I would like to search the current buffer for particular words. To make a function that takes the word at point and searches for that word in the current buffer. Hopefully with match word highlighting as when using isearch-forward.

Have started with the following, but I get the isearch-forward in the minibuffer as normal instead. What can I do?

(defun gala-search-forward ()

  (let* ( (bounds (bounds-of-thing-at-point 'word))
          (word   (downcase
                   (buffer-substring (car bounds) (cdr bounds)))))

    (isearch-forward word)))
  • 1
    isearch-forward's first parameter is the prefix argument (C-u), not a string to search for. I think you want something like search-forward instead, but it's not clear from your question precisely what you mean by "does a search". Aug 27, 2022 at 10:17
  • 1
    Not germane to this question but I have seen variants on this code several times now and wonder why you don't just (let ((word (downcase (thing-at-point 'word t))))) and lose the bounds. Aug 27, 2022 at 12:02
  • Thusly I can do even better with (interactive (list (downcase (thing-at-point 'word t)))). Right?
    – Dilna
    Aug 27, 2022 at 12:31
  • 1
    Sure: if you make word the argument of gala-search-forward: (defun gala-search-forward (word)...) Aug 27, 2022 at 13:07
  • 1
    @PhilHudson: Please provide your comment as an answer (it's the answer). Or OP: consider deleting the question, if you don't think it and the answer will help others.
    – Drew
    Aug 27, 2022 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


Use isearch-forward, but instead of typing letters to search for, just hit C-w to "yank next word or character in buffer onto the end of the search string, and search for it." (See the doc string for isearch-forward.)

Or maybe I'm misunderstanding your question?

  • You understood well.
    – Dilna
    Aug 28, 2022 at 4:14

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