is a form that disables the formatting of expr when it appears inside held expressions, but gives expr as soon as evaluation occurs.



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Basic Examples  (3)

Prevent an expression from formatting:

Release the hold to let it format:

Prevent an unevaluated expression from formatting:

Releasing the hold allows evaluation and, subsequently, formatting to occur:

DisableFormatting must appear inside held expression or it will evaluate away:

Scope  (3)

DisableFormatting works inside any function with held attributes like HoldAll:




Disable the formatting in held expressions:

Evaluate held parts to restore the normal formatting:

DisableFormatting is invisible in StandardForm and TraditionalForm:

InputForm and FullForm show DisableFormatting:

Properties & Relations  (5)

Hold, HoldForm and other functions that hold their arguments prevent evaluation but not typesetting:

DisableFormatting inside of Hold prevents the unevaluated expression from typesetting:

However, DisableFormatting does not by itself hold its argument or prevent typesetting:

In a HoldFirst or HoldRest function, DisableFormatting only affects the held arguments:

Defer prevents an expression from evaluating but not typesetting:

If copied and pasted, that expression will then evaluate:

If using DisableFormatting along with Defer, the expression will neither evaluate nor typeset:

However, on copy and paste, it evaluates and therefore typesets normally:

Interpretation assigns an arbitrary appearance to an output expression:

If copied and pasted, normal interpretation and typesetting follow:

However, the original expression remains unevaluated:

With DisableFormatting, the normal evaluation and formatting is restored once the hold is released:

On the other hand, copy and paste will preserve the DisableFormatting wrapper:

Inactivate creates an expression that sometimes, but not always, avoids 2D typesetting:

The result is a different expression, where each head h has been replaced by Inactive[h]:

DisableFormatting always avoids 2D typesetting, and the input expression returns unchanged:

Wolfram Research (2016), DisableFormatting, Wolfram Language function, https://reference.wolfram.com/language/ref/DisableFormatting.html.


Wolfram Research (2016), DisableFormatting, Wolfram Language function, https://reference.wolfram.com/language/ref/DisableFormatting.html.


@misc{reference.wolfram_2020_disableformatting, author="Wolfram Research", title="{DisableFormatting}", year="2016", howpublished="\url{https://reference.wolfram.com/language/ref/DisableFormatting.html}", note=[Accessed: 24-February-2021 ]}


@online{reference.wolfram_2020_disableformatting, organization={Wolfram Research}, title={DisableFormatting}, year={2016}, url={https://reference.wolfram.com/language/ref/DisableFormatting.html}, note=[Accessed: 24-February-2021 ]}


Wolfram Language. 2016. "DisableFormatting." Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Wolfram Research. https://reference.wolfram.com/language/ref/DisableFormatting.html.


Wolfram Language. (2016). DisableFormatting. Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Retrieved from https://reference.wolfram.com/language/ref/DisableFormatting.html