I need to construct a table that has variable dimension and variable ranges (see for tables with variable dimensions and constant ranges, e.g., this question).

Suppose there is a list list and I'd like to build a table whose form is

Table[expr, {x1, 1, Length@list}, {x2, 1, Length@(list[[x1]])}, ..., {xn, 1, Length@list[[x1, x2, ..., xn-1]]}],

where n is an integer equal to or less than the depth of list.

What I already tried is

list={{{{{1, 2, 3}, {4, 5, 6}}}}}; (*an example*)
var = Table[Symbol["$x" <> ToString@i], {i, Depth@list-1}];
range = Table[
   If[j == 1,
    {var[[j]], Hold@Length[list]},
    {var[[j]], Hold@Length[Part[list, Sequence @@ var[[;; j - 1]]]]}
   , {j, Length@var}];

(*range=={{$x1, Hold[Length[list]]}, 
{$x2, Hold[Length[list[[Sequence @@ var[[1 ;; j - 1]]]]]]}, 
{$x3, Hold[Length[list[[Sequence @@ var[[1 ;; j - 1]]]]]]}, 
{$x4, Hold[Length[list[[Sequence @@ var[[1 ;; j - 1]]]]]]}, 
{$x5, Hold[Length[list[[Sequence @@ var[[1 ;; j - 1]]]]]]}}*)


Table[expr, Sequence@@range]

but since I did not release Hold, this does not work.

Please tell me how can I use ReleaseHold or Evaluate appropriately in this case.

EDIT Actually, I forgot that I can use Dimensions to specify each range. However, I leave this question because still I don't understand how can I use ReleaseHold.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Another suggestion: table expression with iterators of the form Table[operator, {i, 1, Length@ expression}] can often be advantageously replaced by operator /@ expression. Since mapping doesn't require explicit knowledge of the size of the expression, it's much easier to handle variable-length cases. $\endgroup$
    – MarcoB
    Commented Dec 10, 2021 at 13:26

1 Answer 1


That is a bit tricky. You need to assemble the iteration specification first and then insert it into a Table command.

For an example we first create some data:

n = 3;
list = Array[RandomInteger[{1, 9}] &, {3, 4, 5}]

The we define a function that gives us the length to iterate over:

getLength[d : {_Integer ...}] := Length[list[[Sequence @@ d]]];

Then we define the variables we need:

vars = Table[Symbol["x" <> ToString[i]], {i, n}];

Next we can create the iteration specifications:

iter = Table[{vars[[i]], getLength[Range[i - 1]]}, {i, 2, n}];
PrependTo[iter, {x1, Length[list]}];

Finally we insert this into a Table (note, Table has the attribute HoldAll, what makes the Evaluate necessary):

Table[vars, Evaluate[Sequence @@ iter]]

enter image description here


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