Let's say I have a section in a notebook, which I begin with a cmd-4 keystroke. I type in some text and expressions, and now I want to introduce a subsection for some subordinate material. I type a cmd-5, write a title, build up my stuff, and now I want to pop out or "return" to the main stream of the section ("back to our regularly scheduled programming").

But I don't see a way to do that. The subsection fold-bars (on the right-hand side of the notebook display) seems to continue to the very end of the section or to the beginning of the following peer subsection. To close off the subsection, it seems I must create a new subsection.

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    $\begingroup$ Hmm... Is this actually an established typesetting practice? I can't recall any book/journal/other article that "returned" to the main section after a subsection. Any text that does not belong in a subsection comes before all the subsections (sort of like an introductory paragraph)... $\endgroup$
    – rm -rf
    Jun 26, 2013 at 17:36
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    $\begingroup$ I understand what you need. You may want to do some tests with Cell -> Grouping -> Manual Grouping and then manually grouping the desired cells. Also you could create "Item" cells instead of "Subsection" cells and "ItemParagraph" cells for the text inside each item. $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2013 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Gustavo -- group cells, ^G did the trick. If you want to propose the answer I'll mark it. @rm -- many texts have subordinate subsections; think "Definition," "Lemma," "Proposition," etc. Such subsections (in math texts) conventionally end with a square block or some other equally visible bullet type, and then "pop" back out to the main stream of the text without introducing another subsection. $\endgroup$
    – Reb.Cabin
    Jun 26, 2013 at 17:48
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    $\begingroup$ The Journal article style under Format > Stylesheet has Theorem environments. The Example and Proof environments are grouped with the Theorem, and so is Theorem Continuation. Any regular Text ends the Theorem group and pops you back into the surrounding group. $\endgroup$
    – Jens
    Jun 26, 2013 at 18:40
  • $\begingroup$ I think this question has been answered on (mathgroup )[groups.google.com/d/msg/comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica/… recently... $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2013 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


While there are disadvantages with each of the following approaches, this is may be good enough for what you are trying to do. If you are going to do extensive writing, I would work with specialized styles like Jens suggested in the question comments.

Manual Grouping

You can activate the Manual Grouping mode (Cell -> Grouping -> Manual Grouping) and then manually group the desired cells:

manual grouping solution

Be aware that if you set it back to automatic grouping mode, you will loose your custom groups.

Item cells

Also you could create "Item" cells instead of "Subsection" cells and "ItemParagraph" cells for the text inside each item

item cell solution

This has the advantage that you don't have to manually group cells, but it only works for ItemParagraph cells.

I hope this answer helps solve your problem and please consider this sentence outside the Item cell section. :-)

  • $\begingroup$ The item-cells suggestion doesn't work when I need to put expressions in input form in the "pop-in" subsection. Grouping of cells with ^G (on the mac) seems to work even when Manual Grouping is turned off. $\endgroup$
    – Reb.Cabin
    Jun 26, 2013 at 21:47

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