Alabaster’s behavior & style can be customized in multiple ways:

  • Various template-level or nontrivial-style settings can be configured via your in html_theme_options; see Theme options.

  • As of Alabaster 0.7.8, you can provide your own CSS stylesheet overrides via a custom stylesheet. This is suitable for changes that only need minor CSS modifications.


    Some theme options implemented prior to 0.7.8 would have been more suitable as local custom stylesheet overrides. Therefore:

    • We no longer accept feature requests which are more appropriately solved by using this functionality instead.

    • In future backwards-incompatible versions we may deprecate some of those options; as such we highly recommend leveraging the custom stylesheet whenever possible, even if an option is present below.

Custom stylesheet

If you need to modify Alabaster’s default CSS styles in a way not covered by the theme options from the next section, you may provide a custom CSS stylesheet as follows:

  • Create a file named custom.css anywhere you prefer (typically _static/, but this is solely convention) containing your desired overrides to the CSS found in Alabaster’s static/alabaster_css_t.
  • Set the core Sphinx option html_static_path to either that file’s path, or the directory it lives within.

Theme options

Alabaster’s primary configuration route is the html_theme_options variable, set in alongside the rest, e.g.:

html_theme_options = {
    'logo': 'logo.png',
    'github_user': 'bitprophet',
    'github_repo': 'alabaster',

The following subsections detail available such options, including notes about behavior & default values.

Variables and feature toggles

  • logo: Relative path (from $PROJECT/_static/) to a logo image, which will appear in the upper left corner above the name of the project.

    • If logo is not set, your project name setting (from the top level Sphinx config) will be used in a text header instead. This preserves a link back to your homepage from inner doc pages.
  • logo_name: Set to true to insert your site’s project name under the logo image as text. Useful if your logo doesn’t include the project name itself. Defaults to false.

  • logo_text_align: Which CSS text-align value to use for logo text (if there is any.)

  • body_text_align: Which CSS text-align value to use for body text (if there is any.)

  • description: Text blurb about your project, to appear under the logo.

  • description_font_style: Which CSS font-style to use for description text. Defaults to normal.

  • github_user, github_repo: Used by github_button and github_banner (see below); does nothing if both of those are set to false.

  • github_button: true or false (default: true) - whether to link to your Github.

    • If true, requires that you set github_user and github_repo.

    • See also these other related options, which behave as described in Github Buttons’ documentation:

      • github_type: Defaults to watch.
      • github_count: Defaults to true.
  • github_banner: true or false (default: false) - whether to apply a ‘Fork me on Github’ banner in the top right corner of the page.

    • If true, requires that you set github_user and github_repo.
    • May also submit a string file path (as with logo, relative to $PROJECT/_static/) to be used as the banner image instead of the default.
  • badge_branch: Set which branch is used in Travis, CodeCov, etc badges. Defaults to master.

  • travis_button: true, false or a Github-style "account/repo" string - used to display a Travis-CI build status button in the sidebar. If true, uses your github_(user|repo) settings; defaults to false.

  • codecov_button: true, false or a Github-style "account/repo" string - used to display a Codecov build status button in the sidebar. If true, uses your github_(user|repo) settings; defaults to false.

  • gratipay_user: Set to your Gratipay username if you want a Gratipay ‘Donate’ section in your sidebar.

    • This used to be gittip_user before that service changed its name to Gratipay; we’ve left the old setting in place as an alias for backwards compatibility reasons. It may be removed in the future.
    • If both options are given, gratipay_user wins.
  • analytics_id: Set to your Google Analytics ID (e.g. UA-#######-##) to enable tracking.

  • touch_icon: Path to an image (as with logo, relative to $PROJECT/_static/) to be used for an iOS application icon, for when pages are saved to an iOS device’s home screen via Safari.

  • canonical_url: If set, is used as the base URL (set before the relative path/pagename) for a <link rel="canonical"> canonical URL header tag.


    This value must end with a trailing slash.

  • extra_nav_links: Dictionary mapping link names to link targets; these will be added in a UL below the main sidebar navigation (provided you’ve enabled navigation.html via the html_sidebars option; see Installation.) Useful for static links outside your Sphinx doctree.

  • sidebar_includehidden: Boolean determining whether the TOC sidebar should include hidden Sphinx toctree elements. Defaults to true so you can use :hidden: in your index page’s root toctree & avoid having 2x copies of your navigation on your landing page.

  • sidebar_collapse: Boolean determining whether all TOC entries that

    are not ancestors of the current page are collapsed. You can read more about this in the Sphinx toctree docs.

  • show_powered_by: Boolean controlling display of the Powered by Sphinx N.N.N. & Alabaster M.M.M section of the footer. When true, is displayed next to the copyright information; when false, is hidden.

  • show_related: Boolean controlling whether the ‘next/previous/related’ secondary navigation elements are hidden or displayed. Defaults to false since on many sites these elements are superfluous.

  • page_width: CSS width specifier controlling default content/page width. Defaults to 940px.

  • sidebar_width: CSS width specifier controlling default sidebar width. Defaults to 220px.

  • fixed_sidebar: Makes the sidebar ‘fixed’ or pinned in place, so that the main body of the page scrolls but the sidebar remains visible. (Applies only to desktop window sizes; the mobile view is unaffected.) Defaults to false.

  • show_relbars: true or false, defaults to false - used to display next and previous links above and below the main page content. If you only want to display one, this setting can be further overridden through the show_relbar_top and show_relbar_bottom settings.

Style colors

These should be fully qualified CSS color specifiers such as #004B6B or #444. The first few items in the list are “global” colors used as defaults for many of the others; update these to make sweeping changes to the colorscheme. The more granular settings can be used to override as needed.

  • gray_1: Dark gray.
  • gray_2: Light gray.
  • gray_3: Medium gray.
  • pink_1: Light pink.
  • pink_2: Medium pink.
  • body_text: Main content text.
  • footer_text: Footer text (includes links.)
  • link: Non-hovered body links.
  • link_hover: Body links, hovered.
  • sidebar_header: Sidebar headers. Defaults to gray_1.
  • sidebar_text: Sidebar paragraph text.
  • sidebar_link: Sidebar links (there is no hover variant.) Applies to both header & text links. Defaults to gray_1.
  • sidebar_link_underscore: Sidebar links’ underline (technically a bottom-border).
  • sidebar_search_button: Background color of the search field’s ‘Go’ button.
  • sidebar_list: Foreground color of sidebar list bullets & unlinked text.
  • sidebar_hr: Color of sidebar horizontal rule dividers. Defaults to gray_3.
  • anchor: Foreground color of section anchor links (the ‘paragraph’ symbol that shows up when you mouseover page section headers.)
  • anchor_hover_fg: Foreground color of section anchor links (as above) when moused over. Defaults to gray_1.
  • anchor_hover_bg: Background color of above.
  • note_bg: Background of .. note:: blocks. Defaults to gray_2.
  • note_border: Border of same.
  • seealso_bg: Background of .. seealso:: blocks. Defaults to gray_2.
  • seealso_border: Border of same.
  • warn_bg: Background of .. warn:: blocks. Defaults to pink_1.
  • warn_border: Border of same. Defaults to pink_2.
  • footnote_bg: Background of footnote blocks.
  • footnote_border: Border of same. Defaults to gray_2.
  • pre_bg: Background of preformatted text blocks (including code snippets.) Defaults to gray_2.
  • narrow_sidebar_bg: Background of ‘sidebar’ when narrow window forces it to the bottom of the page.
  • narrow_sidebar_fg: Text color of same.
  • narrow_sidebar_link: Link color of same. Defaults to gray_3.
  • code_highlight: Color of highlight when using :emphasize-lines: in a code block.
  • relbar_border: Color of border between bar holding next and previous links, and the rest of the page content. Defaults to gray_2.


  • font_family: Font family of body text. Defaults to 'goudy old style', 'minion pro', 'bell mt', Georgia, 'Hiragino Mincho Pro', serif.
  • font_size: Font size of body text. Defaults to 17px (1.0625em).
  • head_font_family: Font family of headings. Defaults to 'Garamond', 'Georgia', serif.
  • code_font_size: Font size of code block text. Defaults to 0.9em.
  • code_font_family: Font family of code block text. Defaults to 'Consolas', 'Menlo', 'Deja Vu Sans Mono', 'Bitstream Vera Sans Mono', monospace.
  • caption_font_size: Font size of caption block text. Defaults to font-size.
  • caption_font_family: Font family of caption block text. Defaults to font-family.