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Completion System


This describes the shell code for the new completion system. It consists of various shell functions; those beginning `comp' are to be called directly by the user, while those beginning `_' are called by the completion code. The shell functions of the second set which implement completion behaviour and which may be bound to keystrokes, are referred to as `widgets'.

Note that with the function-based completions described here, it is also possible to use the `compctl -M ...' mechanism to specify global matching control, such as case-insensitivity (`abc' will complete to a string beginning `ABC'), or wildcard behaviour on certain anchors (`a-d' will complete to abc-def as if there were a `*' after the `a'). See section Matching Control for further details.


The function compinstall can be run by a user to set up the completion system for use, which also provides options for more advanced usage. However, if the system was installed completely, it should be enough to call the shell function compinit from your initialization file; see the next section.

Usually, compinstall will insert code into .zshrc, although if that is not writable it will save it in another file and tell you that file's location. Note that it is up to you to make sure that the lines added to .zshrc are actually run; you may, for example, need to move them to an earlier place in the file if .zshrc usually returns early. So long as you keep them all together (including the comment lines at the start and finish), you can rerun compinstall and it will correctly locate and modify these lines. Note, however, that any code you add to this section by hand is likely to be lost if you rerun compinstall. The new code will take effect next time you start the shell, or run .zshrc by hand.

To run it, you will need to make sure it is in a directory mentioned in your $fpath parameter, and that it is autoloaded (`autoload -U compinstall' is recommended). It will ask you various questions about how you would like completion set up. It is in two parts; the basic part locates the completion files and decides where to put your personal dumpfile, used to speed up initialization after the first time. After that, you will be asked if you wish to go on to the advanced set-up; if you answer n, you can rerun compinstall later without having to re-enter any of the basic settings.

You can abort the installation any time you are being prompted for information, and your .zshrc will not be altered at all.

After initialization all the builtin completion widgets such as expand-or-complete will be redefined to use the new completion system. Should you need to, you can still bind keys to the old functions by putting a `.' in front, e.g. `.expand-or-complete'.

Use of compinit

This section describes the use of compinit to initialize completion for the current session when run directly by the user; if you have run compinstall it will be called automatically from your .zshrc.

To initialize the system, the function compinit should be in a directory mentioned in the $fpath variable, and should be autoloaded (`autoload -U compinit' is recommended). When run, it will define a few utility functions, arrange for all the necessary shell functions to be autoloaded, and will then re-bind all keys that do completion to use the new system.

To speed up the running of compinit, it can be made to produce a dumped configuration which will be read in on future invocations; this is the default, although it can be turned off by calling compinit with the option -D. The dumped file is .zcompdump in the same directory as the startup files (i.e. $ZDOTDIR or $HOME); alternatively, an explicit file name can be given by `compinit -d dumpfile'. On the next call to compinit, the dumped file will be read instead of a full initialization.

If the number of completion files changes, compinit will recognise this and produce a new dump file. However, if the name of a function or the arguments in the first line of a #compdef function (as described below) change, it is easiest to delete the dump file by hand so that the next time compinit will re-create it.

The dumping is actually done by another function, compdump, but you will only need to run this yourself if you change the configuration (e.g. using compdef) and then want to dump the new one. The name of the old dumped file will be remembered for this purpose.

If the parameter _compdir is set, compinit uses it as a directory where completion functions can be found; this is only necessary if they are not already in the function search path.

Autoloaded files

The convention for autoloaded functions used in completion is that they start with an underscore; as already mentioned, the fpath/FPATH parameter must contain the directory in which they are stored. If zsh was properly installed on your system, then fpath/FPATH automatically contains the required directories.

For incomplete installations, if compinit does not find enough files beginning with an underscore (fewer than twenty) in the search path, it will try to find more by adding the directory _compdir to the search path; if you have run compinstall, this will be set automatically. Furthermore, if the directory in question ends in the path segment Core, or has a subdirectory named Core, compinit will add all subdirectories of the directory where Core is to the path: this allows the functions to be in the same format as in the zsh source distribution.

When compinit is run, it searches all such files accessible via fpath/FPATH and reads the first line of each of them. This line should contain one of the tags described below. Files whose first line does not start with one of these tags are not considered to be part of the completion system and will not be treated specially.

The tags are:

#compdef names...
The file will be made autoloadable and the function defined in it will be called when completing names, each of which is either the name of a command whose arguments are to be completed or one of a number of special contexts in the form -context- described below for the _complete function.
#compdef -p pattern
The file will be made autoloadable and the function defined in it will be called when completing for a command whose name matches the given pattern (a standard globbing pattern). Note that only one pattern may be given.
#compdef -k style key-sequences...
This can be used to bind special completion functions to the key-sequences. It creates a widget behaving like the builtin widget style, which must be one of those that perform completion, namely complete-word, delete-char-or-list, expand-or-complete, expand-or-complete-prefix, list-choices, menu-complete, menu-expand-or-complete, or reverse-menu-complete. If the complist module is loaded (see section The complist Module), the menu-select widget can be used, too. If the option -n is also given, the bindings will not be used if the key is already bound (that is, is bound to something other than undefined-key).

The widget is then bound to all the key-sequences given, if any: when one of the key-sequences is typed, the function in the file will be invoked to generate the matches. The widget created has the same name as the file and can also be bound to other keys using bindkey as usual.

This is used for files defining utility function that are not to be called directly as completion functions but should be loaded automatically when invoked. Typically they are to be called from within one of the completion functions.

Note that the # is part of the tag name and no white space is allowed after it. The #compdef tags use the compdef function defined below; the main difference is that the name of the function is supplied implicitly.


The compinit file defines the following functions, which may also be called directly by the user.

compdef [ -an ] function names...
compdef -d names...
compdef -p [ -a ] function pattern
compdef -k [ -a ] function style key-sequences...
The first form tells the completion system to call the given function when completing for the contexts or commands whose names are given: this is like the #compdef tag. If the -n option is given, any existing completion behaviour for particular contexts or commands will not be altered. These definitions can be deleted by giving the -d option as in the second form.

The third form is similar to the first, but function will be called for all commands whose name matches the pattern; this is like the #compdef -p function tag.

The fourth form defines a widget with the same name as the function which will be called for each of the key-sequences; this is like the #compdef -k tag. The function should generate the completions needed and will otherwise behave like the builtin widget whose name is given as the style argument. The widgets usable for this are: complete-word, delete-char-or-list, expand-or-complete, expand-or-complete-prefix, list-choices, menu-complete, menu-expand-or-complete, and reverse-menu-complete, as well as menu-select if the complist module is loaded. The option -n prevents the key being bound if it is already to bound to something other than undefined-key.

In each of the forms supporting it the -a option makes the function autoloadable (exactly equivalent to autoload function).

compconf definitions...
compconf [ -L ]
compconf [ -l ] [ -L ] keys...
Several aspects of the completion system can be configured by the user. The configuration values are stored under the keys described below in the associative array `compconfig'. After sourcing compinit, configuration values can either be set directly as in `compconfig[completer]=_complete' or by calling this utility function.

Each definition may be either a simple `key', which sets this key in the compconfig array to an empty string, or of the form `key=value' which stores the `value' under key `key'.

Since the completion system also uses the array for internal purposes, you should not set all values at once by doing `compconfig=(...)'.

In the second form (without arguments), this function lists all keys and their values. If given the -l option as its first argument, as in the last form, the other arguments are taken as names of keys and the values of these keys are printed one per line. In either case, if the -L option is given, the keys and values are printed as calls to this function, usable to be put in a setup script.

Control Functions

The initialization script compinit redefines all the widgets which perform completion to call the supplied widget function _main_complete. This function acts as a wrapper calling the so-called `completer' functions that generate matches. If _main_complete is called with arguments, these are taken as the names of completer functions to be called in the order given. If no arguments are given, the set of functions to try is taken from the colon-separated list in the configuration key completer. For example, to use normal completion and correction if that doesn't generate any matches:

compconf completer=_complete:_correct

after sourcing compinit. The default value for this configuration key set up in compinit is `_complete', i.e. normally only ordinary completion is tried. The _main_complete function uses the return value of the completer functions to decide if other completers should be called. If the return value is zero, no other completers are tried and the _main_complete function returns.

The widget function _main_complete also uses the configuration key last_prompt. If this is set to always, the cursor is moved up to the last prompt after printing a list of matches even if a numeric argument was given.

The following completer functions are contained in the distribution (users may write their own):

This completer generates all possible completions in a context-sensitive manner, i.e. using the compdef function explained above and the current settings of all special parameters.

To complete arguments of commands, _complete uses the utility function _normal, which is in turn responsible for finding the particular function; it is described below. Various contexts of the form -context-, as mentioned above for the #compdef tag, are handled specially. These are:

for completion after an equal sign, other than one occurring in a shell-variable assignment.
for completion after a tilde (`~') character, but before a slash.
for completion after a redirection operator.
for completion inside mathematical contexts, such as `((...))'.
for completion inside subscripts.
for completion on the right hand side of an assignment.
for completion on the right hand side of an array-assignment (`foo=(...)').
for completion inside conditions (`[[...]]').
for completing the name of a parameter expansion (`$...').
for completing the name of a parameter expansion within braces (`${...}').
for adding completions before any other other completion functions are tried (similar to the `-T' flag of compctl); if this function sets the _compskip parameter to any value, the completion system will not call any other function to generate matches.
for generating completions when no special completion function is used (similar to the `-D' option of compctl).
for completing in a command position (as with the `-C' option of compctl).

Default implementations are supplied for each of these contexts, in most cases named after the context itself (e.g. completion for the `-tilde-' context is done by the function named `_tilde').

Before trying to find a function for a specific context, _complete checks if the parameter `compcontext' is set to a non-empty value. If it is, the value is taken as the name of the context to use and the function defined for that context will be called.

This completer function uses the _complete completer to generate a list of strings for the context the cursor is currently in, allowing you to specify a maximum number of errors: see the description of approximate matching in section Filename Generation for how errors are counted. The resulting list of corrected and completed strings is then presented to the user. The intended use of this completer function is to try after the normal _complete completer by setting:

compconf completer=_complete:_approximate

This will give correcting completion if and only if normal completion doesn't yield any possible completions. When corrected completions are found, the completer will normally start menucompletion allowing you to cycle through these strings.

The exact behavior of this completer can be changed by using the following configuration keys:

This should be set to the number of errors the correction code should accept. The completer will try to generate completions by first allowing one error, then two errors, and so on, until either a match was found or the maximum number of errors given by this key has been reached.

If the value for this key contains a lower- or upper-case `n', the completer function will take any numeric argument as the maximum number of errors allowed. For example, with

compconf approximate_accept=2n

two errors will be allowed if no numeric argument is given. However, with a numeric argument of six (as in `ESC-6 TAB'), up to six errors are accepted. Hence with a value of `0n', no correcting completion will be attempted unless a numeric argument is given.

If the value contains `n' or `N' and an exclamation mark (`!'), _approximate will not try to generate corrected completions when given a numeric argument, so in this case the number given should be greater than zero. For example, `2n!' specifies that correcting completion with two errors will usually be performed, but if a numeric argument is given, correcting completion will not be performed.

This key is used to specify whether the original string on which correcting completion was attempted is to be included in the list of possible corrections. If it is set to any non-empty string, the original string will be offered when cycling through the completions. Normally it will appear as the first string, so that the command line does not change immediately; consecutive completion attempts will cycle through the corrected strings. If the value for this key contains the substring `last', the original string will be the last one in the list, so that it appears just before wrapping around to the first corrected string again. Also, if the value contains the substring `always', the original string will always be included; normally it is included only if more than one possible correction was generated.
This can be set to a string to be displayed on top of the corrected strings generated when cycling through them. This string may contain the control sequences `%n', `%B', etc. known from the `-X' option of compctl. Also, the sequence `%e' will be replaced by the number of errors accepted to generate the corrected strings.
If this is set to a string starting with `unambig', the code will try to insert a usable unambiguous string in the command line instead of always cycling through the corrected strings. If such a unambiguous string could be found, the original string is not used, independent of the setting of approximate_original. If no sensible string could be found, one can cycle through the corrected strings as usual.

If any of these keys is not set, but the the same key with the prefix `correct' instead of `approximate' is set, that value will be used. The forms beginning with `correct' are also used by the _correct completer function.

The keys with the `approximate' prefix have no default values, but compinit defines default values for correct_accept (which is set to `2n'), and correct_prompt.

Generate corrections (but not completions) for the current word; this is similar to spell-checking. This calls _approximate, but only the configuration parameters beginning correct_ are used.

For example, with:

compconf completer=_complete:_correct:_approximate
compconf correct_accept='2n!' approximate_accept=3n

correction will accept up to two errors. If a numeric argument is given, correction will not be performed, but correcting completion will be, and will accept as many errors as given by the numeric argument. Without a numeric argument, first correction and then correcting completion will be tried, with the first one accepting two errors and the second one accepting three errors.

This completer function is intended to be used without the _approximate completer or, as in the example, just before it. Using it after the _approximate completer is useless since _approximate will at least generate the corrected strings generated by the _correct completer -- and probably more.

This completer is intended to be used after the _complete completer. It allows one to give patterns on the command line and to complete all strings matching these patterns from the set of possible completions for the context the cursor is in, without having to set the GLOB_COMPLETE option.

Normally this will be done by taking the pattern from the line, inserting a `*' at the cursor position and comparing the resulting pattern with the possible completions generated. However, if the configuration key match_original has a value of `only', no `*' will be inserted. If match_original has any other non-empty string as its value, this completer will first try to generate matches without, then with a `*' inserted at the cursor position.

The generated matches will be offered in a menucompletion unless the match_insert configuration key is set to a string starting with `unambig'. In this case menucompletion will only be started if no unambiguous string could be generated that is at least as long as the original string.

This completer function does not really do completion, but instead checks if the word on the command line is eligible for expansion and, if it is, gives detailed control over how this expansion is done. When using this, one should not use the expand-or-complete widget, but instead use complete-word, as otherwise expand-or-complete will expand the string on the line before the completion widget is called. Also, this completer should be called before the _complete completer function.

Control over how the expanded string will be treated is possible with the following configuration keys:

If this is unset or set to the empty string, the code will first try to expand all substitutions in the string (such as `$(...)' and `${...}'). If this is set to an non-empty string it should be an expression usable inside a `$((...))' arithmetical expression. In this case, expansion of substitutions will be done if the expression evaluates to `1'. For example, with

compconf expand_substitute='${NUMERIC:-1} != 1'

substitution will be performed only if given an explicit numeric argument other than `1', as by typing `ESC 2 TAB'.

If this is unset or set to an empty string, globbing will be attempted on the word resulting from substitution or the original string. The values accepted for this key are the same as for expand_substitute.
If this is unset or set to the empty string, the words resulting from expansion (if any) will simply be inserted in the command line, replacing the original string. However, if this key is set to a non-empty string, the user can cycle through the expansion as in menucompletion. Unless the value contains the substring `only', the user will still be offered all expansions at once as one of the strings to insert in the command line; normally, this possibility is offered first, but if the value contains the substring `last', it is offered last. Finally, if the value contains the substring `sort', the expansions will be sorted alphabetically, normally they are kept in the order the expansion produced them in.
If this is set to an non-empty string, the original string from the line will be included in the list of strings the user can cycle through as in a menucompletion. If the value contains the substring `last', the original string will appear as the last string, with other values it is inserted as the first one (so that the command line does not change immediately).
This may be set to a string that should be displayed before the possible expansions. This is passed to the `-X' option of compadd and thus may contain the control sequences `%n', `%B', etc. Also, the sequence `%o' in this string will be replaced by the original string.

None of these configuration keys has a default value.

This completer allows one to delay the insertion of matches until completion is attempted a second time without the word on the line being changed. On the first attempt, only the list of matches will be shown. Configuration keys understood are:

If this key is unset or set to the empty string, the insertion of matches will be delayed unconditionally. If this value is set, it should be set to an expression usable inside a `$((...))' arithmetical expression. In this case, delaying will be done if the expression evaluates to `1'. For example, with

compconf list_condition='NUMERIC != 1'

delaying will be done only if given an explicit numeric argument other than `1'.

To find out if listing should be performed on its own, the code normally compares the contents of the line with the contents the line had at the time of the last invocation. If this key is set to an non-empty string, comparison is done using only the current word. So if it is set, attempting completion on a word equal to the one when completion was called the last time will not delay the generation of matches.
This completer is a simple example function implemented to show how menucompletion can be done in shell code. It should be used as the first completer and has the effect of making the code perform menucompletion. Note that this is independent of the setting of the MENU_COMPLETE option and does not work with the other menucompletion widgets such as reverse-menu-complete, or accept-and-menu-complete.
This completer controls how the standard completion widgets behave when there is an existing list of completions which may have been generated by a special completion (i.e. a separately-bound completion command). It should appear in the list of completers before any of the widgets which generate matches. It understands two configuration keys:

If this is set to always, then standard widgets which perform listing will retain the current list of matches, however they were generated. If it is set to never, this will not be done (the behaviour without the _oldlist completer). If it is unset, or any other value, then the existing list of completions will be displayed if it is not already; otherwise, the standard completion list will be generated: this is the default behaviour of _oldlist. However, if there is an old list and this key contains the name of the completer function that generated the list, then the old list will be used even if it was generated by a widget which does not do listing.

For example, suppose you type ^Xc to use the _correct_word widget, which generates a list of corrections for the word under the cursor. Usually, typing ^D would generate a standard list of completions for the word on the command line, and show that. With _oldlist, it will instead show the list of corrections already generated.

As another example consider the _match completer: with the match_insert key set to unambig it inserts only an unambiguous prefix string if there is any. But since this may remove parts of the original pattern, attempting completion again may result in more matches than on the first attempt. But by using the _oldlist completer and setting this key to _match, the list of matches generated on the first attempt will be used again.

Controls how menu completion behaves when a completion has already been inserted and the user types a standard completion key type such as TAB. The default behaviour of _oldlist is that menu completion always continues with the existing list of completions. If this key is set to never, however, a new completion is started if the old list was generated by a different completion command (the behaviour without the _oldlist completer).

For example, suppose you type ^Xc to generate a list of corrections, and menu completion is started in one of the usual ways. Usually, typing TAB at this point would start trying to complete the line as it now appears. With _oldlist, it will instead continue to cycle through the list of completions.

Utility Functions

Descriptions follow for utility functions that may be useful when writing completion functions. Most of these reside in the Core subdirectory except where noted. Like the example functions for commands in the distribution, the utility functions generating matches all follow the convention of returning zero if they generated completions and non-zero if no matching completions could be added.

This function looks up the definitions for the context and command names given as arguments and calls the handler functions for them if there is a definition (given with the compdef function). For example, the function completing inside subscripts might use `_compalso -math-' to include the completions generated for mathematical environments.
This function is used for normal command completion. If completion is attempted on the first word, command names are completed. Otherwise, the arguments are completed by calling the functions defined for this command, including those functions defined for patterns matching the command name. This function can also be called by other completion functions if they have to complete a range of words as a separate command. For example, the function to complete after the pre-command specifiers such as nohup removes the first word from the words array, decrements the CURRENT parameter, then calls this function.

When calling a function defined for a pattern, this function also checks if the parameter _compskip is set. If it was set by the function called, no further completion functions are called. With this one can write a pattern completion function that keeps other functions from being tried simply by setting this parameter to any value.

This function gets two arguments: a separator character and an array. As usual, the array may be either the name of an array parameter or a literal array in the form `(foo bar)' (i.e. a list of words separated by white space in parentheses). With these arguments, this function will complete to strings from the array where the parts separated by the separator character are completed independently. For example, the _tar function from the distribution caches the pathnames from the tar file in an array and then calls this function to complete these names in the way normal filenames are completed by the _path_files function.

Like other utility functions, this function accepts the `-V', `-J', and `-X' options with an argument and passes them to the compadd builtin.

This function gets as arguments alternating arrays and separators. The arrays specify completions for parts of strings to be separated by the separators. The arrays may be the names of array parameters or a quoted list of words in parentheses. For example, with the array `hosts=(ftp news)' the call `_sep_parts '(foo bar)' @ hosts' will complete the string `f' to `foo' and the string `b@n' to `bar@news'.

This function passes the `-V', `-J', and `-X' options and their arguments to the compadd builtin used to add the matches.

_path_files and _files
The function _path_files is used throughout the shell code to complete filenames. The advantage over the builtin completion functions is that it allows completion of partial paths. For example, the string `/u/i/s/sig' may be completed to `/usr/include/sys/signal.h'. The options `-/', `-f', `-g', and `-W' are available as for the compctl and compgen builtins; -f is the default. Additionally, the `-F' option from the compadd builtin is supported, giving direct control over which filenames should be ignored as done by the fignore parameter in normal completion.

The function _files calls _path_files with all the arguments it was passed and, if that generated no matches, calls _path_files again without any -g or -/ option, thus generating all filenames.

These functions also accept the `-J', `-V', `-X', `-P', `-S', `-q', `-r', and `-R' options from the compadd builtin.

Finally, the _path_files function supports three configuration keys.

If this is set to any non-empty string, the partially typed path from the line will be expanded as far as possible even if trailing pathname components can not be completed.
If this is set to a non-empty string, the cursor will be left after the first ambiguous pathname component even when menucompletion is used.
If this is set to a non-empty string, then if completion immediately after a slash fails, treat the original string as a successful completion. This prevents a valid directory being treated as a candidate for correction. However, it has the side effect that a pattern completion, such as `files -g *(*)', will no longer try to complete directories in this position if there are no file matches.
This should be used to complete parameter names if you need some of the extra options of compadd. All arguments are passed unchanged to the compadd builtin.
This can be used to complete option names. The difference to the `-o' option of compgen is that this function uses a matching specification that ignores a leading `no', ignores underscores and allows the user to type upper-case letters, making them match their lower-case counterparts. All arguments passed to this function are propagated unchanged to the compgen builtin.
_set_options and _unset_options
These functions complete only set or unset options, with the same matching specification used in the _options function.

Note that you need to uncomment a few lines in the _main_complete function for these functions to work properly. The lines in question are used to store the option settings in effect before the completion widget locally sets the options it needs.

This function resides in the Base subdirectory of the example completion system because it is not used by the core system.

This function is used to complete long options for commands that support the `--help' option as, for example, most of the GNU commands do. For this it invokes the command from the line with the `--help' option and then parses the output to find possible option names. Note that this means that you should be careful to make sure that this function is not called for a command that does not support this option.

For options that get an argument after a `=', the function also automatically tries to find out what should be completed as the argument. The possible completions for option-arguments can be described with the arguments to this function. This is done by giving pairs of patterns and actions as consecutive arguments. The actions specify what should be done to complete arguments of those options whose description match the pattern. The action may be a list of words in brackets or in parentheses, separated by spaces. A list in square brackets denotes possible values for an optional argument, a list in parentheses gives words to complete for mandatory arguments. If the action does not start with a square bracket or parenthesis, it should be the name of a command (probably with arguments) that should be invoked to complete after the equal sign. Example:

_long_options '*\*'     '(yes no)' \ 
              '*=FILE*' '_files' \ 
              '*=DIR*'  '_files -/'

Here, `yes' and `no' will be completed as the argument of options whose description ends in a star, file names for options that contain the substring `=FILE' in the description, and paths for options whose description contains `=DIR'. In fact, the last two patterns are not needed since this function always completes files for option descriptions containing `=FILE' and paths for option descriptions that contain `=DIR' or `=PATH'. These builtin patterns can be overridden by patterns given as arguments, however.

This function also accepts the `-X', `-J', and `-V' options which are passed unchanged to `compadd'. If the option `-t' is given, completion is only done on words starting with two hyphens. The option `-i patterns' can be used to give patterns for options which should not be completed. The patterns can be given as the name of an array parameter or as a literal list in parentheses. E.g. `-i "(--(en|dis)able-FEATURE*)"' will ignore the options `--enable-FEATURE' and `--disable-FEATURE'. Finally, the option `-s pairs' can be used to describe options aliases. Each pair consists of a pattern and a replacement. E.g. some configure-scripts describe options only as `--enable-foo', but also accept `disable-foo'. To allow completion of the second form, one would use `-s "(#--enable- --disable-)"'.

Completion Directories

In the source distribution, the files are contained in various subdirectories of the Completion directory. They may have been installed in the same structure, or into one single function directory. The following is a description of the files found in the original directory structure. If you wish to alter an installed file, you will need to copy it to some directory which appears earlier in your fpath than the standard directory where it appears.

The core scripts and functions. You will certainly need these, though will probably not need to alter them. Many of these are documented above.
Other functions you will almost certainly want if you are going to use any of the standard completion functions. You may want to edit some of these files.
Functions for completing arguments of shell builtin commands.
Functions for completing arguments of external commands and suites of commands. They may need modifying for your system.
Functions which implement special types of completion to be bound to keystrokes rather than called by context.

Bindable Commands

In addition to the context-dependent completions provided, which are expected to work in an intuitively obvious way, there are a few widgets implementing special behaviour which can be bound separately to keys. The following is a list of these and their default bindings.

_correct_filename (^XC)
Correct the filename path at the cursor position. Allows up to six errors in the name. Can also be called with an argument to correct a filename path, independently of zle; the correction is printed on standard output.
_correct_word (^Xc)
Performs correction of the current argument using the usual contextual completions as possible choices.
_expand_word (^Xe)
Performs expansion on the current word: equivalent to the standard expand-word command, but using all the `expand_*' configuration keys described previously. In addition, each such key can be overridden by a key starting with the string `expandword_'; for example, the expandword_substitute key if defined overrides the expand_substitute key.
_history_complete_word (\e/)
Complete words from the shell's command history.
_most_recent_file (^Xm)
Complete the name of the most recently modified file matching the pattern on the command line (which may be blank). If given a numeric argument N, complete the Nth most recently modified file. Note the completion, if any, is always unique.
_read_comp (^X^R)
Prompt the user for a string, and use that to perform completion on the current word. There are two possibilities for the string. First, it can be a set of words beginning `_', for example `_files -/', in which case the function with any arguments will be called to generate the completions. Unambiguous parts of the function name will be completed automatically (normal completion is not available at this point) until a space is typed.

Otherwise, any other string, for example `-b', will be passed as arguments to compgen and should hence be a set of flags specifying the type of completion.

A very restricted set of editing commands is available when reading the string: `DEL' and `^H' delete the last character; `^U' deletes the line, and `^C' and `^G' abort the function, while `RET' accepts the completion. Note the string is used verbatim as a command line, so arguments must be quoted in accordance with standard shell rules.

Once a string has been read, the next call to _read_comp will use the existing string instead of reading a new one. To force a new string to be read, call _read_comp with a numeric argument.

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