The GTK-Doc Project

GTK-Doc is a project which was started to generate API documentation from comments added to C code. It is typically used to document the public API of GTK and GNOME libraries, but it can also be used to document application code.


GTK-Doc wasn't originally intended to be a general-purpose documentation tool, so it can be a bit awkward to setup and use. For a more polished general-purpose documentation tool you may want to look at Doxygen. However GTK-Doc has some special code to document the signals and properties of GTK widgets and GObject classes which other tools may not have.

How it works

GTK-Doc allows your documentation to be written in 2 ways:

From these source code comments and template files GTK-Doc generates a Docbook XML (or SGML) document, which is then transformed into HTML.

The generated HTML documentation can be browsed in an ordinary web browser or by using the special Devhelp API browser. Devhelp uses a special index file to locate and present the manuals.

For full details have a look at the GTK-Doc user manual.


Visit the GTK documentation and click on one of the API references there to see the final result of using GTK-Doc. For examples on how to make use of GTK-Doc in your project, download GTK and see how it is added to the source files. GTK-Doc itself has a test suite as well that can be used as examples.