Assume that I have defined a function like below with some keybinding (e.g.M-p).

(defun foo () (interactive)
(insert "something very long") )

(global-set-key [(meta p)] 'foo)

If I hit M-p while the cursor is at the main buffer, of course the text something very long is inserted. But when the cursor is at mini-buffer by hitting M-p the text foo is inserted.

Is there a way to redefine this function in such a way to work in both main buffer and mini-buffer?

  • 1
    You might need to bind the key in one of the various minibuffer-XXXX-maps.
    – Dan
    Aug 16, 2015 at 17:26
  • Unless the string will always vary, it is usually better to send the string directly to the function behind the scenes instead of going through the mini-buffer, which is probably being opened by functions such as read-string and the like. If there is a specific function that you wish to have receive the string, consider editing the question with an example so that a forum participant can demonstrate how to pass the string directly to the function programmatically and bypass the mini-buffer entirely.
    – lawlist
    Aug 16, 2015 at 17:34
  • @lawlist during evaluation by M-: I need to insert pairs of parentheses and putting the cursor between them. This was my main motivation to use a function which does this automatically.
    – Name
    Aug 16, 2015 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


The reason it doesn't work is: (a) the minibuffer has its own local keymap, (b) M-p is bound in that local map to a different command, and (c) a local keymap takes precedence over the global keymap.

To have your command work for M-p in the minibuffer, you need to bind it to M-p in one or more of the minibuffer keymaps. It is probably sufficient to bind it in keymap minibuffer-local-map, where it will be inherited by the other minibuffer keymaps:

(define-key minibuffer-local-map (kbd "M-p") 'foo)

See the Elisp manual, node Text from Minibuffer.

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