Wiki Editing Style Guide

This page explains some specific parts of syntax used by the wiki along with general style guidelines to promote consistency of appearance and maintainability of wiki content. The general rule is to keep things simple, using as little styling as possible

For more information check out the Sphinx reStructured Text Primer.

Creating a new page


First search the wiki to determine if there is already a wiki page about your topic — it is better to improve an existing topic than create a near-duplicate! Also discuss it with the Wiki Editors on Discord or enter an issue in the Wiki issue list.

Pages should be created in the /source/docs/ folder for your target wiki, given a “descriptive” name, and the file suffix “.rst”. Typically we use all lower case for filename, and separate words using “-” or “_”. For example: advanced-multicopter-design.rst.

Pages that are common to all wikis must be named with the prefix common- and must be created in /common/source/docs/. See Working with common pages for more information.

The title of the new page should be concise — informative enough that the reader can determine whether the topic is relevant and to differentiate it from other similar topics. The first letter of every word in the heading should be capitalized, with the exception of short connecting words like “a”, “with”, “and”, “the”.

The title should also be preceded by an anchor link named for the page. So the first information on the page would be:

.. _your_file_name:

Your Page Title

Working with common pages

The wiki has a lot of information that is applicable to users of all the different vehicle types. In order to reduce (manual) duplication we define these topics in one place (/common/source/docs) and automatically copy them to other wikis where they are needed.

Creating and editing common pages is similar to editing other pages except:

  • The filename of common pages must start with the text common-. For example, this page is common-wiki_editing_guide.rst.

  • All common pages must be stored in /common/source/docs

  • The copywiki shortcode can be put at the end of the source to specify the set of destination wikis (use “copywiki” rather than “xcopywiki” below):

    [xcopywiki destination="copter,plane"]
  • If no copywiki shortcode is specified, common pages are automatically copied to the copter, plane and rover wikis

  • Vehicle-specific content can be added to the common topic using the site shortcode. Text that is not applicable to a target wiki is stripped out before the common page is copied to each wiki. The example below shows text that will only appear on rover and plane wikis (use site rather than xsite shown below!)

    [xsite wiki="rover, plane"]Rover and plane specific text[/xsite]
  • Always link to other common topics using relative linking. This ensures that you will link to the correct common topic when the wiki article is copied.


Choose a concise and specific title. It should be informative enough that a reader can determine if the content is likely to be relevant and yet differentiate it from other (similar) topics.

Use first-letter capitalization for all words in the title (except connecting words: “and”,”the”, “with” etc.)

The title syntax is as shown below. Note that we use an “anchor reference” immediately before the title (and named using the page filename). This allows us to link to the file from other wikis and from documents even if they move within the file structure.

.. _your_file_name2:

Page Title


Start the topic (after the title) with an abstract rather than a heading or an image.

Ideally this should be a single sentence or short paragraph describing the content and scope of the topic.


Headings are created by (fully) underlining the heading text with a single character. We use the following levels:

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5


Emphasis should be used sparingly. A page with too much bold or italic is hard to read, and the effect of emphasis as a tool for identifying important information is reduced.

Use emphasis to mark up types of information:

  • code for code and variables

  • bold for “button to press” and filenames

  • italic for names of dialogs and tools.

The markup for each case is listed below.

``Inline code``


Numbered lists can be generated by starting a line with #. followed by a space. Unordered lists can be generated by starting a line with “*” or “-”. Nested lists are created using further indentation:

#Ordered listed

#. Item one
#. Item 2
#. Item 3

   - Nested item
   #. Nested item ordered

#Unordered list

- Item 1
- Item 2

  - Nested item

Information notes and warnings

You can add notes, tips and warnings in the text using the “tip”, “note” and “warning” shortcodes, respectively. These render the text in an information box:

.. note::

   This is a note


This is a note

.. tip::

   This is a tip


This is a tip

.. warning::

   This is a warning


This is a warning


Use the “code-block” directive to declare code blocks. You can specify the type of code too and it will be syntax marked:

.. code-block:: python

    This is format for a code block (in python)

    Some code

Alternatively you can just have a double colon “::” at the end of a line, a blank line, and then indent the code block text:

This is format for a code block. ::

    Some code

How to put the page into the sidebar menu

Items are added to the sidebar by specifying them in the parent article’s “toctree” directive. The filename may omit the file extension, but must include the path relative to the current directory (typically there is no path in our wikis).

.. toctree::
    :maxdepth: 1

    Pixhawk <common-pixhawk-overview>
    Display text <filename>

Sometimes the parent article is “common” but the wiki article is specific to a particular wiki. In this case you can wrap the toctree changes using the site shortcode (as below, but with “site” instead of “xsite”). You might also ignore this case, but it will give a “missing article” warning.

.. toctree::
    :maxdepth: 1

    Pixhawk <common-pixhawk-overview>

    [xsite wiki="rover, plane"]
    Display text <filename>

Using images in your wiki pages

Our general advice for images is:

  • Keep images as small as possible.


    Images are stored on Github, so we need to keep the overall size low. Crop images to the relevant information and reduce image quality where possible.

  • Images in common pages or useful across wikis should be in the root /images directory.

  • Images specific to the wiki can be stored in its /images sub directory.

  • Use captions (“figure directive”) where possible

  • Link to the image if it is larger than can be displayed on the page.

  • Name the file using all lower case, and underscores between words.

  • Name the file “descriptively” so it is easy to find, and possibly re-use. A name like planner2_flight_screen.jpg is much more useful than image1.jpg.

  • To change an image, simply replace the file in the source tree and commit the change.

Display an image in a “common” article with a caption and target as shown below. Note the paths to the files are relative to the current directory (hence the relative link back to images in the project root).

.. figure:: ../../../images/image_file_name.jpg
   :target: ../_images/image_file_name.jpg

   Text for your caption

Display a wiki-specific image without a caption (or target link) as shown below. Note that the path is absolute, and relative to the source directory for the wiki.

.. image:: /images/image_file_name.jpg