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A handler is what makes it possible to collect and render documentation for a particular language.

Available handlers¤

Custom handlers¤

Since version 0.14, you can create and use custom handlers thanks to namespace packages. For more information about namespace packages, see their documentation.


For mkdocstrings, a custom handler package would have the following structure:

📁 your_repository
└─╴📁 mkdocstrings
   └─╴📁 handlers

Note the absence of modules!

If you name you handler after an existing handler, it will overwrite it! For example, it means you can overwrite the Python handler to change how it works or to add functionality, by naming your handler module


A handler is composed of a Collector and a Renderer.

See the documentation for BaseHandler, BaseCollector and BaseRenderer.

Check out how the Python handler is written for inspiration.

You must implement a get_handler method at the module level. This function takes the theme (string, theme name) and custom_templates (optional string, path to custom templates directory) arguments, and you can add any other keyword argument you'd like. The global configuration items (other than selection and rendering) will be passed to this function when getting your handler.


You renderer's implementation should normally be backed by templates, which go to the directory mkdocstrings/handlers/custom_handler/some_theme. (custom_handler here should be replaced with the actual name of your handler, and some_theme should be the name of an actual MkDocs theme that you support, e.g. material).

With that structure, you can use self.env.get_template("foo.html") inside your render implementation. This already chooses the subdirectory based on the current MkDocs theme.

If you wish to support any MkDocs theme, rather than a few specifically selected ones, you can pick one theme's subdirectory to be the fallback for when an unknown theme is encountered. Then you just need to set the fallback_theme variable on your renderer subclass. The fallback directory can be used even for themes you explicitly support: you can omit some template from one of the other theme directories in case they're exactly the same as in the fallback theme.

If your theme's HTML requires CSS to go along with it, put it into a file named mkdocstrings/handlers/custom_handler/some_theme/style.css, then this will be included into the final site automatically if this handler is ever used. Alternatively, you can put the CSS as a string into the extra_css variable of your renderer.


When a custom handler is installed, it is then available to mkdocstrings. You can configure it as usual:


- mkdocstrings:
          some_config_option: "a"
          other_config_option: 0
        handler_config_option: yes

...and use it in your autodoc instructions:

# Documentation for an object

::: some.objects.path
    handler: custom_handler
      some_config_option: "b"
      other_config_option: 1
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