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ZSHCOMPCTL(1)		    General Commands Manual		 ZSHCOMPCTL(1)

       zshcompctl - zsh	programmable completion

       This  version  of zsh has two ways of performing	completion of words on
       the command line.  New users of the shell may prefer to use  the	 newer
       and more	powerful system	based on shell functions; this is described in
       zshcompsys(1), and the basic shell  mechanisms  which  support  it  are
       described in zshcompwid(1).  This manual	entry describes	the older com-
       pctl command.

       compctl [ -CDT ]	options	[ command ... ]
       compctl [ -CDT ]	options	[ -x pattern options - ... -- ]
	       [ + options [ -x	... -- ] ... [+] ] [ command ... ]
       compctl -M match-specs ...
       compctl -L [ -CDTM ] [ command ... ]
       compctl + command ...

       Control the editor's completion behavior	according to the supplied  set
       of options.  Various editing commands, notably expand-or-complete-word,
       usually bound to	tab, will attempt to complete  a  word	typed  by  the
       user, while others, notably delete-char-or-list,	usually	bound to ^D in
       EMACS editing mode, list	the possibilities; compctl controls what those
       possibilities  are.  They may for example be filenames (the most	common
       case, and  hence	 the  default),	 shell	variables,  or	words  from  a
       user-specified list.

       Completion of the arguments of a	command	may be different for each com-
       mand or may use the default.  The behavior when completing the  command
       word  itself may	also be	separately specified.  These correspond	to the
       following flags and arguments, all of which (except for -L) may be com-
       bined with any combination of the options described subsequently	in the
       section `Option Flags':

       command ...
	      controls completion for the named	commands, which	must be	listed
	      last on the command line.	 If completion is attempted for	a com-
	      mand with	a pathname containing slashes and no completion	 defi-
	      nition  is  found,  the search is	retried	with the last pathname
	      component. If the	command	starts with a =, completion  is	 tried
	      with the pathname	of the command.

	      Any  of the command strings may be patterns of the form normally
	      used for filename	generation.  These should be quoted to protect
	      them  from  immediate  expansion;	for example the	command	string
	      'foo*' arranges for completion  of  the  words  of  any  command
	      beginning	 with  foo.  When completion is	attempted, all pattern
	      completions are tried in the reverse order of  their  definition
	      until one	matches.  By default, completion then proceeds as nor-
	      mal, i.e.	the shell will try to generate more  matches  for  the
	      specific	command	on the command line; this can be overridden by
	      including	-tn in the flags for the pattern completion.

	      Note that	aliases	are expanded before the	command	name is	deter-
	      mined  unless  the COMPLETE_ALIASES option is set.  Commands may
	      not be combined with the -C, -D or -T flags.

       -C     controls completion when the command word	itself is  being  com-
	      pleted.  If no compctl -C	command	has been issued,  the names of
	      any executable command (whether in the path or specific  to  the
	      shell, such as aliases or	functions) are completed.

       -D     controls	default	 completion behavior for the arguments of com-
	      mands not	assigned any special behavior.	If no compctl -D  com-
	      mand has been issued, filenames are completed.

       -T     supplies completion flags	to be used before any other processing
	      is done, even before processing for compctls  defined  for  spe-
	      cific  commands.	 This  is especially useful when combined with
	      extended completion (the -x flag,	see the	section	`Extended Com-
	      pletion'	below).	 Using this flag you can define	default	behav-
	      ior which	will apply to all commands without exception,  or  you
	      can  alter the standard behavior for all commands.  For example,
	      if your access to	the user database is too slow and/or  it  con-
	      tains  too  many users (so that completion after `~' is too slow
	      to be usable), you can use

		     compctl -T	-x 's[~] C[0,[^/]#]' -k	friends	-S/ -tn

	      to complete the strings in the array friends after a  `~'.   The
	      C[...]  argument	is necessary so	that this form of ~-completion
	      is not tried after the directory name is finished.

       -L     lists the	existing completion behavior in	a manner suitable  for
	      putting  into  a	start-up  script; the existing behavior	is not
	      changed.	Any combination	of the above forms,  or	 the  -M  flag
	      (which must follow the -L	flag), may be specified, otherwise all
	      defined completions are listed.  Any other  flags	 supplied  are

       no argument
	      If  no  argument is given, compctl lists all defined completions
	      in an abbreviated	form;  with a list of options, all completions
	      with  those  flags  set  (not  counting extended completion) are

       If the +	flag is	alone and followed immediately by  the	command	 list,
       the  completion	behavior  for all the commands in the list is reset to
       the default.  In	other words,  completion  will	subsequently  use  the
       options specified by the	-D flag.

       The  form  with -M as the first and only	option defines global matching
       specifications (see zshcompwid).	The match specifications given will be
       used  for  every	 completion attempt (only when using compctl, not with
       the new completion system) and are tried	in the order in	which they are
       defined until one generates at least one	match. E.g.:

	      compctl -M '' 'm:{a-zA-Z}={A-Za-z}'

       This  will first	try completion without any global match	specifications
       (the empty string) and, if that generates no  matches,  will  try  case
       insensitive completion.

       [ -fcFBdeaRGovNAIOPZEnbjrzu/12 ]
       [ -k array ] [ -g globstring ] [	-s subststring ]
       [ -K function ]
       [ -Q ] [	-P prefix ] [ -S suffix	]
       [ -W file-prefix	] [ -H num pattern ]
       [ -q ] [	-X explanation ] [ -Y explanation ]
       [ -y func-or-var	] [ -l cmd ] [ -h cmd ]	[ -U ]
       [ -t continue ] [ -J name ] [ -V	name ]
       [ -M match-spec ]

       The remaining options specify the type of command arguments to look for
       during completion.  Any combination of these flags  may	be  specified;
       the  result is a	sorted list of all the possibilities.  The options are
       as follows.

   Simple Flags
       These produce completion	lists made up by the shell itself:

       -f     Filenames	and file system	paths.

       -/     Just file	system paths.

       -c     Command names, including aliases,	shell functions, builtins  and
	      reserved words.

       -F     Function names.

       -B     Names of builtin commands.

       -m     Names of external	commands.

       -w     Reserved words.

       -a     Alias names.

       -R     Names of regular (non-global) aliases.

       -G     Names of global aliases.

       -d     This can be combined with	-F, -B,	-w, -a,	-R and -G to get names
	      of disabled functions, builtins, reserved	words or aliases.

       -e     This option (to show enabled commands) is	in effect by  default,
	      but may be combined with -d; -de in combination with -F, -B, -w,
	      -a, -R and  -G  will  complete  names  of	 functions,  builtins,
	      reserved words or	aliases	whether	or not they are	disabled.

       -o     Names of shell options (see zshoptions(1)).

       -v     Names of any variable defined in the shell.

       -N     Names of scalar (non-array) parameters.

       -A     Array names.

       -I     Names of integer variables.

       -O     Names of read-only variables.

       -p     Names of parameters used by the shell (including special parame-

       -Z     Names of shell special parameters.

       -E     Names of environment variables.

       -n     Named directories.

       -b     Key binding names.

       -j     Job names:  the first word of the	 job  leader's	command	 line.
	      This is useful with the kill builtin.

       -r     Names of running jobs.

       -z     Names of suspended jobs.

       -u     User names.

   Flags with Arguments
       These have user supplied	arguments to determine how the list of comple-
       tions is	to be made up:

       -k array
	      Names taken from the elements of $array (note that the `$'  does
	      not  appear  on  the command line).  Alternatively, the argument
	      array itself may be a set	of space- or comma-separated values in
	      parentheses,  in which any delimiter may be escaped with a back-
	      slash; in	this case the argument should be quoted.  For example,

		     compctl -k	"(cputime filesize datasize stacksize
				 coredumpsize resident descriptors)" limit

       -g globstring
	      The globstring is	expanded using filename	globbing; it should be
	      quoted  to  protect  it  from immediate expansion. The resulting
	      filenames	are taken as the  possible  completions.   Use	`*(/)'
	      instead  of `*/' for directories.	 The fignore special parameter
	      is not applied to	the resulting files.  More  than  one  pattern
	      may  be given separated by blanks. (Note that brace expansion is
	      not part of globbing.  Use the  syntax  `(either|or)'  to	 match

       -s subststring
	      The  subststring	is  split  into	words and these	words are than
	      expanded using all shell expansion mechanisms (see  zshexpn(1)).
	      The resulting words are taken as possible	completions.  The fig-
	      nore special parameter is	not applied to	the  resulting	files.
	      Note that	-g is faster for filenames.

       -K function
	      Call the given function to get the completions.  Unless the name
	      starts with an underscore, the function is passed	two arguments:
	      the  prefix and the suffix of the	word on	which completion is to
	      be attempted, in other words those characters before the	cursor
	      position,	and those from the cursor position onwards.  The whole
	      command line can be accessed with	the -c and  -l	flags  of  the
	      read  builtin.  The function should set the variable reply to an
	      array containing the completions (one completion	per  element);
	      note  that reply should not be made local	to the function.  From
	      such a function the command line can be accessed with the	-c and
	      -l flags to the read builtin.  For example,

		     function whoson { reply=(`users`);	}
		     compctl -K	whoson talk

	      completes	only logged-on users after `talk'.  Note that `whoson'
	      must return an array, so `reply=`users`' would be	incorrect.

       -H num pattern
	      The possible completions are taken from  the  last  num  history
	      lines.   Only  words matching pattern are	taken.	If num is zero
	      or negative the whole history is searched	and if pattern is  the
	      empty  string  all words are taken (as with `*').	 A typical use

		     compctl -D	-f + -H	0 ''

	      which forces completion to look back in the history list	for  a
	      word if no filename matches.

   Control Flags
       These do	not directly specify types of name to be completed, but	manip-
       ulate the options that do:

       -Q     This instructs the shell not to quote any	metacharacters in  the
	      possible	completions.  Normally the results of a	completion are
	      inserted into the	command	line with any metacharacters quoted so
	      that  they are interpreted as normal characters.	This is	appro-
	      priate for filenames and ordinary	strings.  However, for special
	      effects,	such  as inserting a backquoted	expression from	a com-
	      pletion array (-k) so that the expression	will not be  evaluated
	      until the	complete line is executed, this	option must be used.

       -P prefix
	      The  prefix  is  inserted	 just before the completed string; any
	      initial part already typed will be completed and the whole  pre-
	      fix ignored for completion purposes.  For	example,

		     compctl -j	-P "%" kill

	      inserts  a  `%'  after  the  kill	command	and then completes job

       -S suffix
	      When a completion	is found the suffix is inserted	after the com-
	      pleted  string.	In  the	 case of menu completion the suffix is
	      inserted immediately, but	it is still possible to	cycle  through
	      the list of completions by repeatedly hitting the	same key.

       -W file-prefix
	      With  directory  file-prefix:   for command, file, directory and
	      globbing completion (options -c, -f, -/, -g), the	file prefix is
	      implicitly added in front	of the completion.  For	example,

		     compctl -/	-W ~/Mail maildirs

	      completes	 any subdirectories to any depth beneath the directory
	      ~/Mail, although that prefix does	 not  appear  on  the  command
	      line.   The  file-prefix may also	be of the form accepted	by the
	      -k flag, i.e. the	name of	an array or a literal list  in	paren-
	      thesis.  In  this	 case  all the directories in the list will be
	      searched for possible completions.

       -q     If used with a suffix as specified by the	-S option, this	causes
	      the  suffix to be	removed	if the next character typed is a blank
	      or does not insert anything or if	the suffix  consists  of  only
	      one  character  and the next character typed is the same charac-
	      ter; this	the same rule used for the  AUTO_REMOVE_SLASH  option.
	      The  option  is  most  useful for	list separators	(comma,	colon,

       -l cmd This option restricts the	range of command line words  that  are
	      considered  to  be  arguments.   If  combined  with  one	of the
	      extended completion patterns  `p[...]',  `r[...]',  or  `R[...]'
	      (see  the	 section  `Extended  Completion'  below)  the range is
	      restricted to the	range of arguments specified in	the  brackets.
	      Completion is then performed as if these had been	given as argu-
	      ments to the cmd supplied	with the option. If the	cmd string  is
	      empty  the  first	word in	the range is instead taken as the com-
	      mand name, and command name completion performed	on  the	 first
	      word in the range.  For example,

		     compctl -x	'r[-exec,;]' -l	'' -- find

	      completes	 arguments  between  `-exec' and the following `;' (or
	      the end of the command line if there is no such  string)	as  if
	      they were	a separate command line.

       -h cmd Normally	zsh  completes	quoted	strings	 as a whole. With this
	      option, completion can be	done separately	on different parts  of
	      such  strings. It	works like the -l option but makes the comple-
	      tion code	work on	the parts of the current word that  are	 sepa-
	      rated by spaces. These parts are completed as if they were argu-
	      ments to the given cmd. If cmd is	the empty  string,  the	 first
	      part is completed	as a command name, as with -l.

       -U     Use  the whole list of possible completions, whether or not they
	      actually match the word on the command line.  The	word typed  so
	      far will be deleted.  This is most useful	with a function	(given
	      by the -K	option)	which can examine the word  components	passed
	      to  it  (or  via the read	builtin's -c and -l flags) and use its
	      own criteria to decide what matches.  If there is	no completion,
	      the original word	is retained.  Since the	produced possible com-
	      pletions seldom have interesting common prefixes	and  suffixes,
	      menu  completion	is started immediately if AUTO_MENU is set and
	      this flag	is used.

       -y func-or-var
	      The list provided	by func-or-var is  displayed  instead  of  the
	      list  of	completions whenever a listing is required; the	actual
	      completions to be	inserted are not affected.  It can be provided
	      in  two ways. Firstly, if	func-or-var begins with	a $ it defines
	      a	variable, or if	it begins with a left  parenthesis  a  literal
	      array, which contains the	list.  A variable may have been	set by
	      a	call to	a function using the -K	option.	 Otherwise it contains
	      the  name	 of  a	function  which	will be	executed to create the
	      list.  The function will be  passed  as  an  argument  list  all
	      matching	completions,  including	prefixes and suffixes expanded
	      in full, and should set the array	reply to the result.  In  both
	      cases,  the display list will only be retrieved after a complete
	      list of matches has been created.

	      Note that	the returned list does not have	to correspond, even in
	      length,  to  the original	set of matches,	and may	be passed as a
	      scalar instead of	an array.  No special formatting of characters
	      is performed on the output in this case; in particular, newlines
	      are printed literally and	if they	appear output  in  columns  is

       -X explanation
	      Print  explanation  when trying completion on the	current	set of
	      options. A `%n' in this string is	 replaced  by  the  number  of
	      matches that were	added for this explanation string.  The	expla-
	      nation only appears if completion	was tried  and	there  was  no
	      unique  match,  or when listing completions. Explanation strings
	      will be listed together with the matches of the group  specified
	      together	with the -X option (using the -J or -V option).	If the
	      same explanation string is given to  multiple  -X	 options,  the
	      string  appears  only  once  (for	 each group) and the number of
	      matches shown for	the `%n' is the	total number  of  all  matches
	      for each of these	uses. In any case, the explanation string will
	      only be shown if there was at least  one	match  added  for  the
	      explanation string.

	      The  sequences  %B,  %b,	%S,  %s,  %U,  and  %u	specify	output
	      attributes (bold,	standout, and underline), %F, %f, %K, %k spec-
	      ify  foreground  and background colours, and %{...%} can be used
	      to include literal escape	sequences as in	prompts.

       -Y explanation
	      Identical	to -X, except that  the	 explanation  first  undergoes
	      expansion	 following  the	 usual	rules  for  strings  in	double
	      quotes.  The expansion will be carried out after	any  functions
	      are  called for the -K or	-y options, allowing them to set vari-

       -t continue
	      The continue-string contains a character	that  specifies	 which
	      set of completion	flags should be	used next.  It is useful:

	      (i)  With	-T, or when trying a list of pattern completions, when
	      compctl would usually continue with  ordinary  processing	 after
	      finding matches; this can	be suppressed with `-tn'.

	      (ii)  With  a  list of alternatives separated by +, when compctl
	      would normally stop  when	 one  of  the  alternatives  generates
	      matches.	 It  can be forced to consider the next	set of comple-
	      tions by adding `-t+' to the flags of the	alternative before the

	      (iii)  In	 an extended completion	list (see below), when compctl
	      would normally continue until a  set  of	conditions  succeeded,
	      then use only the	immediately following flags.  With `-t-', com-
	      pctl will	continue trying	extended completions  after  the  next
	      `-';  with  `-tx'	 it  will  attempt completion with the default
	      flags, in	other words those before the `-x'.

       -J name
	      This gives the name of the group the matches  should  be	placed
	      in. Groups are listed and	sorted separately; likewise, menu com-
	      pletion will offer the matches in	the groups  in	the  order  in
	      which  the  groups  were defined.	If no group name is explicitly
	      given, the matches are stored in	a  group  named	 default.  The
	      first  time  a group name	is encountered,	a group	with that name
	      is created. After	that all matches with the same group name  are
	      stored in	that group.

	      This  can	 be useful with	non-exclusive alternative completions.
	      For example, in

		     compctl -f	-J files -t+ + -v -J variables foo

	      both files and variables are possible completions,  as  the  -t+
	      forces  both  sets  of alternatives before and after the + to be
	      considered at once.  Because of the  -J  options,	 however,  all
	      files are	listed before all variables.

       -V name
	      Like  -J,	 but  matches  within  the group will not be sorted in
	      listings nor in menu completion. These unsorted groups are in  a
	      different	 name space from the sorted ones, so groups defined as
	      -J files and -V files are	distinct.

       -1     If given together	with the -V  option,  makes  only  consecutive
	      duplicates  in  the  group be removed. Note that groups with and
	      without this flag	are in different name spaces.

       -2     If given together	with the -J or -V option, makes	all duplicates
	      be kept. Again, groups with and without this flag	are in differ-
	      ent name spaces.

       -M match-spec
	      This defines additional  matching	 control  specifications  that
	      should  be  used	only  when testing words for the list of flags
	      this flag	appears	in. The	format of  the	match-spec  string  is
	      described	in zshcompwid.

       compctl [ -CDT ]	options	+ options [ + ... ] [ +	] command ...

       The  form  with	`+' specifies alternative options. Completion is tried
       with the	options	before the first `+'. If this produces no matches com-
       pletion	is  tried with the flags after the `+' and so on. If there are
       no flags	after the last `+' and a match has not been found up  to  that
       point, default completion is tried.  If the list	of flags contains a -t
       with a +	character, the next list of flags is used even if the  current
       list produced matches.

       Additional  options are available that restrict completion to some part
       of the command line; this is referred to	as `extended completion'.

       compctl [ -CDT ]	options	-x pattern options - ... --
	       [ command ... ]
       compctl [ -CDT ]	options	[ -x pattern options - ... -- ]
	       [ + options [ -x	... -- ] ... [+] ] [ command ... ]

       The form	with `-x'  specifies  extended	completion  for	 the  commands
       given;  as  shown, it may be combined with alternative completion using
       `+'.  Each pattern is examined in turn; when a match is found, the cor-
       responding  options,  as	described in the section `Option Flags'	above,
       are used	to generate possible completions.  If no pattern matches,  the
       options given before the	-x are used.

       Note  that  each	 pattern  should  be supplied as a single argument and
       should be quoted	to prevent expansion of	metacharacters by the shell.

       A pattern is built of sub-patterns separated by commas; it  matches  if
       at  least  one  of  these sub-patterns matches (they are	`or'ed). These
       sub-patterns are	in turn	composed of other  sub-patterns	 separated  by
       white  spaces  which  match  if all of the sub-patterns match (they are
       `and'ed).  An element of	the sub-patterns is of the form	`c[...][...]',
       where  the pairs	of brackets may	be repeated as often as	necessary, and
       matches if any of the sets of brackets match (an	 `or').	  The  example
       below makes this	clearer.

       The elements may	be any of the following:

	      Matches  if the current word on the command line starts with one
	      of the strings given in brackets.	 The string is not removed and
	      is not part of the completion.

	      Like s[string] except that the string is part of the completion.

	      Matches  if the number of	the current word is between one	of the
	      from and to pairs	inclusive. The comma and to are	 optional;  to
	      defaults	to  the	 same value as from.  The numbers may be nega-
	      tive: -n refers to the n'th last word on the line.

	      Matches if the string matches the	word offset by offset from the
	      current word position.  Usually offset will be negative.

	      Like c but using pattern matching	instead.

	      Matches  if  the	word  in position index	is equal to the	corre-
	      sponding string.	Note that the word count  is  made  after  any
	      alias expansion.

	      Like w but using pattern matching	instead.

	      Matches if the current word contains string.  Anything up	to and
	      including	the indexth occurrence of this string will not be con-
	      sidered part of the completion, but the rest will.  index	may be
	      negative to count	from the end: in most cases, index will	 be  1
	      or -1.  For example,

		     compctl -s	'`users`' -x 'n[1,@]' -k hosts -- talk

	      will  usually  complete  usernames, but if you insert an @ after
	      the name,	names from the array hosts (assumed to	contain	 host-
	      names,  though  you  must	 make the array	yourself) will be com-
	      pleted.  Other commands such as rcp can be handled similarly.

	      Like n except that the string  will  be  taken  as  a  character
	      class.   Anything	 up to and including the indexth occurrence of
	      any of the characters in string will not be considered  part  of
	      the completion.

	      Matches  if  the	total number of	words lies between min and max

	      Matches if the cursor is after a	word  with  prefix  str1.   If
	      there  is	also a word with prefix	str2 on	the command line after
	      the one matched by str1 it matches only if the cursor is	before
	      this  word. If the comma and str2	are omitted, it	matches	if the
	      cursor is	after a	word with prefix str1.

	      Like r but using pattern matching	instead.

	      Matches the word currently being completed is in	single	quotes
	      and the str begins with the letter `s', or if completion is done
	      in double	quotes and str starts with the letter `d', or if  com-
	      pletion is done in backticks and str starts with a `b'.

	      compctl -u -x 's[+] c[-1,-f],s[-f+]' \
		-g '~/Mail/*(:t)' - 's[-f],c[-1,-f]' -f	-- mail

       This is to be interpreted as follows:

       If the current command is mail, then

	      if ((the current word begins with	+ and the previous word	is -f)
	      or (the current word begins with -f+)), then complete the
	      non-directory part (the `:t' glob	modifier) of files in the directory
	      ~/Mail; else

	      if the current word begins with -f or the	previous word was -f, then
	      complete any file; else

	      complete user names.

zsh 5.3.1		       December	21, 2016		 ZSHCOMPCTL(1)


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