Doctum, a PHP API documentation generator. Fork of Sami

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v5.5.4 2023-12-16 22:06 UTC


Curious about what Doctum generates? Have a look at the MariaDB MySQL Kbs or Laravel documentation.

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Doctum requires PHP 7.2.20 or later.

Get Doctum as a phar file:

$ curl -O

You can also find some alternative phar versions:

  • major
  • major. minor (any version since 5.1)
  • major. minor. patch
  • latest
  • dev (not always up to date)
  • major-dev
  • major. minor-dev (most of the time it exists)
  • major. minor. patch-dev (sometimes it exists)
$ curl -O${version}/doctum.phar && chmod +x doctum.phar

Check that everything worked as expected by executing the doctum.phar file without any arguments:

$ doctum.phar

Since 5.3.0 the phar does not require to use php keyword anymore because the shebang was added to the phar file. You can now call doctum.phar directly after adding execution rights onto the file.

You can use our GitHub marketplace action into your GitHub CI.


Before generating documentation, you must create a configuration file. Here is the simplest possible one:


return new Doctum\Doctum('/path/to/yourlib/src');

The configuration file must return an instance of Doctum\Doctum and the first argument of the constructor is the path to the code you want to generate documentation for.

Actually, instead of a directory, you can use any valid PHP iterator (and for that matter any instance of the Symfony Finder class):


use Doctum\Doctum;
use Symfony\Component\Finder\Finder;

$iterator = Finder::create()

return new Doctum($iterator);

The Doctum constructor optionally takes an array of options as a second argument:

return new Doctum($iterator, [
    'title'                => 'yourlib API',
    'language'             => 'en', // Could be 'fr'
    'build_dir'            => __DIR__ . '/build',
    'cache_dir'            => __DIR__ . '/cache',
    'source_dir'           => '/path/to/repository/',
    'remote_repository'    => new GitHubRemoteRepository('username/repository', '/path/to/repository'),
    'default_opened_level' => 2, // optional, 2 is the default value

And here is how you can configure different versions:


use Doctum\Doctum;
use Doctum\RemoteRepository\GitHubRemoteRepository;
use Doctum\Version\GitVersionCollection;
use Symfony\Component\Finder\Finder;

$dir = '/path/to/yourlib/src';
$iterator = Finder::create()

// generate documentation for all v2.0.* tags, the 2.0 branch, and the main one
$versions = GitVersionCollection::create($dir)
    // In a non case-sensitive way, tags containing "PR", "RC", "BETA" and "ALPHA" will be filtered out
    // To change this, use: `$versions->setFilter(static function (string $version): bool { // ... });`
    ->add('2.0', '2.0 branch')
    ->add('main', 'main branch');

return new Doctum($iterator, [
    'versions'             => $versions,
    'title'                => 'yourlib API',
    'language'             => 'en', // Could be 'fr'
    'build_dir'            => __DIR__ . '/../build/sf2/%version%',
    'cache_dir'            => __DIR__ . '/../cache/sf2/%version%',
    'source_dir'           => dirname($dir) . '/',
    'remote_repository'    => new GitHubRemoteRepository('yourorg/yourlib', dirname($dir)),
    'default_opened_level' => 2, // optional, 2 is the default value

And here is how you can configure a footer link below the Doctum link:

All footer_link keys are optional.


use Doctum\Doctum;
use Symfony\Component\Finder\Finder;

$dir = '/path/to/yourlib/src';
$iterator = Finder::create()

return new Doctum($iterator, [
    'title'                => 'yourlib API',
    'source_dir'           => dirname($dir) . '/',
    'remote_repository'    => new GitHubRemoteRepository('yourorg/yourlib', dirname($dir)),
    'footer_link'          => [
        'href'        => '',
        'rel'         => 'noreferrer noopener',
        'target'      => '_blank',
        'before_text' => 'You can edit the configuration',
        'link_text'   => 'on this', // Required if the href key is set
        'after_text'  => 'repository',

To enable OpenSearch feature in your users browsers:


use Doctum\Doctum;
use Symfony\Component\Finder\Finder;

$dir = '/path/to/yourlib/src';
$iterator = Finder::create()

return new Doctum($iterator, [
    'title'    => 'Project Api Documentation',
    // Necessary to enable the opensearch.xml file generation
    'base_url' => '',
    // If you have a favicon
    // 'favicon' => 'https://company.tld/favicon.ico',
    // ... more configs

You can find more configuration examples under the examples/ directory of the source code.

Doctum only documents the public API (public properties and methods); override the default configured filter to change this behavior:


use Doctum\Parser\Filter\TrueFilter;

$doctum = new Doctum(...);
// document all methods and properties
$doctum['filter'] = function () {
    return new TrueFilter();


Now that we have a configuration file, let's generate the API documentation:

$ doctum.phar update /path/to/config.php

The generated documentation can be found under the configured build/ directory (note that the client side search engine does not work on Chrome due to JavaScript execution restriction, unless Chrome is started with the "--allow-file-access-from-files" option -- it works fine in Firefox).

By default, Doctum is configured to run in "incremental" mode. It means that when running the update command, Doctum only re-generates the files that needs to be updated based on what has changed in your code since the last execution.

Doctum also detects problems in your phpdoc and can tell you what you need to fix if you add the -v option:

$ doctum.phar update /path/to/config.php -v

Creating a Theme

If the default themes do not suit your needs, you can very easily create a new one, or just override an existing one.

A theme is just a directory with a manifest.yml file that describes the theme (this is a YAML file):

name:   markdown-custom
parent: default

The above configuration creates a new markdown-custom theme based on the default built-in theme. To override a template, just create a file with the same name as the original one. For instance, here is how you can extend the default class template to prefix the class name with "Class " in the class page title:

{# pages/class.twig #}

{% extends 'default/pages/class.twig' %}

{% block title %}Class {{ parent() }}{% endblock %}

If you are familiar with Twig, you will be able to very easily tweak every aspect of the templates as everything has been well isolated in named Twig blocks.

A theme can also add more templates and static files. Here is the manifest for the default theme:

name: default

    'css/doctum.css': 'css/doctum.css'
    'css/bootstrap.min.css': 'css/bootstrap.min.css'
    'css/bootstrap-theme.min.css': 'css/bootstrap-theme.min.css'
    'fonts/doctum-font.css': 'fonts/doctum-font.css'
    'fonts/doctum.woff': 'fonts/doctum.woff'
    'fonts/doctum.woff2': 'fonts/doctum.woff2'
    'fonts/doctum.ttf': 'fonts/doctum.ttf'
    'fonts/doctum.svg': 'fonts/doctum.svg'
    'fonts/doctum.eot': 'fonts/doctum.eot'
    'js/jquery-3.5.1.slim.min.js': 'js/jquery-3.5.1.slim.min.js'
    'js/bootstrap.min.js': 'js/bootstrap.min.js'
    'js/autocomplete.min.js': 'js/autocomplete.min.js'

    'index.twig':      'index.html'
    'doc-index.twig':  'doc-index.html'
    'namespaces.twig': 'namespaces.html'
    'classes.twig':    'classes.html'
    'interfaces.twig': 'interfaces.html'
    'traits.twig':     'traits.html'
    'opensearch.twig': 'opensearch.xml'
    'search.twig':     'search.html'
    'doctum.js.twig':  'doctum.js'

    'namespace.twig': '%s.html'

    'class.twig': '%s.html'

Files are contained into sections, depending on how Doctum needs to treat them:

  • static: Files are copied as is (for assets like images, stylesheets, or JavaScript files);
  • global: Templates that do not depend on the current class context;
  • namespace: Templates that should be generated for every namespace;
  • class: Templates that should be generated for every class.

Theme configuration


return new Doctum($iterator, [
    // [...]
    'theme'         => 'my-theme-name',
    // Add the path to the theme/themes
    'template_dirs' => [__DIR__ . '/themes/my-theme-name'],
    // [...]

Search Index

The autocomplete and search functionality of Doctum is provided through a search index that is generated based on the classes, namespaces, interfaces, and traits of a project. You can customize the search index by overriding the search_index_extra block of doctum.js.twig.

The search_index_extra allows you to extend the default theme and add more entries to the index. For example, some projects implement magic methods that are dynamically generated at runtime. You might wish to document these methods while generating API documentation and add them to the search index.

Each entry in the search index is a JavaScript object that contains the following keys:

The type associated with the entry. Built-in types are "Class", "Namespace", "Interface", "Trait". You can add additional types specific to an application, and the type information will appear next to the search result.
The name of the entry. This is the element in the index that is searchable (e.g., class name, namespace name, etc).
The parent of the element (if any). This can be used to provide context for the entry. For example, the fromName of a class would be the namespace of the class.
The link to the parent of the entry (if any). This is used to link a child to a parent. For example, this would be a link from a class to the class namespace.
A short text description of the entry.

One such example of when overriding the index is useful could be documenting dynamically generated API operations of a web service client. Here's a simple example that adds dynamically generated API operations for a web service client to the search index:

{% extends "default/doctum.js.twig" %}

{% block search_index_extra %}
    {% for operation in operations -%}
            type: 'Operation'|trans,
            link: operation.path,
            doc: operation.doc,
    {%- endfor %}
{% endblock %}

This example assumes that the template has a variable operations available which contains an array of operations.


Always include a trailing comma for each entry you add to the index. Doctum will take care of ensuring that trailing commas are handled properly.