Command line tool for generating markdown-formatted class documentation

1.3.8 2017-04-20 09:52 UTC


Documentation is just as important as the code it's refering to. With this command line tool you will be able to write your documentation once, and only once!

This project will write a single-page markdown-formatted API document based on the DocBlock comments in your source code.



Let's say you have your PHP classes in a directory named "src". Each class has its own file that is named after the class.

- src/
  - MyObject.php
  - OtherObject.php

Write your code documentation following the standard set by phpdoc.

namespace Acme;

 * This is a description of this class
class MyObject {
    * This is a function description
    * @param string $str
    * @param array $arr
    * @return Acme\OtherObject
   function someFunc($str, $arr=array()) {

Then, running $ phpdoc-md generate src > will write your API documentation to the file

Here you can see a rendered example

Only public and protected functions will be a part of the documentation, but you can also add @ignore to any function or class to exclude it from the docs. Phpdoc-md will try to guess the return type of functions that don't explicitly declare one. The program uses reflection to get as much information as possible out of the code so that functions that are missing DocBlock comments will still be included in the generated documentation.


  • PHP version >= 5.3.2
  • Reflection must be enabled in php.ini
  • Each class must be defined in its own file with the file name being the same as the class name
  • The project should use Composer

Installation / Usage

This command line tool can be installed using composer.

From the local working directory of the project that you would like to document, run:

$ composer require --dev victorjonsson/markdowndocs

This will add victorjonsson/markdowndocs to the require-dev section of your project's composer.json file. The phpdoc-md executable will automatically be copied to your project's vendor/bin directory.

Generating docs

The generate command generates your project's API documentation file. The command line tool needs to know whether you want to generate docs for a certain class, or if it should process every class in a specified directory search path.

# Generate docs for a certain class
$ ./vendor/bin/phpdoc-md generate Acme\\NS\\MyClass 

# Generate docs for several classes (comma separated)
$ ./vendor/bin/phpdoc-md generate Acme\\NS\\MyClass,Acme\\OtherNS\\OtherClass 

# Generate docs for all classes in a source directory
$ ./vendor/bin/phpdoc-md generate includes/src

# Generate docs for all classes in a source directory and send output to the file
$ ./vendor/bin/phpdoc-md generate includes/src >
  • Note that any class to be documented must be loadable using the autoloader provided by composer. *

If you are not using the composer autoloader, or if there is something else that needs to be done before your classes can be instantiated, then you may request phpdoc-md to load a php bootstrap file prior to generating the docs

$ ./vendor/bin/phpdoc-md generate --bootstrap=includes/init.php includes/src >

Excluding directories

You can tell the command line tool to ignore certain directories in your class path by using the --ignore option.

$ ./phpdoc-md generate --ignore=test,examples includes/src >