I always delete more cells than I want to. This is because every time I choose the cells, I am not looking at the corresponding code belonging to that cell bracket (why? because Mathematica doesn't highlight what I am selecting). When you have multiple lines of code (single-celled) and you want to delete some at a stretch, you may accidentally delete one which you dint want to.

Is there an option in v.11 ? Or is this a feature that must be requested. Irrespective of all these, this should be a default feature.

1 Highlights cell brackets, but not cell: 1 2 Different FONT STYLE with cut+paste on same notebook enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you select a cell bracket, the correspond code contained within the cell bracket must be highlighted. This will visually help the user to understand what section of code is selected. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ See my answer to How to highlight the whole selected cell. All you need to do is to change Background to FontColor, and change colors. $\endgroup$
    – Carl Woll
    Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 8:32

1 Answer 1


So I disagree that this should be a default feature (I think it would interrupt my flow, at least). But it's not so tough to get this in as a default feature.

If you only want it to affect your notebooks going forward, you can make your own stylesheet where you implement this and then set:

CurrentValue[$FrontEndSession, DefaultStyleDefinitions]

to that stylesheet.

Alternatively we can take advantage of the fact that FrontEnd`FindFileOnPath will scan $UserBaseDirectory before the system dirs.

That means we can make a whole-sale copy of "Default.nb" in the $UserBaseDirectory and just muck-about with that:

$userBaseStyles =
With[{defStyles = 
     FrontEnd`FindFileOnPath["Default.nb", "StyleSheetPath"]},
  CopyFile[defStyles, $userBaseStyles]
  Editable -> True,
  Saveable -> True

There should then be a way to add in your defintion. Here's a first guess, although it should be possible to do this with things in the FEPrivate` context. (when I figure that out I'll post it)

Update: FEPrivate confusion

by what I know about the FEPrivate` context this ought to be working:

 Hue[.6, .05, 1],

But for reasons I don't understand it is not. Obviously it doesn't work with FE`Evaluate, because neither FronEnd`Cells nor FrontEnd`EvaluationCell work with it, but I thought in the past it had resolved such things fine, anyway.


FontColor -> 
 Dynamic[If[MemberQ[SelectedCells[], EvaluationCell[]], Blue, 

To the cell using Command-Shift-E (on Mac) or Cell > Show Expression

Then restart and you have your change.


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