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Hanna is an RDoc generator built with simplicity, beauty and ease of browsing in mind.


gem install hanna


rdoc -o doc -f hanna lib

An alternative is to set the ‘RDOCOPT` environment variable:

RDOCOPT="-f hanna"

This will make RDoc always use hanna unless it is explicitly overridden.

Integrating with RubyGems

If you put the following line in your .gemrc, this will make RubyGems use Hanna for all rdoc generation:

rdoc: -f hanna

After doing this, if you wish to have documentation for all your installed gems to be formatted in hanna:

gem rdoc --all --overwrite

Rake task

For repeated generation of API docs, you can set up a Rake task. Set hanna as the RDoc generator:

require 'rdoc/task' do |rdoc|
  rdoc.generator = 'hanna'

Modification to RDoc

Hanna makes a small modification to RDoc to generate more friendly documentation. It changes label lists to use a table instead of a description list, since it is very difficult to get visually appealing styling for description lists without cutting corners (like using fixed widths).


The Hanna template was created by Mislav and since then has seen contributions from:

  1. Tony Strauss, who participated from the early start and made tons of fixes and enhancements to the template.

  2. Michael Granger who maintained the original RDoc template.

  3. Hongli Lai with the search filter for methods.

  4. Erik Hollensbe a serious refactoring and up to date with RDoc 2.5.x and 3.x, now named ‘hanna-nouveau’.

  5. James Tucker minor cleanups and RubyGems integration

  6. Jeremy Evans RDoc 4+ support, switch from haml/sass to erb, maintenance since 2014.


RDoc generator designed with simplicity, beauty and ease of browsing in mind







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  • Ruby 36.8%
  • CSS 31.1%
  • HTML 29.0%
  • JavaScript 3.1%