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When you build websites with MyST, there are two special kinds of metadata that get bundled with your MyST site. Each is explained below.

Page document metadata as .json

All webpages built with MyST come bundled with a .json representation of their content. This is a machine-readable version of the page that contains all of the metadata and page structure defined by the MyST specification.

You can access the MyST .json representation of a page by adding .json to the page name.

For example, the URL of this page is:

and you can access its JSON representation at the following URL:

MyST cross-reference data with myst.xref.json

When you create a MyST project on the web, all references in your MyST site are listed in a file that can be referenced by other projects using External References. This allows for programmatic reading of all MyST identifiers in a project (e.g. unique labels and the URL to which each resolves).

This is served in a file called myst.xref.json at the website root, and provides a list of reference links in JSON. For example, the cross-references file for the MyST Guide is at this location:

Below is an example structure of this file:

  "version": "1",
  "myst": "1.2.0",
  "references": [
      "kind": "page",
      "data": "/index.json",
      "url": "/"
      "identifier": "xref-features",
      "kind": "heading",
      "data": "/index.json",
      "url": "/",
      "implicit": true

The myst.xref.json data structure has three entries:


The version of the myst.xref.json schema


The version of mystmd CLI that created the myst.xref.json data


A list of references that are exposed by the project, each object includes:

The identifier in the project for this reference, this will be unique in the project unless there is an implicit flag.
This is only optional for pages, which may not have identifiers. All other content must have an identifier.
The identifier used on the HTML page, which is stricter than the identifier.
This is only included if it differs from the identifier.
The kind of the reference, for example, page, heading, figure, table.
The location of where to find the content as data. Use this link to find information like the reference’s enumerator, title or children.
The URL is relative from the location of where the myst.xref.json is served from.
The location of the HTML page; the URL is relative from the location of where the myst.xref.json is served from.
For constructing specific links to HTML pages, use <url>#<html_id || identifier>.
A boolean indicating that the reference is implicit to a page. This is common for headings, where the page information must be included.
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