Apparently Mathematica's syntax coloring engine believes that the second assignment in the following code excerpt (concocted for illustration purposes only) is a "Possible Unwanted Assignment" since unchecking this box in Preferences causes the red highlighting to disappear:

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Any ideas why Mathematica should believe that this assignment is possibly unwanted? The variable b is used after all in the test conditional for the While loop whereas f and g are not.


1 Answer 1


This is because you are using = (the assignment operator) in the condition (not the body) of While. It is a typical beginner mistake to use = where == is meant, so Mathematica warns about this.

Since you also use several ; in the condition, it gets a little confused and only highlights one of the = signs, not all of them.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Presumably then more experienced users will want to switch off highlighting for "Possible Unwanted Assignments" (which is enabled by default). $\endgroup$ May 2, 2012 at 17:10

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