# How can I display an expression in unevaluated form?

How can I display an expression in unevaluated form?

TraditionalForm[2*3^3 + 5^2]


I´d like to obtain 2*3^3 + 5^2 displayed in traditional form without being evaluated to obtain 79.

Added after bobthechemist's answer

How could I obtain the behavior I want from a String (The expression is stored in a string)?

a = "2*3^3+5^2"
Defer[a]
Defer[ToExpression[a]]

• Defer is what you are looking for, I think. Nov 13, 2020 at 18:54
• @bobthechemist Yes!. Thank you. You can answer and I set as the solution. Nov 13, 2020 at 18:56
• @bobthechemist and how to obtain that from a expression as a String?. a = "2*3^3+5^2" Defer[a] Defer[ToExpression[a]] Nov 13, 2020 at 19:00
• I don't think that will be possible, since the superscripts are not a standard font. I'm not well versed with the underlying mechanisms for formatting in Mathematica, but that output has a bunch of Boxes that probably can't be turned into strings easily. Nov 13, 2020 at 19:06

## 3 Answers

Don't use TraditionalForm in this case; rather, use Defer.

The documentation for ToExpression says

So

a = "2*3^3+5^2";
ToExpression[a, TraditionalForm, Defer]


gives

HoldForm is beter.

a = 2*3^3 + 5^2 // HoldForm
a // TraditionalForm
8 a // TraditionalForm
8 a // ReleaseHold