Is there a way to read tags with completion from the user in the same way read-number or read-string allows?

I would like to have a custom function defined where I ask the user for a tag (or list of tags) and use that in a org-ql-search query.

  • Tags are strings, are they not?
    – NickD
    May 8, 2020 at 15:23
  • yes, but then you don't get the tag completion. You would have to guess/remember which tags are available.
    – AEmacs
    May 8, 2020 at 15:33
  • You should put that requirement in the question.
    – NickD
    May 8, 2020 at 15:56
  • emacs.stackexchange.com/tags/elisp/info
    – Drew
    May 8, 2020 at 20:23

1 Answer 1


You can get all the buffer tags by calling org-get-buffer-tags. You can then combine that with completing-read whose doc string reads as follows:

completing-read is a built-in function in ‘C source code’.



Read a string in the minibuffer, with completion. PROMPT is a string to prompt with; normally it ends in a colon and a space. COLLECTION can be a list of strings, an alist, an obarray or a hash table. COLLECTION can also be a function to do the completion itself...

So here's a function to do what you want:

(defun my-read-tag-with-completion ()
  (completing-read "Enter a tag: " (org-get-buffer-tags)))
  • Perfect, thanks!
    – AEmacs
    May 9, 2020 at 11:06

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