Thursday, November 27, 2014

How to quickly turn an IPython notebook into a blog post

IPython notebooks are great for many things, but they're a little awkward to embed in blog post platforms like Blogger, Wordpress, etc. When the nbconvert feature was a standalone command-line tool, there was a blog export template, but that seems to have disappeared now that nbconvert has been folded within IPython.

Out of the box, nbconvert just has two html export options:
  • --html
    which includes a lot of CSS that interferes with a blog's CSS, and:
  • --html --template basic
    which has no CSS and so pretty much negates the benefit of using an IPython notebook. However, it does have CSS classess in the text.

My solution was to whip up a quick CSS stylesheet that could be included in the blog post. It seems to work pretty well; you can have a look at:

Note that, for aesthetic reasons, I removed all the
In [1]
-style tags because of the narrow columns on this blog. Your mileage may vary.

1. Convert .ipynb notebook to HTML

In the terminal, navigate to the folder containing the .ipynb file and type:

ipython nbconvert --to html --template basic filename.ipynb

2. Paste HTML in blog

Note: if you're using the Blogger platform, never switch back to the Compose interface after you use the HTML interface, it changes all your tags.

3. Add CSS to blog HTML

This seems to reproduce the native syntax highlighting of IPython.

<style type="text/css">
.highlight{background: #f8f8f8; overflow:auto;width:auto;border:solid gray;border-width:.1em .1em .1em .1em;padding:0em .5em;border-radius: 4px;}
.k{color: #338822; font-weight: bold;}
.kn{color: #338822; font-weight: bold;}
.mi{color: #000000;}
.o{color: #000000;}
.ow{color: #BA22FF;  font-weight: bold;}
.nb{color: #338822;}
.n{color: #000000;}
.s{color: #cc2222;}
.se{color: #cc2222; font-weight: bold;}
.si{color: #C06688; font-weight: bold;}
.nn{color: #4D00FF; font-weight: bold;}
• • •


  1. How can I remove the Out and In prompts, and remove the left padding?

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  3. Thanks for describing this. Found it useful. Used it in my blog ( The formatting works well with clean results. Thanks again

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  7. That worked for me. Here's an example:


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  12. Thanks. This is super useful. However, I didn't have luck with plots generated using matplotlib. Did you have any luck with matplotlib plots?

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