Sphinx is a documentation generator or a tool that translates a set of plain text source files into various output formats, automatically producing cross-references, indices, etc. That is, if you have a directory containing a bunch of reStructuredText or Markdown documents, Sphinx can generate a series of HTML files, a PDF file (via LaTeX), man pages and much more.
It was originally created for the new Python documentation, and has excellent facilities for Python project documentation, but C/C++ is supported as well, and more languages are planned.
Sphinx uses reStructuredText as its markup language, and many of its strengths come from the power and straightforwardness of reStructuredText and its parsing and translating suite, the Docutils.
Sphinx is free and open source software.
- Output formats: HTML (including derivative formats such as HTML Help, Epub and Qt Help), plain text, manual pages and LaTeX or direct PDF output using rst2pdf.
- Extensive cross-references: semantic markup and automatic links for functions, classes, glossary terms and similar pieces of information.
- Hierarchical structure: easy definition of a document tree, with automatic links to siblings, parents and children.
- Automatic indices: general index as well as a module index.
- Code handling: automatic highlighting using the Pygments highlighter.
- Flexible HTML output using the Jinja 2 templating engine.
- Various extensions are available, e.g. for automatic testing of snippets and inclusion of appropriately formatted docstrings.
- Setuptools integration.
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