Refer to matplotlib sphinx plots

I’m not sure this is entirely on-topic as it relates to the matplotlib sphinx extension. I hope it’s still acceptable!

I am writing some documentation using sphinx, and I would like to refer plots that are rendered from an external python script. I can do the plot and it gets imported fine just by issuing

… plot:: …/samples/

I would like to have a cross reference to it and a caption. If I were to select a normal figure, I could do this just by (see <>)

.. _my-figure:

.. figure:: whatever

   Figure caption

But how can I do this with a matplotlib plot rather than a png file?


Unfortunately, at present you can’t. The figure referencing in Sphinx
works because there is a hard-coded phase to match labels to figures
(which doesn’t know about plots). I think the matplotlib plot
directive needs to write such a phase at well (should be possible using
Sphinx event hooks) but it doesn’t do that at the moment.

Can you file a feature request so this doesn’t get forgotten?