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I essentially want to bring up the helm buffers list and hit RET. This goes to the previous buffer in an alt-tab-like manner.

Thought this would do the trick but stops short of actually exiting the minibuffer:

(defun helm-alt-tab ()
  "Acts as a buffer alt-tab using helm."
  (interactive)
  (helm-buffers-list)
  (helm-maybe-exit-minibuffer))
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    Could you please clarify what exactly you want to achieve? Spawning a helm interface is one thing, you hitting RET however is unclear (since RET should already exit helm just fine). helm-buffers-list already gives me the last buffer as preselected choice, so you get that, too. What exactly is the problem you want to solve? – wasamasa Feb 6 '15 at 7:08
  • @wasamasa I'd like to store that action sequence in a function so I can bind it to a key such that I reduce my keystrokes. – deadghost Feb 6 '15 at 7:34
  • It doesn't make any sense to involve helm in that if you're not going to use its facilities and will just get a brief flash. – wasamasa Feb 6 '15 at 9:29
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    IMHO it's useful to have the short version that just switches and the long version that preselects the alternate but lets you see the full list. I have the two different versions bound to different keys, I find them both indispensable. – Ted Zlatanov Feb 6 '15 at 13:02
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(defun my-switch-to-last-buffer ()
  (interactive)
  (switch-to-buffer nil))

No need to involve helm to have a command for switching to the last buffer interactively at all.

  • Instead of (switch-to-buffer nil) I use (switch-to-buffer (other-buffer (current-buffer)))) because the latter is better about excluding some buffers (I forget the details, but it annoyed me a while back). – Ted Zlatanov Feb 6 '15 at 12:52
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I use helm like so, to do what you describe. Source unknown, but I didn't write it originally :)

(defun helm-buffers-list ()
  "Preconfigured `helm' to list buffers."
  (interactive)
  (helm :sources '(helm-source-buffers-list
                   helm-source-ido-virtual-buffers
                   helm-source-buffer-not-found)
        :buffer "*helm buffers*"
        :keymap helm-buffer-map
        :truncate-lines t
        :preselect (buffer-name (other-buffer (current-buffer) 1))))

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