This is documentation for Mathematica 6, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
View current documentation (Version 11.2)
Mathematica Import/Export Format

NB (.nb)

Registered MIME type: application/mathematica
Used for storing and exchanging Mathematica input and output and for the creation of interactive technical documents.
Native file format of the Mathematica notebook interface.
ASCII format based on the Mathematica expression syntax.
Stores text, typeset expressions, graphics, animations, sounds, and other Mathematica input and output.
Supports interactive elements like hyperlinks, buttons, sliders, and other graphical user interface features.
Uses external or embedded stylesheets for specifying the appearance on screen and in print.
Developed since 1988 by Wolfram Research.
  • Import and Export fully support the Mathematica notebook format.
  • Import["file.nb"]reads a Mathematica notebook and returns it as a Notebook expression.
  • Export["file.nb", expr] exports a Notebook, Cell or box expression as well as arbitrary mathematical expressions as a notebook.
  • Import["file.nb", elem] imports the specified element from a notebook.
  • Import["file.nb", {elem, suba, subb, ...}] imports a subelement.
  • Import["file.nb", {{elem1, elem2, ...}}] imports multiple elements.
  • The import format can be specified with Import["file", "NB"] or Import["file", {"NB", elem, ...}].
  • Export["file.nb", expr, elem] creates a notebook by treating expr as specifying element elem.
  • Export["file.nb", {expr1, expr2, ...}, {{elem1, elem2, ...}}] treats each expri as specifying the corresponding elemi.
  • Export["file.nb", expr, opt1->val1, ...] exports expr with the specified option elements taken to have the specified values.
  • Export["file.nb", {elem1->expr1, elem2->expr2, ...}, "Rules"] uses rules to specify the elements to be exported.
  • Put[expr1, expr2, ..., "file.nb"] can be used to export multiple expressions.
  • See the reference pages for full general information on Import and Export.
  • In the notebook front end, Save and Save As can be used to save the current notebook to a file.
"Elements"list of elements and options available in this file
"Rules"full list of rules for each element and option
"Options"list of rules for options, properties, and settings
"Initialization"reads and evaluates all initializaton cells, returning the results as a list
"Notebook"notebook represented as a Notebook expression
"NotebookObject"NotebookObject expression
"Plaintext"plain text version of the notebook
  • Import by default uses the "Notebook" element for notebook files.