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Re: MakeBoxes vs Format

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg60163] Re: MakeBoxes vs Format
  • From: Cca <cca at>
  • Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2005 02:27:54 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Ted Ersek asks:

>>When and why should we use (Format definitions) vs (MakeBoxes >>definition).

>>Are there any other pros and cons between use of MakeBoxes and >>Format?

Remember that MakeBoxes appeared in version 3.0, while Format exists since version 1.0. 
So far, ALL my work with box expressions has been done with MakeBoxes, but  as far as I have seen
a declaration like


is,for all purposes, equivalent to

h/: MakeBoxes[expr1,formattype_] :=

where h is the Head  of expr1.

If you use

MakeBoxes[expr1,formattype_] :=

the rule will be stored in FormatValues[MakeBoxes] (FormatValues[h] will be empty).

Try this with the examples from the manual. For example:




Carlos César de Araújo
Gregos & Troianos Educacional
Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil
(31) 3283-1122

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