Skip to content


mkdocstrings can support multiple MkDocs themes. It currently supports the Material for MkDocs theme and, partially, the built-in ReadTheDocs theme.

Each renderer can fallback to a particular theme when the user selected theme is not supported. For example, the Python renderer will fallback to the Material for MkDocs templates.


There is some degree of customization possible in mkdocstrings. First, you can write custom templates to override the theme templates. Second, the provided templates make use of CSS classes, so you can tweak the look and feel with extra CSS rules.


To use custom templates and override the theme ones, specify the relative path to your templates directory with the custom_templates global configuration option:


- mkdocstrings:
    custom_templates: templates

You directory structure must be identical to the provided templates one:

├─╴<HANDLER 1>
│   ├── <THEME 1>
│   └── <THEME 2>
└── <HANDLER 2>
    ├── <THEME 1>
    └── <THEME 2>

(Check out the template tree on GitHub)

You don't have to replicate the whole tree, only the handlers, themes or templates you want to override. For example, to override some templates of the Material theme for Python:

└── python
    └── material
        ├── parameters.html
        └── exceptions.html

In the HTML files, replace the original contents with your modified version. In the future, the templates will use Jinja blocks, so it will be easier to modify a small part of the template without copy-pasting the whole file.

The Material theme provides the following template structure:

  • children.html: where the recursion happen, to render all children of an object
    • attribute.html: to render attributes (class-attributes, etc.)
    • class.html: to render classes
    • function.html: to render functions
    • method.html: to render methods
    • module.html: to render modules
  • docstring.html: to render docstrings
    • attributes.html: to render attributes sections of docstrings
    • examples.html: to render examples sections of docstrings
    • exceptions.html: to render exceptions/"raises" sections of docstrings
    • parameters.html: to render parameters/arguments sections of docstrings
    • return.html: to render "return" sections of docstrings
  • properties.html: to render the properties of an object (staticmethod, read-only, etc.)
  • signature.html: to render functions and methods signatures


Every template has access to a log function, allowing to log messages as usual:

{{ log.debug("A DEBUG message.") }}
{{"An INFO message.") }}
{{ log.warning("A WARNING message.") }}
{{ log.error("An ERROR message.") }}
{{ log.critical("A CRITICAL message.") }}

CSS classes¤

The Material theme uses the following CSS classes in the HTML:

  • doc: on all the following elements
  • doc-children: on divs containing the children of an object
  • doc-object: on divs containing an object
    • doc-attribute: on divs containing an attribute
    • doc-class: on divs containing a class
    • doc-function: on divs containing a function
    • doc-method: on divs containing a method
    • doc-module: on divs containing a module
  • doc-heading: on objects headings
  • doc-contents: on divs wrapping the docstring then the children (if any)
    • first: same, but only on the root object's contents div
  • doc-properties: on spans wrapping the object's properties
    • doc-property: on small elements containing a property
      • doc-property-PROPERTY: same, where PROPERTY is replaced by the actual property

Example with colorful properties

.doc-property { border-radius: 15px; padding: 0 5px; }
.doc-property-special { background-color: blue; color: white; }
.doc-property-private { background-color: red; color: white; }
.doc-property-property { background-color: green; color: white; }
.doc-property-read-only { background-color: yellow; color: black; }

special private property read-only

As you can see, CSS is not my field of predilection...

Syntax highlighting¤

Code blocks that occur in the docstring of an item inserted with mkdocstrings, as well as code blocks (such as Source code) that mkdocstrings inserts itself, are syntax-highlighted according to the same rules as other normal code blocks in your document. See more details in mkdocstrings.handlers.rendering.Highlighter.

As for the CSS class used for code blocks -- it will also match the "normal" config, so the default (.codehilite or .highlight) will match your chosen Markdown extension for highlighting.

Changed in version 0.15

The CSS class used to always be .highlight, but now it depends on the configuration.

Long story short, you probably should add pymdownx.highlight to your markdown_extensions, and then use .doc-contents .highlight as the CSS selector in case you want to change something about mkdocstrings' code blocks specifically.

Back to top