Let's say I select 2 different cells and then attempt to replace their content using NotebookWrite inside a button. How might I replace each cell's content individually instead of the current functionality I am getting.

Button["Write", NotebookWrite[EvaluationNotebook[], "Write"]]
Dynamic[Refresh[NotebookRead[SelectedNotebook[]],UpdateInterval -> 1]]

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When I click on the Write button, only the last selected Cell gets replaced.

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Is there a safe technique to replace each cell with unique content?


1 Answer 1


This is very straightforward in v9 using Cells and CellObject. Let's start with a notebook with a disjoint selection of the type you're describing:

nb = NotebookPut[
    Cell["a", CellTags -> "x"],
    Cell["c", CellTags -> "x"]}]];
NotebookFind[nb, "x", All, CellTags]

Now, we can get CellObjects for the selected cells by using Cells.

cells = Cells[NotebookSelection[nb]]

NotebookWrite allows you to overwrite any given CellObject.

NotebookWrite[First[cells], Cell["d"]]
NotebookWrite[Last[cells], Cell["e"]]

And this NotebookWrite operation can be done regardless of where the selection is at the time. If you want to manipulate a notebook without having to fiddle with selections, CellObject is a very powerful tool and worth further exploration.


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