abbrevs.texi   [plain text]

@c -*-texinfo-*-
@c This is part of the GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual.
@c Copyright (C) 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003,
@c   2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  Free Software Foundation, Inc.
@c See the file elisp.texi for copying conditions.
@setfilename ../info/abbrevs
@node Abbrevs, Processes, Syntax Tables, Top
@chapter Abbrevs and Abbrev Expansion
@cindex abbrev
@c  @cindex abbrev table  Redundant with "abbrev".

  An abbreviation or @dfn{abbrev} is a string of characters that may be
expanded to a longer string.  The user can insert the abbrev string and
find it replaced automatically with the expansion of the abbrev.  This
saves typing.

  The set of abbrevs currently in effect is recorded in an @dfn{abbrev
table}.  Each buffer has a local abbrev table, but normally all buffers
in the same major mode share one abbrev table.  There is also a global
abbrev table.  Normally both are used.

  An abbrev table is represented as an obarray containing a symbol for
each abbreviation.  The symbol's name is the abbreviation; its value
is the expansion; its function definition is the hook function to do
the expansion (@pxref{Defining Abbrevs}); its property list cell
typically contains the use count, the number of times the abbreviation
has been expanded.  Alternatively, the use count is on the
@code{count} property and the system-abbrev flag is on the
@code{system-type} property.  Abbrevs with a non-@code{nil}
@code{system-type} property are called ``system'' abbrevs.  They are
usually defined by modes or packages, instead of by the user, and are
treated specially in certain respects.

Because the symbols used for abbrevs are not interned in the usual
obarray, they will never appear as the result of reading a Lisp
expression; in fact, normally they are never used except by the code
that handles abbrevs.  Therefore, it is safe to use them in an
extremely nonstandard way.  @xref{Creating Symbols}.

  For the user-level commands for abbrevs, see @ref{Abbrevs,, Abbrev
Mode, emacs, The GNU Emacs Manual}.

* Abbrev Mode::                 Setting up Emacs for abbreviation.
* Tables: Abbrev Tables.        Creating and working with abbrev tables.
* Defining Abbrevs::            Specifying abbreviations and their expansions.
* Files: Abbrev Files.          Saving abbrevs in files.
* Expansion: Abbrev Expansion.  Controlling expansion; expansion subroutines.
* Standard Abbrev Tables::      Abbrev tables used by various major modes.
@end menu

@node Abbrev Mode, Abbrev Tables, Abbrevs, Abbrevs
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@section Setting Up Abbrev Mode

  Abbrev mode is a minor mode controlled by the value of the variable

@defvar abbrev-mode
A non-@code{nil} value of this variable turns on the automatic expansion
of abbrevs when their abbreviations are inserted into a buffer.
If the value is @code{nil}, abbrevs may be defined, but they are not
expanded automatically.

This variable automatically becomes buffer-local when set in any fashion.
@end defvar

@defvar default-abbrev-mode
This is the value of @code{abbrev-mode} for buffers that do not override it.
This is the same as @code{(default-value 'abbrev-mode)}.
@end defvar

@node Abbrev Tables, Defining Abbrevs, Abbrev Mode, Abbrevs
@section Abbrev Tables

  This section describes how to create and manipulate abbrev tables.

@defun make-abbrev-table
This function creates and returns a new, empty abbrev table---an obarray
containing no symbols.  It is a vector filled with zeros.
@end defun

@defun clear-abbrev-table table
This function undefines all the abbrevs in abbrev table @var{table},
leaving it empty.  It always returns @code{nil}.
@end defun

@defun copy-abbrev-table table
This function returns a copy of abbrev table @var{table}---a new
abbrev table that contains the same abbrev definitions.  The only
difference between @var{table} and the returned copy is that this
function sets the property lists of all copied abbrevs to 0.
@end defun

@defun define-abbrev-table tabname definitions
This function defines @var{tabname} (a symbol) as an abbrev table
name, i.e., as a variable whose value is an abbrev table.  It defines
abbrevs in the table according to @var{definitions}, a list of
elements of the form @code{(@var{abbrevname} @var{expansion}
@var{hook} @var{usecount} @var{system-flag})}.  If an element of
@var{definitions} has length less than five, omitted elements default
to @code{nil}.  A value of @code{nil} for @var{usecount} is equivalent
to zero.  The return value is always @code{nil}.

If this function is called more than once for the same @var{tabname},
subsequent calls add the definitions in @var{definitions} to
@var{tabname}, rather than overriding the entire original contents.
(A subsequent call only overrides abbrevs explicitly redefined or
undefined in @var{definitions}.)
@end defun

@defvar abbrev-table-name-list
This is a list of symbols whose values are abbrev tables.
@code{define-abbrev-table} adds the new abbrev table name to this list.
@end defvar

@defun insert-abbrev-table-description name &optional human
This function inserts before point a description of the abbrev table
named @var{name}.  The argument @var{name} is a symbol whose value is an
abbrev table.  The return value is always @code{nil}.

If @var{human} is non-@code{nil}, the description is human-oriented.
System abbrevs are listed and identified as such.  Otherwise the
description is a Lisp expression---a call to @code{define-abbrev-table}
that would define @var{name} as it is currently defined, but without
the system abbrevs.  (The mode or package using @var{name} is supposed
to add these to @var{name} separately.)
@end defun

@node Defining Abbrevs, Abbrev Files, Abbrev Tables, Abbrevs
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@section Defining Abbrevs
  @code{define-abbrev} is the low-level basic function for defining an
abbrev in a specified abbrev table.  When major modes predefine standard
abbrevs, they should call @code{define-abbrev} and specify @code{t} for
@var{system-flag}.  Be aware that any saved non-``system'' abbrevs are
restored at startup, i.e. before some major modes are loaded.  Major modes
should therefore not assume that when they are first loaded their abbrev
tables are empty.

@defun define-abbrev table name expansion &optional hook count system-flag
This function defines an abbrev named @var{name}, in @var{table}, to
expand to @var{expansion} and call @var{hook}.  The return value is

The value of @var{count}, if specified, initializes the abbrev's
usage-count.  If @var{count} is not specified or @code{nil}, the use
count is initialized to zero.

The argument @var{name} should be a string.  The argument
@var{expansion} is normally the desired expansion (a string), or
@code{nil} to undefine the abbrev.  If it is anything but a string or
@code{nil}, then the abbreviation ``expands'' solely by running

The argument @var{hook} is a function or @code{nil}.  If @var{hook} is
non-@code{nil}, then it is called with no arguments after the abbrev is
replaced with @var{expansion}; point is located at the end of
@var{expansion} when @var{hook} is called.

@cindex @code{no-self-insert} property
If @var{hook} is a non-@code{nil} symbol whose @code{no-self-insert}
property is non-@code{nil}, @var{hook} can explicitly control whether
to insert the self-inserting input character that triggered the
expansion.  If @var{hook} returns non-@code{nil} in this case, that
inhibits insertion of the character.  By contrast, if @var{hook}
returns @code{nil}, @code{expand-abbrev} also returns @code{nil}, as
if expansion had not really occurred.

If @var{system-flag} is non-@code{nil}, that marks the abbrev as a
``system'' abbrev with the @code{system-type} property.  Unless
@var{system-flag} has the value @code{force}, a ``system'' abbrev will
not overwrite an existing definition for a non-``system'' abbrev of the
same name.

Normally the function @code{define-abbrev} sets the variable
@code{abbrevs-changed} to @code{t}, if it actually changes the abbrev.
(This is so that some commands will offer to save the abbrevs.)  It
does not do this for a ``system'' abbrev, since those won't be saved
@end defun

@defopt only-global-abbrevs
If this variable is non-@code{nil}, it means that the user plans to use
global abbrevs only.  This tells the commands that define mode-specific
abbrevs to define global ones instead.  This variable does not alter the
behavior of the functions in this section; it is examined by their
@end defopt

@node Abbrev Files, Abbrev Expansion, Defining Abbrevs, Abbrevs
@section Saving Abbrevs in Files

  A file of saved abbrev definitions is actually a file of Lisp code.
The abbrevs are saved in the form of a Lisp program to define the same
abbrev tables with the same contents.  Therefore, you can load the file
with @code{load} (@pxref{How Programs Do Loading}).  However, the
function @code{quietly-read-abbrev-file} is provided as a more
convenient interface.

  User-level facilities such as @code{save-some-buffers} can save
abbrevs in a file automatically, under the control of variables
described here.

@defopt abbrev-file-name
This is the default file name for reading and saving abbrevs.
@end defopt

@defun quietly-read-abbrev-file &optional filename
This function reads abbrev definitions from a file named @var{filename},
previously written with @code{write-abbrev-file}.  If @var{filename} is
omitted or @code{nil}, the file specified in @code{abbrev-file-name} is
used.  @code{save-abbrevs} is set to @code{t} so that changes will be

This function does not display any messages.  It returns @code{nil}.
@end defun

@defopt save-abbrevs
A non-@code{nil} value for @code{save-abbrevs} means that Emacs should
offer the user to save abbrevs when files are saved.  If the value is
@code{silently}, Emacs saves the abbrevs without asking the user.
@code{abbrev-file-name} specifies the file to save the abbrevs in.
@end defopt

@defvar abbrevs-changed
This variable is set non-@code{nil} by defining or altering any
abbrevs (except ``system'' abbrevs).  This serves as a flag for
various Emacs commands to offer to save your abbrevs.
@end defvar

@deffn Command write-abbrev-file &optional filename
Save all abbrev definitions (except ``system'' abbrevs), for all abbrev
tables listed in @code{abbrev-table-name-list}, in the file
@var{filename}, in the form of a Lisp program that when loaded will
define the same abbrevs.  If @var{filename} is @code{nil} or omitted,
@code{abbrev-file-name} is used.  This function returns @code{nil}.
@end deffn

@node Abbrev Expansion, Standard Abbrev Tables, Abbrev Files, Abbrevs
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@section Looking Up and Expanding Abbreviations

  Abbrevs are usually expanded by certain interactive commands,
including @code{self-insert-command}.  This section describes the
subroutines used in writing such commands, as well as the variables they
use for communication.

@defun abbrev-symbol abbrev &optional table
This function returns the symbol representing the abbrev named
@var{abbrev}.  The value returned is @code{nil} if that abbrev is not
defined.  The optional second argument @var{table} is the abbrev table
to look it up in.  If @var{table} is @code{nil}, this function tries
first the current buffer's local abbrev table, and second the global
abbrev table.
@end defun

@defun abbrev-expansion abbrev &optional table
This function returns the string that @var{abbrev} would expand into (as
defined by the abbrev tables used for the current buffer).  If
@var{abbrev} is not a valid abbrev, the function returns @code{nil}.
The optional argument @var{table} specifies the abbrev table to use,
as in @code{abbrev-symbol}.
@end defun

@deffn Command expand-abbrev
This command expands the abbrev before point, if any.  If point does not
follow an abbrev, this command does nothing.  The command returns the
abbrev symbol if it did expansion, @code{nil} otherwise.

If the abbrev symbol has a hook function which is a symbol whose
@code{no-self-insert} property is non-@code{nil}, and if the hook
function returns @code{nil} as its value, then @code{expand-abbrev}
returns @code{nil} even though expansion did occur.
@end deffn

@deffn Command abbrev-prefix-mark &optional arg
This command marks the current location of point as the beginning of
an abbrev.  The next call to @code{expand-abbrev} will use the text
from here to point (where it is then) as the abbrev to expand, rather
than using the previous word as usual.

First, this command expands any abbrev before point, unless @var{arg}
is non-@code{nil}.  (Interactively, @var{arg} is the prefix argument.)
Then it inserts a hyphen before point, to indicate the start of the
next abbrev to be expanded.  The actual expansion removes the hyphen.
@end deffn

@defopt abbrev-all-caps
When this is set non-@code{nil}, an abbrev entered entirely in upper
case is expanded using all upper case.  Otherwise, an abbrev entered
entirely in upper case is expanded by capitalizing each word of the
@end defopt

@defvar abbrev-start-location
The value of this variable is a buffer position (an integer or a marker)
for @code{expand-abbrev} to use as the start of the next abbrev to be
expanded.  The value can also be @code{nil}, which means to use the
word before point instead.  @code{abbrev-start-location} is set to
@code{nil} each time @code{expand-abbrev} is called.  This variable is
also set by @code{abbrev-prefix-mark}.
@end defvar

@defvar abbrev-start-location-buffer
The value of this variable is the buffer for which
@code{abbrev-start-location} has been set.  Trying to expand an abbrev
in any other buffer clears @code{abbrev-start-location}.  This variable
is set by @code{abbrev-prefix-mark}.
@end defvar

@defvar last-abbrev
This is the @code{abbrev-symbol} of the most recent abbrev expanded.  This
information is left by @code{expand-abbrev} for the sake of the
@code{unexpand-abbrev} command (@pxref{Expanding Abbrevs,, Expanding
Abbrevs, emacs, The GNU Emacs Manual}).
@end defvar

@defvar last-abbrev-location
This is the location of the most recent abbrev expanded.  This contains
information left by @code{expand-abbrev} for the sake of the
@code{unexpand-abbrev} command.
@end defvar

@defvar last-abbrev-text
This is the exact expansion text of the most recent abbrev expanded,
after case conversion (if any).  Its value is @code{nil} if the abbrev
has already been unexpanded.  This contains information left by
@code{expand-abbrev} for the sake of the @code{unexpand-abbrev} command.
@end defvar

@c Emacs 19 feature
@defvar pre-abbrev-expand-hook
This is a normal hook whose functions are executed, in sequence, just
before any expansion of an abbrev.  @xref{Hooks}.  Since it is a normal
hook, the hook functions receive no arguments.  However, they can find
the abbrev to be expanded by looking in the buffer before point.
Running the hook is the first thing that @code{expand-abbrev} does, and
so a hook function can be used to change the current abbrev table before
abbrev lookup happens.  (Although you have to do this carefully.  See
the example below.)
@end defvar

  The following sample code shows a simple use of
@code{pre-abbrev-expand-hook}.  It assumes that @code{foo-mode} is a
mode for editing certain files in which lines that start with @samp{#}
are comments.  You want to use Text mode abbrevs for those lines.  The
regular local abbrev table, @code{foo-mode-abbrev-table} is
appropriate for all other lines.  Then you can put the following code
in your @file{.emacs} file.  @xref{Standard Abbrev Tables}, for the
definitions of @code{local-abbrev-table} and @code{text-mode-abbrev-table}.

(defun foo-mode-pre-abbrev-expand ()
  (when (save-excursion (forward-line 0) (eq (char-after) ?#))
    (let ((local-abbrev-table text-mode-abbrev-table)
	  ;; Avoid infinite loop.
	  (pre-abbrev-expand-hook nil))
    ;; We have already called `expand-abbrev' in this hook.
    ;; Hence we want the "actual" call following this hook to be a no-op.
    (setq abbrev-start-location (point-max)
	  abbrev-start-location-buffer (current-buffer))))

(add-hook 'foo-mode-hook
	  #'(lambda ()
	      (add-hook 'pre-abbrev-expand-hook
			nil t)))
@end smallexample

Note that @code{foo-mode-pre-abbrev-expand} just returns @code{nil}
without doing anything for lines not starting with @samp{#}.  Hence
abbrevs expand normally using @code{foo-mode-abbrev-table} as local
abbrev table for such lines.

@node Standard Abbrev Tables,  , Abbrev Expansion, Abbrevs
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@section Standard Abbrev Tables

  Here we list the variables that hold the abbrev tables for the
preloaded major modes of Emacs.

@defvar global-abbrev-table
This is the abbrev table for mode-independent abbrevs.  The abbrevs
defined in it apply to all buffers.  Each buffer may also have a local
abbrev table, whose abbrev definitions take precedence over those in the
global table.
@end defvar

@defvar local-abbrev-table
The value of this buffer-local variable is the (mode-specific)
abbreviation table of the current buffer.
@end defvar

@defvar fundamental-mode-abbrev-table
This is the local abbrev table used in Fundamental mode; in other words,
it is the local abbrev table in all buffers in Fundamental mode.
@end defvar

@defvar text-mode-abbrev-table
This is the local abbrev table used in Text mode.
@end defvar

@defvar lisp-mode-abbrev-table
This is the local abbrev table used in Lisp mode and Emacs Lisp mode.
@end defvar

   arch-tag: 5ffdbe08-2cd4-48ec-a5a8-080f95756eec
@end ignore