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GNU Emacs Manual

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E.3.4 Completion Options

When completion is done on file names, certain file names are usually ignored. The variable completion-ignored-extensions contains a list of strings; a file whose name ends in any of those strings is ignored as a possible completion. The standard value of this variable has several elements including ".o", ".elc", ".dvi" and "~". The effect is that, for example, `foo' can complete to `foo.c' even though `foo.o' exists as well. However, if all the possible completions end in "ignored" strings, then they are not ignored. Ignored extensions do not apply to lists of completions--those always mention all possible completions.

Normally, a completion command that cannot determine even one additional character automatically displays a list of all possible completions. If the variable completion-auto-help is set to nil, this automatic display is disabled, so you must type ? to display the list of completions.

Partial Completion mode implements a more powerful kind of completion that can complete multiple words in parallel. For example, it can complete the command name abbreviation p-b into print-buffer, because no other command starts with two words whose initials are `p' and `b'.

Partial completion of directories in file names uses `*' to indicate the places for completion; thus, `/u*/b*/f*' might complete to `/usr/bin/foo'.

To enable this mode, use the command M-x partial-completion-mode, or customize the option partial-completion-mode. This binds the partial completion commands to TAB, SPC, RET, and ?. The usual completion commands are available on M-TAB, M-SPC, M-RET and M-?.

Another feature of Partial Completion mode is to extend find-file so that the `<include>' stands for the file named include in some directory in the path PC-include-file-path. If you set PC-disable-includes to non-nil, this feature is disabled.

Icomplete mode presents a constantly-updated display that tells you what completions are available for the text you've entered so far. The command to enable or disable this minor mode is M-x icomplete-mode.


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