Databricks notebook interface and controls

The notebook toolbar includes menus and icons that you can use to manage and edit the notebook.

Notebook toolbar

Next to the notebook name are buttons that let you change the default language of the notebook and, if the notebook is included in a Databricks Repo, open the Git dialog.

To view previous versions of the notebook, click the “Last edit…” message to the right of the menus.

Notebook cells

Notebooks contain a collection of two types of cells: code cells and markdown cells. Code cells contain runnable code. Markdown cells contain markdown code that renders into text and graphics when the cell is executed and can be used to document or illustrate your code. You can add or remove cells to your notebook to structure your work.

You can run a single cell, a group of cells, or run the whole notebook at once. A notebook cell can contain at most 10MB. Notebook cell output is limited to 20MB.

Notebook toolbar icons and buttons

The icons and buttons at the right of the toolbar are described in the following table:



Run all button Interrupt execution button

Run all cells or stop execution. The name of this button changes depending on the state of the notebook.

Notebook header compute selector

Open compute selector. When the notebook is connected to a cluster or SQL warehouse, this button shows the name of the compute resource.

Notebook header job scheduler

Open job scheduler.

Notebook header DLT selector

Open Delta Live Tables. This button appears only if the notebook is part of a Delta Live Tables pipeline.

Notebook header share button

Open permissions dialog.

Browse data


This feature is in Public Preview.

To explore tables and volumes available to use in the notebook, click notebook data icon at the left side of the notebook to open the schema browser. See Browse data for more details.

Cell actions menu

The cell actions Cell actions menu lets you cut, copy, and paste cells, move cells around in the notebook, add a title to the cell, and hide code or results.

Cell actions menu

From this menu you can also run code cells:

Cell actions menu - run

Menu items to hide a cell Cell Minimize or delete a cell Delete Icon also appear.

For Markdown cells, an option to add the cell to a dashboard appears. For more information, see Dashboards in notebooks.


Create cells

To create a new cell, hover over a cell at the top or bottom and click the Add Cell icon. You can also use the notebook cell menu: click Down Caret and select Add Cell Above or Add Cell Below.

For a code cell, just type code into the cell. To create a markdown cell, select Markdown from the cell’s language button or type %md at the top of the cell. The contents of markdown cells are rendered into HTML. For example, this snippet contains markup for a level-one heading:

%md # Hello This is a Title

It is rendered as a HTML title:

Notebook HTML title

Cut, copy, and paste cells

There are several options to cut and copy cells:

  • Use the cell actions menu Cell actions at the right of the cell. Click Down Caret and select Cut Cell or Copy Cell.

  • Use keyboard shortcuts: Command-X or Ctrl-X to cut and Command-C or Ctrl-C to copy.

  • Use the Edit menu at the top of the notebook. Select Cut or Copy.

After you cut or copy cells, you can paste those cells elsewhere in the notebook, into a different notebook, or into a notebook in a different browser tab or window. To paste cells, use the keyboard shortcut Command-V or Ctrl-V. The cells are pasted below the current cell.

You can use the keyboard shortcut Command-Z or Ctrl-Z to undo cut or paste actions.


If you are using Safari, you must use the keyboard shortcuts.

  • To cut and paste a cell, click Down Caret from the cell actions menu and select Cut Cell. Then, select Paste Above or Paste Below from the cell actions menu of another cell.

    You can restore cut cells using Edit > Undo Cut Cells.

  • To select adjacent cells, click in a Markdown cell and then use Shift + Up or Down to select the cells above or below it. Use the edit menu to copy, cut, paste, or delete the selected cells as a group. To select all cells, select Edit > Select All Cells or use the command mode shortcut Cmd+A.

Notebook table of contents

To display an automatically generated table of contents, click the icon at the upper left of the notebook (between the left sidebar and the topmost cell). The table of contents is generated from the Markdown headings used in the notebook.

Open TOC

Cell display options

There are three display options for notebooks:

  • Standard view: results are displayed immediately after code cells.

  • Results only: only results are displayed.

  • Side-by-side: code and results cells are displayed side by side.

Use the View menu View Menu to select a display option.

Line and command numbers

To show or hide line numbers or command numbers, select Line numbers or Command numbers from the View menu. For line numbers, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Control+L.

If you enable line or command numbers, Databricks saves your preference and shows them in all of your other notebooks for that browser.

Command numbers above cells link to that specific command. If you click the command number for a cell, it updates your URL to be anchored to that command. If you want to link to a specific command in your notebook, right-click the command number and choose copy link address.

View notebooks in dark mode

You can choose to display notebooks in dark mode. To turn dark mode on or off, select View > Theme and select Light theme or Dark theme.

Hide and show cell content

Cell content consists of cell code and the result of running the cell. You can hide and show the cell code and result using the cell actions menu Cell actions at the top right of the cell.

To hide cell code:

  • Click Down Caret and select Hide Code

To hide and show the cell result, do any of the following:

  • Click Down Caret and select Hide Result

  • Select Cell Minimize

  • Type Esc > Shift + o

To show hidden cell code or results, click the Show links:

Show hidden code and results

See also Collapsible headings.

Collapsible headings

Cells that appear after cells containing Markdown headings can be collapsed into the heading cell. The following image shows a level-one heading called Heading 1 with the following two cells collapsed into it.

Collapsed cells

To expand and collapse headings, click the + and -.

Also see Hide and show cell content.

To expand or collapse cells after cells containing Markdown headings throughout the notebook, select Collapse all headings from the View menu.

Compute resources for notebooks

You run notebooks on a Databricks cluster. This section describes how to attach to and detach from a cluster.

Attach a notebook to a cluster

To attach a notebook to a cluster, you need the Can Attach To cluster-level permission.


As long as a notebook is attached to a cluster, any user with the Can Run permission on the notebook has implicit permission to access the cluster.

To attach a notebook to a cluster, click the compute selector in the notebook toolbar and select a cluster from the dropdown menu.

The menu shows a selection of clusters that you have used recently or that are currently running.

Attach notebook

To select from all available clusters, click More…. Click on the cluster name to display a dropdown menu, and select an existing cluster.

more clusters dialog

You can also create a new cluster by selecting Create new resource… from the dropdown menu.


An attached notebook has the following Apache Spark variables defined.


Variable Name





SparkSession (Spark 2.x)


Do not create a SparkSession, SparkContext, or SQLContext. Doing so will lead to inconsistent behavior.

Detach a notebook

To detach a notebook from a compute resource, click the compute selector in the notebook toolbar and hover over the attached cluster or SQL warehouse in the list to display a side menu. From the side menu, select Detach.

Detach notebook

You can also detach notebooks from a cluster using the Notebooks tab on the cluster details page.

When you detach a notebook, the execution context is removed and all computed variable values are cleared from the notebook.


Databricks recommends that you detach unused notebooks from clusters. This frees up memory space on the driver.