I want to work on a notebook programmatically with CellObjects.

lets create a notebook for example:

nb = CreateDocument[{TextCell["a", "Title"], Cell["b", "Subtitle"], 
 Cell["c", "Text"]}];

this gives the CellObjects of the notebook:

cells = Cells[nb]

Now i want to have a function like:



 {"Title", "Subtitle", "Text"}

I know that i could work with selections as suggested in this question: How can I get the style of selected cells?

But its more practical in my case to work directly with the CellObjects. I think there must be a way to get the style, since the CellObjects look in the FrontEnd like CellObject["style"]

I just want to extract that "style".

  • $\begingroup$ related: 32957 $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Apr 2, 2015 at 8:02

2 Answers 2


Something more documented:

NotebookRead[ PreviousCell[] ][[2]]

It seems there is something exactly what you need, quite not ready probably since in Experimental` context:

Experimental`CellStyleNames[ PreviousCell[] ]

and Experimental`CellStyleNames[] gives you styles of all cells in notebook!, quite useful sometimes. Keep in mind that it is undocumented.

p.s. closer look reveals that it is nothing more than CellInformation approach:

ClearAttributes[Experimental`CellStyleNames, ReadProtected];


 AppendTo[$ContextPath, "Experimental`"];

 AppendTo[$ContextPath, "NotebookTools`UtilitiesDump`"];

 ?? Experimental`CellStyleNames

enter image description here

take a closer look at the very first definition, now you have new way to set cell style:

(Experimental`CellStyleNames[#] = "Title") & @ PreviousCell[]

  • $\begingroup$ Nice discovery. To clarify: ``Experimental```CellStyleNames@Cells[nb] works, i.e., directly on the CellObjects. So getCellStyles = Experimental`CellStyleNames $\endgroup$ Apr 1, 2015 at 8:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ not exactly ... $\endgroup$ Apr 1, 2015 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ @RolfMertig Agree, but PreviousCell is a cell object. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Apr 1, 2015 at 8:42
  • $\begingroup$ sure. How do I escape a quote in comments? $\endgroup$ Apr 1, 2015 at 8:45
  • $\begingroup$ @RolfMertig You have to wrap with one more that you want to display inside, and if here is one at the end you have to add whitespace. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Apr 1, 2015 at 8:45
Last /@ FilterRules[Developer`CellInformation[nb], "Style"]
(* {"Title", "Subtitle", "Text"} *)


SelectionMove[nb, All, Notebook]; "Style" /.  Developer`CellInformation[nb]
(* {"Title", "Subtitle", "Text"} *)

Working with CellObjects:

RawBoxes[ToBoxes[#][[1, -1]]] & /@ Cells[nb]
(* {"Title", "Subtitle", "Text"}  *)
  • $\begingroup$ thank you for your solution, it works for the most cases, but you did not used the CellObjects. I specify my question, why i need to work with CellObjects... $\endgroup$
    – sacratus
    Apr 1, 2015 at 0:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @sacratus, just added a method that works with CellObjects. Not sure how robust it is though. $\endgroup$
    – kglr
    Apr 1, 2015 at 0:31
  • $\begingroup$ Nice this is what i wanted, but instead of RawBoxes one should use ToExpression so that the function returns a String instead of RawBoxes. Thank You! $\endgroup$
    – sacratus
    Apr 1, 2015 at 0:43
  • $\begingroup$ @sacratus it works with cell objects: "Style" /. Developer`CellInformation@PreviousCell[] $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Apr 1, 2015 at 7:07
  • $\begingroup$ The last one is RawBoxes["\"Input\""] for example. So it looks ok but it isn't. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Nov 15, 2015 at 9:27

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