Best way to give instructions to assistant for formatting different function results?

I’ve been having a good experience with the Assistant API. I’m now building a page and generally things are good. I’d like to give instructions for some specific functions on how to present their information returned. It’s formatting the response with \n’s when making lists. I’d like for it to use HTML TABLE for some columns and guide it on how to make the table as I’ve seen it present the table differently on different occasions. I’ve put the instruction in a System role message to format everything for HTML and when presenting data use TABLE. It basically works but one time it writes it out in one row, another it puts all of the attributes in one column with the value in the 2nd column. Another time it makes a matrix (which I like best). Or should the response itself be formatted as an HTML table? Should the response from the function write it as HTML output?

The result of these functions is not looking for creative text or summary in paragraph form. So however I can guide it to present it consistently would help a lot.

Wondering that your thoughts/experiences with this are.


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Functions are for performing tasks or actions. Not for receiving output.

If you want flexible content creation, you have to go back in time to a model that hasn’t been corrupted to ignore your directions and only output markdown into ChatGPT - the models from last March.

The latest model: at least writing some html again:

(PS OMG the first and last time I’ll try to use “playground” for assistants.)

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