IPython Documentation

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This documentation is for an old version of IPython. You can find docs for newer versions here.

Module: sphinxext.ipython_directive

Sphinx directive to support embedded IPython code.

This directive allows pasting of entire interactive IPython sessions, prompts and all, and their code will actually get re-executed at doc build time, with all prompts renumbered sequentially. It also allows you to input code as a pure python input by giving the argument python to the directive. The output looks like an interactive ipython section.

To enable this directive, simply list it in your Sphinx conf.py file (making sure the directory where you placed it is visible to sphinx, as is needed for all Sphinx directives).

By default this directive assumes that your prompts are unchanged IPython ones, but this can be customized. The configurable options that can be placed in conf.py are

The directory in which to save the figures. This is relative to the Sphinx source directory. The default is html_static_path.
The compiled regular expression to denote the start of IPython input lines. The default is re.compile(‘In [(d+)]:s?(.*)s*’). You shouldn’t need to change this.
The compiled regular expression to denote the start of IPython output lines. The default is re.compile(‘Out[(d+)]:s?(.*)s*’). You shouldn’t need to change this.
The string to represent the IPython input prompt in the generated ReST. The default is ‘In [%d]:’. This expects that the line numbers are used in the prompt.


The string to represent the IPython prompt in the generated ReST. The default is ‘Out [%d]:’. This expects that the line numbers are used in the prompt.


  • Turn the ad-hoc test() function into a real test suite.
  • Break up ipython-specific functionality from matplotlib stuff into better separated code.


  • John D Hunter: orignal author.
  • Fernando Perez: refactoring, documentation, cleanups, port to 0.11.
  • VáclavŠmilauer <eudoxos-AT-arcig.cz>: Prompt generalizations.
  • Skipper Seabold, refactoring, cleanups, pure python addition

2 Classes

class IPython.sphinxext.ipython_directive.EmbeddedSphinxShell

Bases: object

An embedded IPython instance to run inside Sphinx


process block from the block_parser and return a list of processed lines


Process data fPblock for COMMENT token.


# build out an image directive like # .. image:: somefile.png # :width 4in # # from an input like # savefig somefile.png width=4in

process_input(data, input_prompt, lineno)

Process data block for INPUT token.

process_input_line(line, store_history=True)

process the input, capturing stdout

process_output(data, output_prompt, input_lines, output, is_doctest, image_file)

Process data block for OUTPUT token.


content is a list of strings. it is unedited directive conent

This runs it line by line in the InteractiveShell, prepends prompts as needed capturing stderr and stdout, then returns the content as a list as if it were ipython code


Saves the image file to disk.

class IPython.sphinxext.ipython_directive.IpythonDirective(name, arguments, options, content, lineno, content_offset, block_text, state, state_machine)

Bases: docutils.parsers.rst.Directive

3 Functions

IPython.sphinxext.ipython_directive.block_parser(part, rgxin, rgxout, fmtin, fmtout)

part is a string of ipython text, comprised of at most one input, one ouput, comments, and blank lines. The block parser parses the text into a list of:

blocks = [ (TOKEN0, data0), (TOKEN1, data1), ...]

where TOKEN is one of [COMMENT | INPUT | OUTPUT ] and data is, depending on the type of token:

COMMENT : the comment string

   DECORATOR: the input decorator (or None)
   INPUT_LINE: the input as string (possibly multi-line)
   REST : any stdout generated by the input line (not OUTPUT)

OUTPUT: the output string, possibly multi-line