Rust Package Documentation: Best Practices and Tools

Are you tired of struggling to understand how to use a Rust package? Do you find yourself spending hours trying to decipher poorly written documentation? Fear not, for we have compiled a comprehensive guide on the best practices and tools for Rust package documentation.

Why Documentation Matters

Documentation is an essential part of any software project. It helps users understand how to use the software, and it helps developers maintain and improve the code. Good documentation can make the difference between a successful project and a failed one.

In the case of Rust packages, documentation is especially important. Rust is a relatively new language, and many developers are still learning how to use it. Good documentation can help new developers get up to speed quickly, and it can help experienced developers avoid common pitfalls.

Best Practices for Rust Package Documentation

So, what makes for good Rust package documentation? Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

Use Markdown

Markdown is a lightweight markup language that is easy to read and write. It is widely used in the Rust community for documentation. Markdown allows you to format your documentation in a way that is easy to read and understand.

Use Examples

Examples are a great way to help users understand how to use your package. They provide concrete, real-world scenarios that users can relate to. Make sure your examples are clear and concise, and cover common use cases.

Use Clear and Concise Language

Your documentation should be written in clear and concise language. Avoid using technical jargon or overly complex language. Use simple, everyday language that anyone can understand.

Organize Your Documentation

Organize your documentation in a logical way. Use headings and subheadings to break up your documentation into sections. This makes it easier for users to find the information they need.

Keep Your Documentation Up to Date

Make sure your documentation is up to date. If your package changes, make sure your documentation reflects those changes. Outdated documentation can be confusing and frustrating for users.

Tools for Rust Package Documentation

Now that you know some best practices for Rust package documentation, let's take a look at some tools that can help you create great documentation.


Rustdoc is Rust's built-in documentation tool. It generates documentation from your Rust code and comments. Rustdoc uses Markdown for formatting, so your documentation will look great right out of the box.

To use Rustdoc, simply add comments to your Rust code using the /// syntax. Rustdoc will generate documentation for any public items in your code.


DocTest is a Rust testing tool that also generates documentation. It allows you to write tests in your Rust code that also serve as examples in your documentation. DocTest uses Rust's built-in testing framework, so you can be sure your examples are correct.

To use DocTest, simply add tests to your Rust code using the #[doc(test)] attribute. DocTest will run these tests and include the results in your documentation.


Rustdoc-Template is a tool that allows you to customize the look and feel of your Rustdoc-generated documentation. It provides a set of templates that you can use to create custom documentation themes.

To use Rustdoc-Template, simply install the tool and choose a template. Rustdoc-Template will generate documentation using your chosen template.


mdBook is a Rust documentation tool that allows you to create entire books of documentation. It uses Markdown for formatting, so your documentation will look great right out of the box.

mdBook allows you to organize your documentation into chapters and sections. It also provides a set of themes that you can use to customize the look and feel of your documentation.


Good documentation is essential for any software project, and Rust packages are no exception. By following best practices and using the right tools, you can create great documentation that helps users understand how to use your package.

We hope this guide has been helpful in showing you the best practices and tools for Rust package documentation. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us. Happy documenting!

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Written by AI researcher, Haskell Ruska, PhD ( Scientific Journal of AI 2023, Peer Reviewed