Documentation Formats

The following sections roughly documents the supported docstrings formatting.

As an additional reference, small python packages demonstrates how docstrings are rendered.

Choose your docstring format with the option:


The following format keywords are recognized:

  • epytext

  • restructuredtext

  • google

  • numpy

  • plaintext

To override the default markup language for a module, define a module-level string variable __docformat__, containing the name of the module’s markup language:

__docformat__ = "reStructuredText"
__docformat__ = "Epytext"


Language code can be added. It is currently ignored, though it might be used it the future to generate lang attribute in HTML or as configuration for a spell checker:

__docformat__ = "reStructuredText en"

Parser name and language code are case insensitve.

If a package defines __docformat__ in its file, all modules (including subpackages) in that package will inherit its value.