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The Minibuffer

   The "minibuffer" is the facility used by Emacs commands to read
arguments more complicated than a single number.  Minibuffer arguments
can be file names, buffer names, Lisp function names, Emacs command
names, Lisp expressions, and many other things, depending on the command
reading the argument.  You can use the usual Emacs editing commands in
the minibuffer to edit the argument text.

   When the minibuffer is in use, it appears in the echo area, and the
terminal's cursor moves there.  The beginning of the minibuffer line
displays a "prompt" which says what kind of input you should supply and
how it will be used.  Often this prompt is derived from the name of the
command that the argument is for.  The prompt normally ends with a

   Sometimes a "default argument" appears in parentheses after the
colon; it too is part of the prompt.  The default will be used as the
argument value if you enter an empty argument (e.g., just type RET).
For example, commands that read buffer names always show a default,
which is the name of the buffer that will be used if you type just RET.

   The simplest way to enter a minibuffer argument is to type the text
you want, terminated by RET which exits the minibuffer.  You can get out
of the minibuffer, canceling the command that it was for, by typing

   Since the minibuffer uses the screen space of the echo area, it can
conflict with other ways Emacs customarily uses the echo area.  Here is
how Emacs handles such conflicts:

   * If a command gets an error while you are in the minibuffer, this
     does not cancel the minibuffer.  However, the echo area is needed
     for the error message and therefore the minibuffer itself is
     hidden for a while.  It comes back after a few seconds, or as soon
     as you type anything.

   * If in the minibuffer you use a command whose purpose is to print a
     message in the echo area, such as `C-x =', the message is printed
     normally, and the minibuffer is hidden for a while.  It comes back
     after a few seconds, or as soon as you type anything.

   * Echoing of keystrokes does not take place while the minibuffer is
     in use.

* File
Minibuffer FileEntering file names with the minibuffer.
* Edit
Minibuffer EditHow to edit in the minibuffer.
* Completion
An abbreviation facility for minibuffer input.
* Minibuffer History
Reusing recent minibuffer arguments.
* Repetition
Re-executing commands that used the minibuffer.

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