Changes in nbconvert


5.4 on Github

Significant Changes


Python 3.3 support was dropped. The version of python is no longer common and new versions have many fixes and interface improvements that warrant the change in support.

See PR #843 for implementation details.

Changes in how we handle metadata

There were a few new metadata fields which are now respected in nbconvert.

nb.metadata.authors metadata attribute will be respected in latex exports. Multiple authors will be added with , separation against their names.

nb.metadata.title will be respected ahead of for title assignment. This better matches with the notebook format.

nb.metadata.filename will override the default output_filename_template when extracting notebook resources in the ExtractOutputPreprocessor. The attribute is helpful for when you want to consistently fix to a particular output filename, especially when you need to set image filenames for your exports.

The raises-exception cell tag (nb.cells[].metadata.tags[raises-exception]) allows for cell exceptions to not halt execution. The tag is respected in the same way by nbval and other notebook interfaces. nb.metadata.allow_errors will apply this rule for all cells. This feature is toggleable with the force_raise_errors configuration option. Errors from executing the notebook can be allowed with a raises-exception tag on a single cell, or the allow_errors configurable option for all cells. An allowed error will be recorded in notebook output, and execution will continue. If an error occurs when it is not explicitly allowed, a CellExecutionError will be raised. If force_raise_errors is True, CellExecutionError will be raised for any error that occurs while executing the notebook. This overrides both the allow_errors option and the raises-exception cell tags.

See PR #867, PR #703, PR #685, PR #672, and PR #684 for implementation changes.

Configurable kernel managers when executing notebooks

The kernel manager can now be optionally passed into the ExecutePreprocessor.preprocess and the executenb functions as the keyword argument km. This means that the kernel can be configured as desired before beginning preprocessing.

This is useful for executing in a context where the kernel has external dependencies that need to be set to non-default values. An example of this might be a Spark kernel where you wish to configure the Spark cluster location ahead of time without building a new kernel.

Overall the ExecutePreprocessor has been reworked to make it easier to use. Future releases will continue this trend to make this section of the code more inheritable and reusable by others. We encourage you read the source code for this version if you’re interested in the detailed improvements.

See PR #852 for implementation changes.

Surfacing exporters in front-ends

Exporters are now exposed for front-ends to consume, including classic notebook. As an example, this means that latex exporter will be made available for latex ‘text/latex’ media type from the Download As interface.

See PR #759 and PR #864 for implementation changes.

Raw Templates

Template exporters can now be assigned raw templates as string attributes by setting the raw_template variable.

See PR #675 for implementation changes.

New command line flags

The --no-input will hide input cells on export. This is great for notebooks which generate “reports” where you want the code that was executed to not appear by default in the extracts.

An alias for notebook was added to exporter commands. Now --to ipynb will behave as --to notebook does.

See PR #825 and PR #873 for implementation changes.

Comprehensive notes

New Features

  • No input flag (--no-input) PR #825
  • Add alias --to ipynb for notebook exporter PR #873
  • Add export_from_notebook PR #864
  • If set, use nb.metadata.authors for LaTeX author line PR #867
  • Populate language_info metadata when executing PR #860
  • Support for \mathscr PR #830
  • Allow the execute preprocessor to make use of an existing kernel PR #852
  • Refactor ExecutePreprocessor PR #816
  • Update widgets CDN for ipywidgets 7 w/fallback PR #792
  • Add support for adding custom exporters to the “Download as” menu. PR #759
  • Enable ANSI underline and inverse PR #696
  • Update notebook css to 5.4.0 PR #748
  • Change default for slides to direct to the reveal cdn rather than locally PR #732
  • Use “title” instead of “name” for metadata to match the notebook format PR #703
  • Img filename metadata PR #685
  • Added MathJax compatibility definitions PR #687
  • Per cell exception PR #684
  • Simple API for in-memory templates PR #674 PR #675
  • Set BIBINPUTS and BSTINPUTS environment variables when making PDF PR #676
  • If nb.metadata.title is set, default to that for notebook PR #672


  • Drop support for python 3.3 PR #843

Fixing Problems

  • Fix api break PR #872
  • Don’t remove empty cells by default PR #784
  • Handle attached images in html converter PR #780
  • No need to check for the channels already running PR #862
  • Update font-awesome version for slides PR #793
  • Properly treat JSON data PR #847
  • Skip executing empty code cells PR #739
  • Ppdate log.warn (deprecated) to log.warning PR #804
  • Cleanup notebook.tex during PDF generation PR #768
  • Windows unicode error fixed, nosetest added to PR #757
  • Better content hiding; template & testing improvements PR #734
  • Fix Jinja syntax in custom template example. PR #738
  • Fix for an issue with empty math block PR #729
  • Add parser for Multiline math for LaTeX blocks PR #716 PR #717
  • Use defusedxml to parse potentially untrusted XML PR #708
  • Fixes for traitlets 4.1 deprecation warnings PR #695

Testing, Docs, and Builds

  • A couple of typos PR #870
  • Add python_requires metadata. PR #871
  • Document --inplace command line flag. PR #839
  • Fix minor typo in usage.rst PR #863
  • Add note about local reveal_url_prefix PR #844
  • Move onlyif_cmds_exist decorator to test-specific utils PR #854
  • Include LICENSE file in wheels PR #827
  • Added Ubuntu Linux Instructions PR #724
  • Check for too recent of pandoc version PR #814 PR #872
  • Removing more nose remnants via dependencies. PR #758
  • Remove offline statement and add some clarifications in slides docs PR #743
  • Linkify PR number PR #710
  • Added shebang for python PR #694
  • Upgrade mistune dependency PR #705
  • add feature to improve docs by having links to prs PR #662
  • Update notebook CSS from version 4.3.0 to 5.1.0 PR #682
  • Explicitly exclude or include all files in Manifest. PR #670


5.3.1 on Github

  • updated to include LICENSE and scripts/ when creating sdist. PR #666


5.3 on Github

Major features

Tag Based Element Filtering

For removing individual elements from notebooks, we need a way to signal to nbconvert that the elements should be removed. With this release, we introduce the use of tags for that purpose.

Tags are user-defined strings attached to cells or outputs. They are stored in cell or output metadata. For more on tags see the nbformat docs on cell metadata.


  1. Apply tags to the elements that you want to remove.

For removing an entire cell, the cell input, or all cell outputs apply the tag to the cell.

For removing individual outputs, put the tag in the output metadata using a call like display(your_output_element, metadata={tags=[<your_tags_here>]}).

NB: Use different tags depending on whether you want to remove the entire cell, the input, all outputs, or individual outputs.

  1. Add the tags for removing the different kinds of elements to the following traitlets. Which kind of element you want to remove determines which traitlet you add the tags to.

The following traitlets remove elements of different kinds:

  • remove_cell_tags: removes cells
  • remove_input_tags: removes inputs
  • remove_all_outputs_tag: removes all outputs
  • remove_single_output_tag: removes individual outputs

Comprehensive notes

  • new: configurable browser in ServePostProcessor PR #618
  • new: --clear-output command line flag to clear output in-place PR #619
  • new: remove elements based on tags with TagRemovePreprocessor. PR #640, PR #643
  • new: CellExecutionError can now be imported from nbconvert.preprocessors PR #656
  • new: slides now can enable scrolling and custom transitions PR #600
  • docs: Release instructions for nbviewer-deploy
  • docs: improved instructions for handling errors using the ExecutePreprocessor PR #656
  • tests: better height/width metadata testing for images in rst & html PR #601 PR #602
  • tests: normalise base64 output data to avoid false positives PR #650
  • tests: normalise ipython traceback messages to handle old and new style PR #631
  • bug: mathjax obeys \\(\\) & \\[\\] (both nbconvert & pandoc) PR #609 PR #617
  • bug: specify default templates using extensions PR #639
  • bug: fix pandoc version number PR #638
  • bug: require recent mistune version PR #630
  • bug: catch errors from IPython execute_reply and error messages PR #642
  • nose completely removed & dependency dropped PR #595 PR #660
  • mathjax processing in mistune now only uses inline grammar PR #611
  • removeRegex now enabled by default on all TemplateExporters, does not remove cells with outputs PR #616
  • validate notebook after applying each preprocessor (allowing additional attributes) PR #645
  • changed to LICENSE for more standard licensing that GitHub knows how to read PR #654


5.2 on GitHub

Major features

In this release (along with the usual bugfixes and documentation improvements, which are legion) we have a few new major features that have been requested for a long time:

Global Content Filtering

You now have the ability to remove input or output from code cells, markdown cells and the input and output prompts. The easiest way to access all of these is by using traitlets like TemplateExporter.exclude_input = True (or, for example HTMLExporter.exclude_markdown = True if you wanted to make it specific to HTML output). On the command line if you just want to not have input or output prompts just use –no-prompt.

Execute notebooks from a function

You can now use the executenb function to execute notebooks as though you ran the execute preprocessor on the notebooks. It returns the standard notebook and resources options.

Remove cells based on regex pattern

This removes cells based on their matching a regex pattern (by default, empty cells). This is the RegexRemovePreprocessor.

Script exporter entrypoints for nonpython scripts

Now there is an entrypoint for having an exporter specific to the type of script that is being exported. While designed for use with the IRkernel in particular (with a script exporter focused on exporting R scripts) other non-python kernels that wish to have a language specific exporter can now surface that directly.

Comprehensive notes

  • new: configurable ExecutePreprocessor.startup_timeout configurable PR #583
  • new: RemoveCell preprocessor based on cell content (defaults to empty cell) PR #575
  • new: function for executing notebooks: executenb PR #573
  • new: global filtering to remove inputs, outputs, markdown cells (&c.), this works on all templates PR #554
  • new: script exporter entrypoint PR #531
  • new: configurable anchor link text (previously ¶) HTMLExporter.anchor_link_text PR #522
  • new: configurable values for slides exporter PR #542 PR #558
  • improved releases (how-to documentation, version-number generation and checking) PR #593
  • doc improvements PR #593 PR #580 PR #565 PR #554
  • language information from cell magics (for highlighting) is now included in more formats PR #586
  • mathjax upgrades and cdn fixes PR #584 PR #567
  • better CI PR #571 PR #540
  • better traceback behaviour when execution errs PR #521
  • deprecated nose test features removed PR #519
  • bug fixed: we now respect width and height metadata on jpeg and png mimetype outputs PR #588
  • bug fixed: now we respect the resolve_references filter in report.tplx PR #577
  • bug fixed: output metadata now is removed by ClearOutputPreprocessor PR #569
  • bug fixed: display id respected in execute preproessor PR #563
  • bug fixed: dynamic defaults for optional jupyter_client import PR #559
  • bug fixed: don’t self-close non-void HTML tags PR #548
  • buf fixed: upgrade jupyter_client dependency to 4.2 PR #539
  • bug fixed: LaTeX output through md→LaTeX conversion shouldn’t be touched PR #535
  • bug fixed: now we escape < inside math formulas when converting to html PR #514


This release has been larger than previous releases. In it 33 authors contributed a total of 546 commits.

Many thanks to the following individuals who contributed to this release (in alphabetical order):

  • Adam Chainz
  • Andreas Mueller
  • Bartosz T
  • Benjamin Ragan-Kelley
  • Carol Willing
  • Damián Avila
  • Elliot Marsden
  • Gao, Xiang
  • Jaeho Shin
  • Jan Schulz
  • Jeremy Kun
  • Jessica B. Hamrick
  • John B Nelson
  • juhasch
  • Livia Barazzetti
  • M Pacer
  • Matej Urbas
  • Matthias Bussonnier
  • Matthias Geier
  • Maximilian Albert
  • Michael Scott Cuthbert
  • Nicholas Bollweg
  • Paul Gowder
  • Paulo Villegas
  • Peter Parente
  • Philipp A
  • Scott Sanderson
  • Srinivas Reddy Thatiparthy
  • Sylvain Corlay
  • Thomas Kluyver
  • Till Hoffmann
  • Xiang Gao
  • YuviPanda


5.1.1 on GitHub

  • fix version numbering because of incomplete previous version number


5.1 on GitHub


5.0 on GitHub

  • Use xelatex by default for latex export, improving unicode and font support.
  • Use entrypoints internally to access Exporters, allowing for packages to declare custom exporters more easily.
  • New ASCIIDoc Exporter.
  • New preprocessor for sanitised html output.
  • New general convert_pandoc filter to reduce the need to hard-code lists of filters in templates.
  • Use pytest, nose dependency to be removed.
  • Refactored Exporter code to avoid ambiguity and cyclic dependencies.
  • Update to traitlets 4.2 API.
  • Fixes for Unicode errors when showing execution errors on Python 2.
  • Default math font matches default Palatino body text font.
  • General documentation improvements. For example, testing, installation, custom exporters.
  • Improved link handling for LaTeX output
  • Refactored the automatic id generation.
  • New kernel_manager_class configuration option for allowing systems to be set up to resolve kernels in different ways.
  • Kernel errors now will be logged for debugging purposes when executing notebooks.


4.3 on GitHub

  • added live widget rendering for html output, nbviewer by extension


4.2 on GitHub

  • Custom Exporters can be provided by external packages, and registered with nbconvert via setuptools entrypoints.
  • allow nbconvert reading from stdin with --stdin option (write into notebook basename)
  • Various ANSI-escape fixes and improvements
  • Various LaTeX/PDF export fixes
  • Various fixes and improvements for executing notebooks with --execute.


4.1 on GitHub

  • setuptools fixes for entrypoints on Windows
  • various fixes for exporters, including slides, latex, and PDF
  • fixes for exceptions met during execution
  • include markdown outputs in markdown/html exports