I'm trying to write a notebook from the kernel, so using one list of elements in one document, I'd like to create a second document with some interactions between the elements of the list.

For that, I'm already trying to write on a separate document, which works with

 NotebookWrite[ newDoc, Cell[ "2+3", "Input"]]

Now, this works fine, but I'm trying to get this string "2+3" computed in the new notebook. Nor using ToExpression, Evaluate seems to be working.

Any help for this? Also: is there a good book explaining these different concepts of how the Kernel works? I'm reading the online documentation, but sometimes, I'd like to have a more "book"-approach, if possible. What would you recommend?

Thanks all, once again!

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe NotebookWrite[newDoc, Cell["2+3", "Input"], All]; SelectionEvaluate[newDoc] ? $\endgroup$
    – andre314
    Sep 7, 2013 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ "The Mathematica book" has a chapter called "Manipulating Notebooks from the Kernel" : reference.wolfram.com/legacy/v5_2/book/section-2.11.3 $\endgroup$
    – andre314
    Sep 7, 2013 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


Let's set things up first

newDoc = NotebookPut[Notebook[{}]]
NotebookWrite[newDoc, Cell["2+3", "Input"]]

If you don't mind evaluating the whole notebook, you could do

NotebookEvaluate[newDoc, InsertResults -> True]

If you only want to evaluate that cell, may want to consider setting a CellTag for your Cell. For example

NotebookWrite[newDoc, Cell["2+3", "Input", CellTags-> "targetCell"]]

then you can evaluate only this Cell by using

NotebookEvaluate[newDoc, InsertResults -> True, 
 EvaluationElements -> {"Tags" -> {"targetCell"}}]

Note that if you want to insert Cell's in this way, it is probably a good idea to make nice box expressions instead of just strings like "2+3". An alternative would then be

NotebookWrite[newDoc, Cell[ RowBox[{"2", "+", "3"}]], "Input", CellTags-> "targetCell"]]

You can find the boxes by using Show Expression from the Cell menu.

The syntax of the option EvaluationElements is a bit confusing to me. See also this question, which is very closely related.


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