My system is: 8.0 for Mac OS X x86 (64-bit) (October 5, 2011)

When I start Mathematica and call


I get the following output:

Mathematica graphics

The message says: Mathematica graphics

Where does it come from and what is a RefBox?

  • $\begingroup$ Why would you be interested in FormatValues[MakeExpression]? $\endgroup$ May 28, 2012 at 13:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Sjoerd To make some output "prettier", I use FormatValues and I inspect them to see if everything is correct. BTW it seems, that the entry above does no harm, but if I spot an error/warning I´m curious where it comes from. $\endgroup$ May 28, 2012 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ I see, but MakeExpression isn't a function that you want to pretty-print, is it? I can imagine that for D and Integrate, but not for such a low-level function as MakeExpression. $\endgroup$ May 28, 2012 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Sjoerd I want e.g. to print Abs[<stuff>] as |<stuff>| enclosed in \[LeftBracketingBar] and \[RightBraketinbar] in StandardForm, and I use MakeBoxes and MakeExpression for this. $\endgroup$ May 28, 2012 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ But in that case you would need to look at FormatValues[Abs], wouldn't you? $\endgroup$ May 28, 2012 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


The reason that MakeExpression has any FormatValues at all is because there's one defined in GetFEKernelInit.tr for some experimental functionality (which we probably ought to clean up in a future release). The fact that it's experimental also led to our not fully implementing the error-handling cases of typesetting, which is the source cause of the pink box.

You could just ignore the pink box. Or, if it's really distracting, you can simply request the results in InputForm. E.g.,

FormatValues[MakeExpression] // InputForm

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