I am trying to define a function that has similar behavior as Indexed. Here is the code

Format[me : f[a_, i__]] := Interpretation[Subscript[a, i], me];
f[a_ + b_, i__] := f[a, i] + f[b, i];

For example, f[a + b, 1] will give


as expected. However, if I try ?f to view the code, I will run into the RecursionLimit error. The question is how to appropriately define the format to avoid this error, while still give the desired subscript formatting behavior?

  • $\begingroup$ Related but not AFAICT a solution in this case: stackoverflow.com/q/4112299/618728 $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have more time to look at this (it's Christmas!) but I am suspicious of a bug in Information here. I'll try to figure this out later if it's not solved by then. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 3:36
  • $\begingroup$ You can view the code with Definition @ f $\endgroup$
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 6:24

1 Answer 1


I would use:

f /: MakeBoxes[f[a_, i__], form:StandardForm] := With[
    {s = MakeBoxes[Subscript[a, i], form]},
    InterpretationBox[s, f[a, i]]



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