance diagrams, the first line of the class docstring is now the tooltip for the class.
  • Command-line interfaces:

    • PR#75: Added --follow-links option to sphinx-apidoc.
    • #869: sphinx-build now has the option -T for printing the full traceback after an unhandled exception.
    • sphinx-build now supports the standard --help and --version options.
    • sphinx-build now provides more specific error messages when called with invalid options or arguments.
    • sphinx-build now has a verbose option -v which can be repeated for greater effect.  A single occurrence provides a slightly more verbose output than normal.  Two or more occurrences of this option provides more detailed output which may be useful for debugging.
  • Locales:

    • PR#74: Fix some Russian translation.
    • PR#54: Added Norwegian bokmaal translation.
    • PR#35: Added Slovak translation.
    • PR#28: Added Hungarian translation.
    • #1113: Add Hebrew locale.
    • #1097: Add Basque locale.
    • #1037: Fix typos in Polish translation. Thanks to Jakub Wilk.
    • #1012: Update Estonian translation.
  • Optimizations:

    • Speed up building the search index by caching the results of the word stemming routines.  Saves about 20 seconds when building the Python documentation.
    • PR#108: Add experimental support for parallel building with a new sphinx-build -j option.


  • PR#88: Added the “Sphinx Developer’s Guide” (doc/devguide.rst) which outlines the basic development process of the Sphinx project.
  • Added a detailed “Installing Sphinx” document (doc/install.rst).

Bugs fixed

  • PR#124: Fix paragraphs in versionmodified are ignored when it has no dangling paragraphs.  Fix wrong html output (nested <p> tag).  Fix versionmodified is not translatable.  Thanks to Nozomu Kaneko.
  • PR#111: Respect add_autodoc_attrgetter() even when inherited-members is set. Thanks to A. Jesse Jiryu Davis.
  • PR#97: Fix footnote handling in translated documents.
  • Fix text writer not handling visit_legend for figure directive contents.
  • Fix text builder not respecting wide/fullwidth characters: title underline width, table layout width and text wrap width.
  • Fix leading space in LaTeX table header cells.
  • #1132: Fix LaTeX table output for multi-row cells in the first column.
  • #1128: Fix Unicode errors when trying to format time strings with a non-standard locale.
  • #1127: Fix traceback when autodoc tries to tokenize a non-Python file.
  • #1126: Fix double-hyphen to en-dash conversion in wrong places such as command-line option names in LaTeX.
  • #1123: Allow whitespaces in filenames given to literalinclude.
  • #1120: Added improvements about i18n for themes “basic”, “haiku” and “scrolls” that Sphinx built-in. Thanks to Leonardo J. Caballero G.
  • #1118: Updated Spanish translation. Thanks to Leonardo J. Caballero G.
  • #1117: Handle .pyx files in sphinx-apidoc.
  • #1112: Avoid duplicate download files when referenced from documents in different ways (absolute/relative).
  • #1111: Fix failure to find uppercase words in search when html_search_language is ‘ja’. Thanks to Tomo Saito.
  • #1108: The text writer now correctly numbers enumerated lists with non-default start values (based on patch by Ewan Edwards).
  • #1102: Support multi-context “with” statements in autodoc.
  • #1090: Fix gettext not extracting glossary terms.
  • #1074: Add environment version info to the generated search index to avoid compatibility issues with old builds.
  • #1070: Avoid un-pickling issues when running Python 3 and the saved environment was created under Python 2.
  • #1069: Fixed error caused when autodoc would try to format signatures of “partial” functions without keyword arguments (patch by Artur Gaspar).
  • #1062: sphinx.ext.autodoc use __init__ method signature for class signature.
  • #1055: Fix web support with relative path to source directory.
  • #1043: Fix sphinx-quickstart asking again for yes/no questions because input() returns values with an extra ‘r’ on Python 3.2.0 + Windows. Thanks to Régis Décamps.
  • #1041: Fix failure of the cpp domain parser to parse a const type with a modifier.
  • #1038: Fix failure of the cpp domain parser to parse C+11 “static constexpr” declarations.  Thanks to Jakub Wilk.
  • #1029: Fix intersphinx_mapping values not being stable if the mapping has plural key/value set with Python 3.3.
  • #1028: Fix line block output in the text builder.
  • #1024: Improve Makefile/make.bat error message if Sphinx is not found. Thanks to Anatoly Techtonik.
  • #1018: Fix “container” directive handling in the text builder.
  • #1015: Stop overriding jQuery contains() in the JavaScript.
  • #1010: Make pngmath images transparent by default; IE7+ should handle it.
  • #1008: Fix test failures with Python 3.3.
  • #995: Fix table-of-contents and page numbering for the LaTeX “howto” class.
  • #976: Fix gettext does not extract index entries.
  • PR#72: #975: Fix gettext not extracting definition terms before docutils 0.10.
  • #961: Fix LaTeX output for triple quotes in code snippets.
  • #958: Do not preserve environment.pickle after a failed build.
  • #955: Fix i18n transformation.
  • #940: Fix gettext does not extract figure caption.
  • #920: Fix PIL packaging issue that allowed to import Image without PIL namespace.  Thanks to Marc Schlaich.
  • #723: Fix the search function on local files in WebKit based browsers.
  • #440: Fix coarse timestamp resolution in some filesystem generating a wrong list of outdated files.

Release 1.1.3 (Mar 10, 2012)

  • PR#40: Fix safe_repr function to decode bytestrings with non-ASCII characters correctly.
  • PR#37: Allow configuring sphinx-apidoc via SPHINX_APIDOC_OPTIONS.
  • PR#34: Restore Python 2.4 compatibility.
  • PR#36: Make the “bibliography to TOC” fix in LaTeX output specific to the document class.
  • #695: When the highlight language “python” is specified explicitly, do not try to parse the code to recognize non-Python snippets.
  • #859: Fix exception under certain circumstances when not finding appropriate objects to link to.
  • #860: Do not crash when encountering invalid doctest examples, just emit a warning.
  • #864: Fix crash with some settings of modindex_common_prefix.
  • #862: Fix handling of -D and -A options on Python 3.
  • #851: Recognize and warn about circular toctrees, instead of running into recursion errors.
  • #853: Restore compatibility with docutils trunk.
  • #852: Fix HtmlHelp index entry links again.
  • #854: Fix inheritance_diagram raising attribute errors on builtins.
  • #832: Fix crashes when putting comments or lone terms in a glossary.
  • #834, #818: Fix HTML help language/encoding mapping for all Sphinx supported languages.
  • #844: Fix crashes when dealing with Unicode output in doctest extension.
  • #831: Provide --project flag in setup_command as advertised.
  • #875: Fix reading config files under Python 3.
  • #876: Fix quickstart test under Python 3.
  • #870: Fix spurious KeyErrors when removing documents.
  • #892: Fix single-HTML builder misbehaving with the master document in a subdirectory.
  • #873: Fix assertion errors with empty only directives.
  • #816: Fix encoding issues in the Qt help builder.

Release 1.1.2 (Nov 1, 2011) – 1.1.1 is a silly version number anyway!

  • #809: Include custom fixers in the source distribution.

Release 1.1.1 (Nov 1, 2011)

  • #791: Fix QtHelp, DevHelp and HtmlHelp index entry links.
  • #792: Include “sphinx-apidoc” in the source distribution.
  • #797: Don’t crash on a misformatted glossary.
  • #801: Make intersphinx work properly without SSL support.
  • #805: Make the Sphinx.add_index_to_domain method work correctly.
  • #780: Fix Python 2.5 compatibility.

Release 1.1 (Oct 9, 2011)

Incompatible changes

  • The py:module directive doesn’t output its platform option value anymore.  (It was the only thing that the directive did output, and therefore quite inconsistent.)
  • Removed support for old dependency versions; requirements are now:

    • Pygments >= 1.2
    • Docutils >= 0.7
    • Jinja2   >= 2.3

Features added

  • Added Python 3.x support.
  • New builders and subsystems:

    • Added a Texinfo builder.
    • Added i18n support for content, a gettext builder and related utilities.
    • Added the websupport library and builder.
    • #98: Added a sphinx-apidoc script that autogenerates a hierarchy of source files containing autodoc directives to document modules and packages.
    • #273: Add an API for adding full-text search support for languages other than English.  Add support for Japanese.
  • Markup:

    • #138: Added an index role, to make inline index entries.
    • #454: Added more index markup capabilities: marking see/seealso entries, and main entries for a given key.
    • #460: Allowed limiting the depth of section numbers for HTML using the toctree’s numbered option.
    • #586: Implemented improved glossary markup which allows multiple terms per definition.
    • #478: Added py:decorator directive to describe decorators.
    • C++ domain now supports array definitions.
    • C++ domain now supports doc fields (:param x: inside directives).
    • Section headings in only directives are now correctly handled.
    • Added emphasize-lines option to source code directives.
    • #678: C++ domain now supports superclasses.
  • HTML builder:

    • Added pyramid theme.
    • #559: html_add_permalinks is now a string giving the text to display in permalinks.
    • #259: HTML table rows now have even/odd CSS classes to enable “Zebra styling”.
    • #554: Add theme option sidebarwidth to the basic theme.
  • Other builders:

    • #516: Added new value of the latex_show_urls option to show the URLs in footnotes.
    • #209: Added text_newlines and text_sectionchars config values.
    • Added man_show_urls config value.
    • #472: linkcheck builder: Check links in parallel, use HTTP HEAD requests and allow configuring the timeout.  New config values: linkcheck_timeout and linkcheck_workers.
    • #521: Added linkcheck_ignore config value.
    • #28: Support row/colspans in tables in the LaTeX builder.
  • Configuration and extensibility:

    • #537: Added nitpick_ignore.
    • #306: Added env-get-outdated event.
    • Application.add_stylesheet() now accepts full URIs.
  • Autodoc:

    • #564: Add autodoc_docstring_signature.  When enabled (the default), autodoc retrieves the signature from the first line of the docstring, if it is found there.
    • #176: Provide private-members option for autodoc directives.
    • #520: Provide special-members option for autodoc directives.
    • #431: Doc comments for attributes can now be given on the same line as the assignment.
    • #437: autodoc now shows values of class data attributes.
    • autodoc now supports documenting the signatures of functools.partial objects.
  • Other extensions:

    • Added the sphinx.ext.mathjax extension.
    • #443: Allow referencing external graphviz files.
    • Added inline option to graphviz directives, and fixed the default (block-style) in LaTeX output.
    • #590: Added caption option to graphviz directives.
    • #553: Added testcleanup blocks in the doctest extension.
    • #594: trim_doctest_flags now also removes <BLANKLINE> indicators.
    • #367: Added automatic exclusion of hidden members in inheritance diagrams, and an option to selectively enable it.
    • Added pngmath_add_tooltips.
    • The math extension displaymath directives now support name in addition to label for giving the equation label, for compatibility with Docutils.
  • New locales:

    • #221: Added Swedish locale.
    • #526: Added Iranian locale.
    • #694: Added Latvian locale.
    • Added Nepali locale.
    • #714: Added Korean locale.
    • #766: Added Estonian locale.
  • Bugs fixed:

    • #778: Fix “hide search matches” link on pages linked by search.
    • Fix the source positions referenced by the “viewcode” extension.

Release 1.0.8 (Sep 23, 2011)

  • #627: Fix tracebacks for AttributeErrors in autosummary generation.
  • Fix the abbr role when the abbreviation has newlines in it.
  • #727: Fix the links to search results with custom object types.
  • #648: Fix line numbers reported in warnings about undefined references.
  • #696, #666: Fix C++ array definitions and template arguments that are not type names.
  • #633: Allow footnotes in section headers in LaTeX output.
  • #616: Allow keywords to be linked via intersphinx.
  • #613: Allow Unicode characters in production list token names.
  • #720: Add dummy visitors for graphviz nodes for text and man.
  • #704: Fix image file duplication bug.
  • #677: Fix parsing of multiple signatures in C++ domain.
  • #637: Ignore Emacs lock files when looking for source files.
  • #544: Allow .pyw extension for importable modules in autodoc.
  • #700: Use $(MAKE) in quickstart-generated Makefiles.
  • #734: Make sidebar search box width consistent in browsers.
  • #644: Fix spacing of centered figures in HTML output.
  • #767: Safely encode SphinxError messages when printing them to sys.stderr.
  • #611: Fix LaTeX output error with a document with no sections but a link target.
  • Correctly treat built-in method descriptors as methods in autodoc.
  • #706: Stop monkeypatching the Python textwrap module.
  • #657: viewcode now works correctly with source files that have non-ASCII encoding.
  • #669: Respect the noindex flag option in py:module directives.
  • #675: Fix IndexErrors when including nonexisting lines with literalinclude.
  • #676: Respect custom function/method parameter separator strings.
  • #682: Fix JS incompatibility with jQuery >= 1.5.
  • #693: Fix double encoding done when writing HTMLHelp .hhk files.
  • #647: Do not apply SmartyPants in parsed-literal blocks.
  • C++ domain now supports array definitions.

Release 1.0.7 (Jan 15, 2011)

  • #347: Fix wrong generation of directives of static methods in autosummary.
  • #599: Import PIL as from PIL import Image.
  • #558: Fix longtables with captions in LaTeX output.
  • Make token references work as hyperlinks again in LaTeX output.
  • #572: Show warnings by default when reference labels cannot be found.
  • #536: Include line number when complaining about missing reference targets in nitpicky mode.
  • #590: Fix inline display of graphviz diagrams in LaTeX output.
  • #589: Build using app.build() in setup command.
  • Fix a bug in the inheritance diagram exception that caused base classes to be skipped if one of them is a builtin.
  • Fix general index links for C++ domain objects.
  • #332: Make admonition boundaries in LaTeX output visible.
  • #573: Fix KeyErrors occurring on rebuild after removing a file.
  • Fix a traceback when removing files with globbed toctrees.
  • If an autodoc object cannot be imported, always re-read the document containing the directive on next build.
  • If an autodoc object cannot be imported, show the full traceback of the import error.
  • Fix a bug where the removal of download files and images wasn’t noticed.
  • #571: Implement ~ cross-reference prefix for the C domain.
  • Fix regression of LaTeX output with the fix of #556.
  • #568: Fix lookup of class attribute documentation on descriptors so that comment documentation now works.
  • Fix traceback with only directives preceded by targets.
  • Fix tracebacks occurring for duplicate C++ domain objects.
  • Fix JavaScript domain links to objects with $ in their name.

Release 1.0.6 (Jan 04, 2011)

  • #581: Fix traceback in Python domain for empty cross-reference targets.
  • #283: Fix literal block display issues on Chrome browsers.
  • #383, #148: Support sorting a limited range of accented characters in the general index and the glossary.
  • #570: Try decoding -D and -A command-line arguments with the locale’s preferred encoding.
  • #528: Observe locale_dirs when looking for the JS translations file.
  • #574: Add special code for better support of Japanese documents in the LaTeX builder.
  • Regression of #77: If there is only one parameter given with :param: markup, the bullet list is now suppressed again.
  • #556: Fix missing paragraph breaks in LaTeX output in certain situations.
  • #567: Emit the autodoc-process-docstring event even for objects without a docstring so that it can add content.
  • #565: In the LaTeX builder, not only literal blocks req