Custom styling for IPython notebooks with 3 lines of code

A little-known trick with IPython notebooks is that its easy to create custom styles and typography. You only need 3 in lines of code:

Here’s a notebook using this style.

What does the last line do? It opens a css file saved on GitHub (http://bit.ly/1Bf5Hft), then applies the style rules to the notebook with the HTML() function.

Here are some curiosities we encountered in creating our own IPython notebook style sheet:

  • !important; was necessary to override many styles
  • css comments (/* … */) were not appreciated
  • css rules can affect the notebook top menus –  be careful changing <ul> and <li> rules

The top image in this post is from Lorena Barba’s amazing notebooks on fluid dynamics.