Personalización de LaTex

Unlike the HTML builders, the latex builder does not benefit from prepared themes. The Options for LaTeX output, and particularly the latex_elements variable, provides much of the interface for customization. For example:

# inside
latex_engine = 'xelatex'
latex_elements = {
    'fontpkg': r'''
\setmainfont{DejaVu Serif}
\setsansfont{DejaVu Sans}
\setmonofont{DejaVu Sans Mono}
    'preamble': r'''
\cftsetpnumwidth {1.25cm}\cftsetrmarg{1.5cm}
    'fncychap': r'\usepackage[Bjornstrup]{fncychap}',
    'printindex': r'\footnotesize\raggedright\printindex',
latex_show_urls = 'footnote'


Keep in mind that backslashes must be doubled in Python string literals to avoid interpretation as escape sequences. Alternatively, you may use raw strings as is done above.

The latex_elements configuration setting

A dictionary that contains LaTeX snippets overriding those Sphinx usually puts into the generated .tex files. Its 'sphinxsetup' key is described separately. It allows also local configurations inserted in generated files, via raw directives. For example, in the PDF documentation this chapter is styled especially, as will be described later.

Keys that you may want to override include:


Paper size option of the document class ('a4paper' or 'letterpaper')

Default: 'letterpaper'


Point size option of the document class ('10pt', '11pt' or '12pt')

Default: '10pt'


The value of the px when used in image attributes width and height. The default value is '0.75bp' which achieves 96px=1in (in TeX 1in = 72bp = 72.27pt.) To obtain for example 100px=1in use '0.01in' or '0.7227pt' (the latter leads to TeX computing a more precise value, due to the smaller unit used in the specification); for 72px=1in, simply use '1bp'; for 90px=1in, use '0.8bp' or '0.803pt'.

Default: '0.75bp'

Added in version 1.5.


A string which will be positioned early in the preamble, designed to contain \\PassOptionsToPackage{options}{foo} commands.


It may be also used for loading LaTeX packages very early in the preamble. For example package fancybox is incompatible with being loaded via the 'preamble' key, it must be loaded earlier.

Default: ''

Added in version 1.4.


«babel» package inclusion, default '\\usepackage{babel}' (the suitable document language string is passed as class option, and english is used if no language.) For Japanese documents, the default is the empty string.

With XeLaTeX and LuaLaTeX, Sphinx configures the LaTeX document to use polyglossia, but one should be aware that current babel has improved its support for Unicode engines in recent years and for some languages it may make sense to prefer babel over polyglossia.


After modifying a core LaTeX key like this one, clean up the LaTeX build repertory before next PDF build, else left-over auxiliary files are likely to break the build.

Default: '\\usepackage{babel}' ('' for Japanese documents)

Distinto en la versión 1.5: For latex_engine set to 'xelatex', the default is '\\usepackage{polyglossia}\n\\setmainlanguage{<language>}'.

Distinto en la versión 1.6: 'lualatex' uses same default setting as 'xelatex'

Distinto en la versión 1.7.6: For French, xelatex and lualatex default to using babel, not polyglossia.


Font package inclusion. The default is:


For 'xelatex' and 'lualatex' however the default is to use the GNU FreeFont.

Distinto en la versión 1.2: Defaults to '' when the language uses the Cyrillic script.

Distinto en la versión 2.0: Incorporates some font substitution commands to help support occasional Greek or Cyrillic in a document using 'pdflatex' engine.

Distinto en la versión 4.0.0:

  • The font substitution commands added at 2.0 have been moved to the 'fontsubstitution' key, as their presence here made it complicated for user to customize the value of 'fontpkg'.

  • The default font setting has changed: it still uses Times and Helvetica clones for serif and sans serif, but via better, more complete TeX fonts and associated LaTeX packages. The monospace font has been changed to better match the Times clone.


Inclusion of the «fncychap» package (which makes fancy chapter titles), default '\\usepackage[Bjarne]{fncychap}' for English documentation (this option is slightly customized by Sphinx), '\\usepackage[Sonny]{fncychap}' for internationalized docs (because the «Bjarne» style uses numbers spelled out in English). Other «fncychap» styles you can try are «Lenny», «Glenn», «Conny», «Rejne» and «Bjornstrup». You can also set this to '' to disable fncychap.

Default: '\\usepackage[Bjarne]{fncychap}' for English documents, '\\usepackage[Sonny]{fncychap}' for internationalized documents, and '' for Japanese documents.


Additional preamble content. One may move all needed macros into some file mystyle.tex.txt of the project source repertory, and get LaTeX to import it at run time:

'preamble': r'\input{mystyle.tex.txt}',
# or, if the \ProvidesPackage LaTeX macro is used in a file mystyle.sty
'preamble': r'\usepackage{mystyle}',

It is then needed to set appropriately latex_additional_files, for example:

latex_additional_files = ["mystyle.sty"]

Do not use .tex as suffix, else the file is submitted itself to the PDF build process, use .tex.txt or .sty as in the examples above.

Default: ''


Latex figure float alignment. Whenever an image doesn’t fit into the current page, it will be “floated” into the next page but may be preceded by any other text. If you don’t like this behavior, use “H” which will disable floating and position figures strictly in the order they appear in the source.

Default: 'htbp' (here, top, bottom, page)

Added in version 1.3.


Additional document content (right before the indices).

Default: ''

Added in version 1.5.


Additional LaTeX packages. For example:

latex_elements = {
    'extrapackages': r'\usepackage{isodate}'

The specified LaTeX packages will be loaded before hyperref package and packages loaded from Sphinx extensions.


If you’d like to load additional LaTeX packages after hyperref, use 'preamble' key instead.

Default: ''

Added in version 2.3.


Additional footer content (before the indices).

Default: ''

Obsoleto desde la versión 1.5: Use 'atendofbody' key instead.

Keys that don’t need to be overridden unless in special cases are:


The default is the empty string. Example: 'extraclassoptions': 'openany' will allow chapters (for documents of the 'manual' type) to start on any page.

Default: ''

Added in version 1.2.

Distinto en la versión 1.6: Added this documentation.


LaTeX allows by default at most 6 levels for nesting list and quote-like environments, with at most 4 enumerated lists, and 4 bullet lists. Setting this key for example to '10' (as a string) will allow up to 10 nested levels (of all sorts). Leaving it to the empty string means to obey the LaTeX default.


  • Using this key may prove incompatible with some LaTeX packages or special document classes which do their own list customization.

  • The key setting is silently ignored if \usepackage{enumitem} is executed inside the document preamble. Use then rather the dedicated commands of this LaTeX package.

Default: 6

Added in version 1.5.


«inputenc» package inclusion.

Default: '\\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}' when using pdflatex, else ''.


If using utf8x in place of utf8 it is mandatory to extend the LaTeX preamble with suitable \PreloadUnicodePage{<number>} commands, as per the utf8x documentation (texdoc ucs on a TeXLive based TeX installation). Else, unexpected and possibly hard-to-spot problems (i.e. not causing a build crash) may arise in the PDF, in particular regarding hyperlinks.

Even if these precautions are taken, PDF build via pdflatex engine may crash due to upstream LaTeX not being fully compatible with utf8x. For example, in certain circumstances related to code-blocks, or attempting to include images whose filenames contain Unicode characters. Indeed, starting in 2015, upstream LaTeX with pdflatex engine has somewhat enhanced native support for Unicode and is becoming more and more incompatible with utf8x. In particular, since the October 2019 LaTeX release, filenames can use Unicode characters, and even spaces. At Sphinx level this means e.g. that the image and figure directives are now compatible with such filenames for PDF via LaTeX output. But this is broken if utf8x is in use.

Distinto en la versión 1.4.3: Previously '\\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}' was used for all compilers.


«cmap» package inclusion.

Default: '\\usepackage{cmap}'

Added in version 1.2.


Customize this from its default '\\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}' to:

  • '\\usepackage[X2,T1]{fontenc}' if you need occasional Cyrillic letters (физика частиц),

  • '\\usepackage[LGR,T1]{fontenc}' if you need occasional Greek letters (Σωματιδιακή φυσική).

Use [LGR,X2,T1] rather if both are needed.


  • Do not use this key for a latex_engine other than 'pdflatex'.

  • If Greek is main language, do not use this key. Since Sphinx 2.2.1, xelatex will be used automatically as latex_engine.

  • The TeX installation may need some extra packages. For example, on Ubuntu xenial, packages texlive-lang-greek and cm-super are needed for LGR to work. And texlive-lang-cyrillic and cm-super are needed for support of Cyrillic.

Distinto en la versión 1.5: Defaults to '\\usepackage{fontspec}' when latex_engine is 'xelatex'.

Distinto en la versión 1.6: 'lualatex' uses fontspec per default like 'xelatex'.

Distinto en la versión 2.0: 'lualatex' executes \defaultfontfeatures[\rmfamily,\sffamily]{} to disable TeX ligatures transforming << and >> as escaping working with pdflatex/xelatex failed with lualatex.

Distinto en la versión 2.0: Detection of LGR, T2A, X2 to trigger support of occasional Greek or Cyrillic letters ('pdflatex').

Distinto en la versión 2.3.0: 'xelatex' executes \defaultfontfeatures[\rmfamily,\sffamily]{} in order to avoid contractions of -- into en-dash or transforms of straight quotes into curly ones in PDF (in non-literal text paragraphs) despite smartquotes being set to False.


Ignored if 'fontenc' was not configured to use LGR or X2 (or T2A). In case 'fontpkg' key is configured for usage with some TeX fonts known to be available in the LGR or X2 encodings, set this one to be the empty string. Else leave to its default.

Ignored with latex_engine other than 'pdflatex'.

Added in version 4.0.0.


For the support of occasional Greek letters.

It is ignored with 'platex', 'xelatex' or 'lualatex' as latex_engine and defaults to either the empty string or to '\\usepackage{textalpha}' for 'pdflatex' depending on whether the 'fontenc' key was used with LGR or not. Only expert LaTeX users may want to customize this key.

It can also be used as r'\usepackage{textalpha,alphabeta}' to let 'pdflatex' support Greek Unicode input in math context. For example :math:`α` (U+03B1) will render as \(\alpha\).

Default: '\\usepackage{textalpha}' or '' if fontenc does not include the LGR option.

Added in version 2.0.


«geometry» package inclusion, the default definition is:


with an additional [dvipdfm] for Japanese documents. The Sphinx LaTeX style file executes:


which can be customized via corresponding “sphinxsetup” options.

Default: '\\usepackage{geometry}' (or '\\usepackage[dvipdfm]{geometry}' for Japanese documents)

Added in version 1.5.

Distinto en la versión 1.5.2: dvipdfm option if latex_engine is 'platex'.

Added in version 1.5.3: The “sphinxsetup” keys for the margins.

Distinto en la versión 1.5.3: The location in the LaTeX file has been moved to after \usepackage{sphinx} and \sphinxsetup{..}, hence also after insertion of 'fontpkg' key. This is in order to handle the paper layout options in a special way for Japanese documents: the text width will be set to an integer multiple of the zenkaku width, and the text height to an integer multiple of the baseline. See the hmargin documentation for more.


«hyperref» package inclusion; also loads package «hypcap» and issues \urlstyle{same}. This is done after sphinx.sty file is loaded and before executing the contents of 'preamble' key.


Loading of packages «hyperref» and «hypcap» is mandatory.

Added in version 1.5: Previously this was done from inside sphinx.sty.


«maketitle» call. Override if you want to generate a differently styled title page.


If the key value is set to r'\newcommand\sphinxbackoftitlepage{<Extra material>}\sphinxmaketitle', then <Extra material> will be typeset on back of title page ('manual' docclass only).

Default: '\\sphinxmaketitle'

Distinto en la versión 1.8.3: Original \maketitle from document class is not overwritten, hence is reusable as part of some custom setting for this key.

Added in version 1.8.3: \sphinxbackoftitlepage optional macro. It can also be defined inside 'preamble' key rather than this one.


Value that prefixes 'release' element on title page. As for title and author used in the tuples of latex_documents, it is inserted as LaTeX markup.

Default: 'Release'


«tableofcontents» call. The default of '\\sphinxtableofcontents' is a wrapper of unmodified \tableofcontents, which may itself be customized by user loaded packages. Override if you want to generate a different table of contents or put content between the title page and the TOC.

Default: '\\sphinxtableofcontents'

Distinto en la versión 1.5: Previously the meaning of \tableofcontents itself was modified by Sphinx. This created an incompatibility with dedicated packages modifying it also such as «tocloft» or «etoc».


Commands used to display transitions. Override if you want to display transitions differently.

Default: '\n\n\\bigskip\\hrule\\bigskip\n\n'

Added in version 1.2.

Distinto en la versión 1.6: Remove unneeded {} after \\hrule.


«makeindex» call, the last thing before \begin{document}. With '\\usepackage[columns=1]{idxlayout}\\makeindex' the index will use only one column. You may have to install idxlayout LaTeX package.

Default: '\\makeindex'


«printindex» call, the last thing in the file. Override if you want to generate the index differently, append some content after the index, or change the font. As LaTeX uses two-column mode for the index it is often advisable to set this key to '\\footnotesize\\raggedright\\printindex'. Or, to obtain a one-column index, use '\\def\\twocolumn[#1]{#1}\\printindex' (this trick may fail if using a custom document class; then try the idxlayout approach described in the documentation of the 'makeindex' key).

Default: '\\printindex'


Customization of fancyvrb LaTeX package.

The default value is '\\fvset{fontsize=auto}' which means that the font size will adjust correctly if a code-block ends up in a footnote. You may need to modify this if you use custom fonts: '\\fvset{fontsize=\\small}' if the monospace font is Courier-like.

Default: '\\fvset{fontsize=auto}'

Added in version 1.8.

Distinto en la versión 2.0: For 'xelatex' and 'lualatex' defaults to '\\fvset{fontsize=\\small}' as this is adapted to the relative widths of the FreeFont family.

Distinto en la versión 4.0.0: Changed default for 'pdflatex'. Previously it was using '\\fvset{fontsize=\\small}'.

Distinto en la versión 4.1.0: Changed default for Chinese documents to '\\fvset{fontsize=\\small,formatcom=\\xeCJKVerbAddon}'

Keys that are set by other options and therefore should not be overridden are:

'docclass' 'classoptions' 'title' 'release' 'author'

The sphinxsetup configuration setting

Added in version 1.5.

The 'sphinxsetup' key of latex_elements provides a LaTeX-type customization interface:

latex_elements = {
    'sphinxsetup': 'key1=value1, key2=value2, ...',

It defaults to empty. If non-empty, it will be passed as argument to the \sphinxsetup macro inside the document preamble, like this:

\sphinxsetup{key1=value1, key2=value2,...}

The colors used in the above are provided by the svgnames option of the «xcolor» package:

latex_elements = {
    'passoptionstopackages': r'\PassOptionsToPackage{svgnames}{xcolor}',

It is possible to insert uses of the \sphinxsetup LaTeX macro directly into the body of the document, via the raw directive. This chapter is styled in the PDF output using the following insertion at its start. This uses keys described later in Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys.

.. raw:: latex

      % pre_border-width is 5.1.0 alias for verbatimborder
      % pre_padding is a 5.1.0 alias for verbatimsep
      % Rounded boxes are new at 5.1.0
      % TeXcolor reminds that syntax must be as for LaTeX \definecolor
      % ... and since 5.3.0 also xcolor \colorlet syntax is accepted and we
      %     can thus drop the {named}{...} thing if xcolor is available!
      % ... and even take more advantage of xcolor syntax:
      % add a shadow to code-blocks
      pre_box-shadow=6pt 6pt,
      % This 5.1.0 CSS-named option is alias for warningborder
      % Prior to 5.1.0, padding for admonitions was not customizable
      % Assume xcolor has been loaded with its svgnames option
      % This one is the only option with space separated input:
      div.warning_box-shadow=-12pt -12pt inset,
      % The 5.1.0 new name would be div.attention_border-width
      % The 5.1.0 name here would be div.attention_border-TeXcolor
      % The 5.1.0 name would be div.attention_background-TeXcolor
      % For note/hint/important/tip, the CSS syntax was added at 6.2.0
      % Legacy syntax still works
      % But setting a background color via the new noteBgColor means that
      % it will be rendered using the same interface as warning type
      % We can customize separately the four border-widths, and mimic
      % the legacy "light" rendering, but now with a background color:
      % div.note_border-left-width=0pt,
      % div.note_border-right-width=0pt,
      % Let's rather for variety use lateral borders:
      % As long as only border width and border color are set, *and* using
      % for this the old interface, the rendering will be the "light" one
      % but if we had used div.hint_border-TeXcolor or *any* CSS-named
      % option we would have triggered the more complex "heavybox" code.

And this is placed at the end of the chapter source to end the scope of the configuration:

.. raw:: latex


LaTeX syntax for boolean keys requires lowercase true or false e.g 'sphinxsetup': "verbatimwrapslines=false". If setting the boolean key to true, =true is optional. Spaces around the commas and equal signs are ignored, spaces inside LaTeX macros may be significant. Do not use quotes to enclose values, whether numerical or strings.


Controls the depth of the collapsible bookmarks panel in the PDF. May be either a number (e.g. 3) or a LaTeX sectioning name (e.g. subsubsection, i.e. without backslash). For details, refer to the hyperref LaTeX docs.

Default: 5

Added in version 4.0.0.

hmargin, vmargin

The dimensions of the horizontal (resp. vertical) margins, passed as hmargin (resp. vmargin) option to the geometry package. Example:

'sphinxsetup': 'hmargin={2in,1.5in}, vmargin={1.5in,2in}, marginpar=1in',

Japanese documents currently accept only the one-dimension format for these parameters. The geometry package is then passed suitable options to get the text width set to an exact multiple of the zenkaku width, and the text height set to an integer multiple of the baselineskip, with the closest fit for the margins.

Default: 1in (equivalent to {1in,1in})


For Japanese 'manual' docclass with pointsize 11pt or 12pt, use the nomag extra document class option (cf. 'extraclassoptions' key of latex_elements) or so-called TeX «true» units:

'sphinxsetup': 'hmargin=1.5truein, vmargin=1.5truein, marginpar=5zw',

Added in version 1.5.3.


The \marginparwidth LaTeX dimension. For Japanese documents, the value is modified to be the closest integer multiple of the zenkaku width.

Default: 0.5in

Added in version 1.5.3.


Boolean to specify if code-blocks and literal includes are framed. Setting it to false does not deactivate use of package «framed», because it is still in use for the optional background color.

Default: true.


Boolean to specify if long lines in code-block“s contents are wrapped.

If true, line breaks may happen at spaces (the last space before the line break will be rendered using a special symbol), and at ascii punctuation characters (i.e. not at letters or digits). Whenever a long string has no break points, it is moved to next line. If its length is longer than the line width it will overflow.

Default: true


Boolean to specify if long lines in code-block“s contents should be forcefully wrapped to never overflow due to long strings.


It is assumed that the Pygments LaTeXFormatter has not been used with its texcomments or similar options which allow additional (arbitrary) LaTeX mark-up.

Also, in case of latex_engine set to 'pdflatex', only the default LaTeX handling of Unicode code points, i.e. utf8 not utf8x is allowed.

Default: false

Added in version 3.5.0.


A number. If an unbreakable long string has length larger than the total linewidth plus this number of characters, and if verbatimforcewraps mode is on, the input line will be reset using the forceful algorithm which applies breakpoints at each character.

Default: 3

Added in version 3.5.0.


A number. If verbatimforcewraps mode applies, and if after applying the line wrapping at spaces and punctuation, the first part of the split line is lacking at least that number of characters to fill the available width, then the input line will be reset using the forceful algorithm.

As the default is set to a high value, the forceful algorithm is triggered only in overfull case, i.e. in presence of a string longer than full linewidth. Set this to 0 to force all input lines to be hard wrapped at the current available linewidth:

latex_elements = {
    'sphinxsetup': "verbatimforcewraps, verbatimmaxunderfull=0",

This can be done locally for a given code-block via the use of raw latex directives to insert suitable \sphinxsetup (before and after) into the latex file.

Default: 100

Added in version 3.5.0.


Boolean to specify if code-blocks display «continued on next page» and «continued from previous page» hints in case of page breaks.

Default: true

Added in version 1.6.3.

Distinto en la versión 1.7: the default changed from false to true.

verbatimcontinuedalign, verbatimcontinuesalign

Horizontal position relative to the framed contents: either l (left aligned), r (right aligned) or c (centered).

Default: r

Added in version 1.7.


Boolean to specify if long lines in parsed-literal“s contents should wrap.

Default: true

Added in version 1.5.2: set this option value to false to recover former behavior.


Boolean to specify if line breaks are allowed inside inline literals: but extra potential break-points (additionally to those allowed by LaTeX at spaces or for hyphenation) are currently inserted only after the characters . , ; ? ! / and \. Due to TeX internals, white space in the line will be stretched (or shrunk) in order to accommodate the linebreak.

Default: true

Added in version 1.5: set this option value to false to recover former behavior.

Distinto en la versión 2.3.0: added potential breakpoint at \ characters.


When a long code line is split, the last space character from the source code line right before the linebreak location is typeset using this.

Default: \textcolor{red}{\textvisiblespace}


A LaTeX macro inserted at start of continuation code lines. Its (complicated…) default typesets a small red hook pointing to the right:


Distinto en la versión 1.5: The breaking of long code lines was added at 1.4.2. The default definition of the continuation symbol was changed at 1.5 to accommodate various font sizes (e.g. code-blocks can be in footnotes).


Values for color keys must either:

  • obey the syntax of the \definecolor LaTeX command, e.g. something such as VerbatimColor={rgb}{0.2,0.3,0.5} or {RGB}{37,23,255} or {gray}{0.75} or (only with package xcolor) {HTML}{808080} or …

  • or obey the syntax of the \colorlet command from package xcolor (which then must exist in the LaTeX installation), e.g. VerbatimColor=red!10 or red!50!green or -red!75 or MyPreviouslyDefinedColor or… Refer to xcolor documentation for this syntax.

Distinto en la versión 5.3.0: Formerly only the \definecolor syntax was accepted.


The color for titles (as configured via use of package «titlesec».)

Default: {rgb}{0.126,0.263,0.361}


A color passed to hyperref as value of linkcolor and citecolor.

Default: {rgb}{0.208,0.374,0.486}.


A color passed to hyperref as value of filecolor, menucolor, and urlcolor.

Default: {rgb}{0.216,0.439,0.388}


The background color for code-blocks.

Default: {gray}{0.95}

Distinto en la versión 6.0.0: Formerly, it was {rgb}{1,1,1} (white).


The frame color.

Default: {RGB}{32,32,32}

Distinto en la versión 6.0.0: Formerly it was {rgb}{0,0,0} (black).


The color for highlighted lines.

Default: {rgb}{0.878,1,1}

Added in version 1.6.6.


Sets the background color for (all) the header rows of tables.

It will have an effect only if either the latex_table_style contains 'colorrows' or if the table is assigned the colorrows class. It is ignored for tables with nocolorrows class.

As for the other 'sphinxsetup' keys, it can also be set or modified from a \sphinxsetup{...} LaTeX command inserted via the raw directive, or also from a LaTeX environment associated to a container class and using such \sphinxsetup{...}.

Default: {gray}{0.86}

There is also TableMergeColorHeader. If used, sets a specific color for merged single-row cells in the header.

Added in version 5.3.0.


Sets the background color for odd rows in tables (the row count starts at 1 at the first non-header row). Has an effect only if the latex_table_style contains 'colorrows' or for specific tables assigned the colorrows class.

Default: {gray}{0.92}

There is also TableMergeColorOdd.

Added in version 5.3.0.


Sets the background color for even rows in tables.

Default {gray}{0.98}

There is also TableMergeColorEven.

Added in version 5.3.0.


The separation between code lines and the frame.

See Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys for its alias pre_padding and additional keys.

Default: \fboxsep


The width of the frame around code-blocks. See also Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys for pre_border-width.

Default: \fboxrule


The separation between contents and frame for contents and topic boxes.

See Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys for the alias div.topic_padding.

Default: 5pt


The width of the lateral «shadow» to the right and bottom.

See Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys for div.topic_box-shadow which allows to configure separately the widths of the vertical and horizontal shadows.

Default: 4pt

Distinto en la versión 6.1.2: Fixed a regression introduced at 5.1.0 which modified unintentionally the width of topic boxes and worse had made usage of this key break PDF builds.


The width of the frame around topic boxes. See also Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys for div.topic_border-width.

Default: \fboxrule

noteBorderColor, hintBorderColor, importantBorderColor, tipBorderColor

The color for the two horizontal rules used by Sphinx in LaTeX for styling a note type admonition.

Default: {rgb}{0,0,0} (black)

noteBgColor, hintBgColor, importantBgColor, tipBgColor

The optional color for the background. It is a priori set to white, but is not used, unless it has been set explicitly, and doing this triggers Sphinx into switching to the more complex LaTeX code which is employed also for warning type admonitions. There are then additional options which are described in Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys.

Default: {rgb}{1,1,1} (white)

Added in version 6.2.0.

noteTextColor, hintTextColor, importantTextColor, tipTextColor

The optional color for the contents.

Default: unset (uses ambient text color, a priori black)

Added in version 6.2.0: To be considered experimental until 7.0.0. These options have aliases div.note_TeXcolor (etc) described in Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys. Using the latter will let Sphinx switch to a more complex LaTeX code, which supports the customizability described in Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys.

noteTeXextras, hintTeXextras, importantTeXextras, tipTeXextras

Some extra LaTeX code (such as \bfseries or \footnotesize) to be executed at start of the contents.

Default: empty

Added in version 6.2.0: To be considered experimental until 7.0.0. These options have aliases div.note_TeXextras (etc) described in Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys.

noteborder, hintborder, importantborder, tipborder

The width of the two horizontal rules.

If the background color is set, or the alternative Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys syntax is used (e.g. div.note_border-width=1pt in place of noteborder=1pt), or any option with a CSS-alike name is used, then the border is a full frame and this parameter sets its width also for left and right.

Default: 0.5pt

warningBorderColor, cautionBorderColor, attentionBorderColor, dangerBorderColor, errorBorderColor

The color for the admonition frame.

Default: {rgb}{0,0,0} (black)

warningBgColor, cautionBgColor, attentionBgColor, dangerBgColor, errorBgColor

The background colors for the respective admonitions.

Default: {rgb}{1,1,1} (white)

warningborder, cautionborder, attentionborder, dangerborder, errorborder

The width of the frame. See Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys for keys allowing to configure separately each border width.

Default: 1pt


LaTeX macros inserted at the start of the footnote text at bottom of page, after the footnote number.

Default: \mbox{ }


LaTeX macros inserted before the footnote mark. The default removes possible space before it (else, TeX could insert a line break there).

Default: \leavevmode\unskip

Added in version 1.5.


default \sffamily\bfseries. Sets the font used by headings.

Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys

Added in version 5.1.0: For code-block, topic and contents directive, and strong-type admonitions (warning, error, …).

Added in version 6.2.0: Also the note, hint, important and tip admonitions can be styled this way. Using for them any of the listed options will trigger usage of a more complex LaTeX code than the one used per default (sphinxheavybox vs sphinxlightbox). Setting the new noteBgColor (or hintBgColor, …) also triggers usage of sphinxheavybox for note (or hint, …).

Perhaps in future these 5.1.0 (and 6.2.0) novel settings will be optionally imported from some genuine CSS external file, but currently they have to be used via the 'sphinxsetup' interface (or the \sphinxsetup LaTeX command inserted via the raw directive) and the CSS syntax is only imitated.


Low-level LaTeX errors causing a build failure can happen if the input syntax is not respected.

  • In particular colors must be input as for the other color related options previously described, i.e. either in the \definecolor syntax or, if package xcolor is available (it is then automatically used) also the \colorlet syntax:

    ...<other options>
    div.warning_border-TeXcolor={rgb}{1,0,0},% (always works)
    div.error_background-TeXcolor=red!10,% (works only if xcolor is available)
    ...<other options>
  • A colon in place of the equal sign will break LaTeX.

  • ...border-width or ...padding expect a single dimension: they can not be used so far with space separated dimensions.

  • et al. values may be either a single or two space separated dimensions.

  • Dimension specifications must use TeX units such as pt or cm or in. The px unit is recognized by pdflatex and lualatex but not by xelatex or platex.

  • It is allowed for such specifications to be so-called «dimensional expressions», e.g. \fboxsep+2pt or 0.5\baselineskip are valid inputs. The expressions will be evaluated only at the typesetting time. Be careful though if using as in these examples TeX control sequences to double the backslash or to employ a raw Python string for the value of the “sphinxsetup” key.

  • As a rule, avoid inserting unneeded spaces in the key values: especially for the radii an input such 2 pt 3pt will break LaTeX. Beware also that \fboxsep \fboxsep will not be seen as space separated in LaTeX. You must use something such as {\fboxsep} \fboxsep. Or use directly 3pt 3pt which is a priori equivalent and simpler.

The options are all named in a similar pattern which depends on a prefix, which is then followed by an underscore, then the property name.


Option prefix

LaTeX environment












sphinxnote using sphinxheavybox



sphinxwarning (uses sphinxheavybox)

admonition type


sphinx<type> (using sphinxheavybox)

Here are now these options as well as their common defaults. Replace below <prefix> by the actual prefix as explained above. Don’t forget the underscore separating the prefix from the property names.

  • <prefix>_border-top-width,
    <prefix>_border-width. The latter can (currently) be only a single dimension which then sets all four others.

    The default is that all those dimensions are equal. They are set to:

    • \fboxrule (i.e. a priori 0.4pt) for code-block,

    • \fboxrule for topic or contents directive,

    • 1pt for warning and other «strong» admonitions,

    • 0.5pt for note and other «light» admonitions. The framing style of the «lighbox» used for them in absence of usage of CSS-named options will be emulated by the richer «heavybox» if setting border-left-width and border-right-width both to 0pt.

  • <prefix>_box-decoration-break can be set to either clone or slice and configures the behavior at page breaks. It defaults to slice for code-block (i.e. for <prefix>=pre) since 6.0.0. For other directives the default is clone.

  • <prefix>_padding-top,
    <prefix>_padding. The latter can (currently) be only a single dimension which then sets all four others.

    The default is that all those dimensions are equal. They are set to:

    • \fboxsep (i.e. a priori 3pt) for code-block,

    • 5pt for topic or contents directive,

    • a special value for warning and other «strong» admonitions, which ensures a backward compatible behavior.


      Prior to 5.1.0 there was no separate customizability of padding for warning-type boxes in PDF via LaTeX output. The sum of padding and border-width (as set for example for warning by warningborder, now also named div.warning_border-width) was kept to a certain constant value. This limited the border-width to small values else the border could overlap the text contents. This behavior is kept as default.

    • the same padding behavior is obeyed per default for note or other «light» admonitions when using sphinxheavybox.

  • <prefix>_border-top-left-radius,
    <prefix>_border-radius. This last key sets the first four to its assigned value. Each key value can be either a single, or two, dimensions which are then space separated.

    The default is that all four corners are either circular or straight, with common radii:

    • \fboxsep (i.e. a priori 3pt) for code-block (since 6.0.0).

    • 0pt for all other directives; this means to use straight corners.

    See a remark above about traps with spaces in LaTeX.

  • <prefix>_box-shadow is special in so far as it may be:

    • the none keyword,

    • or a single dimension (giving both x-offset and y-offset),

    • or two dimensions (separated by a space),

    • or two dimensions followed by the keyword inset.

    The x-offset and y-offset may be negative. The default is none, except for the topic or contents directives, for which it is 4pt 4pt, i.e. the shadow has a width of 4pt and extends to the right and below the frame. The lateral shadow then extends into the page right margin.

  • <prefix>_border-TeXcolor,
    <prefix>_TeXcolor. These are colors.

    The shadow color defaults in all cases to {rgb}{0,0,0} i.e. to black.

    Since 6.0.0 the border color and background color of code-block, i.e. pre prefix, default respectively to {RGB}{32,32,32} and {gray}{0.95}. They previously defaulted to black, respectively white.

    For all other types, the border color defaults to black and the background color to white.

    The <prefix>_TeXcolor stands for the CSS property «color», i.e. it influences the text color of the contents. As for the three other options, the naming TeXcolor is to stress that the input syntax is the TeX one for colors not an HTML/CSS one. If package xcolor is available in the LaTeX installation, one can use directly named colors as key values. Consider passing options such as dvipsnames, svgnames or x11names to xcolor via 'passoptionstopackages' key of latex_elements.

    If <prefix>_TeXcolor is set, a \color command is inserted at start of the directive contents; for admonitions, this happens after the heading which reproduces the admonition type.

  • <prefix>_TeXextras: if set, its value must be some LaTeX command or commands, for example \itshape. These commands will be inserted at the start of the contents; for admonitions, this happens after the heading which reproduces the admonition type.


  • All directives support box-decoration-break to be set to slice.

    Distinto en la versión 6.2.0: Formerly, only code-block did. The default remains clone for all other directives, but this will probably change at 7.0.0.

  • The corners of rounded boxes may be elliptical.

    Distinto en la versión 6.2.0: Formerly, only circular rounded corners were supported and a rounded corner forced the whole frame to use the same constant width from <prefix>_border-width.

  • Inset shadows are incompatible with rounded corners. In case both are specified the inset shadow will simply be ignored.

    Distinto en la versión 6.2.0: Formerly it was to the contrary the rounded corners which were ignored in case an inset shadow was specified.

  • <prefix>_TeXcolor and <prefix>_TeXextras are new with 6.2.0.

    Usefulness is doubtful in the case of code-block:

    • pre_TeXcolor will influence only the few non-Pygments highlighted tokens; it does color the line numbers, but if one wants to color only them one has to go through the fancyvrb interface.

    • pre_TeXextras=\footnotesize for example may be replaced by usage of the latex_elements key 'fvset'. For 'lualatex' or 'xelatex' Sphinx includes in the preamble already \fvset{fontsize=\small} and this induces fancyvrb into overriding a \footnotesize coming from pre_TeXextras. One has to use pre_TeXextras=\fvset{fontsize=\footnotesize} syntax. Simpler to set directly the latex_elements key 'fvset'

    Consider these options experimental and that some implementation details may change. For example if the pre_TeXextras LaTeX commands were put by Sphinx in another location it could override the 'fvset' effect, perhaps this is what will be done in a future release.

  • Rounded boxes are done using the pict2e interface to some basic PDF graphics operations. If this LaTeX package can not be found the build will proceed and render all boxes with straight corners.

  • Elliptic corners use the ellipse LaTeX package which extends pict2e. If this LaTeX package can not be found rounded corners will be circular arcs (or straight if pict2e is not available).

The following legacy behavior is currently not customizable:

  • For code-block, padding and border-width and shadow (if one adds one) will go into the margin; the code lines remain at the same place independently of the values of the padding and border-width, except for being shifted vertically of course to not overwrite other text due to the width of the border or external shadow.

  • For topic (and contents) the shadow (if on right) goes into the page margin, but the border and the extra padding are kept within the text area. Same for admonitions.

  • The contents and topic directives are governed by the same options with div.topic prefix: the Sphinx LaTeX mark-up uses for both directives the same sphinxShadowBox environment which has currently no additional branching, contrarily to the sphinxadmonition environment which branches according to the admonition directive name, e.g. either to sphinxnote or sphinxwarning etc…

LaTeX macros and environments

The «LaTeX package» file sphinx.sty loads various components providing support macros (aka commands), and environments, which are used in the mark-up produced on output from the latex builder, before conversion to pdf via the LaTeX toolchain. Also the «LaTeX class» files sphinxhowto.cls and sphinxmanual.cls define or customize some environments. All of these files can be found in the latex build repertory.

Some of these provide facilities not available from pre-existing LaTeX packages and work around LaTeX limitations with lists, table cells, verbatim rendering, footnotes, etc…

Others simply define macros with public names to make overwriting their defaults easy via user-added contents to the preamble. We will survey most of those public names here, but defaults have to be looked at in their respective definition files.


Sphinx LaTeX support code is split across multiple smaller-sized files. Rather than adding code to the preamble via latex_elements['preamble'] it is also possible to replace entirely one of the component files of Sphinx LaTeX code with a custom version, simply by including a modified copy in the project source and adding the filename to the latex_additional_files list. Check the LaTeX build repertory for the filenames and contents.

Distinto en la versión 4.0.0: split of sphinx.sty into multiple smaller units, to facilitate customization of many aspects simultaneously.


  • Text styling commands:

    Name, maps argument #1 to:
































    [#1] with larger brackets, see source

    Added in version 1.4.5: Use of \sphinx prefixed macro names to limit possibilities of conflict with LaTeX packages.

    Added in version 1.8: \sphinxguilabel

    Added in version 3.0: \sphinxkeyboard

    Added in version 6.2.0: \sphinxparam, \sphinxsamedocref

    Added in version 7.1.0: \sphinxparamcomma which defaults to a comma followed by a space and \sphinxparamcommaoneperline which is used for one-parameter-per-line signatures (see maximum_signature_line_length). It defaults to \texttt{,} to make these end-of-line separators more distinctive.

    Signatures of Python functions are rendered as name<space>(parameters) or name<space>[type parameters]<space>(parameters) (see PEP 695) where the length of <space> is set to 0pt by default. This can be changed via \setlength{\sphinxsignaturelistskip}{1ex} for instance.

  • More text styling:

    Name, maps argument #1 to:




    (\emph{#1}) (with a space upfront)


    , \pageref{#1}






    check source, too long for here








    ~\\\textbf{#1} \smallskip


    \sffamily (this one has no argument)





































    Added in version 1.5: These macros were formerly hard-coded as non customizable \texttt, \emph, etc…

    Added in version 1.6: \sphinxstyletheadfamily which defaults to \sffamily and allows multiple paragraphs in header cells of tables.

    Added in version 1.6.3: \sphinxstylecodecontinued and \sphinxstylecodecontinues.

    Added in version 1.8: \sphinxstyleindexlettergroup, \sphinxstyleindexlettergroupDefault.

    Added in version 6.2.0: \sphinxstylenotetitle et al. The #1 is the localized name of the directive, with a final colon. Wrap it as \sphinxremovefinalcolon{#1} if this final colon is to be removed. Examples:

      % LaTeX syntax is complex and we would be better off using \hrule.
      % It is complex to obtain nice vertical spacing for both a paragraph
      % or a list following up; this set-up is better for a paragraph next.
  • \sphinxtableofcontents: A wrapper (defined differently in sphinxhowto.cls and in sphinxmanual.cls) of standard \tableofcontents. The macro \sphinxtableofcontentshook is executed during its expansion right before \tableofcontents itself.

    Distinto en la versión 1.5: Formerly, the meaning of \tableofcontents was modified by Sphinx.

    Distinto en la versión 2.0: Hard-coded redefinitions of \l@section and \l@subsection formerly done during loading of 'manual' docclass are now executed later via \sphinxtableofcontentshook. This macro is also executed by the 'howto' docclass, but defaults to empty with it.


    If adding to preamble the loading of tocloft package, also add to preamble \renewcommand\sphinxtableofcontentshook{} else it will reset \l@section and \l@subsection cancelling tocloft customization.

  • \sphinxmaketitle: Used as the default setting of the 'maketitle' latex_elements key. Defined in the class files sphinxmanual.cls and sphinxhowto.cls.

    Distinto en la versión 1.8.3: Formerly, \maketitle from LaTeX document class was modified by Sphinx.

  • \sphinxbackoftitlepage: For 'manual' docclass, and if it is defined, it gets executed at end of \sphinxmaketitle, before the final \clearpage. Use either the 'maketitle' key or the 'preamble' key of latex_elements to add a custom definition of \sphinxbackoftitlepage.

    Added in version 1.8.3.

  • \sphinxcite: A wrapper of standard \cite for citation references.

The \sphinxbox command

Added in version 6.2.0.

The \sphinxbox[key=value,...]{inline text} command can be used to «box» inline text elements with all the customizability which has been described in Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys. It is a LaTeX command with one optional argument, which is a comma-separated list of key=value pairs, as for The sphinxsetup configuration setting. Here is the complete list of keys. They don’t use any prefix.

  • border-width,

  • border-top-width, border-right-width, border-bottom-width, border-left-width,

  • padding,

  • padding-top, padding-right, padding-bottom, padding-left,

  • border-radius,

  • border-top-left-radius, border-top-right-radius, border-bottom-right-radius, border-bottom-left-radius,

  • box-shadow,

  • border-TeXcolor, background-TeXcolor, box-shadow-TeXcolor, TeXcolor,

  • TeXextras,

  • and addstrut which is a boolean key, i.e. to be used as addstrut=true, or addstrut alone where =true is omitted, or addstrut=false.

This last key is specific to \sphinxbox and it means to add a \strut so that heights and depths are equalized across various instances on the same line with varying contents. The default is addstrut=false.


Perhaps the default will turn into addstrut=true at 7.0.0 depending on feedback until then.

The combination addstrut, padding-bottom=0pt, padding-top=1pt is often satisfactory.

Refer to Additional CSS-like 'sphinxsetup' keys for important syntax information regarding the other keys. The default configuration uses no shadow, a border-width of \fboxrule, a padding of \fboxsep, circular corners with radii \fboxsep and background and border colors as for the default rendering of code-blocks.

When a \sphinxbox usage is nested within another one, it will ignore the options of the outer one: it first resets all options to their default state as they were prior to applying the outer box options, then it applies its own specific ones.

One can modify these defaults via the command \sphinxboxsetup{key=value,...}. The effect is cumulative, if one uses this command multiple times. Here the options are a mandatory argument so are within curly braces, not square brackets.

Here is some example of use:

latex_elements = {
    'preamble': r'''
% modify globally the defaults
% configure some styling element with some extra specific options:

A utility \newsphinxbox is provided to create a new boxing macro, say \foo which will act exactly like \sphinxbox but with a given extra configuration:

% the specific options to \foo are within brackets
\newsphinxbox[border-radius=0pt, box-shadow=2pt 2pt]{\foo}
% then use this \foo, possibly with some extra options still:

Boxes rendered with \foo obey as the ones using directly \sphinxbox the current configuration as set possibly mid-way in document via \sphinxboxsetup (from a raw LaTeX mark-up), the only difference is that they have an initial additional set of default extras.

In the above examples, you can probably use \renewcommand syntax if you prefer it to \protected\def (with [1] in place of #1 then).


  • A figure may have an optional legend with arbitrary body elements: they are rendered in a sphinxlegend environment. The default definition issues \small, and ends with \par.

    Added in version 1.5.6: Formerly, the \small was hardcoded in LaTeX writer and the ending \par was lacking.

  • Environments associated with admonitions:

    • sphinxnote,

    • sphinxhint,

    • sphinximportant,

    • sphinxtip,

    • sphinxwarning,

    • sphinxcaution,

    • sphinxattention,

    • sphinxdanger,

    • sphinxerror.

    They may be \renewenvironment “d individually, and must then be defined with one argument (it is the heading of the notice, for example Warning: for warning directive, if English is the document language). Their default definitions use either the sphinxheavybox (for the last 5 ones) or the sphinxlightbox environments, configured to use the parameters (colors, border thickness) specific to each type, which can be set via 'sphinxsetup' string.

    Distinto en la versión 1.5: Use of public environment names, separate customizability of the parameters, such as noteBorderColor, noteborder, warningBgColor, warningBorderColor, warningborder, …

  • Environment for the seealso directive: sphinxseealso. It takes one argument which will be the localized string See also followed with a colon.

    Added in version 6.1.0.

    Distinto en la versión 6.2.0: Colon made part of the mark-up rather than being inserted by the environment for coherence with how admonitions are handled generally.

  • The contents directive (with :local: option) and the topic directive are implemented by environment sphinxShadowBox.

    Added in version 1.4.2: Former code refactored into an environment allowing page breaks.

    Distinto en la versión 1.5: Options shadowsep, shadowsize, shadowrule.

  • The literal blocks (via :: or code-block), are implemented using sphinxVerbatim environment which is a wrapper of Verbatim environment from package fancyvrb.sty. It adds the handling of the top caption and the wrapping of long lines, and a frame which allows page breaks. Inside tables the used environment is sphinxVerbatimintable (it does not draw a frame, but allows a caption).

    Distinto en la versión 1.5: Verbatim keeps exact same meaning as in fancyvrb.sty (also under the name OriginalVerbatim); sphinxVerbatimintable is used inside tables.

    Added in version 1.5: Options verbatimwithframe, verbatimwrapslines, verbatimsep, verbatimborder.

    Added in version 1.6.6: Support for :emphasize-lines: option

    Added in version 1.6.6: Easier customizability of the formatting via exposed to user LaTeX macros such as \sphinxVerbatimHighlightLine.

  • The bibliography uses sphinxthebibliography and the Python Module index as well as the general index both use sphinxtheindex; these environments are wrappers of the thebibliography and respectively theindex environments as provided by the document class (or packages).

    Distinto en la versión 1.5: Formerly, the original environments were modified by Sphinx.


  • Every text paragraph in document body starts with \sphinxAtStartPar. Currently, this is used to insert a zero width horizontal skip which is a trick to allow TeX hyphenation of the first word of a paragraph in a narrow context (like a table cell). For 'lualatex' which does not need the trick, the \sphinxAtStartPar does nothing.

    Added in version 3.5.0.

  • The section, subsection, … headings are set using titlesec’s \titleformat command.

  • For the 'manual' docclass, the chapter headings can be customized using fncychap’s commands \ChNameVar, \ChNumVar, \ChTitleVar. File sphinx.sty has custom re-definitions in case of fncychap option Bjarne.

    Distinto en la versión 1.5: Formerly, use of fncychap with other styles than Bjarne was dysfunctional.

  • Docutils container directives are supported in LaTeX output: to let a container class with name foo influence the final PDF via LaTeX, it is only needed to define in the preamble an environment sphinxclassfoo. A simple example would be:


    Currently the class names must contain only ascii characters and avoid characters special to LaTeX such as \.

    Added in version 4.1.0.


As an experimental feature, Sphinx can use user-defined template file for LaTeX source if you have a file named _templates/latex.tex.jinja in your project.

Additional files longtable.tex.jinja, tabulary.tex.jinja and tabular.tex.jinja can be added to _templates/ to configure some aspects of table rendering (such as the caption position).

Added in version 1.6: currently all template variables are unstable and undocumented.

Distinto en la versión 7.4: Added support for the .jinja file extension, which is preferred. The old file names remain supported. (latex.tex_t, longtable.tex_t, tabulary.tex_t, and tabular.tex_t)