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How to create a notebook outside of Mathematica?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg114695] How to create a notebook outside of Mathematica?
  • From: kj <no.email at please.post>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2010 03:52:51 -0500 (EST)

I often would like to be able to use some external program (e.g.
a Python script) to generate the input expressions for a Mathematica
notebook.

The problem is that I don't know how best to turn such a file of
Mathematica expressions into something that Mathematica will
recognize as a notebook.

One naive approach would be to tack the extension .nb to such a
file, and open the file with Mathematica, but this doesn't work
too well.  Mathematica *will* open such a file without any fuss,
but it stuffs all the expressions into a single cell.  As a result,
evaluating such a notebook produces a huge, unreadable heap of
output right after the bloated single input cell.

Is there a better way to do this, so that I don't end up with all
the expressions in a single cell?

For example, is there an easy way to tell Mathematica to treat
expressions separated by at least 2 newlines as belonging to
different cells?  Alternatively, is there a way to automate the
splitting of the single cell into multiple ones?

TIA!

~kj

P.S.  I realize that regular notebooks generated by Mathematica
are just text files, describing cells, etc., as Mathematica
expressions, and, of course, I could just write *that* out, i.e.
not just the expressions I'm interested in, but also the surrounding
cell specifications.  This is way beyond my grasp of Mathematica's
internal notebook format, and this is an area in which the
documentation is *particularly* cryptic, so I prefer not to go
anywhere near such a solution. 


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