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Re: Converting result to ASCII-art

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg57046] Re: Converting result to ASCII-art
  • From: Paul Abbott <paul at>
  • Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 22:44:30 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: The University of Western Australia
  • References: <d5s978$lid$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In article <d5s978$lid$1 at>,
 "DJ Craig" <spit at> wrote:

> When running MathKernel from command line in OS X, it shows expressions
> kind of like ASCII-art.  I have a very long equation that I need to
> convert to ASCII, but when doing this the way I normally do, using
> Terminal and copying and pasting, it comes out looking like a mess,
> because it does too much line wrapping.  What I am trying to display is
> the result of:
> Solve[a x^4+b x^3+c x+d==0,x]

Why do they need the solution in radicals to a particular quartic? Are 
they really going to try to use this code to compute the (numerical) 
solutions to this quartic? If so they will encounter a number of 
problems (see Ins and Outs in The Mathematica Journal 9-3):

[1] In general, radical formulations are prone to numeric problems. 
Mathematica Root objects, e.g,

  Root[Function[x, a x^4+b x^3+c x+d], 1] 

do not have this liability.

[2] For certain parameters, the expression involving radicals may 
involve I, even when the root is real. This means that numeric 
evaluation will give small imaginary part.

In other words, the radical expression is likely to be useless for any 
practical purpose. In fact, you can avoid it arising by setting
  SetOptions[Roots, Cubics -> False, Quartics -> False]

> What I really need is some way that I can send this result to someone
> (who doesn't have Mathematica, MathReader, or any type of MathML
> reader), so that they can copy and paste out of it.  

MathReader is freely available.

> when I use Print to create a PDF, the PDF that it creates
> can't be read by either Preview or Acrobat.

That's strange.


Paul Abbott                                      Phone: +61 8 6488 2734
School of Physics, M013                            Fax: +61 8 6488 1014
The University of Western Australia         (CRICOS Provider No 00126G)    

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