The #[doc] attribute

The #[doc] attribute lets you control various aspects of how rustdoc does its job.

The most basic function of #[doc] is to handle the actual documentation text. That is, /// is syntax sugar for #[doc]. This means that these two are the same:

/// This is a doc comment.
#[doc = " This is a doc comment."]

(Note the leading space in the attribute version.)

In most cases, /// is easier to use than #[doc]. One case where the latter is easier is when generating documentation in macros; the collapse-docs pass will combine multiple #[doc] attributes into a single doc comment, letting you generate code like this:

#[doc = "This is"]
#[doc = " a "]
#[doc = "doc comment"]

Which can feel more flexible. Note that this would generate this:

#[doc = "This is\n a \ndoc comment"]

but given that docs are rendered via Markdown, it will remove these newlines.

The doc attribute has more options though! These don't involve the text of the output, but instead, various aspects of the presentation of the output. We've split them into two kinds below: attributes that are useful at the crate level, and ones that are useful at the item level.

At the crate level

These options control how the docs look at a crate level.

html_favicon_url

This form of the doc attribute lets you control the favicon of your docs.

#![doc(html_favicon_url = "https://example.com/favicon.ico")]

This will put <link rel="shortcut icon" href="{}"> into your docs, where the string for the attribute goes into the {}.

If you don't use this attribute, there will be no favicon.

html_logo_url

This form of the doc attribute lets you control the logo in the upper left hand side of the docs.

#![doc(html_logo_url = "https://example.com/logo.jpg")]

This will put <a href='index.html'><img src='{}' alt='logo' width='100'></a> into your docs, where the string for the attribute goes into the {}.

If you don't use this attribute, there will be no logo.

html_playground_url

This form of the doc attribute lets you control where the "run" buttons on your documentation examples make requests to.

#![doc(html_playground_url = "https://playground.example.com/")]

Now, when you press "run", the button will make a request to this domain.

If you don't use this attribute, there will be no run buttons.

issue_tracker_base_url

This form of the doc attribute is mostly only useful for the standard library; When a feature is unstable, an issue number for tracking the feature must be given. rustdoc uses this number, plus the base URL given here, to link to the tracking issue.

#![doc(issue_tracker_base_url = "https://github.com/rust-lang/rust/issues/")]

html_root_url

The #[doc(html_root_url = "…")] attribute value indicates the URL for generating links to external crates. When rustdoc needs to generate a link to an item in an external crate, it will first check if the extern crate has been documented locally on-disk, and if so link directly to it. Failing that, it will use the URL given by the --extern-html-root-url command-line flag if available. If that is not available, then it will use the html_root_url value in the extern crate if it is available. If that is not available, then the extern items will not be linked.

#![doc(html_root_url = "https://docs.rs/serde/1.0")]

html_no_source

By default, rustdoc will include the source code of your program, with links to it in the docs. But if you include this:

#![doc(html_no_source)]

it will not.

test(no_crate_inject)

By default, rustdoc will automatically add a line with extern crate my_crate; into each doctest. But if you include this:

#![doc(test(no_crate_inject))]

it will not.

test(attr(...))

This form of the doc attribute allows you to add arbitrary attributes to all your doctests. For example, if you want your doctests to fail if they produce any warnings, you could add this:

#![doc(test(attr(deny(warnings))))]

At the item level

These forms of the #[doc] attribute are used on individual items, to control how they are documented.

#[doc(no_inline)]/#[doc(inline)]

These attributes are used on use statements, and control where the documentation shows up. For example, consider this Rust code:

pub use bar::Bar;

/// bar docs
pub mod bar {
    /// the docs for Bar
    pub struct Bar;
}

The documentation will generate a "Re-exports" section, and say pub use bar::Bar;, where Bar is a link to its page.

If we change the use line like this:

#[doc(inline)]
pub use bar::Bar;

Instead, Bar will appear in a Structs section, just like Bar was defined at the top level, rather than pub use'd.

Let's change our original example, by making bar private:

pub use bar::Bar;

/// bar docs
mod bar {
    /// the docs for Bar
    pub struct Bar;
}

Here, because bar is not public, Bar wouldn't have its own page, so there's nowhere to link to. rustdoc will inline these definitions, and so we end up in the same case as the #[doc(inline)] above; Bar is in a Structs section, as if it were defined at the top level. If we add the no_inline form of the attribute:

#[doc(no_inline)]
pub use bar::Bar;

/// bar docs
mod bar {
    /// the docs for Bar
    pub struct Bar;
}

Now we'll have a Re-exports line, and Bar will not link to anywhere.

One special case: In Rust 2018 and later, if you pub use one of your dependencies, rustdoc will not eagerly inline it as a module unless you add #[doc(inline)].

#[doc(hidden)]

Any item annotated with #[doc(hidden)] will not appear in the documentation, unless the strip-hidden pass is removed.

#[doc(primitive)]

Since primitive types are defined in the compiler, there's no place to attach documentation attributes. This attribute is used by the standard library to provide a way to generate documentation for primitive types.