The source for the documentation can be found in the docs/source directory of this repository. These source files are a combination of ReStructured Text (rst) and Jupyter notebooks.

Editing source files

  • ReStructured Text: The rst files should be fairly straightforward to edit. Here is a quick reference of rst syntax. Some of the rst files also use Sphinx autodoc.
  • Jupyter Notebooks: The Jupyter notebooks are written in Python and should be written so that they are compatible with both Python 2 and Python 3. If you need to reference another part of the documentation from a notebook, you will need to put that reference in a raw cell in the notebook, not a markdown cell.

Adding a new file to documentation

If you add a new file (either rst or ipynb) make sure to link to it from the relevant index.rst.

Additionally, if you are adding a new notebook in the user guide, please add the rst version of it to .gitignore.

Building documentation locally


Building the docs is not currently well-supported on Windows. This is because one of the dependencies (enchant) does not install easily in Windows.

If you have made changes to the user guide or other notebooks that need to be executed, please make sure you re-run all the documentation before committing. While the documentation gets built automatically on Read The Docs, the notebooks do not get execute by Read The Docs – they must be executed manually. However, executing the notebooks is easy to do!

Our docs are built with nbconvert, Pandoc, and Sphinx. To build the docs locally, run the following command:

invoke docs

This will perform a few different steps:

  1. The notebooks are executed and converted to rst or html (the actual documentation notebooks will be converted to rst, and example notebooks will be converted to html) using the script.
  2. The command line documentation is automatically generated using the and scripts.
  3. The rst files are converted to html using Sphinx.

After running invoke docs, the resultant HTML files will be in docs/build/html. You can open these files in your browser to preview what the documentation will look like (note, however, that the theme used by Read The Docs is different from the default Sphinx theme, so the styling will look different).

Automatic builds

When a commit is made on the master branch, documentation is automatically built by Read The Docs and rendered at