Useful IPython Magic Commands

Useful IPython Magic Commands

Towards becoming a Jupyter Notebook power-user .Useful IPython Magic Commands

When using Jupyter Notebook with IPython kernel, IPython magic commands come in handy. These magic commands make it easier to complete certain tasks. You can think of them as an extra set of helpful syntax in addition to Python syntax. In this post, we will get familiar with a few useful magic commands that you could use in Jupyter Notebook.

IPython magic commands 💫

If you aren’t familiar with magic commands, it’s very likely that you may have been using some unknowingly. Does this syntax: %matplotlib inline look familiar to you? Probably, yes? %matplotlib is a IPython magic command. You see how this command start with %? This is a common characteristic of magic commands: they start with %. There are two kinds of magic commands:

  • line magic commands (start with %)
  • cell magic commands (start with %%)

For a line magic command, inputs are provided following the command in the same line. For a cell magic command, contents in the entire cell become its inputs. If you are not too sure what we mean by this, an example in section 3 will hopefully clarify.

Now we know a little bit about them, it’s time to explore a handful of useful magic commands and familiarise with their example usage! ✨

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