How to open, view and edit an IPYNB file

If you work with Jupyter Notebook or with others who do, then you’re likely to come across an IPYNB file. In this guide we’ll teach you everything you need to know about them. We’ll cover what an IPYNB file is, what they are commonly used for, and how to open and edit one.

What you’ll learn.





What is an IPYNB file?


An IPYNB file is a text-based file used by Jupyter Notebook - a web-based interactive computing programme that helps users analyse and manipulate data using the Python programming language. .IPYNB is the official Jupyter Notebook file extension.


IPYNB files contain content from a Jupyter Notebook session, such as computation inputs and outputs, numerical functions and text.  


What does IPYNB stand for?


Jupyter Notebook is the successor to a piece of software formally referred to as IPython Notebook, which is where the IPYNB file got its name from. The IPYNB extension is an abbreviation of IPython Notebook. While the IPYNB file format was initially intended for use with IPython, it is now primarily used by Jupyter Notebook.

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History of the IPYNB file.


As previously mentioned, the IPYNB file takes its filename extension from the IPython Notebook software. Fernando Pérez and a team of physicists released the first version of notebooks for IPython in 2011. The concept was to create an interactive workflow, where users could analyse large amounts of data in a transparent and collaborative way. 


In 2014, however, Pérez introduced a spin-off project for IPython called Project Jupyter. Project Jupyter went on to replace IPython, as it evolved to support interactive data and scientific computing across 100 different programming languages. IPYNB files are now primarily used by Jupyter Notebook. 



What are IPYNB files used for?


These types of files have a variety of uses:


Manipulate and analyse Python language. 


IPYNB files are primarily used by Jupyter Notebook - an interactive computational programme designed to help users manipulate and analyse Python language.


Create computation documents. 


The IPYNB file extension allows users to create computational documents in Jupyter Notebook. When you create a new Jupyter document, the file will automatically be saved in the .IPYNB format, (or Jupyter Notebook file extension).


Keep track of computational data.


IPYNB files serve as a computation record as they contain a log of the content from a Jupyter Notebook web session. This can include anything from computation inputs and outputs to mathematical functions and explanatory texts. 


Encourage collaboration. 


Sometimes users will upload IPYNB files online to a publicly accessible URL. This enables other users to easily download and access these files online, without having to install any third-party software. 


Discover more about other text files and different document files at large with Adobe today.



Pros and cons of IPYNB files.


As with any file type, IPYNB files come with their fair share of pros and cons. Let’s look at these in more detail. 



  • Human-readable. As plain text files formatted using JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), this makes them easy for people to read. 
  • Open standard. IPYNB is saved in an open standard file format. Essentially, this means that they are openly accessible for anyone to use.  
  • Can be converted to other formats.  IPYNB files can easily be converted to HTML, PDF, reStructuredText and LateX formats. 


  • Limited text capabilities. Formatted text such as different font sizes and font styles cannot be added to them.
  • Difficult to debug. Non-linear execution can make debugging IPYNB documents confusing, especially if you lose track of which cells you have or haven’t executed.
  • Difficult to scale. If you’re working with large amounts of data that are too big for your computer’s memory, using IPYNB may prove difficult. 



How to open an IPYNB file.


You can open a .IPYNB file across Windows, Mac, Linux and the Web with Jupyter Notebook. To begin, simply:

  1. Install Jupyter Notebook on your workstation. Alternatively, open the application if Jupyter Notebook is already install
  2. Click the ‘Upload’ icon (located towards the right-hand corner of the screen)
  3. This should open a pop-up window where you can browse for and select the IPYNB file you wish to open
  4. Once you have located your IPYNB file, click ‘Open’
  5. Double click the file in the Jupyter application. This should open your IPYNB file in a separate tab.


How to create and edit an IPYNB file.


You can create and edit an IPYNB file in Jupyter Notebook. To get started just:

  1. Install or open the Jupyter Notebook application
  2. Click the ‘New’ tab (located towards the right-hand corner of the screen)
  3. Select ‘Python 3’ from drop-down menu
  4. A new IPYNB notebook file will open for you to create and edit.


You can also create and save IPYNB files with Microsoft Visual Studio Code.



Converting IPYNB to PDF.


If you are wanting to transform your file into a more easily shareable format, Adobe’s free online PDF converter tool is a great starting point. 



  1. Drag and drop your file into the tool or select it from your device
  2. Wait for the conversion to take place in seconds
  3. Download or share the converted document. 

If your IPYNB file isn’t readable in its current form, you can use free software online to convert it to a TXT or DOCX format and then convert to PDF as above using the general converter or the Word to PDF tool. 



Learn more about similar file types to IPYNB.



Discover more about this file type, used by various programmes and operating systems to keep track of your computer’s events.



Learn more about the standard file format for saving documents in Microsoft Word.



Discover everything you need to know about the file type that enables Microsoft Outlook users to exchange messages and appointments. 



Find out more about the standard text document, that can be opened and edited in any text editing or word processing programme.

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Find out more about other document files and types of text files, with Adobe.


IPYNB file: FAQs.


What is the difference between a PY and an IPYNB file?


The main difference between a PY and an IPYNB file is that the PY file is a regular Python programming file (a plain text file that contains just code). An IPYNB file, on the other hand, is a Python notebook file that contains notebook code alongside execution results and other internal settings.


How do I delete an IPYNB file?


You can delete an IPYNB file by opening the Jupyter Notebook application and navigating to the dashboard. From here, select the small, square tickbox (located towards the left of the filename) and then select the red rubbish bin icon (located at the top left of the dashboard menu). 


How do I convert a LPYNB file to PY? 


Converting an LPYNB file to PY is easy. Just launch the Jupyter Notebook application, then open the LPYNB file you want to convert. Navigate to the file menu and select ‘Download as’. From here, click the ‘Python’ (.py) option. It’s as simple as that. 


How do I reduce the file size of my IPYNB file?


To reduce the file size of your IPYNB file, select the ‘Cell’ menu at the top of the Jupyter Notebook application. Choose ‘All Output’ from the drop-down menu followed by ‘Clear’. Then save your file. This should reduce the size of your file and may also help to speed up the time it takes for you to open the file. 


Why is my LPYNB file so big?


When you save an LPYNB file, it saves the output of all the cells, which may include large amounts of data. To reduce the size of your IPYNB file, click the ‘All Output’ menu from the Jupyter Notebook application followed by ‘Clear’. 


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