You can configure different parts of the theme.

Project-wide Configuration

HTML Theme Options

The theme’s project-wide options are defined in the sphinx_rtd_theme/theme.conf file of this repository, and can be defined in your project’s via html_theme_options. For example:

html_theme_options = {
    'canonical_url': '',
    'analytics_id': 'UA-XXXXXXX-1',  #  Provided by Google in your dashboard
    'logo_only': False,
    'display_version': True,
    'prev_next_buttons_location': 'bottom',
    'style_external_links': False,
    'vcs_pageview_mode': '',
    # Toc options
    'collapse_navigation': True,
    'sticky_navigation': True,
    'navigation_depth': 4,
    'includehidden': True,
    'titles_only': False

The following options are available:

Base options

  • canonical_url String. This will specify a canonical url to let search engines know they should give higher ranking to latest version of the docs. The url points to the root of the documentation and requires a trailing slash.
  • analytics_id String. Change the Google Analytics ID that is included on pages.
  • display_version Bool. With this disabled, the version number isn’t shown at the top of the sidebar.
  • prev_next_buttons_location String. can take the value bottom, top, both , or None and will display the “Next” and “Previous” buttons accordingly.
  • style_external_links Bool. Add an icon next to external links. Defaults to False.
  • vcs_pageview_mode String. Changes how to view files when using display_github, display_gitlab, etc. When using Github or Gitlab this can be: blob (default), edit, or raw, on Bitbucket, this can be either: view (default) or edit.

TOC Options

These effect how we display the Table of Contents in the side bar. You can read more about them here:

  • collapse_navigation Bool. With this enabled, you will lose the [+] drop downs next to each section in the sidebar.
  • sticky_navigation Bool. This causes the sidebar to scroll with the main page content as you scroll the page.
  • navigation_depth Int. Indicate the max depth of the tree; by default, 4 levels are included; set it to -1 to allow unlimited depth.
  • includehidden Bool. Specifies if the sidebar includes toctrees marked with the :hidden: option
  • titles_only Bool. If True, removes headers within a page from the sidebar.


Setting collapse_navigation to False and using a high navigation_depth can cause projects with many files and a deep file structure to generate HTML files that are significantly larger in file size and much longer compilation times.

HTML Context Options


Page-level Configuration

Pages support metadata that changes how the theme renders. You can currently add the following:

  • :github_url: This will force the “Edit on GitHub” to the configured URL
  • :bitbucket_url: This will force the “Edit on Bitbucket” to the configured URL
  • :gitlab_url: This will force the “Edit on GitLab” to the configured URL

How the Table of Contents builds

Currently the left menu will build based upon any toctree(s) defined in your index.rst file. It outputs 2 levels of depth, which should give your visitors a high level of access to your docs. If no toctrees are set the theme reverts to sphinx’s usual local toctree.

It’s important to note that if you don’t follow the same styling for your rST headers across your documents, the toctree will misbuild, and the resulting menu might not show the correct depth when it renders.

Also note that by default the table of contents is set with includehidden=True. This allows you to set a hidden toc in your index file with the :hidden: property that will allow you to build a toc without it rendering in your index.

By default, the navigation will “stick” to the screen as you scroll. However if your toc is vertically too large, it will revert to static positioning. To disable the sticky nav altogether change the setting in