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I'm just starting out with Mathematica and I'm using MathematicaScript rather than the GUI. However, I'm having trouble formatting a list when printing it.

Suppose I have a list and I want to print it using Column:

list = {a, b, c};

Calling this outputs Column[{a, b, c}] rather than


I suspect that this is because I'm running Mathematica in script mode. Is there anything I can do to display a list like this? How can I verify what the cause of my problem is from the documentation (I'm having trouble running the GUI)? The documentation doesn't say anything about Column only working in GUI mode.

I assume that the answer to getting a list (if there is one) to display as a column will explain how to do the same for a grid with 2D lists.

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On second thoughts, I'd rather it not be closed as a duplicate. Pls ignore the vtc. – R. M. Sep 2 '12 at 14:57
up vote 10 down vote accepted

You can force the Column to display correctly in text-only script mode by passing it explicitly to OutputForm. For example:

#!/Applications/ -script
list = {a, b, c};
Print[Column[list] // OutputForm];

gives the output you expect:

share|improve this answer
Or, as mentioned here, execute SetOptions[$Output, FormatType -> OutputForm]; before anything else... – J. M. Sep 2 '12 at 14:24
Yes, OutputForm is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks to both of you! (I wish I could think of looking for something like OutputForm on my own...) – Brandon Amos Sep 2 '12 at 14:45

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