Suppose I have the polynomial given by the determinant of this matrix:

matry = {{1 - R, 3, -3}, {1, 0 - R, 0}, {0, 1, 0 - R}}

I am feeding the Mathematica output into a Perl program, and when I evaluate

Det[matry], I get the output:

              2    3
 -3 + 3 R + R  - R

The polynomial spans over two lines - no good. So I try

CForm[ Det[matry] ], and I get:

-3 + 3*R + Power(R,2) - Power(R,3)

Is there an easy way to get a nice output of something like -R^3 + R^2 + 3*R - 3 in one line of plain text?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I think you want ToString[InputForm[Det[matry]]]? $\endgroup$ – march Jun 10 '15 at 5:01

Thank you march for my solution:

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Just a gentle suggestion: always check Mathematica's help files first. They are wonderful. I always go there first when I have a question, and that's in fact how I figured out the answer to your question (although, admittedly, I was aware that there was some function that did what you needed in this case). Note that InputForm will not work in general, as it is specific to Mathematica input form. For instance, Sqrt[x] is the input form for the square root. In the case of polynomials, however, this solution works. $\endgroup$ – march Jun 10 '15 at 5:15
  • $\begingroup$ Duly noted, thanks! $\endgroup$ – Kolibrie Jun 10 '15 at 5:25

Since you are cutting and pasting output into perl, you may find this easier than explicitly converting your output expression into input form string.

  1. Select the cell with your output.
  2. Bring up the contextual menu (right mouse click)
  3. Select Convert To > Raw Input Form


The result will be


  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the suggestion - I wasn't aware of this either. However the other solution is more useful because I am reading (not copying/pasting) many unique polynomials from calling Mathematica commands in Perl. $\endgroup$ – Kolibrie Jun 10 '15 at 19:19

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