represents an interpreter object that can be applied to an input to try to interpret it as an object of the specified form.


returns the interpreted object only if applying test to it yields True; otherwise it returns a Failure object.


returns the result of applying the function fail if the test fails.

Details and Options

  • Interpreter[][input] applies the interpreter to a particular input, which is typically a string.
  • Possible form specifications include:
  • "Expression"any Wolfram Language expression
    "HeldExpression"expression to be returned held
    "InactiveExpression"expression to be returned inactivated
    "SemanticExpression"expression derived semantically from free-form input
    "Number"any number in a standard format
    "SemanticNumber"number derived semantically (e.g. "half")
    "ComputedNumber"number derived by computation (e.g. "2+2")
    "SemanticInteger"integer derived semantically (e.g. "six")
    "ComplexNumber"real or complex number
    "MathExpression"mathematical expression (e.g. "sin(2x)+1")
    "MathFormula"mathematical formula (e.g. "2x+3y=0")
    "HeldMathFormula"mathematical formula to be returned held
    "HexInteger"integer in hexadecimal
    "Integer32",etc.integers etc. consistent with particular binary formats
    "RomanNumeral"Roman numerals
    "Boolean"Boolean value (true/false, 1/0, etc. giving True/False)
    "String"pure string
    "TextArea"text of any length (rendered in forms as a text area)
    "TextLine"single line of text
    "URLString"URL-encoded string
    "URL"correctly formatted URL
    "URLQueryString"URL query string
    "SemanticURL"URL derived semantically (e.g. from company name)
    "IPAddress"correctly formatted IP address
    "FileName"name of a file on your computer
    "UploadedFile"file to be uploaded to the cloud
    "CachedFile"file to be cached in a temporary directory
    "EmailAddress"correctly formatted email address
    "PhoneNumber"correctly formatted phone number
    "Date"date in any standard format
    "StructuredDate"date obtained from a picker
    "DateTime"date and time
    "Time"time of day
    "ComputedDate", derived by computation (e.g. "next tuesday")
    "Location"anything that yields a geo location
    "GeoCoordinates"geo position specifed as latitude, longitude
    "StreetAddress"any standard street address
    "Country"country or country-like territory
    "AdministrativeDivision"state, province, county, etc.
    "USState"US state
    "USCounty"US county
    "Quantity"quantity with units
    "ComputedQuantity"quantity derived by computation
    "StructuredQuantity"quantity given purely as number followed by unit
    "PhysicalQuantity"physical quantity (e.g. "mass")
    "CurrencyAmount"currency amount (e.g. "$7.50")
    "CurrencyName"name of a currency (e.g. "US dollars")
    "TickerSymbol"financial instrument ticker symbol
    "Color"color in any standard format
    "StructuredColor"color obtained from a picker
    "Graphics"vector graphics
    "entity"any Wolfram Language entity type (e.g. "City")
    "entityclass"a class of entities (e.g. "CityClass")
    "format"any standard Wolfram Language import format
    Restricted[form,spec]a form restricted in the specified way
    DelimitedSequence[form,]a delimited sequence of forms returned as a list
    form1|form2|several possible forms, tried in order
    {c1,c2,}a literal set of choices ci
    {lab1c1,lab2c2,}choices ci with labels labi
    AnySubset[{c1,c2,}]any subset of the ci
    CompoundElement[{form1,}]a list of elements specified by the formi
    CompoundElement[<|key1form1,|>]an association of elements specified by the formi
    RepeatingElement[form,]a list of elements all specified by form
    CloudObject[]a deployed GrammarRules object
    QuantityVariable["pq"]a quantity compatible with the physical quantity pq
  • $InterpreterTypes gives a complete list of possible interpreter types.
  • Interpreter[][input] returns an interpreted value, Missing["NoInput"] if input is effectively blank, or Failure[].
  • In the case of "entity", any domain supported by EntityValue can be used.
  • Interpreter["format"]["input"] is effectively equivalent to ImportString["input","format"].
  • Interpreter[choices] allows a list of rules or an association for choices. A pure list of values can also be used when there is no ambiguity.
  • Interpreter[form,test][input] applies test to the result of interpreting input using the specified form.
  • If the result of applying test is True, then the interpretation of input is returned.
  • If the result of applying test is a Failure object, this object is immediately returned.
  • If the result of applying test is False or anything else, then in Interpreter[form,test,fail][input] the result of applying fail to the interpretation of input is returned. If no fail is given, then a Failure object is returned.
  • If Interpreter directly generates a Failure object, the following tags are used:
  • "InterpretationFailure"the string given could not be interpreted in the form specified
    "RestrictionFailure"interpretation succeeded, but a restriction failed
    "ConditionFailure"interpretation and restrictions succeeded, but explicit test failed
    "ConnectionFailure"required cloud connection could not be made
  • Interpreter supports the following options:
  • AmbiguityFunction Automaticfunction to apply to ambiguous semantic results
    DateFormat $DateStringFormatdefault format to assume for dates
    DigitBlock Infinitynumber of digits between breaks to assume
    GeoLocation $GeoLocationgeo location to assume for semantic interpretation
    ImportOptions{}options to use when importing data
    NumberPoint "."string to assume for decimal points
    NumberSeparator {",", " "}string to assume at breaks between number blocks
    NumberSigns {"-",""}strings to assume for signs of negative and positive numbers
    TimeZone $TimeZonetime zone to assume for semantic interpretation
  • Interpreter[spec][{input1,input2,}] is equivalent to {Interpreter[spec][input1],Interpreter[spec][input2],}, except insofar as spec contains constructs such as CompoundElement or RepeatingElement that directly interpret the structure given.
  • Interpreter[form]["string1"|"string2"|] yields as a result the interpretation of the first of the stringi that can be interpreted using the specified form.
  • Typically, Interpreter[form][CloudObject[]], Interpreter[form][File[]] and Interpreter[form][URL[]] yield the result of interpreting the contents of the cloud object, file or URL according to the specified form.
  • For other expressions, Interpreter[form][expr] returns expr if expr conforms to the specification for form, and returns Failure[] otherwise.


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Basic Examples  (8)

Interpret a number in any standard explicit format:

Interpret a number given linguistically:

Flag a failure if the input given is not of the type specified:

Interpret a date, generating a DateObject:

Interpret a city, generating an Entity object:

Interpret a university:

Interpret a location, returning a GeoPosition:

Interpret a list of numbers:

Interpret a File object:

Interpret a URL object:

Interpret a number restricted to be between 1 and 10:

If the number is outside the range, a failure is generated:

Interpret a city restricted to a geographical region:

Run a test on the result:

Use a custom failure mode when the test doesn't pass:

Scope  (3)

Interpret many types of entities:

Enable computations:

Interpret string representations of files:

Options  (9)

AmbiguityFunction  (1)

Return all the possible interpretations:

DateFormat  (2)

Specify a custom date format:

Specify multiple date formats to be tried in order:

DigitBlock  (1)

Change the maximum length of blocks of digits between separators:

GeoLocation  (1)

Set a location to use for semantic interpretations:

By default, the user's $GeoLocation is used:

NumberPoint  (1)

Set a custom decimal point:

NumberSeparator  (1)

Change the separator between blocks of digits:

NumberSigns  (1)

Change the signs for negative and positive numbers:

TimeZone  (1)

Set the time zone to use for semantic interpretations:

Properties & Relations  (4)

Interpreter specifications are used to create FormObject, FormFunction, and APIFunction:

The Interpreter head is optional, but it can be useful to specify options:

Use RepeatingElement and CompoundElement to interpret complicated structures:

Alternatives can also be used to interpret data that can have different shapes:

Possible Issues  (3)

The number and date options are not compatible with semantic interpreters:

If an AmbiguityFunction is set that is not Automatic, the test at the second argument is applied to its result, possibly leading to a failure:

Interpreter["String"] accepts an empty string. This is not true for FormFunction, where the empty string and an empty field are considered equivalent:

Neat Examples  (1)

Obtain the GeoPosition for the White House:

Show it on a map:

Wolfram Research (2014), Interpreter, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2016).


Wolfram Research (2014), Interpreter, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2016).


Wolfram Language. 2014. "Interpreter." Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Wolfram Research. Last Modified 2016.


Wolfram Language. (2014). Interpreter. Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Retrieved from


@misc{reference.wolfram_2022_interpreter, author="Wolfram Research", title="{Interpreter}", year="2016", howpublished="\url{}", note=[Accessed: 07-June-2023 ]}


@online{reference.wolfram_2022_interpreter, organization={Wolfram Research}, title={Interpreter}, year={2016}, url={}, note=[Accessed: 07-June-2023 ]}