Sphinx PyVista Plot Directive#

You can generate static and interactive scenes of pyvista plots using the .. pyvista-plot:: directive by adding the following to your conf.py when building your documentation using Sphinx.

extensions = [

You can then issue the plotting directive within your sphinx documentation files:

.. pyvista-plot::
   :caption: A sphere
   :include-source: True

   >>> import pyvista
   >>> sphere = pyvista.Sphere()
   >>> out = sphere.plot()

Which will be rendered as:

>>> import pyvista
>>> sphere = pyvista.Sphere()
>>> out = sphere.plot()

This is a default sphere


You need to spin up a local server to view the interactive scene in the documentation.

python -m http.server 11000 --directory _build/html

Plot directive module.

A directive for including a PyVista plot in a Sphinx document

The .. pyvista-plot:: sphinx directive will include an inline .png image.

The source code for the plot may be included in one of two ways:

  1. Using doctest syntax:

    .. pyvista-plot::
       >>> import pyvista as pv
       >>> sphere = pv.Sphere()
       >>> out = sphere.plot()
  2. A path to a source file as the argument to the directive:

    .. pyvista-plot:: path/to/plot.py

    When a path to a source file is given, the content of the directive may optionally contain a caption for the plot:

    .. pyvista-plot:: path/to/plot.py
       The plot's caption.

    Additionally, one may specify the name of a function to call (with no arguments) immediately after importing the module:

    .. pyvista-plot:: path/to/plot.py plot_function1


Code blocks containing doctest:+SKIP will be skipped.


Animations will not be saved, only the last frame will be shown.

Options The pyvista-plot directive supports the following options:


Whether to display the source code. The default can be changed using the plot_include_source variable in conf.py.


If this source file is in a non-UTF8 or non-ASCII encoding, the encoding must be specified using the :encoding: option. The encoding will not be inferred using the -*- coding -*- metacomment.


If provided, the code will be run in the context of all previous plot directives for which the :context: option was specified. This only applies to inline code plot directives, not those run from files.


If specified, the code block will be run, but no figures will be inserted. This is usually useful with the :context: option.


If specified, the option’s argument will be used as a caption for the figure. This overwrites the caption given in the content, when the plot is generated from a file.


If specified, static images will be used instead of an interactive scene.

Additionally, this directive supports all of the options of the image directive, except for target (since plot will add its own target). These include alt, height, width, scale, align.

Configuration options The plot directive has the following configuration options:


Default value for the include-source option. Default is True.


Base directory, to which plot:: file names are relative to. If None or unset, file names are relative to the directory where the file containing the directive is.


Whether to show links to the files in HTML. Default True.


Provide a customized Jinja2 template for preparing restructured text.


Python code to be run before every plot directive block.


Python code to be run after every plot directive block.

These options can be set by defining global variables of the same name in conf.py.