My Emacs system satisfies the following three conditions:

  1. The Emacs packages helm and helm-projectile are installed on it.
  2. The directory ~/MyProj/ is recognized as a projectile project (it is a Git directory).
  3. ~/MyProj/ contains the following text files (and possibly other files):
    • README.md
    • file1
    • file2

Consider the following scenario:

  1. Open a new Emacs session.
  2. Execute M-x cd <RET> ~/MyProj <RET> to switch the default directory to the project directory.
  3. Execute C-c p f to run the projectile-find-file command.

The mini-buffer now displays:

[-] Find file: {README.md | file1 | file2}


Why are the completions listed horizontally in the mini-buffer rather than vertically in a separate helm window, as is the norm with helm commands? Compare the above screencap to the following, resulting from executing C-x c C-x C-f (= helm-find-files).


I find the latter display style more convenient that the former. Is it possible to view the results of the various projectile commands this way?

2 Answers 2


Set projectile-completion-system to helm:

(setq projectile-completion-system 'helm)

Or try enabling helm-projectile like this:

  • Thanks. Are you sure the second line is necessary? It appears to work fine without it.
    – Evan Aad
    Jun 4, 2017 at 8:53
  • I'm not sure, the doc says it just enables some keybindings.
    – mkcms
    Jun 4, 2017 at 8:54
  • Which doc? Could you please provide a link?
    – Evan Aad
    Jun 4, 2017 at 8:56
  • 2
    I think I've figured out what the helm-projectile-on function do: It routes every invocation of a projectile-... function to the corresponding helm-projectile-... function. So, for example, while executing C-c p f normally invoke the projectile-find-files function, if the helm-projectile-on function is in effect (e.g. if it's been invoked when .emacs was loaded), then the helm-projectile-find-files function will be invoked instead. Thus the two lines in your answer describe two alternative ways to accomplish the same result. There is no need to use them simultaneously.
    – Evan Aad
    Jun 4, 2017 at 10:31
  • 1
    I've edited my answer to include this information.
    – mkcms
    Jun 4, 2017 at 11:17

C-c p h will ask you to select a project. It will then launch the projectile-find-files command with a helm-style completion list. In fact, all the helm-projectile... commands (e.g. helm-projectile, which is bound to C-c p h), will employ helm-style completion lists. See here.

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