This page describes some of the RST and Sphinx syntax. It is based on resource found at Sphinx , Docutils and more generally software documentation written with Sphinx. This is not an exhaustive description but it should allow you to start and create already nice documentation. The reStructuredText RST syntax provides an easy-to-read, what-you-see-is-what-you-get plaintext markup syntax and parser system.
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This page describes some of the RST and Sphinx syntax. It is based on resource found at Sphinx , Docutils and more generally software documentation written with Sphinx. This is not an exhaustive description but it should allow you to start and create already nice documentation. The reStructuredText RST syntax provides an easy-to-read, what-you-see-is-what-you-get plaintext markup syntax and parser system. However, you need to be very precise and stick to some strict rules:.
This entire document is written with the RST syntax. In the right sidebar, you should find a link show source , which shows the RST source code. There are a few special characters used to format text. The double backquote is used to enter in verbatim mode, which can be used as the escaping character.
The use of backslash is a work around to second previous restrictions about whitespaces in the following case:. In Python docstrings it will be necessary to escape any backslash characters so that they actually reach reStructuredText. The simplest way to do this is to use raw strings by adding the letter r in front of the docstring. In order to write a title, you can either underline it or under and overline it. The following examples are correct titles.
Normally, there are no heading levels assigned to certain characters as the structure is determined from the succession of headings. However, it is better to stick to the same convention throughout a project. For instance:. Note the underscore after the final single quote. Since the full name of the link is not always simple or meaningful, you can specify a label note the space between the label and link name :.
All titles are considered as hyperlinks. A link to a title is just its name within quotes and a final underscore:. This syntax works only if the title and link are within the same RST file. If this is not the case, then you need to create a label before the title and refer to this new link explicitly, as explained in Explicit Links section. You can create explicit links within your RST files. The second method use the ref role as follows:.
Note that the second method is compulsary if the link is to be found in an external RST file. For instance, the introduction page is an external page with a link called introduction at the top of the page.
Note that if you use the ref role, the final underscore is not required anymore. Sphinx and the RST syntax provides directives to include formatted text. As an example, let us consider the code-block syntax. It allows to insert code here HTML within your document:. Here, code-block is the name of the directive. This easiest way to insert literal code blocks is to end a paragraph with the special marker made of a double coulumn Then, the literal block must be indented:.
By default the syntax of the language is Python, but you can specify the language using the code-block directive as follows:. For instance, the sample. There are several ways to write tables. Use standard reStructuredText tables as explained here. The previous examples 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:. It can have values like:. By default, Sphinx uses a table layout with L for every column. This code:. Sooner or later you will want to structure your project documentation by having several RST files. The toctree directive allows you to insert other files within a RST file.
The reason to use this directive is that RST does not have facilities to interconnect several documents, or split documents into multiple output files. The toctree directive looks like. You may want to change this behaviour by changing the toctree as follows:. Let us suppose you have a python file called sample.
A Topic directive allows to write a title and a text together within a box similarly to the note directive. Subsequent indented lines comprise the body of the sidebar, and are interpreted as body elements. Here is an example . Citation references, like [CIT] may be defined at the bottom of the page:. Using this image alias, you can insert it easily in the text logo , like this.
This is especially useful when dealing with complicated code. For instance, in order to include 2 images within a table do as follows:. When you create a project, Sphinx generates a file containing an index to all the possible links title, classes, functions, You can refer to those index only if Sphinx knowns where to find this index.
THis is possible thanks to the intersphinx option in your configuration file. For instance, Python provides such a file, by default Sphinx knows about it. The following code can be found at the end of a typical Sphinx configuration file. Complete it to your needds:. For instance, orphan , nocomments , tocdepth. Sometimes, you have an rst file, that is not included in any rst files when using include for instance.
Yet, there are warnings. If you want to supprresse the warnings, include this code in the file:. In the special file called conf. You can add extension in this variable. In order to include equations or simple Latex code in the text e. Note also, that you can easily include more complex mathematical expressions using the math directive:.
Similarly to the note directive, one can include todo boxes bu it requires the sphinx. I put this extension into the package easydev , available on Pypi website. If so, let me know so that I can add the author! Enter search terms or a module, class or function name. Sphinx and RST syntax guide 0. Date: August 14, Author: Thomas Cokelaer. However, you need to be very precise and stick to some strict rules: like Python, RST syntax is sensitive to indentation! RST requires blank lines between paragraphs.
Inline markup and special characters e. If under and overline are used, their length must be identical The length of the underline must be at least as long as the title itself. Note Note that if you use the ref role, the final underscore is not required anymore. This is a numbered list. It has two items too. Note if two lists are separated by a blanck line only, then the two lists are not differentiated as you can see above. It allows to insert code here HTML within your document Then, the literal block must be indented: This is a simple example:: import math print 'import done'.
This is a simple example: :: import math print 'import done'. Note table and latex documents are not yet compatible in sphinx, and you should therefore precede them with the a special directive.. For this reason, the following directive exists The toctree directive looks like.. Note the directive module should be use only once for a given module.
Note This is a note box.
It includes reStructuredText , the easy to read, easy to use, what-you-see-is-what-you-get plaintext markup language. All documentation can be reached from the Docutils Project Documentation Overview. To the developers of an open source project, feedback is a great motivator and is very welcome. We also rely on feedback for determining what features to implement. Thus, if you tell us what you need, you may just get it! Please post any feedback to the docutils-users mailing list. All discussion about Docutils takes place on the mailing lists.
Docutils: Documentation Utilities
This document is a detailed technical specification; it is not a tutorial or a primer. These constructs are equally easy to read in raw and processed forms. This document is itself an example of reStructuredText raw, if you are reading the text file, or processed, if you are reading an HTML document, for example. The reStructuredText parser is a component of Docutils.
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