First Steps with Sphinx

Prepare the tutorial demo (optional)

To see a Sphinx example you can clone this tutorial from GitHub:

$ git clone

Setup the conda environment which includes the Sphinx package with some extensions:

$ cd quick-sphinx-tutorial
$ conda env create -f environment.yml
$ source activate giza

Or use pip to install the Sphinx packages:

$ pip install -r requirements.txt

Getting Started

Create docs folder:

$ mkdir docs
$ cd docs

Create the sphinx skeleton:

$ sphinx-quickstart

> Root path for the documentation [.]:
> Separate source and build directories (y/n) [n]: y
> Name prefix for templates and static dir [_]:
> Project name: Giza
> Author name(s): Mac Pingu
> Project version: 0.1
> Project release [0.1]:
> Project language [en]:
> Source file suffix [.rst]:
> Name of your master document (without suffix) [index]:
> Do you want to use the epub builder (y/n) [n]:
> autodoc: automatically insert docstrings from modules (y/n) [n]:
> doctest: automatically test code snippets in doctest blocks (y/n) [n]:
> intersphinx: link between Sphinx documentation of different projects (y/n) [n]: y
> todo: write "todo" entries that can be shown or hidden on build (y/n) [n]: y
> coverage: checks for documentation coverage (y/n) [n]:
> imgmath: include math, rendered as PNG or SVG images (y/n) [n]:
> mathjax: include math, rendered in the browser by MathJax (y/n) [n]:
> ifconfig: conditional inclusion of content based on config values (y/n) [n]:
> viewcode: include links to the source code of documented Python objects (y/n) [n]: y
> githubpages: create .nojekyll file to publish the document on GitHub pages (y/n) [n]:
> Create Makefile? (y/n) [y]:
> Create Windows command file? (y/n) [y]:

Your file system should now look similar to this:

├── src
└── docs
    ├── Makefile
    ├── make.bat
    ├── build
    └── sources
         └── index.rst

Building docs

Let’s build our docs into HTML to see how it works. Simply run:

# Inside top-level docs/ directory.
$ make html

This should run Sphinx in your shell, and output HTML. At the end, it should say something about the documents being ready in build/html. You can now open them in your browser by typing:

$ firefox build/html/index.html

Change the Look

You can change the look of the generated documents by setting the html_theme setting in your Go ahead and set it like this:

html_theme = 'sphinxdoc'

If you rebuild your documentation, you will see the new theme:

$ make html


Have a look at the Builtin themes.