Coding guidelines for reST files

Basic formatting rules


  • use utf-8

Whitespace and indentation

  • remove white space from the end of lines (= no trailing tabs or spaces)
  • don't use tabs
  • one indentation level consists of four spaces
  • code examples use four spaces as indentation level as well


.. image:: /Images/a4.jpg
   :alt: Left floating image
   :class: with-shadow
  • lines 2-4 must be indented one level (4 spaces)

Line length

  • Keep lines shorter than 80 characters.
  • if in doubt about the length: use short lines!

    • That way reST is readable as source as well
    • Files can be easily edited directly on GitHub
    • Files can be compared in a diff view


Most of our documentation projects contain an .editorconfig file.

Use this file to setup your editor / IDE correctly. With some, everything will just work automatically. With others, you will need to download a plugin. This is explained on the Editorconfig page.

Sample contents of .editorconfig

# EditorConfig is awesome:

# top-most EditorConfig file? false = no!
root = false

charset = utf-8
end_of_line = lf
insert_final_newline = true
trim_trailing_whitespace = true
indent_style = space
indent_size = 4
max_line_length = 80

# MD-Files
charset = utf-8
end_of_line = lf
insert_final_newline = true
trim_trailing_whitespace = true
indent_style = space
indent_size = 4
max_line_length = 80

This sample .editorconfig will instruct your editor / IDE to:

  • use utf8 as encoding (line 7)
  • use spaces instead of tabs (line 11)
  • use 4 spaces for indenting (line 12)
  • remove trailing whitespace (line 10)

Special characters

The only way to include "special" characters is to use them directly

Headline underlining

In reStructuredText it is possible to use any type of underlining. The first used will be recognized as level 1 etc.

However, adhering to the standard for TYPO3 documentation makes it easier for other contributors to find their way around a file and pick the correct underlining for the header level.

Use the conventions as defined in Headlines and sections.

This underlining is used per (.rst) file. It does not matter where in the toctree the file is. You always start with underlining for level 1 (title) in each file:

1. Title

2. Header Level 1

3. Header Level 2

4. Header Level 3

5. Header Level 4

6. Header Level 5

7. Header Level 6

8. Header Level 7


How to add version hints

Example, how you can point out deprecations:

.. deprecated:: 10.2
   The hook shown here is deprecated since TYPO3 10.2 - use a custom
   :ref:`PSR-15 middleware<request-handling>` instead.

New feature:

.. versionadded:: 10.2
   Starting with TYPO3 10.2 hooks and signals have been replaced by a PSR-14 based
   event dispatching system.


.. versionchanged:: 2.3.1
   This feature was changed ...

For more information, see the open issue:

Referring to GUI elements

If you describe something that needs to be selected from a menu or other GUI element or clicked one after the other, use > as separator and use text role guilabel.


Select :guilabel:`File > Open`
How it looks:
Select File > Open
Click on :guilabel:`ADMIN TOOLS > Extensions` in the backend.
How it looks:
Click on ADMIN TOOLS > Extensions in the backend.

Refering to keystrokes

When pointing out keyboard shortcuts or keystroke sequences, use text role kbd.


Press :kbd:`ctrl` + :kbd:`s`
How it looks:
Press ctrl + s