I want isearch-forward-symbol-at-point to also save to the kill-ring. How can I accomplish that please?

1 Answer 1


Try this.

(defun my-isearch-forward-symbol-at-point ()
  "`isearch-forward-symbol-at-point', but copy symbol name to `kill-ring'."
  (isearch-forward-symbol nil 1)
  (let* ((bounds  (find-tag-default-bounds))
         (string  (and bounds  (buffer-substring-no-properties
                                 (car bounds) (cdr bounds)))))
      (kill-new string)
      (when (< (car bounds) (point))(goto-char (car bounds)))
      (isearch-yank-string string))
      (setq isearch-error "No symbol at point")

(define-key isearch-mode-map "." 'my-isearch-forward-symbol-at-point)
(define-key search-map       "." 'my-isearch-forward-symbol-at-point)

All I did was copy the definition of isearch-forward-symbol-at-point and insert a call to kill-new.

  • thanks but how is this to be invoked? after hitting C-s and then . isearch just searches for . occurences. I would rather have the copying as a side effect of hitting M-w .
    – CD86
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 8:33
  • Sorry, I pasted the wrong code I forgot the (kill-new string), which puts the string into the kill-ring. Please try the updated code.
    – Drew
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 16:42
  • thank you, but how can I automatically invoke this when pressing M-s . isearch-forward-symbol-at-point ? I dont want to have to press C-s .
    – CD86
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 20:10
  • I added the binding to search-map as well. You can also add it to query-replace-map...
    – Drew
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 21:27

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