There is such feature as Command Palette in Sublime text: Command Palette

It provides searchable list of command with human-readable descriptions.

Is there anything similar to this in Emacs?

  • If you start typing after M-x sequence it will try to autocomplete (by pressing TAB) you'll get some matching options. The kind of search you have in the image would be very inefficient in Emacs due to very large number of available functions. Regardless, you could try M-x apropos or M-x info-apropos, or search the output of C-h b or if you are looking for a function (command): C-h f and try to autocomplete.
    – wvxvw
    Oct 7, 2016 at 13:32

3 Answers 3


I use helm-M-x. It's part of the package helm. You can view a command's description with helm-execute-persistent-action.

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Icicles provides what you describe.

And not only for M-x but for anything that prompts for a command name.

And it provides the same thing for not just names of commands but everything else: faces, buffers, files, variables, functions, bookmarks -- you name it. It even provides completion of key sequences and menus/menu items.

And you can get additional information (complete doc string) about any completion candidates, on demand. And even without asking for complete doc on a candidate, you get a summary description of it in the mode line.

And you can progressively narrow the set of candidates by using multiple patterns to match


You can also try counsel-M-x which comes with counsel package and uses ivy(similar to helm) as a backend.

If you are on emacs 25, there is the command describe-symbol which can provide help for any face/variable/function and ivy provides narrowing for that as well.

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