For this data:

dt = <|"a"-> <|"x"-> 1|>,"b"-> <|"y"-> 2|>,"c"-> <|"z"->3|>|>

It’s awkward when mapping the same function to multiple locations:

dt // Query[{"a" -> {"x" -> Framed}}]

When applying the same function at multiple sites, syntax gets long:

dt // Query[{"a" -> {"x" -> Framed}}] // Query[{"b" -> {"y" -> Framed}}]

In larger datasets the problem compounds. Is there a workaround for shortcuts like this:

dt // Query[{All -> {All -> Framed}}]

And also with Lists, and Span

dt // Query[{All -> {(1;;2) -> Framed}}]

as well as with hybrids of List and Associations.

PS - Even the nested parentheses are a pain for deeply nested data (we routinely deal with 6 levels or more), mitigated by this helper:

queryAt[seq__] := Query[Fold[Rule /* Reverse /* List, Reverse[{seq}]]];


 queryAt["a", "x", Framed]
  • $\begingroup$ dt // Query[All, All, Framed] should work. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ @JHM, only in the special case where it's mapped to All leaves, versus at specific branches, eg dt // Query["a", All, Framed] projects out the other branches. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ MapAt[Framed, {"a", "x"}]@dt $\endgroup$
    – chuy
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ @chuy, I don't want to mention "x" explicitly. This will also work MapAt[Framed, {{"a", "x"}, {"b", "y"}}]@dt but need it to work across a Span or All keys at lower level. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Kuba, help me rephrase Q if necessary, but it's not about dropping a bracket - queryAt does that. It's about substituting All or Span instead of named keys. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


You can use Replace and Tuples to expand a Part specification in MapAt so it behaves as needed with Span.

expandedPart[rules__] :=
 Tuples[Replace[{Span[r__] :> Range[r], (t_ /; Head[t] =!= List) -> List[t]}] /@ {rules}]

This expands a Part specification.

expandedPart[1 ;; 3 ;; 2, All]
(* {{1, All}, {3, All}} *)

Now with MapAt

MapAt[Framed, expandedPart[1 ;; 3 ;; 2, All]]@dt

Mathematica graphics


MapAt[Framed, expandedPart[{"a", "c"}, All]]@dt

Mathematica graphics

Hope this helps.

  • $\begingroup$ @alancalvitti Note that relative from end specifications like -4;;-2 will work with the above but not open mixed relative from start and end like ;;-2 or 1;;-2. $\endgroup$
    – Edmund
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 0:51

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