# sphinx / doc / rest.rst

 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 georg.brandl d41b25f 2008-11-02 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 georg.brandl ff1dce9 2008-03-16 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 georg.brandl 3df8730 2008-04-26 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 georg.brandl e3ae6e2 2008-03-25 georg.brandl 596ba81 2008-06-15 georg.brandl e3ae6e2 2008-03-25 georg.brandl 596ba81 2008-06-15 Georg Brandl 19bd5f3 2008-11-16 georg.brandl 596ba81 2008-06-15 georg.brandl e3ae6e2 2008-03-25 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 georg.brandl 4349898 2008-10-25 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 georg.brandl 4349898 2008-10-25 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 georg.brandl 4349898 2008-10-25 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 georg.brandl 4349898 2008-10-25 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 georg.brandl d41a03f 2008-10-25 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 Georg Brandl eeda430 2008-11-09 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 georg.brandl 7de0c9a 2008-10-16 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 georg.brandl 7de0c9a 2008-10-16 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09 Georg Brandl bdfa5c1 2008-11-08 georg.brandl 186cf92 2008-03-09  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 .. highlightlang:: rest reStructuredText Primer ======================= 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. .. seealso:: The authoritative reStructuredText User Documentation _. Paragraphs ---------- The paragraph 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. reST also allows for custom "interpreted text roles"', which signify 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. Lists and Quotes ---------------- List markup 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 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 Description. Paragraphs are quoted by just indenting them more than the surrounding paragraphs. Source Code ----------- Literal code blocks 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:". Hyperlinks ---------- External links ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Use Link text _ for inline web links. If the link text should be the web address, you don't need special markup at all, the parser finds links and mail addresses in ordinary text. Internal links ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Internal linking is done via a special reST role, see the section on specific markup, :ref:ref-role. Sections -------- Section headers 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, for the Python documentation, this convention is used 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. Explicit Markup --------------- "Explicit markup" 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.) Directives ---------- A directive is a generic block of explicit markup. Besides roles, it is one of the extension mechanisms of reST, and Sphinx makes heavy use of it. 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) :bar: no 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 bar (as you can see, options are given in the lines immediately following the arguments and indicated by the colons). The directive content follows after a blank line and is indented relative to the directive start. Images ------ reST supports an image directive, used like so:: .. image:: gnu.png (options) When used within Sphinx, the file name given (here gnu.png) must be relative to the source file, and 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 (i.e. not in LaTeX output). Other units (like pt for points) will be used for HTML and LaTeX output. 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 :file:gnu.pdf and :file:gnu.png existed in the source tree, the LaTeX builder would choose the former, while the HTML builder would prefer the latter. .. versionchanged:: 0.4 Added the support for file names ending in an asterisk. Footnotes --------- For footnotes, 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 ([#]_). Citations --------- Standard reST citations 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 #. Substitutions ------------- reST supports "substitutions", 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* See the reST reference for substitutions _ for details. If you want to use some substitutions for all documents, put them into a separate file and include it into all documents you want to use them in, using the :dir: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 :ref:default-substitutions. Comments -------- Every explicit markup block which isn't a valid markup construct (like the footnotes above) is regarded as a comment. 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 :confval:source_encoding config value. Gotchas ------- 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. * **No nested inline markup:** Something like *see :func:foo* is not possible. .. XXX more? 
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