Wagtail’s documentation uses a mixture of Markdown and reStructuredText. We encourage writing documentation in Markdown first, and only reaching for more advanced reStructuredText formatting if there is a compelling reason.
Here are formats we encourage using when writing documentation for Wagtail.
It all starts here. Keep your sentences short, varied in length.
Separate text with an empty line to create a new paragraph.
Use heading levels to create sections, and allow users to link straight to a specific section. Start documents with an
# h1, and proceed with
## h2 and further sub-sections without skipping levels.
# Heading level 1 ## Heading level 2 ### Heading level 3
Use bullets for unordered lists, numbers when ordered. Prefer dashes
- for bullets. Nest by indenting with 4 spaces.
- Bullet 1 - Bullet 2 - Nested bullet 2 - Bullet 3 1. Numbered list 1 2. Numbered list 2 3. Numbered list 3
- Bullet 1
- Bullet 2
- Nested bullet 2
- Bullet 3
- Numbered list 1
- Numbered list 2
- Numbered list 3
Use bold and italic sparingly, inline
code when relevant.
Use **bold** and _italic_ sparingly, inline `code` when relevant.
Make sure to include the correct language code for syntax highlighting, and to format your code according to our coding guidelines. Frequently used:
```python INSTALLED_APPS = [ ... "wagtail.core", ... ] ```
Note and warning call-outs¶
Use notes and warnings sparingly, as they rely on reStructuredText syntax which is more complicated for future editors.
```eval_rst note:: Notes can provide complementary information. ``` ```eval_rst warning:: Warnings can be scary. ```
Notes can provide complementary information.
Warnings can be scary.
Images are hard to keep up-to-date as documentation evolves, but can be worthwhile nonetheless. Here are guidelines when adding images:
- All images should have meaningful alt text unless they are decorative.
- Images are served as-is – pick the correct format, and losslessly compress all images.
- Use absolute paths for image files so they are more portable.
![Screenshot of the workflow editing interface, with fields to change the workflow name, tasks, and assigned pages](/_static/images/screen44_workflow_edit.png)
Screenshot of the workflow editing interface, with fields to change the workflow name, tasks, and assigned pages
With its autodoc feature, Sphinx supports writing documentation in Python docstrings for subsequent integration in the project’s documentation pages. This is a very powerful feature which we highly recommend using to document Wagtail’s APIs.
```eval_rst .. module:: wagtail.core.utils .. autofunction:: cautious_slugify ```
Convert a string to ASCII exactly as Django’s slugify does, with the exception that any non-ASCII alphanumeric characters (that cannot be ASCIIfied under Unicode normalisation) are escaped into codes like ‘u0421’ instead of being deleted entirely.
This ensures that the result of slugifying e.g. Cyrillic text will not be an empty string, and can thus be safely used as an identifier (albeit not a human-readable one).
Only use tables when needed, with the “simple” reStructuredText syntax, which is hard enough to format as it is.
```eval_rst ============= ============= Browser Device/OS ============= ============= Stock browser Android IE Desktop Safari Windows ============= ============= ```
Tables of content¶
contents can be used as reStructuredText embeds.
```eval_rst .. toctree:: :maxdepth: 2 :titlesonly: getting_started/index topics/index ``` ```eval_rst .. contents:: ```
Version added, changed, deprecations¶
Sphinx offers release-metadata directives to generate this information consistently. Use as appropriate.
```eval_rst .. versionadded:: 2.11 ``` ```eval_rst .. versionchanged:: 2.11 ```
New in version 2.11.
Changed in version 2.11.
We can add supplementary information in documentation with the HTML
<details> element. This relies on HTML syntax, which can be hard to author consistently, so keep this type of formatting to a minimum.
<details> <summary>Supplementary information</summary> This will be visible when expanding the content. </details>
This will be visible when expanding the content.
There is some formatting in the documentation which is technically supported, but we recommend avoiding unless there is a clear necessity.
We only use
warning:: call-outs. Avoid
tip::. If you find one of these, please replace it with
Sphinx glossaries (
.. glossary::) generate definition lists. Use plain bullet or number lists instead, or sections with headings, or a table.
reStructuredText figures (
.. figure::) only offer very marginal improvements over vanilla images. If your figure has a caption, add it as an italicised paragraph underneath the image.
Other reStructuredText syntax and Sphinx directives¶
We generally want to favour Markdown over reStructuredText, to make it as simple as possible for newcomers to make documentation contributions to Wagtail. Always prefer Markdown, unless the document’s formatting highly depends on reStructuredText syntax.
If you want to use a specific Sphinx directive, consult with core contributors to see whether its usage is justified, and document its expected usage on this page.
While our documentation tooling offers some support for embedding arbitrary HTML, this is frowned upon. Only do so if there is a necessity, and if the formatting is unlikely to need updates.