I often need to constrain the length of a list when previewing a list, either in Manipulate or for getting a better sense of the output. Without it, the output may be very long and may freeze Mathematica. The approach I'm using right now uses If statements, which looks quite messy. Part and Take will return an error if the length of the list is less than the maximum specified length (Eg: list[[;;10]] or Take[list, 10] would return an error if the list length is less than 10)

I know I can easily define my own function, but before doing that, I'm wondering if there are any easy inbuilt methods for accomplishing this? Does Mathematica have some function which constrains a value? (Similar to Arduino/Processing's constrain(x, a, b) function)

A hypothetical case I can think of is having to display pictures of houses (using Manipulate) that fall within a certain set price range. At the median price range, it is useful to limit the number of images. However, the further you move away from the median price, there will be fewer and fewer houses, which may fall under the limit.


2 Answers 2


UpTo should do it:

Take[list, UpTo[10]]


Part[list, ;; UpTo[10]]

You can also use PadRight with Nothing (or ##&[]) as the third argument:

takeUpTo = PadRight[##, Nothing] &; 
(* or takeUpTo = PadRight[##, ##&[]] &; *)


takeUpTo[Range[5], 3]

{1, 2, 3}

takeUpTo[Range[5], 100]

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

takeUpto[{}, 5]



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