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Live Preview

By `Lex Li`_

This article shows how live preview.


The keyboard shortcuts are

  • ctrl+shift+r (on Mac cmd+shift+r) Preview
  • ctrl+k ctrl+r (on Mac cmd+k cmd+r) Preview to Side


To learn all keyboard shortcuts of this extension, please refer to :doc:`/articles/shortcuts`.

Rendering Engines

This extension can compile your source files in the background, and show live preview of the current active document.

The compilation/rendering requires an engine, and currently two of them are supported,

  • DocUtils
  • Sphinx

The choice decides the performance and quality of the preview page.

DocUtils Engine

DocUtils implements the basic reStructuredText syntax, and it can render preview based on just a single page. Therefore, if this engine is used,

  • The rendering speed is super fast.
  • The preview page lacks of themes.
  • Certain Sphinx syntax is not rendered correctly.


Sphinx implements its own syntax on top of DocUtils, and it compiles the whole project (based on to a website. Therefore, if this engine is used,

  • The rendering speed can be slow.
  • The preview page contains themed elements, and matches the final result in web browsers.
  • All Sphinx syntax and even extensions work flawlessly.

To learn more about the settings, refer to :doc:`/articles/configuration`.

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