Dynamic[x=7]; does not make x dynamic! But Dynamic[x=7;] makes x dynamic with initial value 7. The problem with the later is the presence of Null in the output. My question is: how can I assign a (big) value (or a huge list, etc.) to a dynamic variable AND suppress any possible output (including Null)?

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    $\begingroup$ What's the point of Dynamic then ? $\endgroup$ Mar 5, 2013 at 17:39
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    $\begingroup$ Have you investigated DynamicWrapper? $\endgroup$
    – John Fultz
    Mar 5, 2013 at 17:40
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    $\begingroup$ Read the tutorials on Dynamic. There's no such thing as a dynamic variable. There's only stuff that shows as the dynamically updated "current" value of an expression, and in the process of calculating that current value, it might update other "non-dynamic" variables $\endgroup$
    – Rojo
    Mar 5, 2013 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ I closed this question as a duplicate. (It is a common problem therefore "too localized" is inaccurate.) If anyone has a suggestion for a better duplicate (on Mathematica.SE) let me know. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Mar 5, 2013 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Mr.Wizard Well, actually it's a duplicate of stackoverflow.com/questions/1179430/… $\endgroup$
    – Ajasja
    Mar 5, 2013 at 19:11

2 Answers 2


Dynamic doesn't work the way you think it does. See this answer for a full explanation.

In short, Dynamic doesn't do anything until it is actually displayed on screen.


Dynamic is only updated if it is displayed. Dynamic[]; is never displayed so it is never updated. Dynamic[...;] returns a dynamic that always returns Null, but is never the less updated.

Here is an example that demonstrates the problem:

x = .5;
Dynamic[Print["will not print:", x]];
Dynamic[Print["Should print:", x];]

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