Configuration

Guide to all available configuration settings.


Introduction

Project settings are always configured by using a YAML configuration file in the project directory named mkdocs.yml.

As a minimum, this configuration file must contain the site_name and site_url settings. All other settings are optional.

Project information

site_name

This is a required setting, and should be a string that is used as the main title for the project documentation. For example:

site_name: Marshmallow Generator

When rendering the theme this setting will be passed as the site_name context variable.

site_url

Set the canonical URL of the site. This will add a link tag with the canonical URL to the head section of each HTML page. If the ‘root’ of the MkDocs site will be within a subdirectory of a domain, be sure to include that subdirectory in the setting (https://example.com/foo/).

This setting is also used for mkdocs serve: the server will be mounted onto a path taken from the path component of the URL, e.g. some/page.md will be served from http://127.0.0.1:8000/foo/some/page/ to mimick the expected remote layout.

default: null

repo_url

When set, provides a link to your repository (GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, …) on each page.

repo_url: https://github.com/example/repository/

default: null

repo_name

When set, provides the name for the link to your repository on each page.

default: 'GitHub', 'Bitbucket' or 'GitLab' if the repo_url matches those domains, otherwise the hostname from the repo_url.

edit_uri

The path from the base repo_url to the docs directory when directly viewing a page, accounting for specifics of the repository host (e.g. GitHub, Bitbucket, etc), the branch, and the docs directory itself. MkDocs concatenates repo_url and edit_uri, and appends the input path of the page.

When set, and if your theme supports it, provides a link directly to the page in your source repository. This makes it easier to find and edit the source for the page. If repo_url is not set, this option is ignored. On some themes, setting this option may cause an edit link to be used in place of a repository link. Other themes may show both links.

The edit_uri supports query (‘?’) and fragment (‘#’) characters. For repository hosts that use a query or a fragment to access the files, the edit_uri might be set as follows. (Note the ? and # in the URI…)

# Query string example
edit_uri: '?query=root/path/docs/'
# Hash fragment example
edit_uri: '#root/path/docs/'

For other repository hosts, simply specify the relative path to the docs directory.

# Query string example
edit_uri: root/path/docs/

!!! note On a few known hosts (specifically GitHub, Bitbucket and GitLab), the edit_uri is derived from the ‘repo_url’ and does not need to be set manually. Simply defining a repo_url will automatically populate the edit_uri configs setting.

For example, for a GitHub- or GitLab-hosted repository, the `edit_uri`
would be automatically set as `edit/master/docs/` (Note the `edit` path
and `master` branch).

For a Bitbucket-hosted repository, the equivalent `edit_uri` would be
automatically set as `src/default/docs/` (note the `src` path and `default`
branch).

To use a different URI than the default (for example a different branch),
simply set the `edit_uri` to your desired string. If you do not want any
"edit URL link" displayed on your pages, then set `edit_uri` to an empty
string to disable the automatic setting.

!!! warning On GitHub and GitLab, the default “edit” path (edit/master/docs/) opens the page in the online editor. This functionality requires that the user have and be logged in to a GitHub/GitLab account. Otherwise, the user will be redirected to a login/signup page. Alternatively, use the “blob” path (blob/master/docs/) to open a read-only view, which supports anonymous access.

default: edit/master/docs/ for GitHub and GitLab repos or src/default/docs/ for a Bitbucket repo, if repo_url matches those domains, otherwise null

site_description

Set the site description. This will add a meta tag to the generated HTML header.

default: null

site_author

Set the name of the author. This will add a meta tag to the generated HTML header.

default: null

Set the copyright information to be included in the documentation by the theme.

default: null

remote_branch

Set the remote branch to commit to when using gh-deploy to deploy to GitHub Pages. This option can be overridden by a command line option in gh-deploy.

default: gh-pages

remote_name

Set the remote name to push to when using gh-deploy to deploy to GitHub Pages. This option can be overridden by a command line option in gh-deploy.

default: origin

Documentation layout

This setting is used to determine the format and layout of the global navigation for the site. A minimal navigation configuration could look like this:

nav:
    - 'index.md'
    - 'about.md'

All paths must be relative to the mkdocs.yml configuration file. See the section on configuring pages and navigation for a more detailed breakdown, including how to create sub-sections.

Navigation items may also include links to external sites. While titles are optional for internal links, they are required for external links. An external link may be a full URL or a relative URL. Any path which is not found in the files is assumed to be an external link. See the section about [Meta-Data] on how MkDocs determines the page title of a document.

nav:
    - Introduction: 'index.md'
    - 'about.md'
    - 'Issue Tracker': 'https://example.com/'

In the above example, the first two items point to local files while the third points to an external site.

However, sometimes the MkDocs site is hosted in a subdirectory of a project’s site and you may want to link to other parts of the same site without including the full domain. In that case, you may use an appropriate relative URL.

site_url: https://example.com/foo/

nav:
    - Home: '../'
    - 'User Guide': 'user-guide.md'
    - 'Bug Tracker': '/bugs/'

In the above example, two different styles of external links are used. First, note that the site_url indicates that the MkDocs site is hosted in the /foo/ subdirectory of the domain. Therefore, the Home navigation item is a relative link that steps up one level to the server root and effectively points to https://example.com/. The Bug Tracker item uses an absolute path from the server root and effectively points to https://example.com/bugs/. Of course, the User Guide points to a local MkDocs page.

default: By default nav will contain an alphanumerically sorted, nested list of all the Markdown files found within the docs_dir and its sub-directories. Index files will always be listed first within a sub-section.

Build directories

theme

Sets the theme and theme specific configuration of your documentation site. May be either a string or a set of key/value pairs.

If a string, it must be the string name of a known installed theme. For a list of available themes visit Choosing Your Theme.

An example set of key/value pairs might look something like this:

theme:
    name: mkdocs
    locale: en
    custom_dir: my_theme_customizations/
    static_templates:
        - sitemap.html
    include_sidebar: false

If a set of key/value pairs, the following nested keys can be defined:

!!! block “”

#### name:

The string name of a known installed theme. For a list of available themes
visit [Choosing Your Theme].

#### locale:

A code representing the language of your site. See [Localizing your theme]
for details.

#### custom_dir:

A directory containing a custom theme. This can either be a relative
directory, in which case it is resolved relative to the directory containing
your configuration file or it can be an absolute directory path from the
root of your local file system.

See [Customizing Your Theme][theme_dir] for details if you would like to tweak an
existing theme.

See the [Theme Developer Guide] if you would like to build your own theme
from the ground up.

#### static_templates:

A list of templates to render as static pages. The templates must be located
in either the theme's template directory or in the `custom_dir` defined in
the theme configuration.

#### (theme specific keywords)

Any additional keywords supported by the theme can also be defined. See the
documentation for the theme you are using for details.

default: 'mkdocs'

docs_dir

The directory containing the documentation source markdown files. This can either be a relative directory, in which case it is resolved relative to the directory containing your configuration file, or it can be an absolute directory path from the root of your local file system.

default: 'docs'

site_dir

The directory where the output HTML and other files are created. This can either be a relative directory, in which case it is resolved relative to the directory containing your configuration file, or it can be an absolute directory path from the root of your local file system.

default: 'site'

!!! note “Note:” If you are using source code control you will normally want to ensure that your build output files are not committed into the repository, and only keep the source files under version control. For example, if using git you might add the following line to your .gitignore file:

    site/

If you're using another source code control tool, you'll want to check its
documentation on how to ignore specific directories.

extra_css

Set a list of CSS files in your docs_dir to be included by the theme. For example, the following example will include the extra.css file within the css subdirectory in your docs_dir.

extra_css:
    - css/extra.css
    - css/second_extra.css

default: [] (an empty list).

extra_javascript

Set a list of JavaScript files in your docs_dir to be included by the theme. See the example in extra_css for usage.

default: [] (an empty list).

extra_templates

Set a list of templates in your docs_dir to be built by MkDocs. To see more about writing templates for MkDocs read the documentation about [custom themes] and specifically the section about the [available variables] to templates. See the example in extra_css for usage.

default: [] (an empty list).

extra

A set of key-value pairs, where the values can be any valid YAML construct, that will be passed to the template. This allows for great flexibility when creating custom themes.

For example, if you are using a theme that supports displaying the project version, you can pass it to the theme like this:

extra:
    version: 1.0

default: By default extra will be an empty key-value mapping.

Preview controls

use_directory_urls

This setting controls the style used for linking to pages within the documentation.

The following table demonstrates how the URLs used on the site differ when setting use_directory_urls to true or false.

Source file use_directory_urls: true use_directory_urls: false
index.md / /index.html
api-guide.md /api-guide/ /api-guide.html
about/license.md /about/license/ /about/license.html

The default style of use_directory_urls: true creates more user friendly URLs, and is usually what you’ll want to use.

The alternate style can be useful if you want your documentation to remain properly linked when opening pages directly from the file system, because it creates links that point directly to the target file rather than the target directory.

default: true

strict

Determines how warnings are handled. Set to true to halt processing when a warning is raised. Set to false to print a warning and continue processing.

default: false

dev_addr

Determines the address used when running mkdocs serve. Must be of the format IP:PORT.

Allows a custom default to be set without the need to pass it through the --dev-addr option every time the mkdocs serve command is called.

default: '127.0.0.1:8000'

See also: site_url.

Formatting options

markdown_extensions

MkDocs uses the Python Markdown library to translate Markdown files into HTML. Python Markdown supports a variety of extensions that customize how pages are formatted. This setting lets you enable a list of extensions beyond the ones that MkDocs uses by default (meta, toc, tables, and fenced_code).

For example, to enable the SmartyPants typography extension, use:

markdown_extensions:
    - smarty

Some extensions provide configuration options of their own. If you would like to set any configuration options, then you can nest a key/value mapping (option_name: option value) of any options that a given extension supports. See the documentation for the extension you are using to determine what options they support.

For example, to enable permalinks in the (included) toc extension, use:

markdown_extensions:
    - toc:
        permalink: True

Note that a colon (:) must follow the extension name (toc) and then on a new line the option name and value must be indented and separated by a colon. If you would like to define multiple options for a single extension, each option must be defined on a separate line:

markdown_extensions:
    - toc:
        permalink: True
        separator: "_"

Add an additional item to the list for each extension. If you have no configuration options to set for a specific extension, then simply omit options for that extension:

markdown_extensions:
    - smarty
    - toc:
        permalink: True
    - sane_lists

In the above examples, each extension is a list item (starts with a -). As an alternative, key/value pairs can be used instead. However, in that case an empty value must be provided for extensions for which no options are defined. Therefore, the last example above could also be defined as follows:

markdown_extensions:
    smarty: {}
    toc:
        permalink: True
    sane_lists: {}

This alternative syntax is required if you intend to override some options via inheritance.

!!! note “See Also:” The Python-Markdown documentation provides a list of extensions which are available out-of-the-box. For a list of configuration options available for a given extension, see the documentation for that extension.

You may also install and use various [third party extensions][3rd]. Consult
the documentation provided by those extensions for installation instructions
and available configuration options.

default: [] (an empty list).

plugins

A list of plugins (with optional configuration settings) to use when building the site. See the Plugins documentation for full details.

If the plugins config setting is defined in the mkdocs.yml config file, then any defaults (such as search) are ignored and you need to explicitly re-enable the defaults if you would like to continue using them:

plugins:
    - search
    - your_other_plugin

To define options for a given plugin, use a nested set of key/value pairs:

plugins:
    - search
    - your_other_plugin:
        option1: value
        option2: other value

In the above examples, each plugin is a list item (starts with a -). As an alternative, key/value pairs can be used instead. However, in that case an empty value must be provided for plugins for which no options are defined. Therefore, the last example above could also be defined as follows:

plugins:
    search: {}
    your_other_plugin:
        option1: value
        option2: other value

This alternative syntax is required if you intend to override some options via inheritance.

To completely disable all plugins, including any defaults, set the plugins setting to an empty list:

plugins: []

default: ['search'] (the “search” plugin included with MkDocs).

A search plugin is provided by default with MkDocs which uses lunr.js as a search engine. The following config options are available to alter the behavior of the search plugin:

separator

A regular expression which matches the characters used as word separators when building the index. By default whitespace and the hyphen (-) are used. To add the dot (.) as a word separator you might do this:

plugins:
    - search:
        separator: '[\s\-\.]+'

default: '[\s\-]+'

min_search_length

An integer value that defines the minimum length for a search query. By default searches shorter than 3 chars in length are ignored as search result quality with short search terms are poor. However, for some use cases (such as documentation about Message Queues which might generate searches for ‘MQ’) it may be preferable to set a shorter limit.

plugins:
    - search:
        min_search_length: 2

default: 3

lang

A list of languages to use when building the search index as identified by their ISO 639-1 language codes. With Lunr Languages, the following languages are supported:

  • ar: Arabic
  • da: Danish
  • nl: Dutch
  • en: English
  • fi: Finnish
  • fr: French
  • de: German
  • hu: Hungarian
  • it: Italian
  • ja: Japanese
  • no: Norwegian
  • pt: Portuguese
  • ro: Romanian
  • ru: Russian
  • es: Spanish
  • sv: Swedish
  • th: Thai
  • tr: Turkish
  • vi: Vietnamese

You may contribute additional languages.

!!! Warning

While search does support using multiple languages together, it is best not
to add additional languages unless you really need them. Each additional
language adds significant bandwidth requirements and uses more browser
resources. Generally, it is best to keep each instance of MkDocs to a single
language.

!!! Note

Lunr Languages does not currently include support for Chinese or other Asian
languages. However, some users have reported decent results using Japanese.

default: The value of theme.locale if set, otherwise [en].

prebuild_index

Optionally generates a pre-built index of all pages, which provides some performance improvements for larger sites. Before enabling, confirm that the theme you are using explicitly supports using a prebuilt index (the builtin themes do). Set to true to enable.

!!! warning

This option requires that [Node.js] be installed and the command `node` be
on the system path. If the call to `node` fails for any reason, a warning
is issued and the build continues uninterupted. You may use the `--strict`
flag when building to cause such a failure to raise an error instead.

!!! Note

On smaller sites, using a pre-built index is not recommended as it creates a
significant increase is bandwidth requirements with little to no noticeable
improvement to your users. However, for larger sites (hundreds of pages),
the bandwidth increase is relatively small and your users will notice a
significant improvement in search performance.

default: False

indexing

Configures what strategy the search indexer will use when building the index for your pages. This property is particularly useful if your project is large in scale, and the index takes up an enormous amount of disk space.

plugins:
    - search:
        indexing: 'full'
Options
Option Description
full Indexes the title, section headings, and full text of each page.
sections Indexes the title and section headings of each page.
titles Indexes only the title of each page.

default: full

Environment Variables

In most cases, the value of a configuration option is set directly in the configuration file. However, as an option, the value of a configuration option may be set to the value of an environment variable using the !ENV tag. For example, to set the value of the site_name option to the value of the variable SITE_NAME the YAML file may contain the following:

site_name: !ENV SITE_NAME

If the environment variable is not defined, then the configuration setting would be assigned a null (or None in Python) value. A default value can be defined as the last value in a list. Like this:

site_name: !ENV [SITE_NAME, 'My default site name']

Multiple fallback variables can be used as well. Note that the last value is not an environment variable, but must be a value to use as a default if none of the specified environment variables are defined.

site_name: !ENV [SITE_NAME, OTHER_NAME, 'My default site name']

Simple types defined within an environment variable such as string, bool, integer, float, datestamp and null are parsed as if they were defined directly in the YAML file, which means that the value will be converted to the appropriate type. However, complex types such as lists and key/value pairs cannot be defined within a single environment variable.

For more details, see the pyyaml_env_tag project.

Configuration Inheritance

Generally, a single file would hold the entire configuration for a site. However, some organizations may maintain multiple sites which all share a common configuration across them. Rather than maintaining separate configurations for each, the common configuration options can be defined in a parent configuration while which each site’s primary configuration file inherits.

To define the parent for a configuration file, set the INHERIT (all caps) key to the path of the parent file. The path must be relative to the location of the primary file.

For configuration options to be merged with a parent configuration, those options must be defined as key/value pairs. Specifically, the markdown_extensions and plugins options must use the alternative syntax which does not use list items (lines which start with -).

For example, suppose the common (parent) configuration is defined in base.yml:

theme:
    name: mkdocs
    locale: en
    highlightjs: true

markdown_extensions:
    toc:
        permalink: true
    admonition: {}

Then, for the “foo” site, the primary configuration file would be defined at foo/mkdocs.yml:

INHERIT: ../base.yml
site_name: Foo Project
site_url: https://example.com/foo

When running mkdocs build, the file at foo/mkdocs.yml would be passed in as the configuration file. MkDocs will then parse that file, retrieve and parse the parent file base.yml and deep merge the two. This would result in MkDocs receiving the following merged configuration:

site_name: Foo Project
site_url: https://example.com/foo

theme:
    name: mkdocs
    locale: en
    highlightjs: true

markdown_extensions:
    toc:
        permalink: true
    admonition: {}

Deep merging allows you to add and/or override various values in your primary configuration file. For example, suppose for one site you wanted to add support for definition lists, use a different symbol for permalinks, and define a different separator. In that site’s primary configuration file you could do:

INHERIT: ../base.yml
site_name: Bar Project
site_url: https://example.com/bar

markdown_extensions:
    def_list: {}
    toc:
        permalink: 
        separator: "_"

In that case, the above configuration would be deep merged with base.yml and result in the following configuration:

site_name: Bar Project
site_url: https://example.com/bar

theme:
    name: mkdocs
    locale: en
    highlightjs: true

markdown_extensions:
    def_list: {}
    toc:
        permalink: 
        separator: "_"
    admonition: {}

Notice that the admonition extension was retained from the parent configuration, the def_list extension was added, the value of toc.permalink was replaced, and the value of toc.separator was added.

You can replace or merge the value of any key. However, any non-key is always replaced. Therefore, you cannot append items to a list. You must redefine the entire list.

As the nav configuration is made up of nested lists, this means that you cannot merge navigation items. Of course, you can replace the entire nav configuration with a new one. However, it is generally expected that the entire navigation would be defined in the primary configuration file for a project.

!!! warning

As a reminder, all path based configuration options must be relative to the
primary configuration file and MkDocs does not alter the paths when merging.
Therefore, defining paths in a parent file which is inherited by multiple
different sites may not work as expected. It is generally best to define
path based options in the primary configuration file only.

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