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NotebooksLearn about notebooks vs. projects

Have a neat idea about someone else's notebook that would make it even better? Or noticed something that needs to be fixed?

Observable lets you Suggest bug fixes, improvements, and other changes to notebooks.

Making a suggestion

To suggest changes to a notebook:

  1. Fork the notebook to create your own copy
  2. In your forked copy, make your changes—add cells, delete cells, make edits, or leave a comment
  3. Send your changes to the original author using Suggest from the notebook menu () in the top right of your forked copy
Open Suggest modal window where a user can enter a message then Confirm they want to send the message and suggestion to the notebook owner.
Use Suggest from the notebook menu to send the changes in your fork to the original author.

The original author receives an email notification of your suggestion, with a link to a version of the notebook showing what has changed.

Screenshot of email notification that a notebook owner receives when a user makes a suggestion, with a button to review the suggestion.
Notebook owners get a notification when another user makes a suggestion.

The author can edit and merge the changes, or reject them, as they see fit.

What the recipient of suggestions sees

When you, as the original author of a notebook, receive an email notification of a Suggestion, you can see the suggested changes by clicking View suggestion in the email.

What you see is a notebook with a banner at the top, similar to the following:

Banner atop a notebook with pending suggestions reads with options to merge, compare, or close the suggestion.
A banner appears at the top of a notebook with suggestions.

For each change made to the notebook, you see the suggested changes, clearly marked with red and green shading to distinguish the Parent version from the Fork:

Differences between the original and suggesting fork are highlighted.
You can view the Parent version of the notebook, the Forked version, or the Differences when reviewing suggestions.

Click Parent to view the original version:

View the original notebook by clicking the Parent button.

The default, Diff, shows both the original (in red) and the changed version (in green). Text that has changed is highlighted:

Screenshot highlighting the differences between an original notebook, and the notebook making suggestions.

Clicking Fork shows how the notebook will appear if the changes are accepted:

Screenshot showing the content of the Fork making suggestions.


To accept all changes, click the Merge change(s) link in the blue banner of a Suggestion. Merging a suggestion instantly applies the code changes (and not the comments) to the notebook. You can choose to accept a suggestion in full, close it, or accept individual parts of it by toggling between the Parent and Fork versions of each cell.

To merge only some of the suggested changes, click Fork or Parent on each individual change, then click Merge change(s) in the blue banner.

  • Clicking Parent keeps the original content.
  • Clicking Fork accepts the suggested change.

Note that you can make other edits while you are merging comments (the Merge count even updates if, for example, you add a new cell).

Compare reverse

Use Compare reverse to compare a fork to the original version. If there have been changes to the original notebook, they will appear:

Screenshot showing content added to a parent notebook while a user was making edits in a fork.