This is a guide on how to build the documentation web pages (like the ones you are reading right now) from the source available on the Simphony repository. This is useful when writing new documentation, so that you can see how your documentation pages will look.

The docs pages are written in reST. Read the syntax guide on reST for more. However, much of the documentation is auto-generated from python docstrings found inline with Simphony code, using the NumPy documentation format.

Since the docs require the Simphony code to build, you will first need to set up a Simphony development environment, as described in the “Setting Up the Environment” section of Maintaining and Developing.

Once you have set up your Simphony environment, and you have your virtual environment activated, we will need to install Sphinx. We use Sphinx for generating docs pages: you need to install the latest versions of both the Sphinx and sphinx-rtd-theme packages with pip.

Once Sphinx is installed, you can use the following in the simphony/docs directory:

make html

This will build the documentation pages at docs/build/html. Open up any of the HTML pages in that folder to view the documentation on your local machine.


Building the documentation on Windows is not currently supported. (See Sphinx documentation for more information.)

There are also other targets you can build, such as PDF pages instead of HTML pages. Use:

make help

to see the other targets available.