I have multiple nb files with function definitions and sample usages inside. I need to extract only user defined functions and same them into a new file as a library of functions. I have looked at NoteBookOpen, NoteBookEveluate, FullDefinition... But I don't know how script the process of opening a nb file, find all functions, save them to a new file. Please no ridicules or flames or useless comments such as "read the documentation" or "google it". Just code samples, please.

  • $\begingroup$ Mathematica gives you a large number of ways of defining functions. Your problem will be easier if you consistently define your functions in simple and recognisable ways. It would help to include a few lines of Mathematica that you wish to include and a few that you wish to exclude. $\endgroup$
    – mikado
    Aug 19, 2016 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ You could clear the global context, open and evaluate a notebook, use Save[somefilename, "`*"], and then do it all again for the next notebook. Check the Save documentation to see if that's what you are looking for. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten7
    Aug 20, 2016 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


It looks like you are looking for an automatic way to extract the user defined functions.

I don't have an answer for that but there is a semi-automatic way that requires a bit of up-front work.

After defining a user-defined function, select the cell, go to the cell menu, select cell properties and click on Initialization Cell, shortcut is ctrl-8.

Do this for all the functions you want to save.

In the notebook, go to the options inspector (Format -> Options Inspector, shortcut is shift-ctrl-O.

At the set the Show option values toggle to Selected Notebook.

Under Notebook Options -> File Options set AutoGenerated to Automatic.

Now when you save a notebook it will create for you a separate text file with the name (notebookName.m).

You can re-start mathematica with a fresh notebook and open that file.

Then you can copy and paste the function definitions from that file into the fresh notebook and save it.

This may look like a lot of work, but writing and reading it takes longer than doing it.

Good luck!


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