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By default to move up (ctrl-p) and to move down (ctrl-n) key bindings are used.

When I am using auto-complete mode, a box with suggested words is pop up. On there when I press ctrl-p or ctrl-n instead of moving within the box, it closes from it. I can move around only by using tab or alt-p or alt-n.

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[Q] Inside the box for suggessted word to auto-complete, is there any way to move around by ctrl-p and ctrl-n?

  • Not an answer, but a suggestion: If you're new to emacs and don't have any strong feelings either way, I would strongly suggest you move to use company-mode. It has IMO much better traction. I used to use ac-complete btw. – RichieHH Feb 20 at 23:47
  • Did you try the vertical arrow keys, <up> and <down>? Often those are used (also or instead) in places where you might expect C-p and C-n, respectively, to be used . – Drew Feb 21 at 0:05
  • vertical arrow keys work, but actually I get used to use ctrl-p and ctrl-n all the time @Drew – alper Feb 21 at 6:45
  • Then bind C-p and C-n to the commands you want in the relevant keymap (maybe it's auto-complete-mode-map?). – Drew Feb 21 at 16:50
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You can configure that behaviour via customize.

Just do M-x customize-option <return> ac-use-menu-map <return>, then set this option to on (non-nil) and save it for future use.

Thats it.

How did I get this information? I looked at the source code. But it was also possible to find this from M-x customize-group <return> auto-complete <return>.


Nevertheless, I would recommend, switching to another completion framework (like company) because auto-complete seems abandoned. With last commit in Jan 2017.

Edit: To enable this behaviour with company, simply bind the keys and corresponding functions in companys keymap:

(with-eval-after-load "company"
  (define-key company-active-map (kbd "C-p") #'company-select-previous-or-abort)
  (define-key company-active-map (kbd "C-n") #'company-select-next-or-abort))
| improve this answer | |
  • I can switch to company but same issue exist on it as well. Is there any way to handle it on company too? – alper Feb 22 at 19:30
  • @alper yes, I edited my answer – jue Feb 22 at 20:57
  • Thanks! It is possible to activate C-h for delete character as well on company? instead of deleting it says No documentation available. – alper Feb 23 at 10:37

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