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Rendering reST on Windows

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We use Sphinx as a tool-chain to generate TYPO3 documentation with reStructuredText (commonly abbreviated as reST).


  • Python: used by Sphinx
  • Sphinx: main tool used to transform reST (.rst) into HTML or PDF
  • TYPO3 templates: official TYPO3 templates for reST

notice - Note

These three components may be automatically installed and configured for you if you use the TYPO3 extension sphinx available in TER.

Optional components:

  • LaTeX: document preparation system used as intermediate format by Sphinx to generate prettier PDF out of reST files

notice - Note

The documentation of the Sphinx extension comes with a dedicated chapter for rendering PDF with LaTeX.

Installing the Components

This tutorial is based on article [1].

Installing Python

Download the Python Windows Installer from The version we tested is Python 2.7, the 32 bit version ("Windows X86 MSI Installer") even we were on a 64-bit operating system as the setup tools seemed to have problem detecting our version of Python :(

Installing the Python Tools

Then download the Python Tools from (choose the .exe for Python 2.7) and execute it. The install wizard should install the Python tools smoothly (hopefully).

Set Environment variable by opening Control Panel > System > Advanced system parameters > Environment variables and add

PYTHON_HOME 	C:\Python27

and update PATH to read:


Of course you should change C:\Python27 to match the install directory you chose.

Installing graph tools

Download the current stable version of Graphviz from (at time of writing this was graphviz-2.28.0.msi). Then execute the msi file to install Graphviz.

Installing Sphinx

Great, we're nearly done!

Open a command line (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Line) and execute the following commands:

C:\windows\System32> python --version
   Python 2.7.3

C:\windows\System32> easy_install pyyaml 
C:\windows\System32> easy_install sphinx
C:\windows\System32> easy_install blockdiag
C:\windows\System32> easy_install sphinxcontrib-blockdiag
C:\windows\System32> easy_install seqdiag
C:\windows\System32> easy_install sphinxcontrib-seqdiag
C:\windows\System32> easy_install actdiag
C:\windows\System32> easy_install sphinxcontrib-actdiag
C:\windows\System32> easy_install nwdiag
C:\windows\System32> easy_install sphinxcontrib-nwdiag

Installing TYPO3 Templates

The TYPO3 templates are available for the time being from a dedicated Git repository. If you did not yet configure your environment for using Git, please do so using one of the Git Tutorials.

The template projects is available from git:// Clone that repository and move into it:

$ git clone git://
$ cd RestTools

Move down one more sub-folder and run the provided installer:

$ cd ./ExtendingSphinxForTYPO3
$ python install

This installs the TYPO3 Sphinx theme on your machine. Next time you will compile your documentation with

C:\> make html

you will have a nicer HTML documentation using the official TYPO3 template.

Installing LaTeX

Install the full MiKTeX distribution from Choose the "MiKTeX 2.9 Basic Installer", run the installer:

  • Install package on the fly: Ask me first (or "Yes" as you want)

The first time you compile a PDF document from your reST documentation you will have to allow the download and installation of a few packages. Alternatively, you could choose to install a full-fledge version of MiKTeX (but it's a LOT bigger).

First Project with Sphinx

Please read our dedicated tutorial.