Welcome to django-sphinxdoc’s documentation!


Quickstart Guide

This guide assumes that you already have a Django installation up and running. If this is not the case, you should work through the Django tutorial first.

You also need Haystack for searching within the documentation.


Just use PIP:

$ pip install django-sphinxdoc

If you want the lates development version, isntall it from Bitbucket:

$ pip install https://ssc@bitbucket.org/sscherfke/django-sphinxdoc
$ # or
$ hg clone ssh://hg@bitbucket.org/sscherfke/django-sphinxdoc
$ pip install -e django-sphinxdoc


Add 'sphinxdoc' to your INSTALLED_APPS in your settings.py and add the following line to your project’s urls.py:

(r'^docs/', include('sphinxdoc.urls')),

Install the required database tables with:

$ python manage.py migrate

In order get Haystack working with django-sphinxdoc, you only need to executes the steps under Configuration in the Haystack tutorial (if not already done). You don’t need to create any search indexes, views or templates yourself.

Optional Settings

Optional sphinxdoc settings in your settings.py.

Sets the length of the cache duration for sphinxdoc pages in minutes. If not set, defaults to 5 minutes. For caching to be active, you must enable Django’s cache framework
Sets the name of target directory (within the project root) for the sphinx builder and the sphinxdoc updater. If not set, defaults to _build.
A mapping of project slugs to lists of permissions indicating that users are required to log in and have the list of permissions to view the documented project. An empty list will just require a log in.

Add a project

Django-sphinxdoc adds the application Sphinxdoc with the Project and Document models to your admin panel. Create a new project and fill out these fields:

The name of the documented project
A sluggified version of the project name; will be generated automatically
A file system path to the Sphinx project (where Sphinx’ conf.py is located), e.g.: /path/to/project/docs

Build & import the documentation

You need to build JSON files from your documentation and import their content into your site’s database. Django-sphinxdoc provides a management command to help you with that:

$ python manage.py updatedoc -b <project-slug>

Note that the -b option requires Sphinx to be installed. If you wish to build your documentation elsewhere, you can use the same command without the build option to update the database with the pre-built files:

$ python manage.py updatedoc <project-slug>

That’s it!

You can now find the application’s documentation under /docs/<slug>/.

Auto-build JSON files on hg pull/push

If you use Mercurial (hg), you can update your documentation automatically each time you push to your web server (or if you pull from another server to your web server).

To do that, open your repository’s .hg/hgrc in your favorite editor and add the following lines to it:

changegroup = /path/to/your/python path/to/manage.py updatedoc -b <project>

Now, each time the repository is modified via a pull or push command, the documentation on your Django site will be updated automatically.

Change your documentation’s appearance

The templates for django-sphinxdoc consist of of three top-level div with the following classes:

The upper pagination bar with breadcrumbs and links to the previous and next section.
The stuff generated by Sphinx.
Like the upper pagination bar, but also contains the build date.

The following examples demonstrate how you can change the appearance of your documentation.

The “¶” sign after headings

To only show the headings’ “¶” sign if you hover above the heading, add something like this to your CSS:

#content .sphinx a.headerlink {
    font-size: 0.8em;
    padding: 0 4px 0 4px;
    text-decoration: none;
    visibility: hidden;
#content .sphinx *:hover > a.headerlink { visibility: visible; }

Changing font sizes for headings

Another style-problem for your site might be, that the Sphinx stuff starts with <h1> as top level heading, but that your site uses <h1> for the site title and <h2> as top level content heading.

I haven’t found a way to modify Sphinx’ behavior and make it use <h2>. To work around this, you can just change the font sizes of the Sphinx headings, so that Sphinx’ <h1> matches your <h2>:

h1 { font-size: 40px; } /* This is your blog title */
h2 { font-size: 22px; } /* This is used for page and post titles */
h3 { font-size: 18px; }

/* Changes for Sphinx */
#content .sphinx h1 { font-size: 22px; }
#content .sphinx h2 { font-size: 18px; }

Changing the appearance of references and class names

You can also change the appearance of references of class and method descriptions, e.g.:

#content .sphinx a.reference { text-decoration: none; }
#content .sphinx a.reference tt.literal {
    border-bottom-width: 1px;
    border-bottom-style: dotted;
#content .sphinx a.reference em { font-style: normal; }

/* Smaller desc (default was 14px) and bold class name */
#content .sphinx .descclassname { font-size: 13px; }
#content .sphinx .descname { font-weight: bold; }

Other elements

It’s very easy to change the style of other elements. Just search for the elements and their CSS class names in the HTML output and add them to your CSS file. Remember to precede each style definition with #content .sphinx to avoid side effects to non-Sphinx stuff.





Management commands

One management command is provided with this app.



Search Indexes



Custom form validators for this app.


Validate if value is an existing directory.


Indices and tables