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6.8.10 Compositions

There are several composition functions which allow you to get displays in a variety of formats similar to those in Big language mode. Most of these functions do not evaluate to anything; they are placeholders which are left in symbolic form by Calc’s evaluator but are recognized by Calc’s display formatting routines.

Two of these, string and bstring, are described elsewhere. See Strings. For example, ‘string("ABC")’ is displayed as ‘ABC’. When viewed on the stack it will be indistinguishable from the variable ABC, but internally it will be stored as ‘string([65, 66, 67])’ and can still be manipulated this way; for example, the selection and vector commands j 1 v v j u would select the vector portion of this object and reverse the elements, then deselect to reveal a string whose characters had been reversed.

The composition functions do the same thing in all language modes (although their components will of course be formatted in the current language mode). The one exception is Unformatted mode (d U), which does not give the composition functions any special treatment. The functions are discussed here because of their relationship to the language modes.