I'm trying to figure out how to print a message dialog without printing the whole notebook. FrontEndExecute[FrontEndToken["PrintDialog"]] displays the print window (just like selecting file -> print but it prints the whole notebook. I have also tried using FrontEndExecute[FrontEndToken["PrintSelectionDialog"]] but when the code is run the selected area becomes unselected.

I have solved part of the problem with the following

  DialogNotebook[{Column[{Plot[Sin[x], {x, 0, 6 Pi}], 

This prints the entire window including the print button as shown.
print output
This is exactly what I am looking for but without the print button.
Any ideas much appreciated,

  • $\begingroup$ If you mean a message dialog that you code yourself. Consider creating a notebook on the fly that you format, size, and configure to operate as a message dialog. A bit of a heavy handed workaround but that should give you all the flexibility you need. Easier to answer if you give more a specific example and some code. $\endgroup$
    – Jagra
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ Your question is not too well specified. I tried to provide a couple of general examples below, but if you will give more context for your problem I will try to be more specific myself. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 22:14
  • $\begingroup$ I appreciate the update. I tried to find a solution to print everything but the button but I could not. Hopefully someone with FrontEnd expertise will be able to. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 7:41

2 Answers 2


It is not clear to me from your question how you want to use this operation. If you create a Button with this code you should be able to click the button to print a selected block of code.

Button["Print Selection",
  FrontEndTokenExecute @ "PrintSelectionDialog"

If you want to perform this operation programmatically you need to control the selection with e.g. SelectionMove.

 SelectionMove[EvaluationNotebook[], All, EvaluationCell];
 FrontEndTokenExecute @ "PrintSelectionDialog"

You can move the selection to a different Cell or Notebook if needed. In addition to the documentation for SelectionMove read: Manipulating Notebooks from the Kernel.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the help. In the end I created a button to execute NotebookPrint[CreateDocument[stuff to be printed]] $\endgroup$
    – Christina
    Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Christina you're welcome; I'm sorry I didn't have something more specific for you, but I'm glad you found something that works for your application. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 0:53

Is this what you are looking for?

PrintMessage[expr_] := NotebookWrite[MessagesNotebook[],
  • $\begingroup$ Since Mr.Wizard's answer was accepted with the fact it does something different than yours, I think your answer isn't on topic. But I agree the question itself may be vague. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ True, but the key idea was "how to print a message dialog", which wasn't really answered. $\endgroup$
    – M.R.
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ +1 Not sure what the OP was really looking for, but when I searched for writing to the Message window, this answer came up, and that's what I was looking for. $\endgroup$ Commented May 24, 2015 at 12:25

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