Skip to main content
This is a pre-production deployment of Warehouse. Changes made here affect the production instance of PyPI (
Help us improve Python packaging - Donate today!

Use Python 3 annotations in sphinx-enabled docstrings

Project Description

Use Python 3 annotations in sphinx-enabled docstrings

If you’re on Python 3 and writing sphinx-enabled docstrings, you might feel like doing needless work when typing :type arg: or :rtype: directives. After all, why not use annotations for this?

Sure, :param str arg: description is not a lot of work, but when you want to document your argument as a specific class for which you have a :class: link, then you need to use :type: and it’s cumbersome. By using this sphinx extension, you can turn this:

def f(a):
    """Do something.

    :param a: description for a
    :type a: :class:`ClassForA`
    :rtype: str


def f(a: ClassForA) -> str:
    """Do something.

    :param a: description for a


First, you need Python 3.3+ and a Sphinx documentation (with autodoc enabled).

You can install sphinx-autodoc-annotation with:

$ pip install sphinx-autodoc-annotation

Then, you need to enable it in your file:

extensions = [

You’re done!


All you need to do to use this extension is to properly annotate your functions and methods with expected types for your arguments and return value. :type: and :rtype: directives will automatically be added to your docstring.

These directives behave like if you added them manually, that is, your argument is not going to show up only with :type arg: you need :param arg: to be there (with a description of what it does) for your type to show up.

When there are no annotations, argument types are deduced from default values. If your default value is a bool, str, int or float, the argument is going to be considered of that type. That feature is there mainly because f(flag: bool = False) feels a bit redundant.

In all cases, :type: and :rtype: directives in the docstring will always have precedence over annotations and defaults.

Release History

Release History

This version
History Node


History Node


Download Files

Download Files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

File Name & Checksum SHA256 Checksum Help Version File Type Upload Date
sphinx-autodoc-annotation-1.0-1.tar.gz (4.0 kB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 Source Aug 16, 2016

Supported By

WebFaction WebFaction Technical Writing Elastic Elastic Search Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Dyn Dyn DNS Sentry Sentry Error Logging CloudAMQP CloudAMQP RabbitMQ Heroku Heroku PaaS Kabu Creative Kabu Creative UX & Design Fastly Fastly CDN DigiCert DigiCert EV Certificate Rackspace Rackspace Cloud Servers DreamHost DreamHost Log Hosting