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I'm looking to create a keybinding that will perform the following shortcut:

  • call isearch-forward-symbol-at-point
  • call query-replace-regexp

It's basically a shortcut for the following key combo: M-s . then C-M $

Here is my attempt, but my elisp is rather weak:

(global-set-key (kbd "C-x r")
    (lambda ()
      (interactive)
      (query-replace-regexp (isearch-forward-symbol-at-point))))

Any suggestions?

  • 1
    You may be interested in looking at iedit (on MELPA). – rprimus Jun 13 at 16:26
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You should/cannot use the interactive commands isearch-forward-symbol-at-point and query-replace-regexp in that way to define a new function.

For an instance isearch-forward-symbol-at-point does not return the symbol at point and query-replace-regexp requires a TO argument if called non-interactively.

I think the following Elisp function comes very close to what you want. It starts a query-replace-regexp with the symbol at point as default regexp. You only need to input the replacement text, i.e., the new name.

(defun query-replace-symbol-at-point ()
  "Start `query-replace-regexp' with symbol at point as default."
  (interactive)
  (let ((sym (symbol-at-point)))
    (when sym
      (push (cons (format "\\_<%s\\_>" sym) "") query-replace-defaults)
      (call-interactively #'query-replace-regexp))))
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This is the key binding that does what you want, out of the box: M-s . C-M-%.

  • The M-s . part starts searching with isearch-forward-symbol-at-point.

  • The C-M-% part starts query-replace-regexp, the current search string as the old text, to search for and replace.

(C-M-$ is undefined in isearch-mode-map (and the global map).)

  • Yes, but is there a way to make that key binding shorter? I basically want a single key combo that I can push to perform a "refactor the variable under my cursor". – modulitos Jun 16 at 4:13
  • As @Tobias said in his answer, these commands are for interactive use - they don't chain together programmatically. But you can do as he did: set up the regexp for replacement and then call query-replace-regexp. You are not really searching for the symbol at point - you are using it just to establish the regexp to use for replacement. Alternatively, you could perhaps define a keyboard macro using the two commands directly (possibly with recursive editing). But it's easier to just do it in Lisp. – Drew Jun 16 at 13:59

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