Manual Formatting Guidelines

The manual now uses the reStructuredText (rST) format, which is similar to Markdown markup but considerably more powerful. A helpful reference to reStructuredText is available here:

In addition, the new manual also uses the Sphinx documentation generator. Sphinx does many useful things such as:

A full Sphinx reference is available here:

This section provides some markup style guidelines, as well as information about how we use both built-in and custom tools.

Section Titles

Section titles are very fluid in rST and there are many different ways to make them. To keep things as consistent as possible, try to use the following:

Page titles get underlined with the = symbol

Section titles get underlined with the - symbol

Subsection titles get underlined with the ' symbol


The rST format is very sensitive to indentation. Paragraphs and other blocks of text are expected to be left-aligned. Indenting a block by any amount of whitespace (compared to the preceding block) causes it to get indented.

This is a top-level block of text. It will appear aligned to the left-most side of the page.

 This paragraph is indented by one space. Even though it's only a single space,
 it will render as a full first-level indent.

  This paragraph is indented by one more space than the one above it. As a
  result it will render as a second-level indent.

    This time I've indented a block by two more spaces the one above it. It
    doesn't matter that this is inconsistent with the single-space indents
    above. This block will render as a third-level indent.

Back to the top level!

            This block is indented by 12 spaces. However, as with the previous
            examples, the amount of whitespace doesn't matter. Because it's the
            first indented block compared to the preceding block, it will only
            render as a first-level indent.

Referencing condor daemons

When describing the functionality of a condor daemon, its name should be enclosed in * characters so they appear in italics:


However when showing a usage example of a condor daemon as it would appear on the command line, its name should be enclosed in `` characters so it appears in fixed-width font, for example:

``condor_q -nobatch -allusers``

Configuration macros

Any configuration macro references should be written with the following syntax:


This will make the macro appear as a clickable link to its definition. All macro definitions must be included on the Configuration Macros page in the manual. To add a new definition to this page, use the following syntax:

This is the text that describes what the macro actually does.

Note that both the :macro: and :macro-def: names must have identical spelling; this is how we generate the HTML anchor to make sure that links point to the correct place.

Linking to Jira tickets

Use the following syntax to automatically link to a Jira ticket, where #### is the number of the ticket:


Adding index entries

To add a basic index entry, use the following syntax:

:index:`Name of index entry`

If you want your index entry to appear under a parent entry, the syntax is a little more complicated:

:index:`Name of index entry <single: Name of index entry; Name of parent entry>`

Linking to internal documents

To add a link to an internal document, the syntax looks like :doc:`/path/to/page-title`. For example, to link to the Overview > Exceptional Features section, add the following:


By default, the link text will be the name of the page. If you want to add custom text, it looks something like the following:

:doc:`Here is my custom text link </overview/exceptional-features>`

Linking to subsections within documents

You can also easily add links to subsections within documents. Whenever a section or subsection is defined using the correct section title syntax (see "Section Titles" above), Sphinx will automatically make the an HTML anchor so you can link directly to it. Use the following syntax:

:ref:`path/to/document:section title`

For example, to link to the "Start an Annex" subsection on the Annex User's Guide page, use the following:

:ref:`cloud-computing/annex-users-guide:start an annex`

By default, Sphinx will use the name of the section as the link text. You can override this with the following syntax:

:ref:`My custom link text goes here<path/to/document:section title>`

Syntax Highlighting

Sphinx can perform syntax highlighting in code blocks, and can sometimes automatically detect what language is in the block, but usually needs a hint to help it out. A code block with an explicit language looks like this:

.. code-block:: console

    $ condor_q

    -- Schedd: : < @ 12/31/69 23:00:00
    nemo     batch23       4/22 20:44      _      _      _      1      _ 3671850.0
    nemo     batch24       4/22 20:56      _      _      _      1      _ 3673477.0
    nemo     batch25       4/22 20:57      _      _      _      1      _ 3673728.0
    nemo     batch26       4/23 10:44      _      _      _      1      _ 3750339.0
    nemo     batch27       7/2  15:11      _      _      _      _      _ 7594591.0
    nemo     batch28       7/10 03:22   4428      3      _      _   4434 7801943.0 ... 7858552.0
    nemo     batch29       7/14 14:18   5074   1182     30     19  80064 7859129.0 ... 7885217.0
    nemo     batch30       7/14 14:18   5172   1088     28     30  58310 7859106.0 ... 7885192.0

    2388 jobs; 0 completed, 1 removed, 58 idle, 2276 running, 53 held, 0 suspended

Some common languages you may want to use:

We also have some custom lexers, defined in

A full list of built-in lexers is available at

Documenting Python Objects

Python "objects" (classes, methods, free functions, enums, anything) are documented via sphinx-autodoc ( "Docstrings" for these objects are written directly into the Python bindings C++ source code, are embedded into the Python library during the HTCondor build process, and are then read by Sphinx during the manual build.

As an example, a method declaration (adding a method to a class) looks like this in the C++ source code:

.def("queue_with_itemdata", &Submit::queue_from_iter,
            Submit the current object to a remote queue.

            :param txn: An active transaction object (see :meth:`Schedd.transaction`).
            :type txn: :class:`Transaction`
            :param int count: A queue count for each item from the iterator, defaults to 1.
            :param from: an iterator of strings or dictionaries containing the itemdata
                for each job as in ``queue in`` or ``queue from``.
            :return: a :class:`SubmitResult`, containing the cluster ID, cluster ClassAd and
                range of Job ids Cluster ID of the submitted job(s).
            :rtype: :class:`SubmitResult`
            :raises RuntimeError: if the submission fails.
            (boost::python::arg("self"), boost::python::arg("txn"), boost::python::arg("count")=1, boost::python::arg("itemdata")=boost::python::object())
Note the use of a raw string delimited by C0ND0R for the docstring itself. The syntax is described here:

The corresponding .rst source that would embed this docstring, prettily-formatted, in the manual looks like

.. autoclass:: Submit

   .. automethod:: queue
   .. automethod:: queue_with_itemdata
   .. automethod:: expand
   .. automethod:: jobs
   .. automethod:: procs
   .. automethod:: itemdata
   .. automethod:: getQArgs
   .. automethod:: setQArgs
   .. automethod:: from_dag
The .. auto<something>:: are Sphinx directives provided by sphinx-autodoc which are replaced by the autodoc-formatted descriptions. So this block produces all of the documentation for the Submit object.

When documenting a new thing in the bindings, you must also add an appropriate .. auto<something>:: in the appropriate .rst.