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ZSHCOMPWID(1)		    General Commands Manual		 ZSHCOMPWID(1)

       zshcompwid - zsh	completion widgets

       The shell's programmable	completion mechanism can be manipulated	in two
       ways; here the low-level	features supporting the	newer,	function-based
       mechanism  are  defined.	  A  complete  set of shell functions based on
       these features is described in zshcompsys(1), and users with no	inter-
       est in adding to	that system (or, potentially, writing their own	-- see
       dictionary entry	for `hubris') should skip the  current	section.   The
       older  system based on the compctl builtin command is described in zsh-

       Completion widgets are defined by the -C	option to the zle builtin com-
       mand provided by	the zsh/zle module (see	zshzle(1)). For	example,

	      zle -C complete expand-or-complete completer

       defines	a widget named `complete'.  The	second argument	is the name of
       any of the builtin widgets that handle completions: complete-word,  ex-
       pand-or-complete,  expand-or-complete-prefix,  menu-complete,  menu-ex-
       pand-or-complete,     reverse-menu-complete,	 list-choices,	    or
       delete-char-or-list.  Note that this will still work even if the	widget
       in question has been re-bound.

       When this newly defined widget is bound to  a  key  using  the  bindkey
       builtin	command	 defined in the	zsh/zle	module (see zshzle(1)),	typing
       that key	will call the shell function `completer'. This function	is re-
       sponsible  for  generating  the possible	matches	using the builtins de-
       scribed below.  As with other ZLE widgets, the function is called  with
       its standard input closed.

       Once the	function returns, the completion code takes over control again
       and treats the matches in the same manner as the	specified builtin wid-
       get, in this case expand-or-complete.

       used by the completion mechanism, but are not special.  See  Parameters
       Used By The Shell in zshparam(1).

       Inside completion widgets, and any functions called from	them, some pa-
       rameters	have special meaning; outside these  functions	they  are  not
       special to the shell in any way.	 These parameters are used to pass in-
       formation between the completion	code and the completion	 widget.  Some
       of  the builtin commands	and the	condition codes	use or change the cur-
       rent values of these parameters.	 Any existing values  will  be	hidden
       during  execution  of completion	widgets; except	for compstate, the pa-
       rameters	are reset on each function  exit  (including  nested  function
       calls  from  within  the	completion widget) to the values they had when
       the function was	entered.

	      This is the number of the	current	word, i.e. the word the	cursor
	      is  currently  on	 in  the words array.  Note that this value is
	      only correct if the ksharrays option is not set.

	      Initially	this will be set to the	empty string.  This  parameter
	      functions	 like  PREFIX; it contains a string which precedes the
	      one in PREFIX and	is not considered part of the list of matches.
	      Typically,  a string is transferred from the beginning of	PREFIX
	      to the end of IPREFIX, for example:


	      causes the part of the prefix up	to  and	 including  the	 first
	      equal  sign not to be treated as part of a matched string.  This
	      can be done automatically	by the compset builtin,	see below.

	      As IPREFIX, but for a suffix that	should not be considered  part
	      of  the matches; note that the ISUFFIX string follows the	SUFFIX

       PREFIX Initially	this will be set to the	part of	the current word  from
	      the  beginning  of the word up to	the position of	the cursor; it
	      may be altered to	give a common prefix for all matches.

	      This parameter is	read-only and contains the quoted string up to
	      the  word	being completed. E.g. when completing `"foo', this pa-
	      rameter contains the double quote. If the	-q option  of  compset
	      is used (see below), and the original string was `"foo bar' with
	      the cursor on the	`bar', this parameter contains `"foo '.

	      Like QIPREFIX, but containing the	suffix.

       SUFFIX Initially	this will be set to the	part of	the current word  from
	      the cursor position to the end; it may be	altered	to give	a com-
	      mon suffix for all matches.  It is most useful when  the	option
	      COMPLETE_IN_WORD is set, as otherwise the	whole word on the com-
	      mand line	is treated as a	prefix.

	      This is an associative array with	various	keys and  values  that
	      the  completion  code uses to exchange information with the com-
	      pletion widget.  The keys	are:

		     The -q option of the compset builtin command (see	below)
		     allows  a quoted string to	be broken into separate	words;
		     if	the cursor is on one of	those words, that word will be
		     completed,	 possibly  invoking  `compset -q' recursively.
		     With this key it is possible to test the types of	quoted
		     strings  which  are  currently  broken into parts in this
		     fashion.  Its value contains one character	for each quot-
		     ing level.	 The characters	are a single quote or a	double
		     quote for strings quoted with these characters, a dollars
		     sign  for	strings	quoted with $'...' and a backslash for
		     strings not starting with a quote character.   The	 first
		     character	in  the	value always corresponds to the	inner-
		     most quoting level.

		     This will be set by the completion	code  to  the  overall
		     context in	which completion is attempted. Possible	values

			    when completing inside the value of	an  array  pa-
			    rameter  assignment;  in this case the words array
			    contains the words inside the parentheses.

			    when completing the	name of	a parameter in	a  pa-
			    rameter expansion beginning	with ${.  This context
			    will also be set when completing  parameter	 flags
			    following  ${(;  the full command line argument is
			    presented and the handler must test	the  value  to
			    be completed to ascertain that this	is the case.

			    when  completing  the name of a parameter in a pa-
			    rameter assignment.

			    when completing for	a normal  command  (either  in
			    command  position  or  for an argument of the com-

			    when completing inside a `[[...]]' conditional ex-
			    pression;  in  this	 case the words	array contains
			    only the words inside the conditional expression.

		     math   when completing in a mathematical environment such
			    as a `((...))' construct.

			    when  completing  the name of a parameter in a pa-
			    rameter expansion beginning	with $ but not ${.

			    when completing after a redirection	operator.

			    when completing inside a parameter subscript.

		     value  when completing the	value of a  parameter  assign-

	      exact  Controls  the behaviour when the REC_EXACT	option is set.
		     It	will be	set to accept if an exact match	would  be  ac-
		     cepted, and will be unset otherwise.

		     If	it was set when	at least one match equal to the	string
		     on	the line was generated,	the match is accepted.

		     The string	of an exact match if one was found,  otherwise

		     The  number  of  words  that  were	 ignored  because they
		     matched one of the	patterns given with the	-F  option  to
		     the compadd builtin command.

	      insert This  controls  the  manner  in which a match is inserted
		     into the command line.  On	entry to the widget  function,
		     if	 it is unset the command line is not to	be changed; if
		     set to unambiguous, any prefix common to all  matches  is
		     to	 be inserted; if set to	automenu-unambiguous, the com-
		     mon prefix	is to be inserted and the next	invocation  of
		     the completion code may start menu	completion (due	to the
		     AUTO_MENU option being set); if set to menu  or  automenu
		     menu completion will be started for the matches currently
		     generated (in the latter case this	 will  happen  because
		     the  AUTO_MENU  is	 set).	The value may also contain the
		     string `tab' when the completion code would normally  not
		     really do completion, but only insert the TAB character.

		     On	 exit  it may be set to	any of the values above	(where
		     setting it	to the empty string is the same	 as  unsetting
		     it), or to	a number, in which case	the match whose	number
		     is	given will be inserted into the	command	 line.	 Nega-
		     tive  numbers  count  backward  from the last match (with
		     `-1' selecting the	last match)  and  out-of-range	values
		     are  wrapped  around, so that a value of zero selects the
		     last match	and a value one	more than the maximum  selects
		     the  first. Unless	the value of this key ends in a	space,
		     the match is inserted as in a menu	completion, i.e. with-
		     out automatically appending a space.

		     Both menu and automenu may	also specify the number	of the
		     match to insert,  given  after  a	colon.	 For  example,
		     `menu:2'  says  to	 start menu completion,	beginning with
		     the second	match.

		     Note that a value containing the  substring  `tab'	 makes
		     the  matches generated be ignored and only	the TAB	be in-

		     Finally, it may also be  set  to  all,  which  makes  all
		     matches generated be inserted into	the line.

		     When  the completion system inserts an unambiguous	string
		     into the line, there may be multiple places where charac-
		     ters  are missing or where	the character inserted differs
		     from at least one match.  The value of this key  contains
		     a colon separated list of all these positions, as indexes
		     into the command line.

		     If	this is	set to a  non-empty  string  for  every	 match
		     added,  the  completion code will move the	cursor back to
		     the previous prompt after the  list  of  completions  has
		     been displayed.  Initially	this is	set or unset according
		     to	the ALWAYS_LAST_PROMPT option.

	      list   This controls whether or how the list of matches will  be
		     displayed.	  If  it  is unset or empty they will never be
		     listed; if	its value begins with list, they  will	always
		     be	 listed; if it begins with autolist or ambiguous, they
		     will be listed when the AUTO_LIST or  LIST_AMBIGUOUS  op-
		     tions respectively	would normally cause them to be.

		     If	 the  substring	force appears in the value, this makes
		     the list be shown even if there is	only one  match.  Nor-
		     mally, the	list would be shown only if there are at least
		     two matches.

		     The  value	 contains  the	 substring   packed   if   the
		     LIST_PACKED option	is set.	If this	substring is given for
		     all matches added to a group, this	group  will  show  the
		     LIST_PACKED   behavior.   The   same   is	done  for  the
		     LIST_ROWS_FIRST option with the substring rows.

		     Finally, if the value contains the	 string	 explanations,
		     only  the explanation strings, if any, will be listed and
		     if	it contains messages, only the	messages  (added  with
		     the -x option of compadd) will be listed.	If it contains
		     both explanations and messages both kinds of  explanation
		     strings  will be listed.  It will be set appropriately on
		     entry to a	completion widget and may be changed there.

		     This gives	the number of lines that are needed to display
		     the full list of completions.  Note that to calculate the
		     total number of lines to display you need to add the num-
		     ber  of  lines needed for the command line	to this	value,
		     this is available as the value of the BUFFERLINES special

		     Initially this is set to the value	of the LISTMAX parame-
		     ter.  It may be set to any	other value; when  the	widget
		     exits  this  value	 will  be  used	in the same way	as the
		     value of LISTMAX.

		     The number	of matches generated and accepted by the  com-
		     pletion code so far.

		     On	 entry to the widget this will be set to the number of
		     the match of an old list of completions that is currently
		     inserted  into the	command	line. If no match has been in-
		     serted, this is unset.

		     As	with old_list, the value of this key will only be used
		     if	 it is the string keep.	If it was set to this value by
		     the widget	and there was an old match inserted  into  the
		     command line, this	match will be kept and if the value of
		     the insert	key specifies that another match should	be in-
		     serted, this will be inserted after the old one.

		     This is set to yes	if there is still a valid list of com-
		     pletions from a previous completion at the	time the  wid-
		     get  is  invoked.	 This  will usually be the case	if and
		     only if the previous editing operation was	 a  completion
		     widget  or	 one  of the builtin completion	functions.  If
		     there is a	valid list and it is also currently  shown  on
		     the screen, the value of this key is shown.

		     After the widget has exited the value of this key is only
		     used if it	was set	to keep.  In this case the  completion
		     code  will	 continue to use this old list.	 If the	widget
		     generated new matches, they will not be used.

		     The name of the parameter when completing in a  subscript
		     or	in the value of	a parameter assignment.

		     Normally  this  is	set to menu, which specifies that menu
		     completion	will be	used whenever a	 set  of  matches  was
		     generated	using  pattern	matching.  If it is set	to any
		     other non-empty string by the user	and menu completion is
		     not  selected by other option settings, the code will in-
		     stead insert any common prefix for	the generated  matches
		     as	with normal completion.

		     Locally controls the behaviour given by the GLOB_COMPLETE
		     option.  Initially	it is set to `*' if and	 only  if  the
		     option  is	set.  The completion widget may	set it to this
		     value, to an empty	string (which has the same  effect  as
		     unsetting	it),  or to any	other non-empty	string.	 If it
		     is	non-empty, unquoted metacharacters on the command line
		     will be treated as	patterns; if it	is `*',	then addition-
		     ally a wildcard `*' is assumed at the cursor position; if
		     it	is empty or unset, metacharacters will be treated lit-

		     Note that the matcher specifications given	to the compadd
		     builtin  command  are  not	 used  if  this	 is  set  to a
		     non-empty string.

	      quote  When completing inside quotes, this contains  the	quota-
		     tion  character  (i.e.  either  a	single quote, a	double
		     quote, or a backtick).  Otherwise it is unset.

		     When completing inside single quotes, this	is set to  the
		     string  single;  inside double quotes, the	string double;
		     inside backticks, the string backtick.  Otherwise	it  is

		     The redirection operator when completing in a redirection
		     position, i.e. one	of <, >, etc.

		     This is set to auto before	a function is  entered,	 which
		     forces  the  special  parameters  mentioned above (words,
		     stored  to	their previous values when the function	exits.
		     If	a function unsets it or	sets it	to any	other  string,
		     they will not be restored.

	      to_end Specifies	the  occasions on which	the cursor is moved to
		     the end of	a string when a	match is inserted.   On	 entry
		     to	 a widget function, it may be single if	this will hap-
		     pen when a	single unambiguous match was inserted or match
		     if	it will	happen any time	a match	is inserted (for exam-
		     ple, by menu completion; this is likely to	be the	effect
		     of	the ALWAYS_TO_END option).

		     On	 exit,	it may be set to single	as above.  It may also
		     be	set to always, or to the empty	string	or  unset;  in
		     those  cases  the	cursor will be moved to	the end	of the
		     string always or never respectively.  Any other string is
		     treated as	match.

		     This  key is read-only and	will always be set to the com-
		     mon (unambiguous) prefix the completion code  has	gener-
		     ated for all matches added	so far.

		     This  gives the position the cursor would be placed at if
		     the common	prefix in the unambiguous key  were  inserted,
		     relative  to  the	value of that key. The cursor would be
		     placed before the character whose index is	given by  this

		     This contains all positions where characters in the unam-
		     biguous string are	missing	or  where  the	character  in-
		     serted differs from at least one of the matches.  The po-
		     sitions are given as indexes into the string given	by the
		     value of the unambiguous key.

	      vared  If	 completion  is	 called	while editing a	line using the
		     vared builtin, the	value of this key is set to  the  name
		     of	the parameter given as an argument to vared.  This key
		     is	only set while a vared command is active.

       words  This array contains the words present on the command  line  cur-
	      rently being edited.

       compadd [ -akqQfenUl12C ] [ -F array ]
	       [-P prefix ] [ -S suffix	]
	       [-p hidden-prefix ] [ -s	hidden-suffix ]
	       [-i ignored-prefix ] [ -I ignored-suffix	]
	       [-W file-prefix ] [ -d array ]
	       [-J group-name ]	[ -X explanation ] [ -x	message	]
	       [-V group-name ]	[ -o [ order ] ]
	       [-r remove-chars	] [ -R remove-func ]
	       [-D array ] [ -O	array ]	[ -A array ]
	       [-E number ]
	       [-M match-spec ]	[ -- ] [ words ... ]

	      This  builtin  command  can  be used to add matches directly and
	      control all the information the completion code stores with each
	      possible	match. The return status is zero if at least one match
	      was added	and non-zero if	no matches were	added.

	      The completion code breaks the string  to	 complete  into	 seven
	      fields in	the order:


	      The  first  field	 is  an	 ignored prefix	taken from the command
	      line, the	contents of the	 IPREFIX  parameter  plus  the	string
	      given  with  the	-i option. With	the -U option, only the	string
	      from the -i option is used. The field _apre_ is an optional pre-
	      fix  string  given  with	the  -P	option.	 The _hpre_ field is a
	      string that is considered	part of	the match but that should  not
	      be shown when listing completions, given with the	-p option; for
	      example, functions that do filename generation might  specify  a
	      common  path  prefix  this way.  _word_ is the part of the match
	      that should appear in the	list of	completions, i.e. one  of  the
	      words given at the end of	the compadd command line. The suffixes
	      _hsuf_, _asuf_ and _isuf_	correspond  to	the  prefixes  _hpre_,
	      _apre_  and  _ipre_  and are given by the	options	-s, -S and -I,

	      The supported flags are:

	      -P prefix
		     This gives	a string  to  be  inserted  before  the	 given
		     words.  The string	given is not considered	as part	of the
		     match and any shell metacharacters	 in  it	 will  not  be
		     quoted when the string is inserted.

	      -S suffix
		     Like  -P,	but  gives  a  string to be inserted after the

	      -p hidden-prefix
		     This gives	a string that should be	inserted into the com-
		     mand  line	before the match but that should not appear in
		     the list of matches. Unless the -U	option is given,  this
		     string  must be matched as	part of	the string on the com-
		     mand line.

	      -s hidden-suffix
		     Like `-p',	but gives a string to insert after the match.

	      -i ignored-prefix
		     This gives	a string to insert into	the command line  just
		     before  any  string  given	with the `-P' option.  Without
		     `-P' the string is	inserted before	the string given  with
		     `-p' or directly before the match.

	      -I ignored-suffix
		     Like -i, but gives	an ignored suffix.

	      -a     With this flag the	words are taken	as names of arrays and
		     the possible matches are their values.  If	only some ele-
		     ments  of	the arrays are needed, the words may also con-
		     tain subscripts, as in `foo[2,-1]'.

	      -k     With this flag the	words are taken	as names  of  associa-
		     tive  arrays and the possible matches are their keys.  As
		     for -a, the words may  also  contain  subscripts,	as  in

	      -d array
		     This  adds	 per-match  display  strings. The array	should
		     contain one element per word given. The  completion  code
		     will  then	display	the first element instead of the first
		     word, and so on. The array	may be given as	the name of an
		     array  parameter or directly as a space-separated list of
		     words in parentheses.

		     If	there are fewer	display	strings	than words, the	 left-
		     over  words  will be displayed unchanged and if there are
		     more display strings than	words,	the  leftover  display
		     strings will be silently ignored.

	      -l     This  option only has an effect if	used together with the
		     -d	option.	If it is given,	the display strings are	listed
		     one per line, not arrayed in columns.

	      -o [ order ]
		     This  controls the	order in which matches are sorted. or-
		     der is a comma-separated list  comprising	the  following
		     possible  values.	 These	values	can  be	abbreviated to
		     their initial two or three	characters.  Note that the or-
		     der  forms	 part  of the group name space so matches with
		     different orderings will not be in	the same group.

		     match  If given, the order	of the output is determined by
			    the	 match	strings; otherwise it is determined by
			    the	display	strings	(i.e. the strings given	by the
			    -d	option). This is the default if	`-o' is	speci-
			    fied but the order argument	is omitted.

		     nosort This specifies that	the matches are	pre-sorted and
			    their  order should	be preserved.  This value only
			    makes sense	alone and cannot be combined with  any

			    If	the matches include numbers, sort them numeri-
			    cally rather than lexicographically.

			    Arrange the	matches	 backwards  by	reversing  the
			    sort ordering.

	      -J group-name
		     Gives  the	 name of the group of matches the words	should
		     be	stored in.

	      -V group-name
		     Like -J but naming	an  unsorted  group.  This  option  is
		     identical to the combination of -J	and -o nosort.

	      -1     If	given together with the	-V option, makes only consecu-
		     tive duplicates in	the group be removed. If combined with
		     the  -J  option,  this  has  no visible effect. Note that
		     groups with and without this flag are in  different  name

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

	      -X explanation
		     The  explanation  string will be printed with the list of
		     matches, above the	group currently	selected.

		     Within the	explanation, the following  sequences  may  be
		     used  to  specify	output	attributes as described	in the
		     section EXPANSION	OF  PROMPT  SEQUENCES  in  zshmisc(1):
		     `%B',  `%S',  `%U', `%F', `%K' and	their lower case coun-
		     terparts, as well as `%{...%}'.  `%F', `%K' and `%{...%}'
		     take  arguments  in  the  same  form as prompt expansion.
		     (Note that	the sequence `%G' is not available;  an	 argu-
		     ment  to `%{' should be used instead.)  The sequence `%%'
		     produces a	literal	`%'.

		     These sequences are most often  employed  by  users  when
		     customising  the  format  style  (see zshcompsys(1)), but
		     they must also be taken into account when writing comple-
		     tion  functions,  as  passing descriptions	with unescaped
		     `%' characters to utility functions  such	as  _arguments
		     and _message may produce unexpected results. If arbitrary
		     text is to	be passed in a description, it can be  escaped
		     using e.g.	${my_str//\%/%%}.

	      -x message
		     Like  -X,	but  the message will be printed even if there
		     are no matches in the group.

	      -q     The suffix	given with -S will be automatically 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 character.

	      -r remove-chars
		     This is a more versatile form of the -q option.  The suf-
		     fix given with -S or the slash automatically added	 after
		     completing	 directories  will be automatically removed if
		     the next character	typed inserts one  of  the  characters
		     given  in	the  remove-chars.  This string	is parsed as a
		     characters	class and understands the backslash  sequences
		     used by the print command.	 For example, `-r "a-z\t"' re-
		     moves the suffix if the next character  typed  inserts  a
		     lower  case  character  or	a TAB, and `-r "^0-9"' removes
		     the suffix	if the next character typed  inserts  anything
		     but  a  digit. One	extra backslash	sequence is understood
		     in	this string: `\-' stands for all characters  that  in-
		     sert  nothing. Thus `-S "=" -q' is	the same as `-S	"=" -r
		     "=	\t\n\-"'.

		     This option may also be used without the -S option;  then
		     any automatically added space will	be removed when	one of
		     the characters in the list	is typed.

	      -R remove-func
		     This is another form of the -r option. When a suffix  has
		     been  inserted  and the completion	accepted, the function
		     remove-func will  be  called  after  the  next  character
		     typed.  It	is passed the length of	the suffix as an argu-
		     ment and can use the special parameters available in  or-
		     dinary  (non-completion)  zle  widgets (see zshzle(1)) to
		     analyse and modify	the command line.

	      -f     If	this flag is given, all	 of  the  matches  built  from
		     words  are	 marked	as being the names of files.  They are
		     not required to be	actual filenames, but if they are, and
		     the  option  LIST_TYPES is	set, the characters describing
		     the types of the files in the completion  lists  will  be
		     shown. This also forces a slash to	be added when the name
		     of	a directory is completed.

	      -e     This flag can be used to tell the	completion  code  that
		     the matches added are parameter names for a parameter ex-
		     pansion.  This  will  make	  the	AUTO_PARAM_SLASH   and
		     AUTO_PARAM_KEYS options be	used for the matches.

	      -W file-prefix
		     This  string is a pathname	that will be prepended to each
		     of	the matches formed by the given	 words	together  with
		     any  prefix specified by the -p option to form a complete
		     filename for testing.  Hence it is	only  useful  if  com-
		     bined  with  the -f flag, as the tests will not otherwise
		     be	performed.

	      -F array
		     Specifies an array	containing  patterns.  Words  matching
		     one of these patterns are ignored,	i.e. not considered to
		     be	possible matches.

		     The array may be the name of an array parameter or	a list
		     of	 literal  patterns enclosed in parentheses and quoted,
		     as	in `-F "(*?.o *?.h)"'. If the  name  of	 an  array  is
		     given,  the  elements  of the array are taken as the pat-

	      -Q     This flag instructs the completion	code not to quote  any
		     metacharacters  in	the words when inserting them into the
		     command line.

	      -M match-spec
		     This gives	local match specifications as described	 below
		     in	the section `Completion	Matching Control'. This	option
		     may  be  given  more  than	 once.	 In  this   case   all
		     match-specs  given	 are  concatenated with	spaces between
		     them to form the specification string to use.  Note  that
		     they will only be used if the -U option is	not given.

	      -n     Specifies that the	words added are	to be used as possible
		     matches, but are not to appear in the completion listing.

	      -U     If	this flag is given, all	words given will  be  accepted
		     and no matching will be done by the completion code. Nor-
		     mally this	is used	in  functions  that  do	 the  matching

	      -O array
		     If	 this  option is given,	the words are not added	to the
		     set of possible completions.  Instead, matching  is  done
		     as	 usual	and  all  of the words given as	arguments that
		     match the string on the command line will	be  stored  in
		     the array parameter whose name is given as	array.

	      -A array
		     As	 the  -O  option,  except that instead of those	of the
		     words which match being stored in array, the strings gen-
		     erated  internally	by the completion code are stored. For
		     example, with a matching specification of `-M  "L:|no="',
		     the string	`nof' on the command line and the string `foo'
		     as	one of the words, this option stores the  string  `no-
		     foo' in the array,	whereas	the -O option stores the `foo'
		     originally	given.

	      -D array
		     As	with -O, the words are not added to the	set of	possi-
		     ble  completions.	 Instead,  the	completion  code tests
		     whether each word in turn matches what is	on  the	 line.
		     If	 the  nth  word	does not match,	the nth	element	of the
		     array is removed.	Elements for which  the	 corresponding
		     word is matched are retained.

	      -C     This  option  adds	 a  special match which	expands	to all
		     other matches when	inserted into  the  line,  even	 those
		     that  are added after this	option is used.	 Together with
		     the -d option it is possible to  specify  a  string  that
		     should  be	 displayed in the list for this	special	match.
		     If	no string is given, it will be shown as	a string  con-
		     taining  the strings that would be	inserted for the other
		     matches, truncated	to the width of	the screen.

	      -E number
		     This option adds number empty  matches  after  the	 words
		     have  been	 added.	 An empty match	takes up space in com-
		     pletion listings but will never be	inserted in  the  line
		     and can't be selected with	menu completion	or menu	selec-
		     tion.  This makes empty matches  only  useful  to	format
		     completion	 lists and to make explanatory string be shown
		     in	completion lists (since	empty  matches	can  be	 given
		     display strings with the -d option).  And because all but
		     one empty string would otherwise be removed, this	option
		     implies the -V and	-2 options (even if an explicit	-J op-
		     tion is given).  This can be important to note as it  af-
		     fects the name space into which matches are added.

	      --     This  flag	 ends the list of flags	and options. All argu-
		     ments after it will be taken  as  the  words  to  use  as
		     matches even if they begin	with hyphens.

	      Except for the -M	flag, if any of	these flags is given more than
	      once, the	first one (and its argument) will be used.

       compset -p number
       compset -P [ number ] pattern
       compset -s number
       compset -S [ number ] pattern
       compset -n begin	[ end ]
       compset -N beg-pat [ end-pat ]
       compset -q
	      This command simplifies modification of the special  parameters,
	      while its	return status allows tests on them to be carried out.

	      The options are:

	      -p number
		     If	 the  value of the PREFIX parameter is at least	number
		     characters	long, the first	number characters are  removed
		     from  it  and appended to the contents of the IPREFIX pa-

	      -P [ number ] pattern
		     If	the value of the PREFIX	parameter begins with anything
		     that  matches the pattern,	the matched portion is removed
		     from PREFIX and appended to IPREFIX.

		     Without the optional number, the longest match is	taken,
		     but if number is given, anything up to the	numberth match
		     is	moved.	If the number is negative, the numberth	 long-
		     est  match	 is moved. For example,	if PREFIX contains the
		     string `a=b=c', then  compset  -P	'*\='  will  move  the
		     string  `a=b=' into the IPREFIX parameter,	but compset -P
		     1 '*\=' will move only the	string `a='.

	      -s number
		     As	-p, but	transfer the last number characters  from  the
		     value of SUFFIX to	the front of the value of ISUFFIX.

	      -S [ number ] pattern
		     As	 -P, but match the last	portion	of SUFFIX and transfer
		     the matched portion to the	front of the value of ISUFFIX.

	      -n begin [ end ]
		     If	the current word position as specified by the  parame-
		     ter  CURRENT  is greater than or equal to begin, anything
		     up	to the beginth word is removed from  the  words	 array
		     and  the value of the parameter CURRENT is	decremented by

		     If	the optional end is given, the	modification  is  done
		     only  if  the  current word position is also less than or
		     equal to end. In this case, the words from	 position  end
		     onwards are also removed from the words array.

		     Both  begin  and  end  may	be negative to count backwards
		     from the last element of the words	array.

	      -N beg-pat [ end-pat ]
		     If	one of the elements of the words array before the  one
		     at	 the index given by the	value of the parameter CURRENT
		     matches the pattern beg-pat, all elements up to  and  in-
		     cluding the matching one are removed from the words array
		     and the value of CURRENT is changed to point to the  same
		     word in the changed array.

		     If	 the optional pattern end-pat is also given, and there
		     is	an element in the words	array matching	this  pattern,
		     the  parameters  are  modified  only if the index of this
		     word is higher than the one given by the CURRENT  parame-
		     ter  (so  that the	matching word has to be	after the cur-
		     sor). In this case,  the  words  starting	with  the  one
		     matching  end-pat	are also removed from the words	array.
		     If	words contains no word matching	end-pat,  the  testing
		     and modification is performed as if it were not given.

	      -q     The  word	currently  being  completed is split on	spaces
		     into separate words, respecting the usual	shell  quoting
		     conventions.  The resulting words are stored in the words
		     FIX  are  modified	 to reflect the	word part that is com-

	      In all the above cases the return	status is  zero	 if  the  test
	      succeeded	 and  the parameters were modified and non-zero	other-
	      wise. This allows	one to use this	builtin	in tests such as:

		     if	compset	-P '*\='; then ...

	      This forces anything up to and including the last	equal sign  to
	      be ignored by the	completion code.

       compcall	[ -TD ]
	      This  allows  the	 use  of  completions defined with the compctl
	      builtin from within completion widgets.	The  list  of  matches
	      will  be	generated as if	one of the non-widget completion func-
	      tions (complete-word, etc.)  had been called, except  that  only
	      compctls given for specific commands are used. To	force the code
	      to try completions defined with the -T option of compctl	and/or
	      the  default  completion	(whether  defined by compctl -D	or the
	      builtin default) in the appropriate places,  the	-T  and/or  -D
	      flags can	be passed to compcall.

	      The return status	can be used to test if a matching compctl def-
	      inition was found. It is non-zero	if a  compctl  was  found  and
	      zero otherwise.

	      Note that	this builtin is	defined	by the zsh/compctl module.

       The  following  additional condition codes for use within the [[	... ]]
       construct are available in completion widgets.  These work on the  spe-
       cial  parameters.   All	of  these  tests  can also be performed	by the
       compset builtin,	but in the case	of the condition codes the contents of
       the special parameters are not modified.

       -prefix [ number	] pattern
	      true if the test for the -P option of compset would succeed.

       -suffix [ number	] pattern
	      true if the test for the -S option of compset would succeed.

       -after beg-pat
	      true  if	the  test of the -N option with	only the beg-pat given
	      would succeed.

       -between	beg-pat	end-pat
	      true if the test for the -N option with both patterns would suc-

       It  is  possible	by use of the -M option	of the compadd builtin command
       to specify how the characters in	the string to be  completed  (referred
       to  here	 as  the  command line)	map onto the characters	in the list of
       matches produced	by the completion code (referred to here as the	 trial
       completions). Note that this is not used	if the command line contains a
       glob pattern and	the GLOB_COMPLETE option is set	or  the	 pattern_match
       of the compstate	special	association is set to a	non-empty string.

       The  match-spec given as	the argument to	the -M option (see `Completion
       Builtin Commands' above)	consists of one	or more	matching  descriptions
       separated  by  whitespace.   Each description consists of a letter fol-
       lowed by	a colon	and then the patterns describing which	character  se-
       quences	on  the	line match which character sequences in	the trial com-
       pletion.	 Any sequence of characters not	handled	in this	 fashion  must
       match exactly, as usual.

       The  forms  of  match-spec understood are as follows. In	each case, the
       form with an upper case initial character retains  the  string  already
       typed on	the command line as the	final result of	completion, while with
       a lower case initial character  the  string  on	the  command  line  is
       changed into the	corresponding part of the trial	completion.

	      Here, lpat is a pattern that matches on the command line,	corre-
	      sponding to tpat which matches in	the trial completion.

	      These letters are	for patterns that are anchored by another pat-
	      tern  on	the  left side.	Matching for lpat and tpat is as for m
	      and M, but the pattern lpat matched on the command line must  be
	      preceded	by  the	 pattern lanchor.  The lanchor can be blank to
	      anchor the match to the start of the command line	string;	other-
	      wise  the	 anchor	can occur anywhere, but	must match in both the
	      command line and trial completion	strings.

	      If no lpat is given but a	ranchor	is, this matches the  gap  be-
	      tween substrings matched by lanchor and ranchor. Unlike lanchor,
	      the ranchor only needs to	match the trial	completion string.

	      The b and	B forms	are similar to l and L with an	empty  anchor,
	      but  need	to match only the beginning of the word	on the command
	      line or trial completion,	respectively.

	      As l, L, b and B,	with the difference that the command line  and
	      trial  completion	patterns are anchored on the right side.  Here
	      an empty ranchor and the e and E forms force the	match  to  the
	      end of the command line or trial completion string.

       x:     This  form  is  used to mark the end of matching specifications:
	      subsequent specifications	are ignored. In	 a  single  standalone
	      list of specifications this has no use but where matching	speci-
	      fications	are accumulated, such as from nested  function	calls,
	      it can allow one function	to override another.

       Each  lpat,  tpat  or anchor is either an empty string or consists of a
       sequence	of literal characters (which may be quoted with	a  backslash),
       question	marks, character classes, and correspondence classes; ordinary
       shell patterns are not used.  Literal characters	match only themselves,
       question	marks match any	character, and character classes are formed as
       for globbing and	match any character in the given set.

       Correspondence classes are defined like character classes, but with two
       differences:  they  are	delimited  by  a  pair	of braces, and negated
       classes are not allowed,	so the characters !  and  ^  have  no  special
       meaning	directly  after	the opening brace.  They indicate that a range
       of characters on	the line match a range of characters in	the trial com-
       pletion,	 but  (unlike  ordinary	character classes) paired according to
       the corresponding position in the sequence.  For	example, to  make  any
       ASCII  lower case letter	on the line match the corresponding upper case
       letter in the trial completion, you can use  `m:{a-z}={A-Z}'  (however,
       see  below  for	the recommended	form for this).	 More than one pair of
       classes can occur, in which case	the first class	before	the  =	corre-
       sponds  to  the	first  after it, and so	on.  If	one side has more such
       classes than the	other side, the	superfluous classes behave like	normal
       character  classes.  In anchor patterns correspondence classes also be-
       have like normal	character classes.

       The standard `[:name:]' forms described	for  standard  shell  patterns
       (see  the section FILENAME GENERATION in	zshexpn(1)) may	appear in cor-
       respondence classes as well as normal character classes.	 The only spe-
       cial behaviour in correspondence	classes	is if the form on the left and
       the form	on the right are each one of [:upper:],	[:lower:].   In	 these
       cases  the  character in	the word and the character on the line must be
       the same	up to a	difference in case.  Hence  to	make  any  lower  case
       character  on  the line match the corresponding upper case character in
       the trial completion you	can use	`m:{[:lower:]}={[:upper:]}'.  Although
       the  matching  system does not yet handle multibyte characters, this is
       likely to be a future extension,	at which point this syntax will	handle
       arbitrary  alphabets;  hence this form, rather than the use of explicit
       ranges, is the recommended form.	 In other cases	`[:name:]'  forms  are
       allowed.	  If  the  two	forms  on the left and right are the same, the
       characters must match exactly.  In remaining cases,  the	 corresponding
       tests  are  applied to both characters, but they	are not	otherwise con-
       strained; any matching character	in one	set  goes  with	 any  matching
       character in the	other set:  this is equivalent to the behaviour	of or-
       dinary character	classes.

       The pattern tpat	may also be one	or two stars, `*' or `**'. This	 means
       that the	pattern	on the command line can	match any number of characters
       in the trial completion.	In this	case the pattern must be anchored  (on
       either  side); in the case of a single star, the	anchor then determines
       how much	of the trial completion	is to be included -- only the  charac-
       ters  up	to the next appearance of the anchor will be matched. With two
       stars, substrings matched by the	anchor can be matched, too.


       The keys	of the options association defined by the parameter module are
       the option names	in all-lower-case form,	without	underscores, and with-
       out the optional	no at the beginning even though	 the  builtins	setopt
       and  unsetopt  understand  option names with upper case letters,	under-
       scores, and the optional	no.  The following alters the  matching	 rules
       so  that	 the  prefix  no and any underscore are	ignored	when trying to
       match the trial completions generated and upper	case  letters  on  the
       line match the corresponding lower case letters in the words:

	      compadd -M 'L:|[nN][oO]= M:_= M:{[:upper:]}={[:lower:]}' - \

       The  first  part	says that the pattern `[nN][oO]' at the	beginning (the
       empty anchor before the pipe symbol) of the string on the line  matches
       the  empty  string  in the list of words	generated by completion, so it
       will be ignored if present. The second part does	the same for an	under-
       score anywhere in the command line string, and the third	part uses cor-
       respondence classes so that any upper case letter on the	 line  matches
       the  corresponding  lower case letter in	the word. The use of the upper
       case forms of the specification characters (L and  M)  guarantees  that
       what has	already	been typed on the command line (in particular the pre-
       fix no) will not	be deleted.

       Note that the use of L in the first part	means  that  it	 matches  only
       when  at	 the  beginning	 of both the command line string and the trial
       completion.  I.e.,  the	string	`_NO_f'	 would	not  be	 completed  to
       `_NO_foo', nor would `NONO_f' be	completed to `NONO_foo'	because	of the
       leading underscore or the second	`NO' on	the line which makes the  pat-
       tern  fail  even	 though	 they  are otherwise ignored. To fix this, one
       would use `B:[nN][oO]=' instead of the first part. As described	above,
       this  matches  at the beginning of the trial completion,	independent of
       other characters	or substrings at the beginning	of  the	 command  line
       word which are ignored by the same or other match-specs.

       The second example makes	completion case	insensitive.  This is just the
       same as in the option example, except here we wish to retain the	 char-
       acters in the list of completions:

	      compadd -M 'm:{[:lower:]}={[:upper:]}' ...

       This  makes lower case letters match their upper	case counterparts.  To
       make upper case letters match the lower case forms as well:

	      compadd -M 'm:{[:lower:][:upper:]}={[:upper:][:lower:]}' ...

       A nice example for the use of * patterns	is  partial  word  completion.
       Sometimes  you  would  like  to	make  strings like `c.s.u' complete to
       strings like `comp.source.unix',	i.e. the word on the command line con-
       sists of	multiple parts,	separated by a dot in this example, where each
       part should be completed	separately -- note,  however,  that  the  case
       where  each  part of the	word, i.e. `comp', `source' and	`unix' in this
       example,	is to be completed from	separate sets of matches is a  differ-
       ent  problem  to	be solved by the implementation	of the completion wid-
       get.  The example can be	handled	by:

	      compadd -M 'r:|.=* r:|=*'	\
		- comp.sources.unix comp.sources.misc ...

       The first specification says that lpat is the empty string,  while  an-
       chor is a dot; tpat is *, so this can match anything except for the `.'
       from the	anchor in the trial  completion	 word.	 So  in	 `c.s.u',  the
       matcher	sees `c', followed by the empty	string,	followed by the	anchor
       `.', and	likewise for the second	dot, and replaces  the	empty  strings
       before  the  anchors,  giving `c[omp].s[ources].u[nix]',	where the last
       part of the completion is just as normal.

       With the	pattern	shown above, the string	`c.u' could not	 be  completed
       to  `comp.sources.unix'	because	 the  single  star  means  that	no dot
       (matched	by the anchor) can be  skipped.	 By  using  two	 stars	as  in
       `r:|.=**',  however,  `c.u'  could be completed to `comp.sources.unix'.
       This also shows that in some cases, especially if the anchor is a  real
       pattern,	 like a	character class, the form with two stars may result in
       more matches than one would like.

       The second specification	is needed to make this work when the cursor is
       in  the	middle	of  the	string on the command line and the option COM-
       PLETE_IN_WORD is	set. In	this case the completion code  would  normally
       try  to	match  trial  completions that end with	the string as typed so
       far, i.e. it will only insert new characters  at	 the  cursor  position
       rather  than at the end.	 However in our	example	we would like the code
       to recognise matches which contain extra	characters after the string on
       the  line  (the	`nix'  in  the	example).  Hence we say	that the empty
       string at the end of the	string on the line matches any	characters  at
       the end of the trial completion.

       More generally, the specification

	      compadd -M 'r:|[.,_-]=* r:|=*' ...

       allows one to complete words with abbreviations before any of the char-
       acters in the square brackets.  For example, to complete	 veryverylong-
       file.c  rather  than veryverylongheader.h with the above	in effect, you
       can just	type very.c before attempting completion.

       The specifications with both a left and a right anchor  are  useful  to
       complete	 partial  words	 whose parts are not separated by some special
       character. For example, in some places strings  have  to	 be  completed
       that are	formed `LikeThis' (i.e.	the separate parts are determined by a
       leading upper case letter) or maybe one has to  complete	 strings  with
       trailing	 numbers. Here one could use the simple	form with only one an-
       chor as in:

	      compadd -M 'r:|[[:upper:]0-9]=* r:|=*' LikeTHIS FooHoo 5foo123 5bar234

       But with	this, the string `H' would neither complete to `FooHoo'	nor to
       `LikeTHIS'  because  in	each case there	is an upper case letter	before
       the `H' and that	is matched by the anchor. Likewise, a `2' would	not be
       completed.  In  both  cases  this  could	be changed by using `r:|[[:up-
       per:]0-9]=**', but then `H' completes to	both `LikeTHIS'	 and  `FooHoo'
       and  a `2' matches the other strings because characters can be inserted
       before every upper case letter and digit. To avoid this one would use:

	      compadd -M 'r:[^[:upper:]0-9]||[[:upper:]0-9]=** r:|=*' \
		  LikeTHIS FooHoo foo123 bar234

       By using	these two anchors, a `H' matches only upper case `H's that are
       immediately  preceded  by  something  matching the left anchor `[^[:up-
       per:]0-9]'. The effect is, of course, that `H' matches only the	string
       `FooHoo', a `2' matches only `bar234' and so on.

       When  using the completion system (see zshcompsys(1)), users can	define
       match specifications that are to	be used	for specific contexts by using
       the  matcher and	matcher-list styles. The values	for the	latter will be
       used everywhere.

       The first step is to define the widget:

	      zle -C complete complete-word complete-files

       Then the	widget can be bound to a key using the	bindkey	 builtin  com-

	      bindkey '^X\t' complete

       After that the shell function complete-files will be invoked after typ-
       ing control-X and TAB. The function should then generate	 the  matches,

	      complete-files ()	{ compadd - * }

       This function will complete files in the	current	directory matching the
       current word.

zsh 5.8.1		       February	12, 2022		 ZSHCOMPWID(1)


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