I need to have backquotes in a StringTemplate.

For example


Returns "21" instead of "`2`".

How can I get the correct result ?

Of course a solution would be to use another character than the backquote and replace it after but this is not elegant.

  • $\begingroup$ Would escaping the first and last back ticks by preceding them with a backslash work? Unfortunately I'm on a tablet and can't check for myself. $\endgroup$
    – MarcoB
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ No it doesn't I've tried. $\endgroup$
    – faysou
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 16:52
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Another kludge: StringTemplate["`1``2``1`"]["`", 2] $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it's the same idea as Kuba in TemplateApply["`a``input``a`", <|"a" -> "`", "input" -> 2|>]. I think it's the easiest and most flexible answer. $\endgroup$
    – faysou
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 9:21

4 Answers 4



One can use template expression too:


old answer

That's unfortunate design/coincidence, the more that accents are important part of package files. What I'm using is an additional "`a`" which later is part of input <|"a"->"`", ...|>.

So at the end I'd go with

TemplateApply["`a``input``a`", <|"a" -> "`", "input" -> 2|>]

quite ugly, but in case of file full of accents, like a package, works well.

Other way is to choose a character that is not going to appear there ever and replace it with accent:

   CombinerFunction -> (StringReplace[StringJoin@#, "\[FormalA]" -> "`"] &)
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "Of course a solution would be to use another character than the backquote and replace it after but this is not elegant." - quoted from the question :) $\endgroup$
    – eldo
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ @eldo still, the first suggestion is different enough (I hope ;)) I decided to post it ;) $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ Ok so it seems I'm not missing anything, it's more a design issue. Hopefully it will be solved at some point. I could do any ad hoc solution, this is not the problem, it's more that I wanted to be sure there isn't an elegant solution to the problem, like a simple escape of the backquote. $\endgroup$
    – faysou
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ I think your first suggestion is the most practical. $\endgroup$
    – faysou
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 19:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ indeed this would be the real way to escape, but I still prefer your answer with a, it makes the template easier to understand, and this is what matters. $\endgroup$
    – faysou
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 20:06

You could build your own TemplateObject instead of relying on StringTemplate to do that:

template = TemplateObject[
     {"`", TemplateSlot[1], "`"},
     CombinerFunction -> StringJoin,
     InsertionFunction -> ToString


(* Out:

This does not require any substitution after-the-fact. In this most recent iteration I have added the InsertionFunction -> ToString bit, as suggested by @AlbertRetey in his comment: this allows the template to handle numerical input as well as strings.

  • $\begingroup$ I really like this one. If you add InsertFunction->ToString the OPs example with a number will also work. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ @AlbertRetey Thank you! That's an excellent point you made about InsertionFunction; I added that to my answer as well. $\endgroup$
    – MarcoB
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 0:11

Simplest way seems to be to use the InsertionFunction option to add the additional backquotes in:

    StringTemplate["`1`", InsertionFunction -> ("`" <> ToString[#] <> "`" &)][2]


  • $\begingroup$ This wouldn't work in a real case with several arguments as I wouldn't want to put backquotes everywhere. I'm looking for a way to escape the backquote character. $\endgroup$
    – faysou
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 16:49

A possible alternative based on the syntax

(* "`2`" *)

would be to use the function

stringTemplate[string_][seq___] := 
   StringTemplate[string][## & @@ ("`" <> ToString[#] <> "`" & /@ {seq})]

For instance, considering the first example of StringTemplate in the documentation

stringTemplate["The orbit of `1` has period `2`."]
              ["Jupiter", Quantity[11.8707, "Years"]]

(* "The orbit of `Jupiter` has period `11.8707 years`." *)
  • $\begingroup$ That's clever, but it doesn't work if you need to insert an argument inside backquotes. For example ``planet` is heavy` $\endgroup$
    – faysou
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 23:22
  • $\begingroup$ "``Jupiter` is heavy`" as output $\endgroup$
    – faysou
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ I've encountered such problems by building SQL queries where backquotes are necessary sometimes. $\endgroup$
    – faysou
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 23:31

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