Basic reST & Sphinx Syntax


Some of this text was taken from the Wiki page:

The .rst files are written in reStructuredText (reST) format. They contain text with additional markup.


New paragraphs in the output are created by an empty line between two paragraphs in your reST file:

This is a paragraph.

This is another paragraph.


Comments can be written like this:

.. this is a comment
.. with another line


.. this is a comment
   with another line


In reST, the indentation of a block of lines is often important. The exact number of spaces, which are used to indent a block of text, does not matter. But what does matter, is that all lines of the block are indented with exactly the same number of spaces.

We use the convention of 3 spaces per indenting level (see Whitespace and indenting).

Let’s look at an example:

The following directive inserts an image in the rendered page. All lines beginning with line two must be indented with one indenting level (3 spaces).

.. _image: someimage.png
   :class: with-shadow
   :alt: Explanation of image

Escaping Characters

If you want to use a character, which would create some special reST markup, with its normal meaning, you must escape it with a prepended “”.

E.g. surrounding text with “*” signs normally makes it show up in italics. By escaping the special characters “*” you make the stars normal text characters: