How to use JupyterLab

Summary: in this tutorial, you’ll learn about JupyterLab and how it will be the future of Jupyter Notebook.

What is JupyterLab

JupyterLab is the next-generation of Jupyter Notebook.

JupyterLab is still a web-based user interface for Project Jupyter, but with more features and improved interface.

Here’s two screenshots so you can see the day and night difference between JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebook.

The good old Jupyter Notebook
The all-new JupyterLab, with tabbed editing and mỏe intuitive interface

JupyterLab vs Jupyter Notebook

JupyterLab has advanced features over Jupyter Notebook:

  • Similar basic .ipynb editing features, just like Jupyter Notebook, but you can oen multiple files at once in different tabs.
  • Text/Jupyter notebook editors, terminals, and custom components are packed into a single interface.
  • Interactive code consoles, right inside your browser.
  • Kernel-backed documents enable code in any text file (Markdown, Python, R, LaTeX, etc.) to be run interactively.
  • Multiple documents and activities can be arranged side by side using tabs and splitters.
  • JupyterLab understands many file formats (Images, CSV, JSON, Markdown, PDF, Vega, Vega-Lite, etc.)
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts support.
  • Enhance and extend JupyterLab through extensions, enabling new capabilities like themes, plugins, etc.
  • And many more.

JupyterLab will eventually replace the classic Jupyter Notebook. Throughout this transition, the same notebook document format will be supported by both the classic Notebook and JupyterLab.

Previously, for a beginner, I would suggest starting with Jupyter Notebook since it consists of only one editor, it might be easier to use.

But now that JupyterLab is suitable for general daily use and it looks much more like a modern editor of its own, we recommend JupyterLab as your main way to experience Jupyter Project.

Try JupyterLab Online

Project Jupyter has a demo for you to try JupyterLab before actually install it.

Head over to https://jupyter.org/try and select Try JupyterLab, you will be redirected to a sample MyBinder-cloud-hosted JupyterLab where you can experiment with the program.

Once you are sure that JupyterLab is for you, follow our Install Jupyter Notebook/JupyterLab guide to install it on your system.

Online resources

Summary

  • JupyterLab is the next-generation of Jupyter Notebook.
  • JupyterLab has advanced features and more intuitive interface.
  • JupyterLab is backward-compatible with Jupyter Notebook.
  • You should use JupyterLab whether you’re a beginner or a professional.

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