I'm a software developer, and I'm looking for a tool in order to write software documentation in collaboration with my team.
This means that, this tool should be has some mechanism of versioning in order to achieve the possibility to write different chapters by different team member
With "software documentation" I mean something like a manual, not a technical documentation.

Last requirement is that this tool should be open source.

Can anyone suggest me any tool useful for this purpose?

Thanks in advance.

  • Just text with maybe some graphics plugged in – or something more sophisticated? ownCloud/Nextcloud ship with a LibreOffice compatible editor aloowing collaborative editing, would that suffice (there are some demos available you could try)? If not, there's a more advanced variant of LibreOffice which can be used separately or also integrated in ownCloud/Nextcloud. The two *clouds had the advantage offering you calendar/contacs as well as "file storage" you could use with the team.
    – Izzy
    Feb 2, 2018 at 14:26
  • 3
    Are you sure that your really mean open-source? Do you plan to change the code and add new features? If you just don't want to pay, add the gratis tag. And add a tag for the operating system.
    – Mawg
    Feb 2, 2018 at 14:27
  • Is there any reason why text editor for editing text + git for versioning is not sufficient? Feb 3, 2018 at 12:20
  • Even though doxygen is mostly meant for technical documentation it can also be used for other documentation (e.g. the doxygen manual is generated by means of doxygen). So it definitely is woth to have a look at.
    – albert
    May 15, 2018 at 10:48

1 Answer 1


I would strongly suggest taking a look at the Sphinx document generator tool chain.

The document creation is performed as a set of ReStructuredText files, (with the possible inclusion of some other formats such as markdown), that are completely compatible with version control systems such as git, svn, mercurial, etc. Templates can be used to give a consistent style to the final, published, document.

The final document can be generated in multiple formats and some sites such as ReadTheDocs will automatically generate your documents in response to new commits & releases (see here) to your or your teams repository on sites such as GitHub, Bitbucket or GitLab.

  • Free, Gratis & Open Source
  • Cross Platform (Written in Python)
  • Input files are fully version control compatible
  • Output formats: HTML (including Windows HTML Help), LaTeX (for printable PDF versions), ePub, Texinfo, manual pages, plain text
  • Extensive cross-references: semantic markup and automatic links for functions, classes, citations, glossary terms and similar pieces of information
  • Hierarchical structure: easy definition of a document tree, with automatic links to siblings, parents and children
  • Automatic indices: general index as well as a language-specific module indices
  • Code handling: automatic highlighting using the Pygments highlighter which handles most, (>300), programming languages.
  • Multiple, good looking, themes available either as build-in themes, (about 8), downloads from places like PyPi, GitHub & sphinx-themes.org or by writing your own.

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