Field Lists

As previously discussed, field lists are sequences of fields marked up like this:

:fieldname: Field content

Sphinx extends standard docutils behavior for field lists and adds some extra functionality that is covered in this section.


The values of field lists will be parsed as strings. You cannot use Python collections such as lists or dictionaries.

File-wide metadata

A field list near the top of a file is normally parsed by docutils as the docinfo and shown on the page. However, in Sphinx, a field list preceding any other markup is moved from the docinfo to the Sphinx environment as document metadata, and is not displayed in the output.


A field list appearing after the document title will be part of the docinfo as normal and will be displayed in the output.

Special metadata fields

Sphinx provides custom behavior for bibliographic fields compared to docutils.

At the moment, these metadata fields are recognized:


The maximum depth for a table of contents of this file.

:tocdepth: 2


This metadata affects the depth of the local toctree. But it does not affect the depth of the global toctree. So this does not change the sidebar of themes that use the global toctree.

Added in version 0.4.


If set, the web application won’t display a comment form for a page generated from this source file.


If set, warnings about this file not being included in any toctree will be suppressed.


Added in version 1.0.


If set, full text search for this file is disabled.



object search is still available even if nosearch option is set.

Added in version 3.0.