Say I have a file named foo in directory bar. I also have helm-mode enabled and am trying to rename foo to fo through dired. Rename here ends up opening helm-mode-dired-do-rename and on typing fo, the only helm candidate is foo. How do I tell helm that the name I want to use is fo?

  • You issue seems to be similar to this one. Try pressing C-<backspace> to disable automatic completion and then type in the new name. (Let me know if this works: I don't have the time to test this myself right now.) Dec 12, 2014 at 20:27
  • @Constantine No, that doesn't work. The word I am typing doesn't get auto-expanded. However, as long as helm finds a match for my input, pressing RET ends up selecting that match, instead of using my input as is.
    – Pradhan
    Dec 12, 2014 at 22:17
  • @Constantine C-c ? in that helm window says "autoupdate may keep updating to an existent directory preventing you from creating a new directory. In this case, just hit C-<backspace> and then <backspace>. This should not be needed when copying/renaming files because autoupdate is disabled by default in this case."
    – Pradhan
    Dec 12, 2014 at 22:23
  • I use C-c <backspace> to disable auto-expansion in Helm. I use Emacs mainly in console mode within tmux sessions.
    – rimero
    Dec 12, 2014 at 22:37
  • @rimero auto-expansion is already disabled. When I type either C-c <backspace> or C-<backspace> it says [Auto expansion enabled] and I need to toggle it again.
    – Pradhan
    Dec 12, 2014 at 22:43

2 Answers 2


Select foo R, enter the new name (fo in this case) and C-p (to select [?]fo candidate) RET.

  • This is the correct answer.
    – Tu Do
    Dec 15, 2014 at 6:17
  • <facepalm> Can't believe I didn't try this :) Thanks!
    – Pradhan
    Dec 16, 2014 at 20:43

You can edit a name in helm selection using C-f (forward) and C-b (backward) for chars, C-left and C-right to the begin or end of words.

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