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Re: Cut and paste: General rules ?

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  • Subject: [mg34765] Re: Cut and paste: General rules ?
  • From: "Ersek, Ted R" <ErsekTR at>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2002 03:38:25 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Graham wanted to know how to avoid syntax errors when trying to cut and
paste between different cells. 
Without specifics we can only guess at what was the cause.  Of course you
may have made an error in your attempt to cut-n-paste and this would have
cause the syntax error.  Also, the content in your Mathematica notebook
might look like simple text, but behind the scenes it's represented as
complicated expressions.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Front End pasted in
the new content in a way that looked right, but didn't have an internal
representation with the intended effect.  You can see the complicated
expression by selecting a cell bracket and making the menu selection (Format
| Show Expression).  This will allow you to compare the underlying
expressions for two cells that are supposed to be the same, and you might be
able to discover when cut-n-paste doesn't work right.  

Now I give some tips on how to minimize such problems.

(1) Evaluate a long procedure as several short cells.  This will make it
easier to isolate the source of a syntax error, and make the cell
expressions not too complicated if you decide to look at them.

(2) Avoid complicated formatting in your input (bold text, multiple fonts,
multiple font colors, ...) since that gives the front-end more potential for

   Ted Ersek 
   Get Mathematica tips, tricks from

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