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Extracting the contents of tagged cells as plain text

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  • Subject: [mg86321] Extracting the contents of tagged cells as plain text
  • From: "J. McKenzie Alexander" <jalex at>
  • Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2008 05:42:55 -0500 (EST)


Suppose that I have a number of cells in a notebook containing program  
code written in a language other than Mathematica. (Like Java or C.)  
I'd like to be able to extract the contents of these cells as plain  
text for processing in Mathematica (as strings), and then ultimately  
export to a .java file for later compiling.

Suppose that each cell has the tag "java". I know that I can select  
the cells in the current notebook with that tag by calling


but, once I've done this, how do I get the contents of each cell?  The  
only thing I've found to work, so far, is:

	(First[List @@ #] &) /@ NotebookRead[InputNotebook[]]

but this looks like a bit of a hack, and I keep thinking that there  
has to be a more elegant way. Is there?

Sorry for such a basic question, but I'm just starting to learn how to  
manipulate the contents of notebooks programmatically, and am  
stumbling in the dark a bit.

Many thanks,


Dr J. McKenzie Alexander
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE

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