Code blocks

See, how code blocks look like in the Awesome Theme.

Sphinx code-block directive

To document code blocks with syntax highlighting, use Sphinx’s

directive. If you don’t provide an explicit language to the directive, a fallback is used:

  1. You used the

    directive to set a default on a per-document basis. Any code block after this directive is highlighted with the language you specified.

  2. You set the global fallback language for highlighting in the Sphinx configuration file with the highlight_language option.

You can provide the language for syntax highlighting to the


.. code-block:: python

   print("Hello World")

This renders as:

print("Hello World")

All code blocks have a Copy button. Clicking the button copies the code to the clipboard.

Add captions to code blocks

You can provide captions to code blocks with the :caption: CAPTION_TEXT option:

javascript Example code
console.log("Hello World")

Show line numbers in code blocks

You can show line numbers in code blocks with the :linenos: option:

1for i in range(3):
2   print(f"{i} line of code")

Highlight lines in code blocks

To emphasize specific lines in code blocks, use the :emphasize-lines: LINE_NUMBERS option:

echo "Don't emphasize this"
echo "Emphasize this"
echo "Don't emphasize this either"

Highlight changes in code blocks

Often, you want to highlight what code need to be changed. With the Awesome Theme, you can use the following options for the


  • To highlight lines, that need to be added, use :emphasize-added: LINE_NUMBERS.

  • To highlight lines that need to be removed, use :emphasize-removed: LINE_NUMBERS.

print("regular highlighting is applied")

The :emphasize-added: and :emphasize-removed: options preserve the highlighting of the code. If you copy the code, the + and - characters aren’t copied.

If you don’t want to use these options, you can use Pygments built-in diff language:

+ print("red")
- print("green")
  print("no highlighting is applied here")

Here, the syntax isn’t highlighted. If you copy the code to the clipboard, the + and - characters are copied as well.

The following example is for testing the previous options with line numbers:

1print("One line of code")
2print("Removed line of code")
3print("Added line of code")
4print("Emphasized line of code")
5print("Normal line of code")

There is currently one visual bug with emphasizing lines #171:

python A really long line
print("A shorter line of code.")
print("And a really long line of code that should overflow the container on most screen sizes which illustrates the issue.")

You can’t include reStructuredText markup in code blocks, such as bold text or hyperlinks.

Docutils code directive


directive only works with Sphinx. If you want to re-use your reStructuredText documentation outside Sphinx, you can also use the code directive:

echo "This is rendered with the docutils' code directive"

You can’t use captions, highlighted lines, or any of the other options for Sphinx code blocks.

Parsed literal blocks

If you want to write blocks of literal text containing any markup, such as bold text or hyperlinks, use a


This can contain markup, but not syntax highlighting.

You can’t use syntax highlighting with