Sometimes when using command zz (stash both), the minibuffer to enter a stash message does not allow me to enter whitespace (e.g. space chars). I typically resolve to use dashes or underscores or even the tedious C-q SPC, since it is not really important. Yet on other occasions I am sure I have had no problems to enter space chars.

Can someone explain this? Is it a version problem, mine is 20221208.1848.

EDIT: this is embarrassing. The hints in comments and the answer about checking my setup and using describe-key in the minibuffer prompted me to inspect my startup script for emacs, grown over many years. It explicitly defines (local-set-key " " 'minibuffer-complete-word) for the minibuffer. Obviously I have no idea anymore when and why I had the bright idea to enter this.

I don't think this question can help others, as it is probably too specific to serve even as a hint to carefully check startup scripts and try a clean version first. So I will delete it some time soon, giving the contributors time to have a good laugh at my blunder.

  • I guess that's either a bug in this specific version of magit or a problem with your configuration. I can't reproduce this on a fresh installation with the latest Magit (20230131.1151). Feb 1 at 17:41
  • Notwithstanding that this shouldn't be happening, you may find M-SPC slightly less tedious than C-q SPC on such occasions.
    – phils
    Feb 2 at 0:47

1 Answer 1


Emacs minibuffers for completion, except file-name completion, bind SPC to minibuffer-complete-word. I'm guessing that's the problem here.

Try either (1) globally binding SPC to self-insert-command in, say minibuffer-local-completion-map or (2) doing that only for the zz command. Here's #1:

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

If you want SPC to self-insert only for must-match completion then do that for minibuffer-local-must-match-map instead.

If, as a comment by @Gilles guesses, the command in question uses a keymap other than a completion keymap -- e.g., if it uses just function read-from-minibuffer, which uses keymap minibuffer-local-map, then just do the same thing I showed above, but with that keymap.

But first, check what the binding of SPC is in that keymap. You can do that with command describe-keymap. If that command is not available in your version of Emacs, you can get it with library help-fns+.el.

  • I wouldn't expect completion for the stash message, and the latest version of Magit calls read-from-minibuffer, not completing-read. I haven't checked the version of Magit in the question which is very slightly older. Feb 1 at 17:43
  • @Gilles'SO-stopbeingevil': In that case, what's the keymap used in that call, and what's the binding of SPC in it? If it's the usual minibuffer-local-map, and if the binding is not self-insert-command, then something (Magit?) must have changed the binding there. In any case, whatever the keymap used, the solution is the same: bind SPC to self-insert-command, if self-inserting is what's wanted. Oh, and why the downvote?
    – Drew
    Feb 1 at 18:23
  • In the current version, the keymap argument to read-from-minibuffer is nil, thus it uses minibuffer-local-map where SPC is not bound (and thus defaults to its global binding which is self-insert-command). Changing minibuffer-local-map or minibuffer-local-completion-map would not help (in the first case it's the default setting, in the second case it's not supposed to be used). Feb 1 at 18:48
  • @Gilles: So you're saying that using SPC in the minibuffer does not insert a space char, even though its binding in the minibuffer (here) is self-insert-command? How do you explain that description?
    – Drew
    Feb 1 at 19:19
  • No, on my machine (both with a fresh install with the latest Magit, and with my normal installation that I haven't updated in a long time), SPC at the magit-stash-both “Stash message: ” prompt inserts a space as expected. Feb 1 at 20:58

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