This documentation covers IPython versions 6.0 and higher. Beginning with version 6.0, IPython stopped supporting compatibility with Python versions lower than 3.3 including all versions of Python 2.7.
If you are looking for an IPython version compatible with Python 2.7, please use the IPython 5.x LTS release and refer to its documentation (LTS is the long term support release).
Defining custom magics¶
There are two main ways to define your own magic functions: from standalone
functions and by inheriting from a base class provided by IPython:
IPython.core.magic.Magics. Below we show code you can place in a file
that you load from your configuration, such as any file in the
subdirectory of your default IPython profile.
First, let us see the simplest case. The following shows how to create a line magic, a cell one and one that works in both modes, using just plain functions:
from IPython.core.magic import (register_line_magic, register_cell_magic, register_line_cell_magic) @register_line_magic def lmagic(line): "my line magic" return line @register_cell_magic def cmagic(line, cell): "my cell magic" return line, cell @register_line_cell_magic def lcmagic(line, cell=None): "Magic that works both as %lcmagic and as %%lcmagic" if cell is None: print("Called as line magic") return line else: print("Called as cell magic") return line, cell # In an interactive session, we need to delete these to avoid # name conflicts for automagic to work on line magics. del lmagic, lcmagic
You can also create magics of all three kinds by inheriting from the
IPython.core.magic.Magics class. This lets you create magics that can
potentially hold state in between calls, and that have full access to the main
# This code can be put in any Python module, it does not require IPython # itself to be running already. It only creates the magics subclass but # doesn't instantiate it yet. from __future__ import print_function from IPython.core.magic import (Magics, magics_class, line_magic, cell_magic, line_cell_magic) # The class MUST call this class decorator at creation time @magics_class class MyMagics(Magics): @line_magic def lmagic(self, line): "my line magic" print("Full access to the main IPython object:", self.shell) print("Variables in the user namespace:", list(self.shell.user_ns.keys())) return line @cell_magic def cmagic(self, line, cell): "my cell magic" return line, cell @line_cell_magic def lcmagic(self, line, cell=None): "Magic that works both as %lcmagic and as %%lcmagic" if cell is None: print("Called as line magic") return line else: print("Called as cell magic") return line, cell # In order to actually use these magics, you must register them with a # running IPython. def load_ipython_extension(ipython): """ Any module file that define a function named `load_ipython_extension` can be loaded via `%load_ext module.path` or be configured to be autoloaded by IPython at startup time. """ # You can register the class itself without instantiating it. IPython will # call the default constructor on it. ipython.register_magics(MyMagics)
If you want to create a class with a different constructor that holds additional state, then you should always call the parent constructor and instantiate the class yourself before registration:
@magics_class class StatefulMagics(Magics): "Magics that hold additional state" def __init__(self, shell, data): # You must call the parent constructor super(StatefulMagics, self).__init__(shell) self.data = data # etc... def load_ipython_extension(ipython): """ Any module file that define a function named `load_ipython_extension` can be loaded via `%load_ext module.path` or be configured to be autoloaded by IPython at startup time. """ # This class must then be registered with a manually created instance, # since its constructor has different arguments from the default: magics = StatefulMagics(ipython, some_data) ipython.register_magics(magics)
In early IPython versions 0.12 and before the line magics were
created using a
define_magic() API function. This API has been
replaced with the above in IPython 0.13 and then completely removed
in IPython 5. Maintainers of IPython extensions that still use the
define_magic() function are advised to adjust their code
for the current API.
Accessing user namespace and local scope¶
When creating line magics, you may need to access surrounding scope to get user
variables (e.g when called inside functions). IPython provide the
@needs_local_scope decorator that can be imported from
IPython.core.magics. When decorated with
@needs_local_scope a magic will
local_ns as an argument. As a convenience
can also be applied to cell magics even if cell magics cannot appear at local
Here is a full example of a magic package. You can distribute magics using setuptools, distutils, or any other distribution tools like flit for pure Python packages.
When distributing magics as part of a package, recommended best practice is to
execute the registration inside the
load_ipython_extension as demonstrated in
the example below, instead of directly in the module (as in the initial example
@register_* decorators). This means a user will need to explicitly
choose to load your magic with
%load_ext. instead implicitly getting it when
importing the module. This is particularly relevant if loading your magic has
side effects, if it is slow to load, or if it might override another magic with
the same name.
. ├── example_magic │ ├── __init__.py │ └── abracadabra.py └── setup.py
$ cat example_magic/__init__.py """An example magic""" __version__ = '0.0.1' from .abracadabra import Abracadabra def load_ipython_extension(ipython): ipython.register_magics(Abracadabra)
$ cat example_magic/abracadabra.py from IPython.core.magic import (Magics, magics_class, line_magic, cell_magic) @magics_class class Abracadabra(Magics): @line_magic def abra(self, line): return line @cell_magic def cadabra(self, line, cell): return line, cell