Can one append to a function documentation by calling some function or string in the documentation part?

With the following I do not get anything from get.

(defun myfunc 
  "Brief description"

(put 'myfunc 'function-documentation
      (get 'myfunc 'function-documentation)
      "Line 1
Line 2"))
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Change doc string summary of a function on the fly
    – Drew
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 0:55
  • @Tobias's answer there tells you how to change a function's doc string with Elisp, including how to prepend or append or replace part or all of it.
    – Drew
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 0:56
  • Reading it, it was about changing the first line of a docstring of a function. I want something different. Have one line from the function, then append a usage part defined before the function declaration.
    – Dilna
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 0:58
  • It's the same thing. Replace the doc string with whatever string you want. Appending to the existing string is about the easiest change possible: concat.
    – Drew
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 1:00
  • Would be more useful for me to define the text before defining the function. I would need some examples as I am struggling with Tobias 's answer. I know about concat but not in what I got to de here.
    – Dilna
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 1:04

1 Answer 1


Change doc string summary of a function on the fly tells the whole story but maybe one point could do with a bit more emphasis: Emacs looks for documentation of the function foo in two different places:

  1. The original doc-string in the definition of foo. This is available from elisp as (documentation 'foo t).
  2. The contents of the function-documentation property of the symbol foo.

The second overrides the first when it is non-nil and the second is not initialised from the first. Thus

(defun foo ()
  "Foo's original doc.")

(documentation 'foo t)  ;=> "Foo's original doc."

(get 'foo 'function-documentation)  ;=> nil

The OP wants to append to the original documentation so this will do the trick:

(put 'foo 'function-documentation
      (documentation 'foo t)
      "Line 1
Line 2"))

Thus use documentation to pull out the original doc-string, concat stuff to it and store the result in the function-documentation property.

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