The SCons reST tool


This tool tries to make working with docutils in SCons a little easier. It provides several toolchains for creating different output formats, like HTML or LaTeX, from a reST (reStructuredText) input file.


Installing it, requires you to copy (or, even better: checkout) the contents of the package's rest folder to

  1. "/path_to_your_project/site_scons/site_tools/rest", if you need the reST Tool in one project only, or
  2. "~/.scons/site_scons/site_tools/rest", for a system-wide installation under your current login.

For more infos about this, please refer to

How to activate

For activating the tool "rest", you have to add its name to the Environment constructor, like this

env = Environment(tools=['rest'])

On its startup, the reST tool tries to find an installed version of the docutils package by looking for the command-line tool rst2html. So make sure that it is added to your system's environment PATH and can be called directly, without specifying its full path.


For the most basic processing of reST to HTML/LaTeX/ODT, you need to have installed

  • the Python docutils package, and optionally
  • the pygment module for syntax highlighting in code blocks.

Processing documents

Creating a HTML or LaTeX document is very simple and straightforward. Say

env = Environment(tools=['rest'])
env.Rst2Html('manual.html', 'manual.rst')
env.Rst2Latex('manual.ltx', 'manual.rst')

to get both outputs from your source file manual.rst. As a shortcut, you can give the stem of the filenames alone, like this:

env = Environment(tools=['rest'])

and get the same result. Target and source lists are also supported:

env = Environment(tools=['rest'])
env.Rst2Html(['manual.html','reference.html'], ['manual.rst','reference.rst'])

or even

env = Environment(tools=['rest'])


Whenever you leave out the list of sources, you may not specify a file extension! The Tool uses the given names as file stems, and adds the suffixes for target and source files accordingly.

The rules given above are valid for all the Builders Rst2Html, Rst2Latex and Rst2Odt.

All builders

A simple list of all builders currently available:

Single HTML file.
Outputs a LaTeX file.
OpenOffice output.

Need more?

This work is still in a very basic state and hasn't been tested well with things like variant dirs, yet. There will definitely arise the need for adding features, or a variable. Let us know if you can think of a nice improvement or have worked on a bugfix/patch with success. Enter your issues at the Bitbucket bug tracker for the ReST Tool, or write to the User General Discussion list of SCons at users@scons.tigris.org.