Next: Editing Abbrevs Prev: Defining Abbrevs Up: Abbrevs
Controlling Abbrev Expansion
An abbrev expands whenever it is in a buffer just before point and
you type a self-inserting punctuation character (SPC, comma, etc.).
Most often an abbrev is used by inserting the abbrev followed by
Abbrev expansion preserves case; thus, `foo' expands into `find
outer otter', `Foo' into `Find outer otter', and `FOO' into `FIND OUTER
OTTER' or `Find Outer Otter' according to the variable
`abbrev-all-caps' (a non-`nil' value chooses the first of the two
Two commands are available to control abbrev expansion:
Separate a prefix from a following abbrev to be expanded
`C-x a e'
Expand the abbrev before point (`expand-abbrev'). This is
effective even when Abbrev mode is not enabled.
Undo last abbrev expansion.
Expand some or all abbrevs found in the region.
You may wish to expand an abbrev with a prefix attached. For
example, if `cnst' expands into `construction', you may want to use it
to enter `reconstruction'. It does not work to type `recnst', because
that is not necessarily a defined abbrev. Instead, you can use the
command `M-'' (`abbrev-prefix-mark') between the prefix `re' and the
abbrev `cnst'. First, insert `re'. Then type `M-''; this inserts a
minus sign in the buffer to indicate that it has done its work. Then
insert the abbrev `cnst'. The buffer now contains `re-cnst'. Now
insert a punctuation character to expand the abbrev `cnst' into
`construction'. The minus sign is deleted at this point by `M-''. The
resulting text is the desired `reconstruction'.
If you actually want the text of the abbrev in the buffer, rather
than its expansion, insert the following punctuation with `C-q'. Thus,
`foo C-q -' leaves `foo-' in the buffer.
If you expand an abbrev by mistake, you can undo the expansion
(replace the expansion by the original abbrev text) with `M-x
unexpand-abbrev'. You can also use `C-_' (`undo') to undo the
expansion; but that will first undo the insertion of the punctuation
`M-x expand-region-abbrevs' searches through the region for defined
abbrevs, and offers to replace each one it finds with its expansion.
This command is useful if you have typed text using abbrevs but forgot
to turn on Abbrev mode first. It may also be useful together with a
special set of abbrev definitions for making several global
replacements at once. The command is effective even if Abbrev mode is
automatically generated by info2www