This is documentation for Mathematica 7, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
View current documentation (Version 11.1)


is an option for output streams, graphics and functions such as Text which specifies the default format type to use when outputting expressions.
Automaticinherit from surrounding constructs
InputFormone-dimensional form suitable for direct keyboard input
OutputFormcharacter-based two-dimensional form
StandardFormstandard two-dimensional form
TraditionalFormform approximating traditional mathematical notation
  • SetOptions[stream, FormatType->type] resets the format type for an open stream.
  • For graphics functions, box-based format types such as StandardForm and TraditionalForm can be used only when a notebook front end is present.
By default, expressions are displayed using TraditionalForm in graphics:
Display expressions using StandardForm:
Labels are also affected by the FormatType setting:
When different format types are combined the result is likely to be unpredictable:
This is equivalent to:
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