22 Printer 22.1 The Lisp Printer 22.1.3 Default Print-Object Methods 220.127.116.11 Printing Symbols
18.104.22.168.1 Package Prefixes for SymbolsPackage prefixes are printed if necessary. The rules for package prefixes are as follows. When the symbol is printed, if it is in the keyword package, then it is printed with a preceding colon; otherwise, if it is accessible in the current package, it is printed without any package prefix; otherwise, it is printed with a package prefix.
A symbol that is apparently uninterned is printed preceded by "#:" if *print-gensym* is true and printer escaping is enabled; if *print-gensym* is false or printer escaping is disabled, then the symbol is printed without a prefix, as if it were in the current package.
Because the #: syntax does not intern the following symbol, it is necessary to use circular-list syntax if *print-circle* is true and the same uninterned symbol appears several times in an expression to be printed. For example, the result of
(let ((x (make-symbol "FOO"))) (list x x))would be printed as (#:foo #:foo) if *print-circle* were false, but as (#1=#:foo #1#) if *print-circle* were true.
A summary of the preceding package prefix rules follows: