Use and customize#

This section describes major ways to use and control sphinx-copybutton’s behavior.

Strip and configure input prompts for code cells#

By default, sphinx-copybutton will copy the entire contents of a code block when the button is clicked. For many languages, it is common to include input prompts with your examples, along with the outputs from running the code.

sphinx-copybutton provides functionality to both strip input prompts, as well as only select lines that begin with a prompt. This allows users to click the button and only copy the input text, excluding the prompts and outputs.

To define the prompt text that you’d like removed from copied text in your code blocks, use the following configuration value in your conf.py file:

copybutton_prompt_text = "myinputprompt"

When this variable is set, sphinx-copybutton will remove the prompt from the beginning of any lines that start with the text you specify. In addition, only the lines that contain prompts will be copied if any are discovered. If no lines with prompts are found, then the full contents of the cell will be copied.

For example, to exclude traditional Python prompts from your copied code, use the following configuration:

copybutton_prompt_text = ">>> "

Using regexp prompt identifiers#

If your prompts are more complex than a single string, then you can use a regexp to match with.

Note

Keep in mind that the RegExp you are writing is evaluated in JavaScript and not in Python. In some edge cases this might lead to different results.

If you enclose your regexp in a raw string (r""), you can easily test that your RegExp matches all the wanted prompts, i.e. at RegEx101.

For example this documentation uses the following configuration:

copybutton_prompt_text = r">>> |\.\.\. |\$ |In \[\d*\]: | {2,5}\.\.\.: | {5,8}: "
copybutton_prompt_is_regexp = True

Which matches the following prompts and their continuations if they exist:

Prompt Name

RegEx Pattern

Matched String Examples

Python Repl + continuation

r'>>> |\.\.\. '

'>>> ', '... '

Bash

r'\$ '

'$ '

ipython and qtconsole + continuation

r'In \[\d*\]: | {2,5}\.\.\.: '

'In []: ', 'In [999]: ', '  ...: ', '     ...: '

jupyter-console + continuation

r'In \[\d*\]: | {5,8}: '

'In []: ', 'In [999]: ', '  ...: ', '     ...: '

An example usage would be the ipython-directive:

``ipython`` and ``qtconsole`` style:

.. code-block:: ipython

   In [1]: first
      ...: continuation
   output
   In [2]: second

``jupyter`` style:

.. code-block:: ipython

   In [1]: first
         : continuation
   output
   In [2]: second

ipython and qtconsole style:

In [1]: first
   ...: continuation
output
In [2]: second

jupyter style:

In [1]: first
      : continuation
output
In [2]: second

If you want a detailed explanation how the RegEx’s work you can also use RegEx101 and read the Explanation sidebar.

Configure whether only lines with prompts are copied#

By default, if sphinx-copybutton detects lines that begin with code prompts, it will only copy the text in those lines (after stripping the prompts). This assumes that the rest of the code block contains outputs that shouldn’t be copied.

To disable this behavior, use the following configuration in conf.py:

copybutton_only_copy_prompt_lines = False

In this case, all lines of the code blocks will be copied after the prompts are stripped.

Configure whether the input prompts should be stripped#

By default, sphinx-copybutton will remove the prompt text from lines according to the value of copybutton_prompt_text.

To disable this behavior and copy the full text of lines with prompts (for example, if you’d like to copy only the lines with prompts, but not strip the prompts), use the following configuration in conf.py:

copybutton_remove_prompts = False

Keep empty lines#

By default, sphinx-copybutton will also copy / pass through empty lines, determined by line.trim() === ''.

To disable copying empty lines, use the following configuration in conf.py:

copybutton_copy_empty_lines = False

Multi-line snippets#

Multi-line snippets are single commands that continue across multiple lines (usually to save horizontal space). sphinx-copybutton tries to copy this text with the expectation that you’ll want to past the text as a single line in some other application. See below for how to control this.

Honor line continuation characters when copying multline-snippets#

Sometimes you may wish to copy a code block like this one:

$ datalad download-url http://www.tldp.org/LDP/Bash-Beginners-Guide/Bash-Beginners-Guide.pdf \
--dataset . \
-m "add beginners guide on bash" \
-O books/bash_guide.pdf

Assuming that you specified $ as your prompt, sphinx-copybutton will only copy the first line by default.

To copy all lines above, you can use the following configuration:

copybutton_line_continuation_character = "\\"

Note that if we want to define \ as the line continuation character, we have to “escape” it with another \, as with any Python string that should carry a literal \.

Next, this configuration will make the code look for lines to copy based on the rules above, but if one of the lines to be copied contains a line continuation character, then the next line will be automatically copied, regardless of whether it matches the other rules.

Honor HERE-document syntax when copying multiline-snippets#

HERE-documents are a form of multiline string literals in which line breaks and other whitespace (including indentation) is preserved. For example:

$ cat << EOT > notes.txt
   This is an example sentence.
       Put some indentation on this line.

  EOT

Executing this codeblock in the terminal will create a file notes.txt with the exact text from line two of the codeblock until (but not including) the final line containing EOT.

However, assuming that you specified $ as your prompt, sphinx-copybutton will only copy the first line by default.

sphinx-copybutton can be configured to copy the whole “HERE-document” by using the following configuration:

copybutton_here_doc_delimiter = "EOT"

This will continue to look for lines to copy based on the rules above, but if one of the lines to be copied contains the defined delimiter (here: EOT), then all following lines will be copied literally until the next delimiter is encountered in a line.

Change the copy button image#

To use a different image for your copy buttons, do the following:

  1. Find the <svg> code for the image that you’d like to use. For example, find an SVG from Font Awesome, Tabler, or Octicons.

  2. Set the copybutton_image_svg variable in your conf.py to the SVG that you’d like to use.

For example, if you wanted to use a clipboard icon instead of the default copy button icon, do the following:

  1. Copy the Clipboard Icon SVG from the Tabular icons pack. Here is the SVG for reference:

    <svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" class="icon icon-tabler icon-tabler-clipboard" width="44" height="44" viewBox="0 0 24 24" stroke-width="1.5" stroke="#000000" fill="none" stroke-linecap="round" stroke-linejoin="round">
       <path stroke="none" d="M0 0h24v24H0z" fill="none"/>
       <path d="M9 5h-2a2 2 0 0 0 -2 2v12a2 2 0 0 0 2 2h10a2 2 0 0 0 2 -2v-12a2 2 0 0 0 -2 -2h-2" />
       <rect x="9" y="3" width="6" height="4" rx="2" />
    </svg>
    
  2. Configure sphinx_copybutton to use this icon instead, via the following configuration:

    # Note that we do not include `_static`
    # because the path should be *relative* to the static folder.
    copybutton_image_svg = """
    <svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" class="icon icon-tabler icon-tabler-clipboard" width="44" height="44" viewBox="0 0 24 24" stroke-width="1.5" stroke="#000000" fill="none" stroke-linecap="round" stroke-linejoin="round">
       <path stroke="none" d="M0 0h24v24H0z" fill="none"/>
       <path d="M9 5h-2a2 2 0 0 0 -2 2v12a2 2 0 0 0 2 2h10a2 2 0 0 0 2 -2v-12a2 2 0 0 0 -2 -2h-2" />
       <rect x="9" y="3" width="6" height="4" rx="2" />
    </svg>
    """
    

When you re-build your documentation, you should see this new icon in your copy buttons.

Add or remove copy buttons to any element with a CSS selector#

By default, sphinx-copybutton will add a copy button to all elements that match the following selection:

div.highlight pre

To change this selector, use the following configuration in conf.py:

copybutton_selector = "div.myselector"

In this case, all <div> elements that have a myselector will have a copy button added to them.

Remove copybuttons using a CSS selector#

You can prevent copybuttons from being added to code blocks by using the :not() CSS selector.

For example, you can define a copybutton_selector like so:

copybutton_selector = "div:not(.no-copybutton) > div.highlight > pre"

Then add a no-copybutton to any code blocks you don’t want copied:

```{code-block}
:class: no-copybutton
print("This won't have a copy button!")
```
print("This won't have a copy button!")

A typical code cell HTML structure in Sphinx#

Using CSS to modify the copy button requires you to know what kind of HTML structure code cells have in your documentation. The easiest way to determine this is to look at the HTML generated by your Sphinx version. A code block like this:

print("hi!")

roughly results in this HTML:

<div class="{EXTRA CLASSES} highlight-python notranslate">
   <div class="highlight">
      <pre id="codecell7">
         CODE CELL CONTENT HERE
      </pre>
   </div>
</div>

Where {EXTRA CLASSES} consists of any extra classes you’ve added with the :class: keyword.

Modify the copy button’s style with CSS#

You can style the CSS of the copy button however you’d like by writing your own CSS with your Sphinx build. To do so, first create a custom CSS file and add it to your Sphinx build:

  1. Create a custom.css file in the _static/ folder of your documentation.

  2. Add the CSS file to Sphinx by ensuring that the following configuration exists in your conf.py file (see the Sphinx documentation for more details):

    html_static_path = ["_static"]
    html_css_files = ["custom.css"]
    

Next you can add CSS rules that use the .copybtn selector to modify the behavior of the button.

example: button visibility

To make the copy button visible by default (not just when a code cell is hovered):

button.copybtn {
   opacity: 1;
}

example: style the color of the button

button.copybtn {
   color: red;
}

See the Sphinx documentation on custom CSS for more information.

Exclude text from being copied#

You may exclude elements matching CSS selectors from being copied by specifying the copybutton_exclude option in conf.py. For example, a viewer usually doesn’t want to copy the line numbers, and CSS provides a way to exclude this. This option implements that option for sphinx-copybutton as well.

copybutton_exclude = '.exclude_me'

By default .linenos, .gp are excluded. If you specify the copybutton_exclude option it will replace the default. .linenos is the Sphinx default for line numbers, and .gp is Pygments (the default highlighter of Sphinx) for “prompt”, e.g. $ in a shell-session. .gp is excluded in upstream Sphinx by default.