Style Guide

This document contains the various RST/Sphinx specific guidelines for the frc-docs project. For guidelines related to the various WPILib code projects, see the WPILib GitHub


Use only lowercase alphanumeric characters and - (minus) symbol.

For documents that will have an identical software/hardware name, append “Hardware” or “Software” to the end of the document name. IE, ultrasonics-hardware.rst

Suffix filenames with the .rst extension.


If you are having issues editing files with the .rst extension, the recommended text editor is VS Code with the reStructuredText extension.


All text content should be on the same line. If you need readability, use the word-wrap function of your editor.

Use the following case for these terms:

  • roboRIO (not RoboRIO, roboRio, or RoboRio)

  • LabVIEW (not labview or LabView)

  • Visual Studio Code (VS Code) (not vscode, VScode, vs code, etc)

  • macOS (not Mac OS, Mac OSX, Mac OS X, Mac, Mac OS, etc.)

  • GitHub (not github, Github, etc)

  • PowerShell (not powershell, Powershell, etc)

  • Linux (not linux)

  • Java (not java)

Use the ASCII character set for English text. For special characters (e.g. Greek symbols) use the standard character entity sets.

Use .. math:: for standalone equations and :math: for inline equations. A useful LaTeX equation cheat sheet can be found here.

Use literals for filenames, function, and variable names.

Use of the registered trademarks FIRST® and FRC® should follow the Policy from this page. Specifically, where possible (i.e. not nested inside other markup or in a document title), the first use of the trademarks should have the ® symbol and all instances of FIRST should be italicized. The ® symbol can be added by using .. include:: <isonum.txt> at the top of the document and then using *FIRST*\ |reg| or FRC\ |reg|.

Commonly used terms should be added to the FRC Glossary. You can reference items in the glossary by using :term:`deprecated`.



Indentation should always match the previous level of indentation unless you are creating a new content block.

Indentation of content directives as new line .. toctree:: should be 3 spaces.

Blank Lines

There should be 1 blank line separating basic text blocks and section titles. There should be 1 blank line separating text blocks and content directives.

Interior Whitespace

Use one space between sentences.


Headings should be in the following structure. Heading underlines should match the same number of characters as the heading itself.

  1. = for document titles. Do not use this more than once per article.

  2. - for document sections

  3. ^ for document sub-sections

  4. ~ for document sub-sub-sections

  5. If you need to use any lower levels of structure, you’re doing things wrong.

Use title case for headings.


Lists should have a new line in between each indent level. The highest indent should have 0 indentation, and subsequent sublists should have an indentation starting at the first character of the previous indentation.

- Block one
- Block two
- Block three

  - Sub 1
  - Sub 2

- Block four

Code blocks

All code blocks should have a language specified.

  1. Exception: Content where formatting must be preserved and has no language. Instead use text.

Follow the WPILib style guide for C++ and Java example code. For example, use two spaces for indentation in C++ and Java.

RLI (Remote Literal Include)

When possible, instead of using code blocks, an RLI should be used. This pulls code lines directly from GitHub, most commonly using the example programs. This automatically keeps the code up to date with any changes that are made. The format of an RLI is:

.. rli::
   :language: java
   :lines: 44-61
   :lineno-start: 44

.. rli::
   :language: c++
   :lines: 18-30
   :lineno-start: 18

Make sure to link to the raw version of the file on GitHub. There is a handy Raw button in the top right corner of the page.


To create code tabs in an article, you can use the .. tab-set-code:: directive. You can use code-block and rli directives inside. The format is:

.. tab-set-code::

   .. rli::
      :language: java
      :lines: 44-61
      :lineno-start: 44

   .. code-block:: c++
      // Start the timer.

      // Send Field2d to SmartDashboard.

      // Reset the drivetrain's odometry to the starting pose of the trajectory.

      // Send our generated trajectory to Field2d.

If you need to use more than one tab per language, multiple RLIs per language, or text tabs, you can use the .. tab-set:: and .. tab-item:: directive. The format is:

.. tab-set::

   .. tab-item:: Title
      :sync: sync-id


This example uses the sync argument to allow all of the tabs with the same key to be synced together. This means that when you click on a tab, all of the tabs with the same key will open.

If you have a mix of tab-set and tab-set-code directives on a page, you can sync them by setting the sync id on the tab-item directives to tabcode-LANGUAGE. For example, a java tab would have a sync id of tabcode-java.


Admonitions (list here) should have their text on the same line as the admonition itself. There are exceptions to this rule, however, when having multiple sections of content inside of an admonition. Generally having multiple sections of content inside of an admonition is not recommended.


.. warning:: This is a warning!


.. warning::
   This is a warning!


Images should be created with 1 new line separating content and directive.

All images (including vectors) should be less than 500 kilobytes in size. Please make use of a smaller resolution and more efficient compression algorithms.

.. image:: images/my-article/my-image.png
   :alt: Always add alt text here describing the image.

Image Files

Image files should be stored in the document directory, sub-directory of document-name/images.

They should follow the naming scheme of short-description.png, where the name of the image is a short description of what the image shows. This should be less than 24 characters.

They should be of the .png or .jpg image extension. .gif is unacceptable due to storage and accessibility concerns.


Accessibility is important! Images should be marked with a :alt: directive.

.. image:: images/my-document/my-image.png
   :alt: An example image

Vector Images

SVG files are supported through the svg2pdfconverter Sphinx extension.

Simply use them as you would with any other image.


Ensure that any embedded images in the vector do not bloat the vector to exceed the 500KB limit.

.. image:: images/my-document/my-image.svg
   :alt: Always add alt text here describing the image. Diagrams (also known as diagrams are supported through svg files with embedded .drawio metadata, allowing the svg file to act as a source file of the diagrams, and to be rendered like a normal vector graphics file.

Simply use them like you would any other vector image, or any other image.

.. image:: diagrams/my-document/diagram-1.drawio.svg
   :alt: Always add alt text here describing the image. Files files follow almost the same naming scheme as normal images. To keep track of files that have the embedded .drawio metadata, append a .drawio to the end of the file name, before the extension, meaning the name of the file should be document-title-1.drawio.svg and so on. Additionally, diagrams should be stored in the document directory in a sub-folder named diagrams.

For the specifics of saving a diagram as a .svg with metadata, take a look at Saving Instructions.


Make sure you don’t modify any file that is in a diagrams folder, or ends in .drawio.svg in any program other than, otherwise you might risk breaking the metadata of the file, making it uneditable.

File Extensions

File extensions should use code formatting. For example, use:


instead of:


Table of Contents (TOC)

Each category should contain an index.rst. This index file should contain a maxdepth of 1. Sub-categories are acceptable, with a maxdepth of 1.

The category index.rst file can then be added to the root index file located at source/index.rst.


This is an example article

.. code-block:: java

   System.out.println("Hello World");

This is a section!

Important Note!

This list is not exhaustive and administrators reserve the right to make changes. Changes will be reflected in this document.