Emacs: isearch-forward-symbol-at-point Problem

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

or, Which Part of Symbol Don't You Get?

Emacs 24.4, there's a new command isearch-forward-symbol-at-point. [see Emacs 24.4 New Features (released 2014-10)]

Try this. Create a file with this content:


Now call emacs-lisp-mode

put your cursor at the beginning of the xyz.

now call isearch-forward-symbol-at-pointAlt+s .】, then press 【Ctrl+s】.

did it land on the “~/xyz/”?

why not? because it searches the “symbol” with added boundary check. (see its doc string) So this means, it's nice if you are in a programing language source code and are searching function/variable names and don't want to jump to another name that happens to contain it as substring. But, in a config file or general text soup, you get stung.

but you can toggle it so it just search string without caring about boundary. Press 【Alt+s _】 while in isearch.

so, it's 【Alt+s . Alt+s _ Ctrl+s】. One heck of a somersault.

In vim, it's 【*】. [see Emergency vi]


Emacs: isearch Current Word

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Emacs Lisp