Jupyter Notebooks with Plotly

Plotly is my current favorite Python graphing library. Here’s how to use it with Jupyter Notebooks

Install Anaconda Python

Install from the website. If it gives you the option to add Python to the PATH, I suggest you take it.

Create the Conda Environment

Create a local environment. Local environments don’t clutter your system install with libraries you might not want later and are easy to create and delete.

This installs the Jupyter notebook interface and plotly. It can take a while to run, so be patient.

conda create -n hello_plotly python=3 nb_conda plotly

Activate the environment

conda activate hello_plotly

conda activate and conda deactivate only work on conda 4.6 and later versions. For conda versions prior to 4.6, run:

  • Windows: activate or deactivate
  • Linux and macOS: source activate or source deactivate

I have an older version of conda and I’m on Linux, so I use source activate hello_plotly

Run the notebook

jupyter notebook

This opens up a Jupyter notebook in your browser (usually at http://localhost:8888/tree ).

Write the Notebook

  • Create the Python notebook with the “Python 3” interpreter

  • Verify that you’re using the correct Python:
# verify that I'm using the right Python
import sys

  • Import Plotly and initialize offline notebook mode
import plotly.graph_objs as go
from plotly.offline import download_plotlyjs, init_notebook_mode, iplot, iplot
# https://github.com/plotly/plotly.py/blob/3678aa925489b9ed429dc28863040dbb391dadb1/plotly/offline/offline.py#L243
  • Plot something!
iplot([go.Scatter(x=[1, 2, 3], y=[3, 1, 6])])

Here’s a screenshot of my complete notebook for reference.