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Welcome to

Sphinx-Collections is a Sphinx extension to collect and generate additional files from different sources. These files are added to the Sphinx Source Folder, so that Sphinx takes them into account for the overall documentation build.

Sphinx Collections supports multiple collections, where each collection has its own source and target folder, specific configuration and use case based driver.

A collection can be activated by default or its usage can be triggered by Sphinx tags.

Depending on the usage of a specific collection for a build, its content integration can be controlled by the if-collection:: directive .

Following use cases are supported:

Sphinx-Collections cares about keeping your collection folders clean before and after each build.


Sphinx-Collections gets completely configured by variables inside the file of your Sphinx project:

collections = {
   'my_files': {
      'driver': 'copy_folder',
      'source': '../../extra_files/'

The driver copy_folder allows to copy local folders and their files into your Sphinx project. There are other drivers available, which support different use cases and and file locations.

By default all files get copied to _collections/ + collection_name, so in this example the complete path inside your documentation folder would be _collections/my_files/. The location can be set specific for each collection by using target option.

Then you can reference the copied files by using a toctree:

.. toctree::

Please see the documentation of the needed Driver to know which options are available and necessary.

Tag based collections

Use Sphinx tags to collect and integrate only needed data:

 collections = {
   'my_files': {
      'driver': 'copy',
      'source': '../../extra_files/',
      'tags': ['user_manual'],  # gets active, if "user_manual" is set as tag
      'active': False,  # by default, collection shall not be executed

Then run sphinx-build with -t option:

sphinx-build -b html -t user_manual . _build/html

Collection based content

Use if-collection to add content to a page only, if a specified collections has been executed successfully.

.. if-collection:: my_test, my_data

   My Test & Data chapter

    .. toctree::


For more information take a look into the documentation of if-collection.


This sphinx extension is based on the needs of a software development team inside a german automotive company.

The project team was searching for a practical way to support multiple sphinx-based documentations inside a mono-repository and have the possibility to merge different documentations together or to add files based on external data.

Sphinx-Collections is part of a software bundle, which was designed to support the development of ISO 26262 compliant software. Other tools are: sphinx-needs, sphinx-test-reports, tox-envreport.

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