I know

{1, 1} // Apply[Defer@*Plus]

can return


But if I want hold the form from TeXForm,what should I do?

ToExpression["1+1", TeXForm]

will return 2 . But I don't know how to Defer the Plus.

  • $\begingroup$ How about 1+1//HoldForm//TeXForm $\endgroup$
    – Bill Watts
    Apr 7, 2020 at 7:25

3 Answers 3


Use the 3rd argument of ToExpression.

ToExpression["1+1", TeXForm, Hold]

If the TeX string is coming from untrusted sources, it is better to use HoldComplete for complete safety. Try this: ToExpression["\\text{Evaluate}(\\text{Print}(gotcha))", TeXForm, Defer].

Every function that extracts an expression that might evaluate has some facilities to keep the result held.

  • Extract has a similar 3rd argument
  • LinkRead has a similar 2nd argument
  • Read has Read[file, Hold[Expression]]
  • etc.

will return

(* Hold[1/Sqrt[5] + 1/Sqrt[5]] *)

which I assume is what you need?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 16 second difference :-) $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Apr 7, 2020 at 7:47

Another way:(from QQ: 2716697201)

ToExpression["1+1", TeXForm] // Trace // #[[2]] &

whose FullForm is


  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You really should not do this though. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Apr 7, 2020 at 7:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree. That's pretty inventive, but it's a dark, dark art. $\endgroup$
    – Victor K.
    Apr 7, 2020 at 7:43

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