Bug introduced in 10 and persisting through 11.1.0
TextString is new in 10.0

According to the Documentation

TextString[TableForm[list]] formats a list of lists as space-separated columns.



outputs expected result

"1 2
3 4"




"TableForm[{{1}, {3, 4}}]"

Is this behavior intended? To me, this is inconsistent.

  • $\begingroup$ Looks like a bug to me. $\endgroup$ – Alexey Popkov Apr 23 '17 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ According to the Docs, "TextString[expr] gives a human-readable string representation of expr." I don't think that the output "TableForm[{{1}, {3, 4}}]" is "human-readable" in the sense of the Docs for TextString. So tag this as a bug. $\endgroup$ – Alexey Popkov Apr 23 '17 at 6:27
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexeyPopkov Very likely a bug : ) $\endgroup$ – matheorem Apr 23 '17 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ I voted to close this since the question "is this behavior intended?" is not something that we can answer. $\endgroup$ – C. E. Apr 23 '17 at 15:00

Presumably, "list of lists" was intended to mean "full array". And, from the documentation for ArrayQ: "A ragged collection of nested lists is not a full array."

expr = {{1}, {3, 4}};


(*  False  *)

Pad the sublists with empty strings to make them all the same length and form a full array.

TextString@TableForm@(PadRight[#, Max[Length /@ expr], ""] & /@ expr)

enter image description here

TextString@TableForm@(PadLeft[#, Max[Length /@ expr], ""] & /@ expr)

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for solution. PadRight could be made simpler TextString@TableForm@PadRight[{{1}, {3, 4}}, Automatic, ""] +1 $\endgroup$ – matheorem Apr 23 '17 at 4:05

You can use the old method :

st=OpenWrite["fileName",FormatType-> OutputForm,PageWidth-> Infinity];

enter image description here

You can remove the extra line with the option TableSpacing of TableForm :

FormatType-> OutputForm,
PageWidth-> Infinity];
Write[st,TableForm[{{2},{3,4}},TableSpacing->{0, 1}]];

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Hi, andre, thank you for answering. But the output has extra blank line in between $\endgroup$ – matheorem Apr 23 '17 at 11:24
  • $\begingroup$ @matheorem That's not a problem . You can do anything you want with the option TableSpacing of TableForm. In your case TableForm[{{2},{3,4}},TableSpacing->{0, 1}], I think. $\endgroup$ – andre314 Apr 23 '17 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ I think this proves that the behavior shown in the question isn't intended. $\endgroup$ – Alexey Popkov Apr 23 '17 at 17:19

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