Entering text and special characters in Max

Max lets you enter certain "special" characters into a max object box (such as sprintf) or a message box easily by using consistent rules - If you want to type a comma or semicolon, it must be escaped or quoted. This is true regardless of whether or not the comma or semicolon is enclosed in quotation marks.

  • In earlier versions of Max, quotes were considered to be part of a symbol if the string contained no spaces and quotation marks were ignored otherwise. In the current version, typing "hello" in a message box will automatically change the text to read hello (note the lack of quotation marks) to make it clear that the quotes are not part of the symbol.
  • You can type commas and semicolons into a message box without difficulty - if you forget and accidentally type the old school character string "one\, two\, three" (i.e. note the quotations and the backslash-escaped commas) into a message box, it will automatically be converted into "one, two, three".
  • If you want to include a quotation mark in a symbol in Max, you can use a backslash character to escape it, and it will be retained when you copy the object.

    If you want to include a backslash character in a symbol, you can escape it by adding a second backslash.

Special characters in older (imported) Max patches

When you open a patch created with an earlier version of Max and import it, Max will change the contents of the message or object box to reflect the old way of doing things in order to remind you of your original intent. automatically convert escaped text into quoted text; If it is not quoted or escaped, the it works just as it did with earlier versions of Max.

  • When you import an old patch containing the character string "hello" (i.e., something in quotations with no spaces), the message box will appear in Max as \"hello\" (with the quotation marks present and escaped with backslashes to indicate that the quotes in the original patch were a part of the symbol.
  • When you import an old patch with a message box containing the character string one\, two\, three will appear in Max as a message box containing the character string "one," "two," "three".