GNU Emacs Manual. Node: Completion Example

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4.3.1: Completion Example

A concrete example may help here. If you type M-x au TAB, the TAB looks for alternatives (in this case, command names) that start with `au'. There are several, including auto-fill-mode and auto-save-mode---but they are all the same as far as auto-, so the `au' in the minibuffer changes to `auto-'.

If you type TAB again immediately, there are multiple possibilities for the very next character---it could be any of `cfilrs'---so no more characters are added; instead, TAB displays a list of all possible completions in another window.

If you go on to type f TAB, this TAB sees `auto-f'. The only command name starting this way is auto-fill-mode, so completion fills in the rest of that. You now have `auto-fill-mode' in the minibuffer after typing just au TAB f TAB. Note that TAB has this effect because in the minibuffer it is bound to the command minibuffer-complete when completion is available.

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