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

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

in Emacs 24.4 (Released 2014-10) , there's a new command isearch-forward-symbol-at-point, but it is very inconvenient to use.

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 vim]