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A smart M-x enhancement for Emacs.

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Smex

Smex

Smex is a M-x enhancement for Emacs. Built on top of Ido, it provides a convenient interface to your recently and most frequently used commands. And to all the other commands, too.

Smex

Get started

  • Get Smex

  • To auto-start Smex every time you open Emacs add these lines to your .emacs file:

    (require 'smex)
    (smex-initialize)
    
  • Bind some keys:

    (global-set-key (kbd "M-x") 'smex)
    (global-set-key (kbd "M-X") 'smex-major-mode-commands)
    ;; This is your old M-x.
    (global-set-key (kbd "C-c C-c M-x") 'execute-extended-command)
    
  • Run Smex. (Type M-x, if that's your key binding).

The commands are displayed in an Ido completion buffer, ordered by relevance. The 7 most recently executed commands come first, the rest are sorted by frequency of use, command length and in alphabetical order.

Ido completion in 10 seconds: Typing selects matching commands: e.g. 'lnmd' matches 'line-number-mode'. C-s/C-r switches to the next/previous match. Enter executes the selected command.

Learn more

Show only major mode commands

smex-major-mode-commands runs Smex, limited to commands that are relevant to the active major mode. Try it with Dired or Magit.

Command help

C-h f, while Smex is active, runs describe-function on the currently selected command.

M-. jumps to the definition of the selected command.

Accessing new commands

Before accepting user input, Smex checks for new command definitions and updates its caches accordingly. You can disable auto-updating and gain some slight speed improvements on older systems by setting smex-auto-update to nil.

To manually update Smex, call it a second time while it is already running.

Additionally, you can teach Smex to auto-update after Emacs has been idle for 60 seconds: Call (smex-auto-update); provide an integer argument for a custom time period in seconds.

Show unbound commands

smex-show-unbound-commands shows frequently used commands that have no key bindings.

Persistence

Smex keeps a file to save its state betweens Emacs sessions. The default path is "~/.smex-items"; you can change it by setting the variable smex-save-file.

History

Set smex-history-length to change the number of recent commands that Smex keeps track of.

Prompt

Set smex-prompt-string for a custom prompt.

Ignore menu bar bindings

Enable smex-key-advice-ignore-menu-bar to ignore clues to menu bar bindings.

Appendix

Smex is my first venture into Elisp. I'd be glad to receive patches, comments and your considered criticism.

Have fun with Smex!

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