I made this simple example to help explain my problem:

* entry
  :author1:  me
  :author2:  my self

Now when I do a property search with C-c a m searching author1="me" I find entry as expected.

When I try to search author2="my self" as soon as I hit space to type in the whitespace character between my and self it just says [No match] in the minibuffer and the whitespace character is not inserted. I can find entry by searching author2={self} for example or type the whitespace outside the minibuffer and copy-paste it in, but that can't be the solution... I can type in whitespace normally in other minibuffers, e.g. in the keyword search under C-c a s.

I tried typing in a search like that launching emacs -q, so without any emacs customization but got the same result. I have emacs 26.3.

What am I missing here?

  • 1
    You have to quote the space as you are typing it in with C-q: author2="myC-q self"RET
    – NickD
    Mar 17, 2020 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


I finally figured out (thanks to C-h k) that space is bound to some autocomplete function in that instance of the minibuffer by default.

So the easy solution was to add

(define-key minibuffer-local-completion-map (kbd "SPC") 'self-insert-command)

to the init file to have space act as space in the tag search.

@NickD: thanks for the comment, it helped me understand that space must just be bound to some weird function in the minibuffer and remember that I know how to figure out which function it is ;)

  • BTW, you can accept your own answer (assuming it works for you :-) ).
    – NickD
    Mar 17, 2020 at 21:56
  • @NickD Apparently, I'm allowed to do so only by tomorrow, but I'll do it then. Thanks again
    – iuvenis
    Mar 18, 2020 at 7:53
  • Thanks, I've had the same problem. And now it works.
    – rl1
    Feb 23, 2021 at 17:19
  • Thanks -- I was having the same problem. HOWEVER, I've settled on @NickD's suggestion of preceding the space with C-q. That's because I found that I had been relying on the default binding to 'minibuffer-complete-word a lot more than I'd realized (e.g. for completion of function names in the minibuffer), and so switching it to 'self-insert-command tripped me up a lot. Did you stick with the new binding as-is, or did you by any chance find a way to have that particular binding be in some way context sensitive -- i.e. so that it only operated in the context of org-tags-view (i.e. C-c a m)?
    – tkp
    Feb 25 at 23:22

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