quartodoc lets you quickly generate Python package API reference documentation using Markdown and Quarto. quartodoc is designed as an alternative to Sphinx.

Check out the below screencast for a walkthrough of creating a documentation site, or read on for instructions.


python -m pip install quartodoc

or from GitHub

python -m pip install git+https://github.com/machow/quartodoc.git
Install Quarto

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to install Quarto before you can use quartodoc.

Basic use

Getting started with quartodoc takes two steps: configuring quartodoc, then generating documentation pages for your library.

You can configure quartodoc alongside the rest of your Quarto site in the _quarto.yml file you are already using for Quarto. To configure quartodoc, you need to add a quartodoc section to the top level your _quarto.yml file. Below is a minimal example of a configuration that documents the quartodoc package:

  type: website

# tell quarto to read the generated sidebar
  - _sidebar.yml

  # the name used to import the package you want to create reference docs for
  package: quartodoc

  # write sidebar data to this file
  sidebar: _sidebar.yml

    - title: Some functions
      desc: Functions to inspect docstrings.
        # the functions being documented in the package.
        # you can refer to anything: class methods, modules, etc..
        - get_object
        - preview

Now that you have configured quartodoc, you can generate the reference API docs with the following command:

quartodoc build

This will create a reference/ directory with an index.qmd and documentation pages for listed functions, like get_object and preview.

Finally, preview your website with quarto:

quarto preview

Rebuilding site

You can preview your quartodoc site using the following commands:

First, watch for changes to the library you are documenting so that your docs will automatically re-generate:

quartodoc build --watch

Second, preview your site:

quarto preview

Looking up objects

Generating API reference docs for Python objects involves two pieces of configuration:

  1. the package name.
  2. a list of objects for content.

quartodoc can look up a wide variety of objects, including functions, modules, classes, attributes, and methods:

  package: quartodoc
    - title: Some section
      desc: ""
        - get_object        # function: quartodoc.get_object
        - ast.preview       # submodule func: quartodoc.ast.preview
        - MdRenderer        # class: quartodoc.MdRenderer
        - MdRenderer.render # method: quartodoc.MDRenderer.render
        - renderers         # module: quartodoc.renderers

The functions listed in contents are assumed to be imported from the package.

Learning more

Go to the next page to learn how to configure quartodoc sites, or check out these handy pages: