3. Paragraph Level Markup

3.1. Inline Markup

Paragraphs contain text and may contain inline markup: emphasis, strong emphasis, inline literals, standalone hyperlinks (http://www.python.org), external hyperlinks (Python [5]), internal cross-references (example), external hyperlinks with embedded URIs (Python web site), footnote references (manually numbered [1], anonymous auto-numbered [3], labeled auto-numbered [2], or symbolic [*]), citation references ([12]), substitution references (EXAMPLE), and inline hyperlink targets (see Targets below for a reference back to here). Character-level inline markup is also possible (although exceedingly ugly!) in reStructuredText. Problems are indicated by |problematic| text (generated by processing errors; this one is intentional).

Also with sphinx.ext.autodoc, which I use in the demo, I can link to test_py_module.test.Foo. It will link you right my code documentation for it.

The default role for interpreted text is Title Reference. Here are some explicit interpreted text roles: a PEP reference (PEP 287); an RFC reference (RFC 2822); a subscript; a superscript; and explicit roles for standard inline markup.

GUI labels are a useful way to indicate that Some action is to be taken by the user. The GUI label should not run over line-height so as not to interfere with text from adjacent lines.

Key-bindings indicate that the read is to press a button on the keyboard or mouse, for example MMB and Shift-MMB. Another useful markup to indicate a user action is to use menuselection this can be used to show short and long menus in software. For example, and menuselection can be seen here that breaks is too long to fit on this line. My ‣ Software ‣ Some menu ‣ Some sub menu 1 ‣ sub menu 2.

Let’s test wrapping and whitespace significance in inline literals: This is an example of --inline-literal --text, --including some-- strangely--hyphenated-words.  Adjust-the-width-of-your-browser-window to see how the text is wrapped.  -- ---- --------  Now note    the spacing    between the    words of    this sentence    (words should    be grouped    in pairs).

If the --pep-references option was supplied, there should be a live link to PEP 258 here.

3.2. Math

This is a test. Here is an equation: \(X_{0:5} = (X_0, X_1, X_2, X_3, X_4)\). Here is another:

(1)\[\nabla^2 f = \frac{1}{r^2} \frac{\partial}{\partial r} \left( r^2 \frac{\partial f}{\partial r} \right) + \frac{1}{r^2 \sin \theta} \frac{\partial f}{\partial \theta} \left( \sin \theta \, \frac{\partial f}{\partial \theta} \right) + \frac{1}{r^2 \sin^2\theta} \frac{\partial^2 f}{\partial \phi^2}\]

You can add a link to equations like the one above (1) by using :eq:.

3.4. Blocks

3.4.1. Literal Blocks

Literal blocks are indicated with a double-colon (“::”) at the end of the preceding paragraph (over there -->). They can be indented:

if literal_block:
    text = 'is left as-is'
    spaces_and_linebreaks = 'are preserved'
    markup_processing = None

Or they can be quoted without indentation:

>> Great idea!
> Why didn't I think of that?

3.4.2. Line Blocks

This is a line block. It ends with a blank line.
Each new line begins with a vertical bar (“|”).
Line breaks and initial indents are preserved.
Continuation lines are wrapped portions of long lines; they begin with a space in place of the vertical bar.
The left edge of a continuation line need not be aligned with the left edge of the text above it.
This is a second line block.

Blank lines are permitted internally, but they must begin with a “|”.

Take it away, Eric the Orchestra Leader!

A one, two, a one two three four

Half a bee, philosophically,
must, ipso facto, half not be.
But half the bee has got to be,
vis a vis its entity. D’you see?

But can a bee be said to be
or not to be an entire bee,
when half the bee is not a bee,
due to some ancient injury?


3.4.3. Block Quotes

Block quotes consist of indented body elements:

My theory by A. Elk. Brackets Miss, brackets. This theory goes as follows and begins now. All brontosauruses are thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle and then thin again at the far end. That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too.

—Anne Elk (Miss)

3.4.4. Doctest Blocks

>>> print 'Python-specific usage examples; begun with ">>>"'
Python-specific usage examples; begun with ">>>"
>>> print '(cut and pasted from interactive Python sessions)'
(cut and pasted from interactive Python sessions)

3.4.5. Code Blocks

# parsed-literal test
curl -O http://someurl/release-0.2.4.tar-gz
Code Blocks can have captions.
"windows": [
    "panes": [
        "shell_command": [
            "echo 'did you know'",
            "echo 'you can inline'"
        "shell_command": "echo 'single commands'"
        "echo 'for panes'"
    "window_name": "long form"
"session_name": "shorthands"
} Emphasized lines with line numbers

def some_function():
    interesting = False
    print 'This line is highlighted.'
    print 'This one is not...'
    print '...but this one is.'

3.6. References

3.6.1. Footnotes

[1](1, 2)

A footnote contains body elements, consistently indented by at least 3 spaces.

This is the footnote’s second paragraph.

[2](1, 2) Footnotes may be numbered, either manually (as in [1]) or automatically using a “#”-prefixed label. This footnote has a label so it can be referred to from multiple places, both as a footnote reference ([2]) and as a hyperlink reference (label).
[3]This footnote is numbered automatically and anonymously using a label of “#” only.
[*]Footnotes may also use symbols, specified with a “*” label. Here’s a reference to the next footnote: [†].
[†]This footnote shows the next symbol in the sequence.
[4]Here’s an unreferenced footnote, with a reference to a nonexistent footnote: [5]_.

3.6.2. Citations

[11]This is the citation I made, let’s make this extremely long so that we can tell that it doesn’t follow the normal responsive table stuff.
[12](1, 2) This citation has some code blocks in it, maybe some bold and italics too. Heck, lets put a link to a meta citation [13] too.
[13]This citation will have two backlinks.

Here’s a reference to the above, [12], and a [nonexistent] citation.

Here is another type of citation: citation

3.6.3. Glossary

This is a glossary with definition terms for thing like Writing:

Provides users with the knowledge they need to use something.
The process of taking information into ones mind through the use of eyes.
The process of putting thoughts into a medium for other people to read.

3.6.4. Targets

This paragraph is pointed to by the explicit “example” target. A reference can be found under Inline Markup, above. Inline hyperlink targets are also possible.

Section headers are implicit targets, referred to by name. See Targets, which is a subsection of `Body Elements`_.

Explicit external targets are interpolated into references such as “Python [5]”.

Targets may be indirect and anonymous. Thus this phrase may also refer to the Targets section.

Here’s a `hyperlink reference without a target`_, which generates an error.

3.7. Directives

3.7.1. Contents

These are just a sample of the many reStructuredText Directives. For others, please see: http://docutils.sourceforge.net/docs/ref/rst/directives.html.

3.7.2. Centered text

You can create a statement with centered text with .. centered::

This is centered text!

3.7.3. Images & Figures Images

An image directive (also clickable – a hyperlink reference):

../_images/yi_jing_01_chien.jpg Figures

reStructuredText, the markup syntax

A figure is an image with a caption and/or a legend:

re Revised, revisited, based on ‘re’ module.
Structured Structure-enhanced text, structuredtext.
Text Well it is, isn’t it?

This paragraph is also part of the legend.

A figure directive with center alignment


This caption should be centered.

3.7.4. Admonitions


Directives at large.


Don’t take any wooden nickels.


Mad scientist at work!


Does not compute.


It’s bigger than a bread box.


  • Wash behind your ears.
  • Clean up your room.
    • Including the closet.
    • The bathroom too.
      • Take the trash out of the bathroom.
      • Clean the sink.
  • Call your mother.
  • Back up your data.


This is a note. Equations within a note: \(G_{\mu\nu} = 8 \pi G (T_{\mu\nu} + \rho_\Lambda g_{\mu\nu})\).


15% if the service is good.



Strong prose may provoke extreme mental exertion. Reader discretion is strongly advised.

And, by the way…

You can make up your own admonition too.

3.7.5. Topics, Sidebars, and Rubrics

Topic Title

This is a topic.

This is a rubric

3.7.8. Compound Paragraph

This paragraph contains a literal block:

Connecting... OK
Transmitting data... OK
Disconnecting... OK

and thus consists of a simple paragraph, a literal block, and another simple paragraph. Nonetheless it is semantically one paragraph.

This construct is called a compound paragraph and can be produced with the “compound” directive.