I am using version on OS X 10.13.

Every so often, a Python interpreter cell appears:

python interpreter cell

I think I am probably summoning it by inadvertently pressing ">" (due to clumsy typing). Or maybe some other keyboard shortcut which I haven't discovered is to blame.

Before the interpreter cell appears it often causes a beachball for several seconds, and I find it annoying.

Can I disable the interpreter?

Can I disable all keyboard shortcuts which summon it?

For context, this question discusses the interpreter and the keyboard shortcut, but doesn't address how to disable them.

  • $\begingroup$ I also feel like this should be able to be disabled in preferences, as should = summoning Wolfram|Alpha. I'm sure there's a way...not sure why this question has 2 close votes, though. $\endgroup$
    – thorimur
    Aug 26, 2021 at 0:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ try if SetOptions[EvaluationNotebook[], StyleDefinitions -> Notebook[{Cell[StyleData[StyleDefinitions -> "Default.nb"]], Cell[StyleData["Input"], StyleKeyMapping -> {"=" -> "WolframAlphaShort", "*" -> "Item"}]}, StyleDefinitions -> "PrivateStylesheetFormatting.nb"]] works. $\endgroup$
    – kglr
    Aug 27, 2021 at 8:44
  • $\begingroup$ @kglr thanks, that works! I'll accept it as an answer if you like. (It also addresses thorimur's comment if you remove "=" -> "WolframAlphaShort",). $\endgroup$
    – user108903
    Aug 27, 2021 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ @kglr is there a way to set this in all notebooks every time I run mathematica? $\endgroup$
    – user108903
    Aug 27, 2021 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ @user108903, posted the comment as an answer. $\endgroup$
    – kglr
    Aug 27, 2021 at 14:15

3 Answers 3


The short-cut > at the beginning of a line to start an external code cell is set as part of style definitions for Input cells:

CurrentValue[{StyleDefinitions, "Input", StyleKeyMapping}]
{"=" -> "WolframAlphaShort", "*" -> "Item", ">" -> "ExternalLanguage"}

You can modify the style definitions and remove ">" -> "ExternalLanguage" to disable this short-cut:

  StyleDefinitions -> 
     {Cell[StyleData[StyleDefinitions -> "Default.nb"]],      
        StyleKeyMapping -> {"=" -> "WolframAlphaShort", "*" -> "Item"}]},     
  StyleDefinitions -> "PrivateStylesheetFormatting.nb"]]

Use StyleKeyMapping -> {} to remove all short-cuts associated with Input cells.

  • $\begingroup$ How to remove style definitions in all notebook, not only EvaluationNotebook? I was searching this option in Option Inspector but didn't find. $\endgroup$
    – Lechuu
    Jan 17 at 11:42

For future reference, this is how to remove the shortcut by default in all new notebooks.

  1. Evaluate

      Cell[StyleData[StyleDefinitions -> "Default.nb"]], 
           StyleKeyMapping -> {"=" -> "WolframAlphaShort", "*" -> "Item"}]
      }, StyleDefinitions -> "PrivateStylesheetFormatting.nb"]
  2. Save the resulting notebook to $UserBaseDirectory/SystemFiles/FrontEnd/Stylesheets/MyDefault.nb.

  3. In Format>Option Inspector, choose Global Preferences and then search for DefaultStyleDefinitions and set it to "MyDefault.nb".

  4. Restart Mathematica.

Sources: @kglr's answer, Quickly editing the stylesheet and saving it and How do I change my default stylesheet in Mathematica?


Here is a solution:

Download Autohotkey.exe from https://www.autohotkey.com/ Then make a script file , put it on the desktop.I call it disableWolfram.ahk. It has two lines, one for each use case mentioned above.


Basically this script is disabling Ctrl > and Ctrl =. Start Mathematica and then double click on the script. Keys have been disabled. For a more animated version:

Send "You shall not pass"

enter image description here

My apologies: I haven't looked into Linux/Mac offerings as I am not working on those systems.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the idea. On OS X at least, the shortcut is just ">", in certain circumstances (e.g., between cells, at the start of a new cell), not "Control+>". So I don't think key remapping will work. $\endgroup$
    – user108903
    Aug 27, 2021 at 7:35

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