The Cell expression for:



Cell[BoxData["<>"], "Input"]

However similar expressions are parsed into RowBox(s), for example:


Cell[BoxData[RowBox[{">", "<"}]], "Input"]

How do I get expressions like >< to act like <> does?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ My bet is you can't. Operators are predefined and I definately hope someone proves me wrong $\endgroup$
    – Rojo
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ You could probably put something together with InterpretationBox and MakeBoxes $\endgroup$
    – rm -rf
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 23:37
  • $\begingroup$ @R.M I will look into it last time I tried to use InterpretationBox I ran into a dead end. $\endgroup$
    – Davorak
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 23:51

2 Answers 2


Michael Pilat has stated that you cannot create your own compound operators.

You may find some utility in these posts:

Prefix operator with low precedence

How can one define an infix operator with an arbitrary unicode character?

  • $\begingroup$ Shouldn't it be closed as a duplicate then? $\endgroup$
    – rm -rf
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 2:53
  • $\begingroup$ @R.M which one where? $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 7:12

Are you interested only in the case of "less than" and "greater than" symbols? Might other variations serve the purpose?

The following parentheses are represented like "<>" (they are represented without using RowBox), regardless of the order of the characters:



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