I’d like to have a TemplateBox that interprets as its content boxes:

MakeExpression[TemplateBox[{boxes_}, "RawBoxes", ___], form_] := boxes

but e.g. the input box TemplateBox[{"0"}, "RawBoxes"] refuses to be interpreted leading to

Syntax::sntxi: Incomplete expression; more input is needed .

Simplifying the rule to the constant one does not eliminate the error:

MakeExpression[TemplateBox[{boxes_}, "Const0", ___], form_] := "0"

Evaluating MakeExpression explicitly works fine.

This makes me be confused about how interpreting boxes in Mathematica works. What do I miss? What am I doing wrong? What is a right way to write ‘MakeExpression’ redefinitions? Thanks.


1 Answer 1


MakeExpression needs to return a HoldComplete object. So, the following might do what you want:

MakeExpression[TemplateBox[{boxes_}, "RawBoxes", ___], StandardForm] := HoldComplete[boxes]

For example:

CellPrint @ Cell[
    BoxData @ TemplateBox[
        {RowBox[{"0", "+", "1"}]},

enter image description here

Evaluating the above cell yields:

RowBox[{"0", "+", "1"}]


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