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Boxes are the underlying representation of two-dimensional forms in notebooks.

15
votes
Here's some code which produces an InputField and the box form of anything you type into the InputField as you type it: DynamicModule[{boxes = ""}, Column[{InputField[Dynamic[boxes], Boxes … , ContinuousAction -> True], Dynamic[boxes, BaseStyle -> {ShowStringCharacters -> True}]}]] The critical idea here is using a Boxes style InputField to get the box form, which you can then work with …
answered Oct 20 '12 by John Fultz
29
votes
My other answer is a nice solution for interactively looking at boxes, but in the comments, Mr.Wizard seems to be indicating that he's more interested in programmatic usage, and that he's definitely … interested in seeing the box form after the FE has stripped non-semantic boxes to send to the kernel. So here's a totally different method for doing this which achieves those goals. MathLink …
answered Oct 20 '12 by John Fultz
5
votes
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 rel …
answered Jun 10 '12 by John Fultz
36
votes
Assuming nb is your notebook object, then this will do what you want without touching the clipboard: First[FrontEndExecute[ FrontEnd`ExportPacket[NotebookSelection[nb], "InputText"]]] Some notes …
answered Feb 6 '12 by John Fultz
8
votes
The simple answer is, if you want a string converted to StandardForm, you could wrap BoxData around it. E.g., CellPrint[Cell[BoxData["myFunction::usage=\"myFunction does ...\";"], "Input"]] But, i …
answered Apr 14 '13 by John Fultz
13
votes
Perhaps it's not obvious because this doesn't look like a box. But the way that DocumentNotebook, et al, get translated into Notebook is by going through MakeBoxes. Which means that RawBoxes saves t …
answered Oct 22 '13 by John Fultz