[IPython-dev] popping out individual notebook cells

Zoltán Vörös zvoros at gmail.com
Sat Feb 8 11:29:21 EST 2014

Hi all,

I find myself comparing cells quite frequently (either for debugging 
code, or checking plots, outputs etc.), and I think that it would be 
great, if the two cells in question could be placed side by side. At the 
moment, I simply move up one of the cells, so that they are next to each 
other, but that is a bit clumsy. In any case, I was thinking that, if a 
cell could  be popped out, that would probably be a more decent 
solution. I don't mean that the popped-out cell should be editable in 
the child window, I simply mean a verbatim copy of the cell's input and 
output without the capability of running anything from the child. In 
this regard, the child would no longer be part of the notebook. All this 
machinery could be attached to the cell toolbar, which is already in the 

Now, as far as I see, there are two options here. One is to use a 
modeless window, which has the advantage that everything could be done 
on client side, and could even be implemented as an extension, it 
wouldn't have to be part of the core. But this has the downside that the 
window can be moved only within the boundaries of the browser window. 
The other possibility is to open a new headless browser window, but that 
has to go through the server, and then the server has to be equipped 
with facilities to serve the content of a single cell, so this route is 
certainly more involving.

I just wanted to toss up this idea to see what others think about it, 
whether it makes sense at all, or, perhaps, someone already has done 
some work along these lines.

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