Markup Style Guide

This page covers the conventions for writing and use of the reStructuredText (RST) markup syntax.

Conventions

  • Three space indentation.
  • Lines should be less than 120 characters long.
  • Use italics for button/menu names.

Other loose conventions:

  • Avoid Unicode characters.
  • Avoid heavily wrapped text (i.e. sentences can have their own lines).

Headings

#################
  Document Part
#################

****************
Document Chapter
****************

Document Section
================

Document Subsection
-------------------

Document Subsubsection
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Document Paragraph
""""""""""""""""""

Muista

Parts should only be used for contents or index pages.

Muista

Each .rst file should only have one chapter heading (*) per file.

Text Styling

See the overview on ReStructuredText for more information on how to style the various elements of the documentation and on how to add lists, tables, pictures and code blocks. The Sphinx reference provides more insight additional constructs.

The following are useful markups for text styling:

*italic*
**bold**
``literal``

Interface Elements

  • :kbd:`LMB` – keyboard and mouse shortcuts.
  • *Mirror* – interface labels.
  • :menuselection:`3D View --> Add --> Mesh --> Monkey` – menus.

Code Samples

There is support for syntax highlighting if the programming language is provided, and line numbers can be optionally shown with the :linenos: option:

.. code-block:: python
   :linenos:

   import bpy
   def some_function():
       ...

Images

Figures should be used to place images:

.. figure:: /images/render_cycles_nodes_types_shaders_principled_node.png

   Image caption.

For consistency, and since it would be good to ensure screenshots are all a similar size when floated next to text, writers should take screenshots in the following manner:

  1. Prepare the area you would like to capture making sure to use the default theme and setting. (In some cases you may not want to use the default settings e.g. if some options are hidden behind a checkbox).
  2. Zoom to the maximum zoom level (hold NumpadPlus or Ctrl-MMB or similar).
  3. Zoom out eight zoom levels (NumpadMinus – eight times).
  4. In some cases you will want to leave a small margin around the thing you are trying to capture. This should be around 30px but does not have to be exact.

This can be applied to several parts of the interface but might not work for all cases.

Files

No Caps, No Gaps
Lower case filenames underscore between words.
Sort Usefully
Order naming with specific identifiers at the end.
Format

Use .png for images that have solid colors such as screenshots of the Blender interface, and .jpg for images with a high amount of color variance, such as sample renders and photographs.

Do not use animated .gif files, these are hard to maintain, can be distracting and are usually large in file size. Instead use a video if needed (see Videos below).

Location
Place the image in the manual/images folder. Use no other subfolders.
Naming

For naming files use underscores to separate chapters and sections, and use dashes to separate sections that are two or more words. So for image files should look like: chapter_subsection_sub-subsection_id.png, e.g:

  • interface_splash_current.png
  • interface_undo-redo_last.png
  • interface_undo-redo_repeat-history-menu.png

Do not use special characters or spaces!

Usage Guides

  • Avoid specifying the resolution of the image, so that the theme can handle the images consistently and provide the best layout across different screen sizes.

  • When documenting a panel or section of the UI, it is better to use a single image that shows all of the relevant areas (rather than multiple images for each icon or button) placed at the top of the section you are writing, and then explain the features in the order that they appear in the image.

    Muista

    It is important that the manual can be maintained long term, UI and tool options change so try to avoid having a lot of images (when they are not especially necessary). Otherwise, this becomes too much of a maintenance burden.

Videos

Videos from YouTube and Vimeo can be embedded using:

.. youtube:: ID

.. vimeo:: ID

The ID is found in the video’s URL, e.g:

  • The ID for https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge2Kwy5EGE0 is Ge2Kwy5EGE0
  • The ID for https://vimeo.com/15837189 is 15837189

Usage Guides

  • Avoid adding videos which rely on voice, as this is difficult to translate.
  • Do not embed video tutorials as a means of explaining a feature, the writing itself should explain it adequately (though you may include a link to the video at the bottom of the page under the heading Tutorials).

Useful Constructs

  • |BLENDER_VERSION| – Resolves to the current Blender version.
  • :abbr:`SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion)` – Abbreviations display the full text as a tooltip for the reader.
  • :term:`Manifold` – Links to an entry in the Glossary.

Cross References and Linkage

You can link to another document in the manual with:

:doc:`The Title </section/path/to/file>`

To link to a specific section in another document (or the same one), explicit labels are available:

.. _sample-label:

[section or image to reference]

Some text :ref:`Optional Title <sample-label>`

Linking to a title in the same file:

Titles are Targets
==================

Body text.

Implicit references, like `Titles are Targets`_

Linking to the outside world:

`Blender Website <https://www.blender.org>`__

Directory Layout

Sections should be generally structured as follows:

  • directory_name/
    • index.rst (contains links to internal files)
    • introduction.rst
    • section_1.rst
    • section_2.rst

For example:

  • rendering/
    • index.rst
    • cycles/
      • index.rst
      • introduction.rst
      • materials/
        • index.rst
        • introduction.rst
        • volumes.rst

The idea is to enclose all the content of a section inside of a folder. Ideally every section should have an index.rst (containing the TOC for that section) and an introduction.rst (introducing) to the contents of the section.

Table of Contents

By default, a table of contents should show two levels of depth:

.. toctree::
   :maxdepth: 2

   introduction.rst
   perspective.rst
   depth_of_field.rst

Further Reading

To learn more about reStructuredText, see:

Sphinx RST Primer
Good basic introduction.
Docutils reStructuredText reference
Links to reference and user documentation.