By Lex Li

This article shows how to configure the extension.

Sample Project

Before digging further into the configuration, please create a sample project first.

mkdir sphinxtest
cd sphinxtest
code .

The test project has the following contents, like makefile,, and build folder.

Now this project is opened in Visual Studio Code.


You also need to install prerequisites. Please refer to Prerequisites for details.


If Microsoft Python extension is installed, please first open of your project. The Python extension should ask you to specify the Python interpreter to use (in case the machine has multiple interpreters installed). Your preference is saved by the Python extension, and is then consumed by this extension.

If you didn’t make a choice, this extension might not be able to use the Python interpreter you expected.

For information, please refer to Prerequisites.

Live Preview


Starting from version 190.1.17, this feature is removed. You will be recommended to install Esbonio extension instead. To learn more about how to configure Esbonio, you can visit this site.


The linter support is based on rstcheck, doc8, and rst-lint.

Linting is automatically enabled if the linters are installed. The linters scan the opened files and highlight those lines with issues detected. The PROBLEMS tab should also show all issues detected for easy navigation.

Executable Path

To override automatic detection of linter modules, the following settings can be used,

    "restructuredtext.linter.doc8.executablePath": "PathToExecutable",
    "restructuredtext.linter.rstcheck.executablePath": "PathToExecutable",
    "restructuredtext.linter.rst-lint.executablePath": "PathToExecutable"


The values should be absolute paths.


Linters can be disabled via the new setting, restructuredtext.linter.disabledLinters.


Old settings below are obsolete since release 178.0.0,

  • restructuredtext.linter.disabled


  • restructuredtext.linter.executablePath

  • restructuredtext.linter.extraArgs

Lint onType or onSave or not at all

By default the linter will lint on the fly but can be changed to linting as you save. Note that linting on save is most useful when auto-save is on. Use the setting below if to change the behavior with the values onType, onSave, and off,

    "": "onType"

Linter rstchck Settings

To be added.

Linter doc8 Settings

You can configure doc8 using an ini file. Specify the location of the ini file in settings.json as extra args.

  "restructuredtext.linter.doc8.extraArgs": [


This should be an absolute path.


This extension runs a few third-party command-line tools found from the locations determined by the settings such as restructuredtext.linter.doc8.executablePath. Configuring them in workspace settings allows users to conveniently select a different set of tools based on project’s need, but also allows attackers to run arbitrary binaries on your machine if they successfully convince you to open a random repository. In order to reduce the security risk, the extension reads those settings from user settings by default. If the repository can be trusted and workspace settings must be used, you can mark the workspace as a trusted workspace using the “reStructuredText: Toggle Workspace Trust Flag” command.