sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram – Include inheritance diagrams

Added in version 0.6.

This extension allows you to include inheritance diagrams, rendered via the Graphviz extension.

It adds this directive:

.. inheritance-diagram::

This directive has one or more arguments, each giving a module or class name. Class names can be unqualified; in that case they are taken to exist in the currently described module (see py:module).

For each given class, and each class in each given module, the base classes are determined. Then, from all classes and their base classes, a graph is generated which is then rendered via the graphviz extension to a directed graph.

This directive supports an option called parts that, if given, must be an integer, advising the directive to keep that many dot-separated parts in the displayed names (from right to left). For example, parts=1 will only display class names, without the names of the modules that contain them.

Changed in version 2.0: The value of for parts can also be negative, indicating how many parts to drop from the left. For example, if all your class names start with lib., you can give :parts: -1 to remove that prefix from the displayed node names.

The directive also supports a private-bases flag option; if given, private base classes (those whose name starts with _) will be included.

You can use caption option to give a caption to the diagram.

Changed in version 1.1: Added private-bases option; previously, all bases were always included.

Changed in version 1.5: Added caption option

It also supports a top-classes option which requires one or more class names separated by comma. If specified inheritance traversal will stop at the specified class names. Given the following Python module:

      / \
     B   C
    / \ / \
   E   D   F

class A:

class B(A):

class C(A):

class D(B, C):

class E(B):

class F(C):

If you have specified a module in the inheritance diagram like this:

.. inheritance-diagram:: dummy.test
   :top-classes: dummy.test.B, dummy.test.C

any base classes which are ancestors to top-classes and are also defined in the same module will be rendered as stand alone nodes. In this example class A will be rendered as stand alone node in the graph. This is a known issue due to how this extension works internally.

If you don’t want class A (or any other ancestors) to be visible then specify only the classes you would like to generate the diagram for like this:

.. inheritance-diagram:: dummy.test.D dummy.test.E dummy.test.F
   :top-classes: dummy.test.B, dummy.test.C

Changed in version 1.7: Added top-classes option to limit the scope of inheritance graphs.


The following are different inheritance diagrams for the internal InheritanceDiagram class that implements the directive.

With full names:

.. inheritance-diagram:: sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram.InheritanceDiagram
Inheritance diagram of sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram.InheritanceDiagram

Showing class names only:

.. inheritance-diagram:: sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram.InheritanceDiagram
   :parts: 1
Inheritance diagram of sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram.InheritanceDiagram

Stopping the diagram at sphinx.util.docutils.SphinxDirective (the highest superclass still part of Sphinx), and dropping the common left-most part (sphinx) from all names:

.. inheritance-diagram:: sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram.InheritanceDiagram
   :top-classes: sphinx.util.docutils.SphinxDirective
   :parts: -1
Inheritance diagram of sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram.InheritanceDiagram
class sphinx.ext.inheritance_diagram.InheritanceDiagram

The internal class that implements the inheritance-diagram directive.



A dictionary of graphviz graph attributes for inheritance diagrams.

For example:

inheritance_graph_attrs = dict(rankdir="LR", size='"6.0, 8.0"',
                               fontsize=14, ratio='compress')

A dictionary of graphviz node attributes for inheritance diagrams.

For example:

inheritance_node_attrs = dict(shape='ellipse', fontsize=14, height=0.75,
                              color='dodgerblue1', style='filled')

A dictionary of graphviz edge attributes for inheritance diagrams.


Allows mapping the full qualified name of the class to custom values (useful when exposing the underlying path of a class is not desirable, e.g. it’s a private class and should not be instantiated by the user).

For example:

inheritance_alias = {'_pytest.Magic': 'pytest.Magic'}