Sphinx extension usage guide

These sections describe some common scenarios and use-cases for writing MyST with Sphinx.

See also

For an introduction to using MyST with Sphinx, see Get started with MyST in Sphinx.

Include rST files into a Markdown file

As explained in this section, all MyST directives will parse their content as Markdown. Therefore, using the conventional include directive, will parse the file contents as Markdown:

```{include} snippets/include-md.md

Hallo I’m from a Markdown file, with a reference.

To include rST, we must first “wrap” the directive in the eval-rst directive:

.. include:: snippets/include-rst.rst

Hallo I’m from an rST file, with a reference.

Use MyST in Jupyter Notebooks

The MyST-NB tool provides a Sphinx extension for parsing Jupyter Notebooks written with MyST Markdown. It includes features like automatically executing notebooks during documentation builds, storing notebook cell outputs in order to insert them elsewhere in your documentation, and more. See the MyST-NB documentation for more information.

Include a file from outside the docs folder (like README.md)

You can include a file, including one from outside the project using e.g.:

```{include} ../README.md

However, including a file will not usually resolve local links correctly, like ![](my-image.png), since it treats the text as if it originated from the “including file”.

As of myst-parser version 0.12.7, a new, experimental feature has been added to resolve such links. You can now use for example:

```{literalinclude} ../../example.md
:language: md
```{include} ../../example.md
:relative-docs: docs/


[Used in how-to](docs/sphinx/use.md)


Used in how-to alt

The include here attempts to re-write local links, to reference them from the correct location! The relative-docs must be given the prefix of any links to re-write, to distinguish them from sphinx cross-references.


The current functionality only works for Markdown style images and links.

If you encounter any issues with this feature, please don’t hesitate to report it.

Use sphinx.ext.autodoc in Markdown files

The Sphinx extension autodoc, which pulls in code documentation from docstrings, is currently hard-coded to parse reStructuredText. It is therefore incompatible with MyST’s Markdown parser. However, the special eval-rst directive can be used to “wrap” autodoc directives:

.. autoclass:: myst_parser.mocking.MockRSTParser
    :members: parse
class myst_parser.mocking.MockRSTParser(rfc2822=False, inliner=None)[source]

Bases: docutils.parsers.rst.Parser

RSTParser which avoids a negative side effect.

parse(inputstring: str, document: docutils.nodes.document)[source]

Parse the input to populate the document AST.

As with other objects in MyST, this can then be referenced:


This expects docstrings to be written in reStructuredText. We hope to support Markdown in the future, see GitHub issue #228.

Automatically create targets for section headers


New in v0.13.0 ✨, myst-parser now provides a separate implementation of autosectionlabel, which implements GitHub Markdown style bookmark anchors, like [](file.md#header-anchor).

See the Auto-generated header anchors section of extended syntaxes.

If you’d like to automatically generate targets for each of your section headers, check out the autosectionlabel sphinx feature. You can activate it in your Sphinx site by adding the following to your conf.py file:

extensions = [

# Prefix document path to section labels, to use:
# `path/to/file:heading` instead of just `heading`
autosectionlabel_prefix_document = True

So, if you have a page at myfolder/mypage.md (relative to your documentation root) with the following structure:

# Title

## My Subtitle

Then the autosectionlabel feature will allow you to reference the section headers like so:

{ref}`path/to/file_1:My Subtitle`

Suppress warnings

In general, if your build logs any warnings, you should either fix them or raise an Issue if you think the warning is erroneous. However, in some circumstances if you wish to suppress the warning you can use the suppress_warnings configuration option. All myst-parser warnings are prepended by their type, e.g. to suppress:

# Title
### Subtitle
WARNING: Non-consecutive header level increase; 1 to 3 [myst.header]

Add to your conf.py:

suppress_warnings = ["myst.header"]

Sphinx-specific page front matter

Sphinx intercepts front matter and stores them within the global environment (as discussed in the deflists documentation). There are certain front-matter keys (or their translations) that are also recognised specifically by docutils and parsed to inline Markdown:

  • author

  • authors

  • organization

  • address

  • contact

  • version

  • revision

  • status

  • date

  • copyright

  • dedication

  • abstract

A classic use-case is to specify ‘orphan’ documents, that are not specified in any toctrees. For example, inserting the following syntax at the top of a page will cause Sphinx to treat it as an orphan page:

orphan: true

This is an orphan document, not specified in any toctrees.

Migrate pre-existing rST into MyST

If you’ve already got some reStructuredText files that you’d like to convert into MyST Markdown, try the rst-to-myst tool, which allows you to convert single rST files to MyST markdown documents.