Read the Docs supports multiple versions of your repository. On the initial import, we will create a latest version. This will point at the default branch for your VCS control: master, default, or trunk.

We also create a stable version, if your project has any tagged releases. stable will be automatically kept up to date to point at your highest version.

How we envision versions working

In the normal case, the latest version will always point to the most up to date development code. If you develop on a branch that is different than the default for your VCS, you should set the Default Branch to that branch.

You should push a tag for each version of your project. These tags should be numbered in a way that is consistent with semantic versioning. This will map to your stable branch by default.


We in fact are parsing your tag names against the rules given by PEP 440. This spec allows “normal” version numbers like 1.4.2 as well as pre-releases. An alpha version or a release candidate are examples of pre-releases and they look like this: 2.0a1.

We only consider non pre-releases for the stable version of your documentation.

If you have documentation changes on a long-lived branch, you can build those too. This will allow you to see how the new docs will be built in this branch of the code. Generally you won’t have more than 1 active branch over a long period of time. The main exception here would be release branches, which are branches that are maintained over time for a specific release number.

Tags and branches

Read the Docs supports two workflows for versioning: based on tags or branches. If you have at least one tag, tags will take preference over branches when selecting the stable version.

Redirects on root URLs

When a user hits the root URL for your documentation, for example, they will be redirected to the Default version. This defaults to latest, but could also point to your latest released version.

Version warning

This is a banner that appears on the top of every page of your docs that aren’t stable or latest. This banner has a text with a link redirecting the users to the latest version of your docs.

This feature is disabled by default on new projects, you can enable it in the admin section of your docs (Advanced Settings).