Pweave Basics

Pweave documents

A Pweave input document contains documentation and code separated with special markup. Pweave supports several input formats for different purposes. All of the source formats produce identical output for code. You need to tell the input format to Pweave using -i command line option.

Code chunk formats


Noweb syntax for defining code chunks has been adopted from Sweave.

Code chunk starts with a line marked with <<>>= or <<options>>= and end with line marked with @. The code between the start and end markers is executed and the output is captured to the output document.

Example: A code chunk that saves and displays a 12 cm wide image and hides the source code:

<<fig = True, width = '12 cm', echo = False>>=
from pylab import *


Pweave can run code from fenced markdown python code blocks. All of the following are valid ways to define a code chunk:


However options can only be defined in brackets:

```{python, caption = "Some figure"}

Documentation chunk

The rest of the document is just copied to ouput and can be written with several different markup languages. See formats page for a list of supported output formats.

Inline code

Pweave supports evaluating inline code in documentation chunks using <% %> (code will be evaluated in place) and <%= %> (result of expression will be printed) tags. Inline code will not be included in weaved document.

Example: Use inline code to set some matplotlib options.

import matplotlib
matplotlib.rcParams.update({'figure.figsize' : (6, 4),
                        'savefig.dpi': 100,
                        'font.size' : 10 })

New in version 0.2.

Weaving Pweave Documents

Weaving a Pweave source file produces a document that contains text and the weaved code together with its evaluated output. All of the produced figures are placed in the ‘figures/’ folder as a default.

Pweave documents are weaved from the shell with the command:

Pweave [options] sourcefile



show the version number and exit

-h, --help

show help message and exit

-f FORMAT, --format FORMAT

The output format. Available formats: sphinx, pandoc, tex, html, rst, texpweave, texminted. See

-m MPLOTLIB, --matplotlib=MPLOTLIB

Do you want to use matplotlib (or Sho with Ironpython) true (default) or false

-d, --documentation-mode

Use documentation mode, chunk code and results will be loaded from cache and inline code will be hidden

-c, --cache-results

Cache results to disk for documentation mode


Directory path for matplolib graphics: Default ‘figures’


Directory path for cached results used in documentation mode: Default ‘cache’

-g FIGFMT, --figure-format=FIGFMT

Figure format for matplolib graphics: Defaults to ‘png’ for rst and Sphinx html documents and ‘pdf’ for tex

Weave a document with default options (rst with png figures)

$ pweave ma.Pnw
Output written to ma.rst

Weave a Latex document with png figures:

$ pweave -f tex -g png source.Pnw

Get options:

$ pweave --help

Tangling Pweave Documents

Tangling refers to extracting the source code from Pweave document. This can be done using Ptangle script:

$ ptangle file

$ ptangle ma.pnw
Tangled code from ma.pnw to

Caching results

Pweave has documentation mode (invoked with -d) that caches code and all results from code chunks so you don’t need to rerun the code when you are only working on documentation. You can cache the results using the -c option, if there are no cached results then documentation mode will create the cache on first run. Inline code chunks will be hidden in documentation mode. Additionally Pweave will warn you if the code in cached chunks has changed after the last run.

Document types

Source document

Contains a mixture of documentation and code chunks. Pweave will evaluate the code and leave the documentation chunks as they are. The documentation chunks can be written either with reST,Latex or Pandoc markdown. The source document is processed using Pweave, which gives us the formatted output document.

Weaved document

Is produced by Pweave from the source document. Contains the documentation, original code, the captured outputof the code and optionally captured matplotlib figures.

Source code

Is produced by Pweave from the source document. Contains the source code extracted from the code chunks.