This subsection describes how to control whether typing a command not specifically meaningful in searches exits the search before executing the command. It also describes three categories of commands which you can type without exiting the current incremental search, even though they are not themselves part of incremental search.
Normally, typing a command that is not bound by the incremental
search exits the search before executing the command. Thus, the
command operates on the buffer from which you invoked the search.
However, if you customize the variable
append, the characters which you type that are not interpreted by
the incremental search are simply appended to the search string. This
is so you could include in the search string control characters, such
as C-a, that would normally exit the search and invoke the
command bound to them on the buffer.
In incremental search, when you type a command that specifies a prefix argument (see Numeric Arguments), by default it will apply either to the next action in the search or to the command that exits the search. In other words, entering a prefix argument will not by itself terminate the search.
In previous versions of Emacs, entering a prefix argument always
terminated the search. You can revert to this behavior by setting the
isearch-allow-scroll is non-
nil (see below),
prefix arguments always have the default behavior described above,
i.e., they don’t terminate the search, even if
Normally, scrolling commands exit incremental search. If you change
isearch-allow-scroll to a non-
that enables the use of the scroll-bar, as well as keyboard scrolling
commands like C-v, M-v, and C-l (see Scrolling).
This applies only to calling these commands via their bound key
sequences—typing M-x will still exit the search. You can give
prefix arguments to these commands in the usual way. This feature
normally won’t let you scroll the current match out of visibility; but
if you customize
isearch-allow-scroll to the special value
unlimited, that restriction is lifted.
isearch-allow-scroll feature also affects some other
commands, such as C-x 2 (
C-x ^ (
enlarge-window), which don’t exactly scroll but do
affect where the text appears on the screen. It applies to any
command whose name has a non-
property. So you can control which commands are affected by changing
For example, to make C-h l usable within an incremental search
in all future Emacs sessions, use C-h c to find what command it
runs (see Documentation for a Key), which is
view-lossage. Then you can
put the following line in your init file (see The Emacs Initialization File):
(put 'view-lossage 'isearch-scroll t)
This feature can be applied to any command that doesn’t permanently
change point, the buffer contents, the match data, the current buffer,
or the selected window and frame. The command must not itself attempt
an incremental search. This feature is disabled if
nil (which it is by default).
Likewise, if you change the variable
to a non-
nil value, this enables the use of the keyboard motion
commands M-<, M->, C-v and M-v, to move
respectively to the first occurrence of the current search string in
the buffer, the last one, the first one after the current window,
and the last one before the current window. The search direction
does not change when these motion commands are used, unless you change
isearch-motion-changes-direction to a non-
value, in which case the search direction is forward after M-< and
C-v, and backward after M-> and M-v.
isearch-yank-on-move is customized to
you can extend the search string by holding down the shift key while
typing cursor motion commands. It will yank text that ends at the new
position after moving point in the current buffer.
t, you can extend the
search string without using the shift key for cursor motion commands,
but it applies only for certain motion command that have the
isearch-move property on their symbols.