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Read the Docs

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Swagger UI

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Read the Docs vs vs Swagger UI: What are the differences?


In the realm of documentation management, tools like Read the Docs,, and Swagger UI play vital roles. Each of these tools has unique features and functionalities that cater to different needs and preferences.

  1. Hosting Platform: Read the Docs primarily focuses on hosting documentation for open-source projects and is community-driven, allowing easy collaboration and version control. In contrast, offers a platform for hosting API documentation, creating interactive API explorers, and managing developer portals, making it ideal for companies with multiple APIs. On the other hand, Swagger UI is more of a design-driven tool that helps to auto-generate interactive API documentation from OpenAPI Specification files, making it suitable for showcasing RESTful APIs.

  2. Customization Options: Read the Docs provides a template-based system to customize the look and feel of documentation websites, offering control over branding and layout design. In comparison, offers extensive customization options, including themes, styles, and layouts, allowing users to create visually appealing and user-friendly documentation. Swagger UI, being more focused on API documentation, provides customization options for displaying API endpoints and parameters in a structured and interactive manner.

  3. Feature Set: Read the Docs is renowned for its version control capabilities, automatic builds, and built-in search functionality, making it a preferred choice for open-source projects with frequent updates., on the other hand, emphasizes features such as interactive API explorers, API key management, and metrics for tracking API usage, catering to the needs of companies providing APIs. Swagger UI is recognized for its ability to render API documentation dynamically from OpenAPI Specification files, facilitating developers in understanding and interacting with APIs seamlessly.

  4. Collaboration Tools: While Read the Docs offers basic collaboration features like multiple contributors and version control through Git integration, provides advanced collaboration tools such as comment threads, feedback collection, and user roles, enhancing communication and feedback loops among team members and external users. Swagger UI is more oriented towards showcasing API functionality and structure, lacking extensive collaboration features beyond basic documentation updates.

  5. Integration Capabilities: Read the Docs seamlessly integrates with popular version control systems like GitHub and Bitbucket, streamlining the documentation update process and ensuring synchronization with code changes. offers integrations with various tools and platforms, including Slack, GitHub, and Jira, enabling seamless collaboration and workflow automation for API documentation management. Swagger UI focuses on integration with OpenAPI Specification files, allowing developers to auto-generate interactive API documentation from standard API description formats.

In Summary, the key differences between Read the Docs,, and Swagger UI lie in their hosting platform focus, customization options, feature sets, collaboration tools, and integration capabilities, catering to diverse needs in documentation management.

Advice on Read the Docs,, and Swagger UI
Needs advice
Swagger UISwagger UI

From a StackShare Community member: "I just started working for a start-up and we are in desperate need of better documentation for our API. Currently our API docs is in a file. We are evaluating Postman and Swagger UI. Since there are many options and I was wondering what other StackSharers would recommend?"

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Replies (3)
Jagdeep Singh
Tech Lead at · | 8 upvotes · 384.2K views

I use Postman because of the ease of team-management, using workspaces and teams, runner, collections, environment variables, test-scripts (post execution), variable management (pre and post execution), folders (inside collections, for better management of APIs), newman, easy-ci-integration (and probably a few more things that I am not able to recall right now).

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I use Swagger UI because it's an easy tool for end-consumers to visualize and test our APIs. It focuses on that ! And it's directly embedded and delivered with the APIs. Postman's built-in tools aren't bad, but their main focus isn't the documentation and also, they are hosted outside the project.

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Sadik Ay

I recommend Postman because it's easy to use with history option. Also, it has very great features like runner, collections, test scripts runners, defining environment variables and simple exporting and importing data.

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Pros of Read the Docs
Pros of
Pros of Swagger UI
  • 13
    GitHub integration
  • 7
    Free for public repos
  • 2
    Automated Builds
  • 18
    Great UI
  • 15
  • 10
  • 10
    Cute mascot
  • 8
    Looks great and is fun to use
  • 5
    It's friggin awesome
  • 3
    Make sample API calls inside the docs
  • 49
    Open Source
  • 34
    Can execute api calls from the documentation
  • 29
    Free to use
  • 19
  • 14
    Easy to implement in .Net
  • 13
    Mature, clean spec
  • 12
    API Visualization
  • 9
  • 6
  • 6
    Easy to use
  • 5
    Vibrant and active community
  • 4
  • 3
    Adopted by tm forum api
  • 2
    Clear for React
  • 1
  • 1
    Can deploy API to AWS API Gateway and AWS Lambda

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Cons of Read the Docs
Cons of
Cons of Swagger UI
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 4
      Support is awful
    • 3
      No backup and restore capability
    • 2
      Important parts of the CSS are locked
    • 2
      Document structure is severely restricted
    • 2
      Full of bugs
    • 2
      No notifications of edits by other users
    • 1
      Supports only two documents plus a blog
    • 1
      Does not support pre-request scripts
    • 1
      Random pages display content of other pages instead
    • 1
      Review and comment functionality is hard to work with
    • 1
      Navigation in user-facing copy is spotty
    • 1
      All admins have full editing rights
    • 3
      Need to learn YAML and RAML
    • 2
      Documentation doesn't look that good
    • 1
      Doesn't generate code snippets in different languages
    • 1
      You don’t actually get in-line error highlighting
    • 1
      Does not support hypermedia

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    - No public GitHub repository available -
    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Read the Docs?

    It hosts documentation, making it fully searchable and easy to find. You can import your docs using any major version control system, including Mercurial, Git, Subversion, and Bazaar.

    What is

    It is an easy-to-use tool to help you build out documentation! Each documentation site that you publish is a project where there is space for documentation, interactive API reference guides, a changelog, and much more.

    What is Swagger UI?

    Swagger UI is a dependency-free collection of HTML, Javascript, and CSS assets that dynamically generate beautiful documentation and sandbox from a Swagger-compliant API

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use Read the Docs?
    What companies use
    What companies use Swagger UI?

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    What tools integrate with Read the Docs?
    What tools integrate with
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    Blog Posts

    Jun 19 2015 at 6:37AM

    What are some alternatives to Read the Docs,, and Swagger UI?
    Capture the knowledge that's too often lost in email inboxes and shared network drives in Confluence instead – where it's easy to find, use, and update.
    It is a modern documentation platform where teams can document everything from products, to APIs and internal knowledge-bases. It is a place to think and track ideas for you & your team.
    It takes more than a simple HTML page to thrill your API users. The right tools take weeks of development. Weeks that saves.
    JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
    Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
    See all alternatives