Is it possible to merge find-function and find-variable to a single find-function-or-variable to be able to search both functions and variables at the same time and going to their definition in the same way as for find-function and find-variable? (possibly with the ability to use TAB completion like the original find-function and find-variable and choosing between two options when a function and a variable bear the same name as remarked by @lawlist).

  • This is problematic because some functions and variables bear the same name and the interface would need to be adjusted to then ask the user which one -- or display both. It is of course doable, but is perhaps a larger project than would fit squarely into a standard answer. However, there are some really bright forum participants who may have a quick modification that would pleasantly surprise me. I have grep on speed-dial, along with find-function, find-variable and find-face.
    – lawlist
    Aug 26, 2015 at 21:46
  • @lawlist Is bearing the same name for the functions and variables loaded by emacs -Q too frequent?
    – Name
    Aug 26, 2015 at 21:57
  • I can only think of a few off the top of my head -- org-agenda-files -- buffer-file-name -- but the answer would be easier to write up if the user is forced to choose which one when presented with two hits/options, rather than displaying both answers in the help-buffer. The latter is doable, but may be a larger project.
    – lawlist
    Aug 26, 2015 at 21:59
  • 1
    You can evaluate (let ((f-and-vs nil)) (mapatoms (lambda (s) (when (and (boundp s) (fboundp s)) (push s f-and-vs)))) f-and-vs) to get all loaded cases of a symbol being both a function and variable.
    – npostavs
    Aug 26, 2015 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


You can use C-h o (describe-symbol) on Emacs 25, here is the related NEWS info:

  • Changes in Emacs 25.1

** New doc command `describe-symbol'. Works for functions, vars, faces, etc...

(It was originally called describe-function-or-variable according to this commit.)

Variable and function with the same name can be showed at the same time, for example, emacs-version

e.g., query "emacs-version"

  • Thanks xuchunyang, I use 24.5, but it is interesting to know. My main motivation is to go to the definition in the source file as is for find-function or find-variable.
    – Name
    Aug 26, 2015 at 22:35
  • I think you can just try to use Tags, Emacs's etags works well for me, you need to create Tags and set tags-table-list first, then type M-. to use it.
    – xuchunyang
    Aug 26, 2015 at 22:41
  • If anyone wants to use this for 24.x, I've assembled the necessary code from the Emacs 25 sources and placed it in a gist.
    – pyrocrasty
    Jun 24, 2016 at 3:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.