Build and deploy beautiful documentation sites that grow with you

Build and deploy beautiful documentation sites that grow with you


Embed Kotlin and Java documentation in your Orchid site using Dokka.

official docs


The OrchidKotlindoc plugin integrates with the Dokka tool to embed class and package info from Kotlin and Java source code directly in your Orchid site. Comment text is compiled as Markdown, and is also fully-searchable with the OrchidSearch plugin.

The behavior of the OrchidKotlindoc is changing. Please see the 0.18.0 Migration Guide for more details.

This plugin is being deprecated in favor of a new, more unified, and more modular code-documentation plugin, OrchidSourceDoc. All configuration will be defined by that plugin, and this plugin will simply provide Kotlin language support for that plugin.

The new system is currently experimental and is an opt-in feature for 0.18.x Orchid versions. It can be enabled now with the --experimentalSourceDoc CLI flag. The legacy behavior is scheduled for removal in version 0.19.0.



The article How to Document a Kotlin Project is the best way to get started using Orchid for code documentation, check it out for a beginning-to-end guide to using Orchid.

The behavior of the OrchidKotlindoc is changing. Please see the 0.18.0 Migration Guide for more details.

The docs below are for the legacy Kotlindoc plugin. For docs on using the new SourceDoc system, visit the OrchidSourceDoc plugin homepage.

Basic Usage

Once the Kotlindoc plugin is added to your build, you need to tell Orchid where it can find your Kotlin/Java code. This is set in your config.yml as a list of file paths to the root package for your code.

A typical use-case is to have Orchid be in a separate Gradle subproject than the code it's documenting. For example, using docs and app subprojects with the following standard Gradle/Maven project structure:

. / (repo root)
├── app
|   └── src/main/kotlin/ <-- this is the directory you need to reference
|       └── com/example/
|           └── main.kt
└── docs
    └── src/orchid/resources/ <-- these are your Orchid resources
        └── config.yml

Your config.yml can specify a relative path from your Orchid resources to your Kotlin code source root:

    - './../../../../app/src/main/kotlin'

Setting multiple sourceDirs will include them all in the generated documentation, such as including both kotlin and java directories for a single module.

Classpath Management

Dokka needs the classpath of your source code in order to document everything properly. Specifically, parameters with a type not in your sources and not part of the Kotlin stdlib will be displayed as <ERROR CLASS> without the full classpath provided.

You can set the classpath to be used by the Dokka instance running internally with the --kotlindocClasspath CLI flag. The following snippet can be used to pass the classpath from Gradle to Orchid/Dokka:

afterEvaluate {
    orchid {
        // use Gradle APIs to get the classpath to pass-through to Dokka
        args += ["--kotlindocClasspath", project(":app").sourceSets.main.runtimeClasspath.getAsPath()]

See issue #222 for more context on why this is necessary.

OrchidKotlindoc ships with several menu item types that are useful for creating docs with a similar feel to standard Kotlindoc sites. The kotlindocClasses and kotlindocPackages simply link to all generated class and package pages, like the sidebar frames on typical Kotlindoc pages.

kotlindocClassLinks creates links to each individual field, constructor, and method documented in a class page, similar to the "summary" section of typical Kotlindoc pages. It can only be added to Kotlindoc class pages.

All three of these menu items are best added to the Kotlindoc page Archetypes in config.yml:

  classPages: # <-- applied only to Kotlindoc class pages
      - type: "kotlindocClassLinks"
  pages:  # <-- applied to Kotlindoc class and package pages
      - type: "kotlindocClasses"
      - type: "kotlindocPackages"
dependencies {