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how to tell Mathematica to display x^-1 as x^-1 and not as 1/x

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  • Subject: [mg110725] how to tell Mathematica to display x^-1 as x^-1 and not as 1/x
  • From: "Nasser M. Abbasi" <nma at>
  • Date: Sat, 3 Jul 2010 08:19:23 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: nma at


When I type


Mathematica replies


Is there a way to tell Mathematica to *display* terms with negative 
powers as  x^-n  and not as 1/x^n ? (i.e keep the term just like it 
would appear on paper).

Another example, suppose I type

expr = a*x^-2 + b *x^-1 +

The reason I want to do this, is just for display purposes. When I print 
the expression on the screen, I'd like it to look like x^-1 and not like 
1/x (to better match how the expression look like in the textbook)

I am trying to avoid having to convert everything to a string, and force 
the form to the way I want.  I tried Hold functions, and 
TraditionalForm, but can't get it to print as I want.

I am hoping there is an easy trick to do this?


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