I have a file, say temp.m, with a single line (* foo\[AAcute]bar *). What function call should I use to read the content of the file into the expression "foo\[AAcute]bar" inside Mathematica?

BTW, by "escaped non-ASCII characters" I mean objects like \[AAcute]. What's accurate term to call them in Wolfram Language terminology?


1 Answer 1


I think this might be considered a duplicate of Showing special characters in text containing unicode even though that question does not directly relate to importing. Applying Sjoerd's method:

Import["temp.m", "String"]

ToExpression["\"" <> % <> "\""]
"(* fooábar *)"

If you want only the content of comments then:

Import["temp.m", "Comments"]
ToExpression["\"" <> % <> "\""]
  • $\begingroup$ For mission-critical purposes such as launching nuclear missiles, is the ToExpression safe? $\endgroup$
    – user13253
    Jan 4, 2017 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ @qazwsx Let me think about that. At least a minor additional layer of security might be had with the use of ToHeldExpression in place of ToExpression. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Jan 5, 2017 at 2:54

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