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.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ On second thoughts, I'd rather it not be closed as a duplicate. Pls ignore the vtc. $\endgroup$
    – rm -rf
    Sep 2 '12 at 14:57

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

#!/Applications/Mathematica.app/Contents/MacOS/MathematicaScript -script
list = {a, b, c};
Print[Column[list] // OutputForm];

gives the output you expect:

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Or, as mentioned here, execute SetOptions[$Output, FormatType -> OutputForm]; before anything else... $\endgroup$
    – J. M.'s torpor
    Sep 2 '12 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ 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...) $\endgroup$ Sep 2 '12 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ This does not work for me. It just prints OutputForm[Column[{a, b, c}]](I call scripts with MathKernel -script) $\endgroup$
    – Kvothe
    Jun 30 at 13:29

The answer by F'x does not work for me ("12.1.1 for Linux x86 (64-bit) (June 19, 2020)"). The following does work: Simply include

SetOptions[ $Output, FormatType -> OutputForm ];

at the start of your script so that all output gets displayed in OutputForm. (See https://mathematica.stackexchange.com/a/651/45020)


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