The reStructuredText Cheat Sheet: Syntax Reminders

Info:See <> for introductory docs.
Author: David Goodger <>
Date: 2006-01-23
Revision: 4321
Description:This is a "docinfo block", or bibliographic field list

Section Structure

Section titles are underlined or overlined & underlined.

Body Elements

Grid table:

Paragraphs are flush-left, separated by blank lines.

Block quotes are indented.

Literal block, preceded by "::":



> Quoted
>>> print 'Doctest block'
Doctest block
Line blocks preserve line breaks & indents. [new in 0.3.6]?
Useful for addresses, verse, and adornment-free lists; long lines can be wrapped with continuation lines.

Simple tables:

List Type Examples
Bullet list
  • items begin with "-", "+", or "*"
Enumerated list
  1. items use any variation of "1.", "A)", and "(i)"
  2. also auto-enumerated
Definition list
Term is flush-left : optional classifier
Definition is indented, no blank line between
Field list
field name:field body
Option list
-o at least 2 spaces between option & description
Explicit Markup Examples (visible in the text source)
[1]Manually numbered or [#]? auto-numbered (even [#labelled]?) or [*]? auto-symbol
[CIT2002]A citation.
Hyperlink Target
Anonymous Target
Directive ("::") images/biohazard.png
Substitution Def
Empty Comment (".." on a line by itself, with blank lines before & after, used to separate indentation contexts)

Inline Markup

emphasis; strong emphasis; interpreted text; interpreted text with role; inline literal text; standalone hyperlink,; named reference, reStructuredText; anonymous reference; footnote reference, [1]; citation reference, [CIT2002]; like an inline directive; inline internal target.

Directive Quick Reference

See <> for full info.

Directive Name Description (Docutils version added to, in [brackets]?)
attention Specific admonition; also "caution", "danger", "error", "hint", "important", "note", "tip", "warning"
admonition Generic titled admonition: .. admonition:: By The Way
image .. image:: picture.png; many options possible
figure Like "image", but with optional caption and legend
topic .. topic:: Title; like a mini section
sidebar .. sidebar:: Title; like a mini parallel document
parsed-literal A literal block with parsed inline markup
rubric .. rubric:: Informal Heading
epigraph Block quote with class="epigraph"
highlights Block quote with class="highlights"
pull-quote Block quote with class="pull-quote"
compound Compound paragraphs [0.3.6]?
container Generic block-level container element [0.3.10]?
table Create a titled table [0.3.1]?
list-table Create a table from a uniform two-level bullet list [0.3.8]?
csv-table Create a table from CSV data (requires Python 2.3+) [0.3.4]?
contents Generate a table of contents
sectnum Automatically number sections, subsections, etc.
header, footer Create document decorations [0.3.8]?
target-notes Create an explicit footnote for each external target
meta HTML-specific metadata
include Read an external reST file as if it were inline
raw Non-reST data passed untouched to the Writer
replace Replacement text for substitution definitions
unicode Unicode character code conversion for substitution defs
date Generates today's date; for substitution defs
class Set a "class" attribute on the next element
role Create a custom interpreted text role [0.3.2]?
default-role Set the default interpreted text role [0.3.10]?
title Set the metadata document title [0.3.10]?

Interpreted Text Role Quick Reference

See <> for full info.

Role Name Description
emphasis Equivalent to emphasis
literal Equivalent to literal but processes backslash escapes
PEP Reference to a numbered Python Enhancement Proposal
RFC Reference to a numbered Internet Request For Comments
raw For non-reST data; cannot be used directly (see docs) [0.3.6]?
strong Equivalent to strong
sub Subscript
sup Superscript
title Title reference (book, etc.); standard default role