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I want to set up a part of my Mathematica package so that typing <-Space is replaced with the left arrow character ( or \[LeftArrow]) just like it does with ->Space. Does anyone know how to do this? I looked briefly at event handling but didn't see anything immediately useful. I already know, of course, that Esc<-Esc will insert , and that doing so is not that much additional effort, but I'm more interested in the concept involved here. Any ideas?

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Also see my answer here for how to set input aliases and input auto-replacements – R. M. May 4 '12 at 17:10
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Normally you could use:

  InputAutoReplacements -> {"<-" -> "\[LeftArrow]"}

But this fails because Mathematica already parses <- differently. Specifically the documentation states:

In expression input, automatic replacements can be performed only on strings of characters that correspond to complete input tokens.

You can see that this setting works for other strings, e.g.:

  InputAutoReplacements -> {"stuff" -> "\[LeftArrow]"}

Then typing (with a space):

x stuff 

Will render:

x \[LeftArrow] 
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