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I am using Mathematica Version 12.3.0 for Linux x86 (64-bit) (May 10, 2021).

I would like to see multiplication asterisk for all products on output. I know that this can be requested per expression by appending \\ InputForm.

Somewhere I read about Edit>Preferences>Appearance>Multiplication>Use symbol and it was claimed that this has the same effect without having to append or all products on output. I know that this can be requested per expression by appending \\ InputForm.

However, when I execute the expression

a b or à*b

both return a b although * is selected as multiplication symbol in Edit>Preferences>Appearance>Multiplication>Use symbol:

preferences for multiplication symbol

Did I get it wrong? Or is it a quirk in the current version?

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    $\begingroup$ Notice that there's not a checkbox for "Symbols" as there are for functions, linebreaks, and numbers. This way of displaying products is fairly new, and they don't seem to have included a way to insert multiplication symbols between symbols or all factors. I'd think there would be an All option. One might be able to overwrite MakeBoxes for Times, I suppose, if it's important. $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    Jul 23 at 14:41
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My comment was wrong! They did implement "Symbols":

SetOptions[$FrontEnd, 
 AutoMultiplicationSymbol -> {"LineBreaks", "Functions", "Numbers", 
   "Symbols"}]

It's just not in the preferences. This is documented in AutoMultiplicationSymbol .

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    $\begingroup$ Ha! You cannot start an answer with "Ha!" apparently. Twice it was removed automatically. But you can start a comment with it :) $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    Jul 23 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you., Michael E2, Thank you also for the link to the explanation in the help system. Can you explain to me why the multiplication sign is written with such a faint shade of gray that you can hardly make it out? Quite different from a plus sign! That comes with the same degree of blackness as normal writing. Any idea how to let the asterisk appear like normal writing? $\endgroup$ Jul 23 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ @AdalbertHanßen I can't really explain, but I can guess: In input cells, the * is gray when not actually present in the input, and it is black when typed. Plus must always be typed by the user. As for output cells, I suppose they took the same approach. Traditionally the multiplication signs are not part of the output, and that is still true: Use the menu command Cell > Show Expression to see that the multiplication signs are missing, but the plus signs are present. The gray * or cross is added by the FE to the displayed expressions. $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    Jul 23 at 21:56
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    $\begingroup$ A side effect (bug) in the Documentation: i.stack.imgur.com/5ee6H.png (version 12.3.1 on Windows). $\endgroup$ Jul 25 at 5:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Alexey's bug also shows up in the INTERNAL SELF-TEST ERROR (and elsewhere): i.stack.imgur.com/RWj8n.png $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    Jul 26 at 16:08

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