zshcompctl.1   [plain text]


.TH "ZSHCOMPCTL" "1" "December 20, 2010" "zsh 4\&.3\&.11"
.SH "NAME"
zshcompctl \- zsh programmable completion
.\" Yodl file: Zsh/compctl.yo
.SH "DESCRIPTION"
This version of zsh has two ways of performing completion of words on the
command line\&.  New users of the shell may prefer to use the newer
and more powerful system based on shell functions; this is described in
\fIzshcompsys\fP(1), and the basic shell mechanisms which support it are
described in \fIzshcompwid\fP(1)\&.  This manual entry describes the older
\fBcompctl\fP command\&.
.PD 0
.TP
\fBcompctl\fP [ \fB\-CDT\fP ] \fIoptions\fP [ \fIcommand\fP \&.\&.\&. ]
.TP
\fBcompctl\fP [ \fB\-CDT\fP ] \fIoptions\fP [ \fB\-x\fP \fIpattern\fP \fIoptions\fP \fB\-\fP \&.\&.\&. \fB\-\fP\fB\-\fP ] [ \fB+\fP \fIoptions\fP [ \fB\-x\fP \&.\&.\&. \fB\-\fP\fB\-\fP ] \&.\&.\&. [\fB+\fP] ] [ \fIcommand\fP \&.\&.\&. ]
.TP
\fBcompctl\fP \fB\-M\fP \fImatch\-specs\fP \&.\&.\&.
.TP
\fBcompctl\fP \fB\-L\fP [ \fB\-CDTM\fP ] [ \fIcommand\fP \&.\&.\&. ]
.TP
\fBcompctl\fP \fB+\fP \fIcommand\fP \&.\&.\&.
.PD
.PP
Control the editor\&'s completion behavior according to the supplied set
of \fIoptions\fP\&.  Various editing commands, notably
\fBexpand\-or\-complete\-word\fP, usually bound to tab, will
attempt to complete a word typed by the user, while others, notably
\fBdelete\-char\-or\-list\fP, usually bound to ^D in EMACS editing
mode, list the possibilities; \fBcompctl\fP controls what those
possibilities are\&.  They may for example be filenames (the most common
case, and hence the default), shell variables, or words from a
user\-specified list\&.
.PP
.SH "COMMAND FLAGS"
Completion of the arguments of a command may be different for each
command or may use the default\&.  The behavior when completing the
command word itself may also be separately specified\&.  These
correspond to the following flags and arguments, all of which (except
for \fB\-L\fP) may be combined with any combination of the
\fIoptions\fP described subsequently in the section `Option Flags\&':
.PP
.PD 0
.TP
.PD
\fIcommand\fP \&.\&.\&.
controls completion for the named commands, which must be listed last
on the command line\&.  If completion is attempted for a command with a
pathname containing slashes and no completion definition is found, the
search is retried with the last pathname component\&. If the command starts
with a \fB=\fP, completion is tried with the pathname of the command\&.
.RS
.PP
Any of the \fIcommand\fP strings may be patterns of the form normally
used for filename generation\&.  These should be be quoted to protect them
from immediate expansion; for example the command string \fB\&'foo*'\fP
arranges for completion of the words of any command beginning with
\fBfoo\fP\&.  When completion is attempted, all pattern completions are
tried in the reverse order of their definition until one matches\&.  By
default, completion then proceeds as normal, i\&.e\&. the shell will try to
generate more matches for the specific command on the command line; this
can be overridden by including \fB\-tn\fP in the flags for the pattern
completion\&.
.PP
Note that aliases
are expanded before the command name is determined unless the
\fBCOMPLETE_ALIASES\fP option is set\&.  Commands may not be combined
with the \fB\-C\fP, \fB\-D\fP or \fB\-T\fP flags\&.
.RE
.TP
\fB\-C\fP
controls completion when the command word itself is being completed\&.
If no \fBcompctl \-C\fP command has been issued,  the names of any
executable command (whether in the path or specific to the shell, such
as aliases or functions) are completed\&.
.TP
\fB\-D\fP
controls default completion behavior for the arguments of commands not
assigned any special behavior\&.  If no \fBcompctl \-D\fP command has
been issued, filenames are completed\&.
.TP
\fB\-T\fP
supplies completion flags to be used before any other processing is
done, even before processing for \fBcompctl\fPs defined for specific
commands\&.  This is especially useful when combined with extended
completion (the \fB\-x\fP flag, see the section `Extended Completion\&' below)\&.
Using this flag you can define default behavior
which will apply to all commands without exception, or you can alter
the standard behavior for all commands\&.  For example, if your access
to the user database is too slow and/or it contains too many users (so
that completion after `\fB~\fP\&' is too slow to be usable), you can use
.RS
.PP
.RS
.nf
\fBcompctl \-T \-x \&'s[~] C[0,[^/]#]' \-k friends \-S/ \-tn\fP
.fi
.RE
.PP
to complete the strings in the array \fBfriends\fP after a `\fB~\fP\&'\&.
The \fBC[\&.\&.\&.]\fP argument is necessary so that this form of ~\-completion is
not tried after the directory name is finished\&.
.RE
.TP
\fB\-L\fP
lists the existing completion behavior in a manner suitable for
putting into a start\-up script; the existing behavior is not changed\&.
Any combination of the above forms, or the \fB\-M\fP flag (which must
follow the \fB\-L\fP flag), may be specified, otherwise all defined
completions are listed\&.  Any other flags supplied are ignored\&.
.TP
\fIno argument\fP
If no argument is given, \fBcompctl\fP lists all defined completions
in an abbreviated form;  with a list of \fIoptions\fP, all completions
with those flags set (not counting extended completion) are listed\&.
.PP
If the \fB+\fP flag is alone and followed immediately by the \fIcommand\fP
list, the completion behavior for all the commands in the list is reset to
the default\&.  In other words, completion will subsequently use the
options specified by the \fB\-D\fP flag\&.
.PP
The form with \fB\-M\fP as the first and only option defines global
matching specifications (see
zshcompwid)\&. The match specifications given will be used for every completion
attempt (only when using \fBcompctl\fP, not with the new completion
system) and are tried in the order in which they are defined until one 
generates at least one match\&. E\&.g\&.:
.PP
.RS
.nf
\fBcompctl \-M \&'' 'm:{a\-zA\-Z}={A\-Za\-z}'\fP
.fi
.RE
.PP
This will first try completion without any global match specifications 
(the empty string) and, if that generates no matches, will try case
insensitive completion\&.
.PP
.SH "OPTION FLAGS"
.PD 0
.TP
[ \fB\-fcFBdeaRGovNAIOPZEnbjrzu/12\fP ]
.TP
[ \fB\-k\fP \fIarray\fP ] [ \fB\-g\fP \fIglobstring\fP ] [ \fB\-s\fP \fIsubststring\fP ]
.TP
[ \fB\-K\fP \fIfunction\fP ]
.TP
[ \fB\-Q\fP ] [ \fB\-P\fP \fIprefix\fP ] [ \fB\-S\fP \fIsuffix\fP ]
.TP
[ \fB\-W\fP \fIfile\-prefix\fP ] [ \fB\-H\fP \fInum pattern\fP ]
.TP
[ \fB\-q\fP ] [ \fB\-X\fP \fIexplanation\fP ] [ \fB\-Y\fP \fIexplanation\fP ]
.TP
[ \fB\-y\fP \fIfunc\-or\-var\fP ] [ \fB\-l\fP \fIcmd\fP ] [ \fB\-h\fP \fIcmd\fP ] [ \fB\-U\fP ]
.TP
[ \fB\-t\fP \fIcontinue\fP ] [ \fB\-J\fP \fIname\fP ] [ \fB\-V\fP \fIname\fP ]
.TP
[ \fB\-M\fP \fImatch\-spec\fP ]
.PD
.PP
The remaining \fIoptions\fP specify the type of command arguments
to look for during completion\&.  Any combination of these flags may be
specified; the result is a sorted list of all the possibilities\&.  The
options are as follows\&.
.PP
.SS "Simple Flags"
These produce completion lists made up by the shell itself:
.PP
.PD 0
.TP
.PD
\fB\-f\fP
Filenames and file system paths\&.
.TP
\fB\-/\fP
Just file system paths\&.
.TP
\fB\-c\fP
Command names, including aliases, shell functions, builtins
and reserved words\&.
.TP
\fB\-F\fP
Function names\&.
.TP
\fB\-B\fP
Names of builtin commands\&.
.TP
\fB\-m\fP
Names of external commands\&.
.TP
\fB\-w\fP
Reserved words\&.
.TP
\fB\-a\fP
Alias names\&.
.TP
\fB\-R\fP
Names of regular (non\-global) aliases\&.
.TP
\fB\-G\fP
Names of global aliases\&.
.TP
\fB\-d\fP
This can be combined with \fB\-F\fP, \fB\-B\fP, \fB\-w\fP,
\fB\-a\fP, \fB\-R\fP and \fB\-G\fP to get names of disabled
functions, builtins, reserved words or aliases\&.
.TP
\fB\-e\fP
This option (to show enabled commands) is in effect by default, but
may be combined with \fB\-d\fP; \fB\-de\fP in combination with
\fB\-F\fP, \fB\-B\fP, \fB\-w\fP, \fB\-a\fP, \fB\-R\fP and \fB\-G\fP
will complete names of functions, builtins, reserved words or aliases
whether or not they are disabled\&.
.TP
\fB\-o\fP
Names of shell options (see
\fIzshoptions\fP(1))\&.
.TP
\fB\-v\fP
Names of any variable defined in the shell\&.
.TP
\fB\-N\fP
Names of scalar (non\-array) parameters\&.
.TP
\fB\-A\fP
Array names\&.
.TP
\fB\-I\fP
Names of integer variables\&.
.TP
\fB\-O\fP
Names of read\-only variables\&.
.TP
\fB\-p\fP
Names of parameters used by the shell (including special parameters)\&.
.TP
\fB\-Z\fP
Names of shell special parameters\&.
.TP
\fB\-E\fP
Names of environment variables\&.
.TP
\fB\-n\fP
Named directories\&.
.TP
\fB\-b\fP
Key binding names\&.
.TP
\fB\-j\fP
Job names:  the first word of the job leader\&'s command line\&.  This is useful
with the \fBkill\fP builtin\&.
.TP
\fB\-r\fP
Names of running jobs\&.
.TP
\fB\-z\fP
Names of suspended jobs\&.
.TP
\fB\-u\fP
User names\&.
.PP
.SS "Flags with Arguments"
These have user supplied arguments to determine how the list of
completions is to be made up:
.PP
.PD 0
.TP
.PD
\fB\-k\fP \fIarray\fP
Names taken from the elements of \fB$\fP\fIarray\fP (note that the `\fB$\fP\&'
does not appear on the command line)\&.
Alternatively, the argument \fIarray\fP itself may be a set
of space\- or comma\-separated values in parentheses, in which any
delimiter may be escaped with a backslash; in this case the argument
should be quoted\&.  For example,
.RS
.PP
.RS
.nf
\fBcompctl \-k "(cputime filesize datasize stacksize
	       coredumpsize resident descriptors)" limit\fP
.fi
.RE
.RE
.TP
\fB\-g\fP \fIglobstring\fP
The \fIglobstring\fP is expanded using filename globbing; it should be
quoted to protect it from immediate expansion\&. The resulting
filenames are taken as the possible completions\&.  Use `\fB*(/)\fP\&' instead of
`\fB*/\fP\&' for directories\&.  The \fBfignore\fP special parameter is not
applied to the resulting files\&.  More than one pattern may be given
separated by blanks\&. (Note that brace expansion is \fInot\fP part of
globbing\&.  Use the syntax `\fB(either|or)\fP\&' to match alternatives\&.)
.TP
\fB\-s\fP \fIsubststring\fP
The \fIsubststring\fP is split into words and these words are than
expanded using all shell expansion mechanisms (see
\fIzshexpn\fP(1))\&.  The resulting words are taken as possible
completions\&.  The \fBfignore\fP special parameter is not applied to the
resulting files\&.  Note that \fB\-g\fP is faster for filenames\&.
.TP
\fB\-K\fP \fIfunction\fP
Call the given function to get the completions\&.  Unless the name
starts with an underscore, the function is
passed two arguments: the prefix and the suffix of the word on which
completion is to be attempted, in other words those characters before
the cursor position, and those from the cursor position onwards\&.  The
whole command line can be accessed with the \fB\-c\fP and \fB\-l\fP flags
of the \fBread\fP builtin\&. The
function should set the variable \fBreply\fP to an array containing
the completions (one completion per element); note that \fBreply\fP
should not be made local to the function\&.  From such a function the
command line can be accessed with the \fB\-c\fP and \fB\-l\fP flags to
the \fBread\fP builtin\&.  For example,
.RS
.PP
.RS
.nf
\fBfunction whoson { reply=(`users`); }
compctl \-K whoson talk\fP
.fi
.RE
.PP
completes only logged\-on users after `\fBtalk\fP\&'\&.  Note that `\fBwhoson\fP' must
return an array, so `\fBreply=`users`\fP\&' would be incorrect\&.
.RE
.TP
\fB\-H\fP \fInum pattern\fP
The possible completions are taken from the last \fInum\fP history
lines\&.  Only words matching \fIpattern\fP are taken\&.  If \fInum\fP is
zero or negative the whole history is searched and if \fIpattern\fP is
the empty string all words are taken (as with `\fB*\fP\&')\&.  A typical
use is
.RS
.PP
.RS
.nf
\fBcompctl \-D \-f + \-H 0 \&''\fP
.fi
.RE
.PP
which forces completion to look back in the history list for a word if
no filename matches\&.
.RE
.RE
.PP
.SS "Control Flags"
These do not directly specify types of name to be completed, but
manipulate the options that do:
.PP
.PD 0
.TP
.PD
\fB\-Q\fP
This instructs the shell not to quote any metacharacters in the possible
completions\&.  Normally the results of a completion are inserted into
the command line with any metacharacters quoted so that they are
interpreted as normal characters\&.  This is appropriate for filenames
and ordinary strings\&.  However, for special effects, such as inserting
a backquoted expression from a completion array (\fB\-k\fP) so that
the expression will not be evaluated until the complete line is
executed, this option must be used\&.
.TP
\fB\-P\fP \fIprefix\fP
The \fIprefix\fP is inserted just before the completed string; any
initial part already typed will be completed and the whole \fIprefix\fP
ignored for completion purposes\&.  For example,
.RS
.PP
.RS
.nf
\fBcompctl \-j \-P "%" kill\fP
.fi
.RE
.PP
inserts a `%\&' after the kill command and then completes job names\&.
.RE
.TP
\fB\-S\fP \fIsuffix\fP
When a completion is found the \fIsuffix\fP is inserted after
the completed string\&.  In the case of menu completion the suffix is
inserted immediately, but it is still possible to cycle through the
list of completions by repeatedly hitting the same key\&.
.TP
\fB\-W\fP \fIfile\-prefix\fP
With directory \fIfile\-prefix\fP:  for command, file, directory and
globbing completion (options \fB\-c\fP, \fB\-f\fP, \fB\-/\fP, \fB\-g\fP), the file
prefix is implicitly added in front of the completion\&.  For example,
.RS
.PP
.RS
.nf
\fBcompctl \-/ \-W ~/Mail maildirs\fP
.fi
.RE
.PP
completes any subdirectories to any depth beneath the directory
\fB~/Mail\fP, although that prefix does not appear on the command line\&.
The \fIfile\-prefix\fP may also be of the form accepted by the \fB\-k\fP
flag, i\&.e\&. the name of an array or a literal list in parenthesis\&. In
this case all the directories in the list will be searched for
possible completions\&.
.RE
.TP
\fB\-q\fP
If used with a suffix as specified by the \fB\-S\fP option, this
causes the suffix to be removed if the next character typed is a blank
or does not insert anything or if the suffix consists of only one character
and the next character typed is the same character; this the same rule used
for the \fBAUTO_REMOVE_SLASH\fP option\&.  The option is most useful for list
separators (comma, colon, etc\&.)\&.
.TP
\fB\-l\fP \fIcmd\fP
This option restricts the range
of command line words that are considered to be arguments\&.  If
combined with one of the extended completion patterns `\fBp[\fP\&.\&.\&.\fB]\fP\&',
`\fBr[\fP\&.\&.\&.\fB]\fP\&', or `\fBR[\fP\&.\&.\&.\fB]\fP'  (see the section `Extended Completion'
below) the range is restricted to the range of arguments
specified in the brackets\&.  Completion is then performed as if these
had been given as arguments to the \fIcmd\fP supplied with the
option\&. If the \fIcmd\fP string is empty the first word in the range
is instead taken as the command name, and command name completion
performed on the first word in the range\&.  For example,
.RS
.PP
.RS
.nf
\fBcompctl \-x \&'r[\-exec,;]' \-l '' \-\- find\fP
.fi
.RE
.PP
completes arguments between `\fB\-exec\fP\&' and the following `\fB;\fP' (or the end
of the command line if there is no such string) as if they were
a separate command line\&.
.RE
.TP
\fB\-h\fP \fIcmd\fP
Normally zsh completes quoted strings as a whole\&. With this option,
completion can be done separately on different parts of such
strings\&. It works like the \fB\-l\fP option but makes the completion code 
work on the parts of the current word that are separated by
spaces\&. These parts are completed as if they were arguments to the
given \fIcmd\fP\&. If \fIcmd\fP is the empty string, the first part is
completed as a command name, as with \fB\-l\fP\&.
.TP
\fB\-U\fP
Use the whole list of possible completions, whether or not they
actually match the word on the command line\&.  The word typed so far
will be deleted\&.  This is most useful with a function (given by the
\fB\-K\fP option) which can examine the word components passed to it
(or via the \fBread\fP builtin\&'s \fB\-c\fP and \fB\-l\fP flags) and
use its own criteria to decide what matches\&.  If there is no
completion, the original word is retained\&.  Since the produced 
possible completions seldom have interesting common prefixes
and suffixes, menu completion is started immediately if \fBAUTO_MENU\fP is
set and this flag is used\&.
.TP
\fB\-y\fP \fIfunc\-or\-var\fP
The list provided by \fIfunc\-or\-var\fP is displayed instead of the list
of completions whenever a listing is required; the actual completions
to be inserted are not affected\&.  It can be provided in two
ways\&. Firstly, if \fIfunc\-or\-var\fP begins with a \fB$\fP it defines a
variable, or if it begins with a left parenthesis a literal
array, which contains the list\&.  A variable may have been set by a
call to a function using the \fB\-K\fP option\&.  Otherwise it contains the
name of a function which will be executed to create the list\&.  The
function will be passed as an argument list all matching completions,
including prefixes and suffixes expanded in full, and should set the
array \fBreply\fP to the result\&.  In both cases, the display list will
only be retrieved after a complete list of matches has been created\&.
.RS
.PP
Note that the returned list does not have to correspond, even in
length, to the original set of matches, and may be passed as a scalar
instead of an array\&.  No special formatting of characters is
performed on the output in this case; in particular, newlines are
printed literally and if they appear output in columns is suppressed\&.
.RE
.TP
\fB\-X\fP \fIexplanation\fP
Print \fIexplanation\fP when trying completion on the current set of
options\&. A `\fB%n\fP\&' in this string is replaced by the number of
matches that were added for this explanation string\&.
The explanation only appears if completion was tried and there was
no unique match, or when listing completions\&. Explanation strings 
will be listed together with the matches of the group specified
together with the \fB\-X\fP option (using the \fB\-J\fP or \fB\-V\fP
option)\&. If the same explanation string is given to multiple \fB\-X\fP
options, the string appears only once (for each group) and the number
of matches shown for the `\fB%n\fP\&' is the total number of all matches
for each of these uses\&. In any case, the explanation string will only
be shown if there was at least one match added for the explanation
string\&.
.RS
.PP
The sequences \fB%B\fP, \fB%b\fP, \fB%S\fP, \fB%s\fP, \fB%U\fP, and \fB%u\fP specify
output attributes (bold, standout, and underline), \fB%F\fP, \fB%f\fP, \fB%K\fP,
\fB%k\fP specify foreground and background colours, and \fB%{\&.\&.\&.%}\fP can
be used to include literal escape sequences as in prompts\&.
.RE
.TP
\fB\-Y\fP \fIexplanation\fP
Identical to \fB\-X\fP, except that the \fIexplanation\fP first undergoes
expansion following the usual rules for strings in double quotes\&.
The expansion will be carried out after any functions are called for
the \fB\-K\fP or \fB\-y\fP options, allowing them to set variables\&.
.TP
\fB\-t\fP \fIcontinue\fP
The \fIcontinue\fP\-string contains a character that specifies which set
of completion flags should be used next\&.  It is useful:
.RS
.PP
(i) With \fB\-T\fP, or when trying a list of pattern completions, when
\fBcompctl\fP would usually continue with ordinary processing after
finding matches; this can be suppressed with `\fB\-tn\fP\&'\&.
.PP
(ii) With a list of alternatives separated by \fB+\fP, when \fBcompctl\fP
would normally stop when one of the alternatives generates matches\&.  It
can be forced to consider the next set of completions by adding `\fB\-t+\fP\&'
to the flags of the alternative before the `\fB+\fP\&'\&.
.PP
(iii) In an extended completion list (see below), when \fBcompctl\fP would
normally continue until a set of conditions succeeded, then use only
the immediately following flags\&.  With `\fB\-t\-\fP\&', \fBcompctl\fP will
continue trying extended completions after the next `\fB\-\fP\&'; with
`\fB\-tx\fP\&' it will attempt completion with the default flags, in other
words those before the `\fB\-x\fP\&'\&.
.RE
.TP
\fB\-J\fP \fIname\fP
This gives the name of the group the matches should be placed in\&. Groups
are listed and sorted separately; likewise, menu completion will offer
the matches in the groups in the order in which the groups were
defined\&. If no group name is explicitly given, the matches are stored in
a group named \fIdefault\fP\&. The first time a group name is encountered,
a group with that name is created\&. After that all matches with the same
group name are stored in that group\&.
.RS
.PP
This can be useful with non\-exclusive alternative completions\&.  For
example, in
.PP
.RS
.nf
\fBcompctl \-f \-J files \-t+ + \-v \-J variables foo\fP
.fi
.RE
.PP
both files and variables are possible completions, as the \fB\-t+\fP forces
both sets of alternatives before and after the \fB+\fP to be considered at
once\&.  Because of the \fB\-J\fP options, however, all files are listed
before all variables\&.
.RE
.TP
\fB\-V\fP \fIname\fP
Like \fB\-J\fP, but matches within the group will not be sorted in listings
nor in menu completion\&. These unsorted groups are in a different name
space from the sorted ones, so groups defined as \fB\-J files\fP and \fB\-V
files\fP are distinct\&.
.TP
\fB\-1\fP
If given together with the \fB\-V\fP option, makes
only consecutive duplicates in the group be removed\&. Note that groups
with and without this flag are in different name spaces\&.
.TP
\fB\-2\fP
If given together with the \fB\-J\fP or \fB\-V\fP option, makes all
duplicates be kept\&. Again, groups with and without this flag are in
different name spaces\&.
.TP
\fB\-M\fP \fImatch\-spec\fP
This defines additional matching control specifications that should be used
only when testing words for the list of flags this flag appears in\&. The format
of the \fImatch\-spec\fP string is described in 
zshcompwid\&.
.PP
.SH "ALTERNATIVE COMPLETION"
.PD 0
.TP
\fBcompctl\fP [ \fB\-CDT\fP ] \fIoptions\fP \fB+\fP \fIoptions\fP [ \fB+\fP \&.\&.\&. ] [ \fB+\fP ] \fIcommand\fP \&.\&.\&.
.PD
.PP
The form with `\fB+\fP\&' specifies alternative options\&. Completion is
tried with the options before the first `\fB+\fP\&'\&. If this produces no
matches completion is tried with the flags after the `\fB+\fP\&' and so on\&. If
there are no flags after the last `\fB+\fP\&' and a match has not been found
up to that point, default completion is tried\&.
If the list of flags contains a \fB\-t\fP with a \fB+\fP character, the next
list of flags is used even if the current list produced matches\&.
.PP
.PP
Additional options are available that restrict completion to some part
of the command line; this is referred to as `extended completion\&'\&.
.PP
.SH "EXTENDED COMPLETION"
.PD 0
.TP
\fBcompctl\fP [ \fB\-CDT\fP ] \fIoptions\fP \fB\-x\fP \fIpattern\fP \fIoptions\fP \fB\-\fP \&.\&.\&. \fB\-\fP\fB\-\fP
.TP
         [ \fIcommand\fP \&.\&.\&. ]
.TP
\fBcompctl\fP [ \fB\-CDT\fP ] \fIoptions\fP [ \fB\-x\fP \fIpattern\fP \fIoptions\fP \fB\-\fP \&.\&.\&. \fB\-\fP\fB\-\fP ]
.TP
         [ \fB+\fP \fIoptions\fP [ \fB\-x\fP \&.\&.\&. \fB\-\fP\fB\-\fP ] \&.\&.\&. [\fB+\fP] ] [ \fIcommand\fP \&.\&.\&. ]
.PD
.PP
The form with `\fB\-x\fP\&' specifies extended completion for the
commands given; as shown, it may be combined with alternative
completion using `\fB+\fP\&'\&.  Each \fIpattern\fP is examined in turn; when a
match is found, the corresponding \fIoptions\fP, as described in
the section `Option Flags\&' above, are used to generate possible
completions\&.  If no \fIpattern\fP matches, the \fIoptions\fP given
before the \fB\-x\fP are used\&.
.PP
Note that each pattern should be supplied as a single argument and
should be quoted to prevent expansion of metacharacters by the
shell\&.
.PP
A \fIpattern\fP is built of sub\-patterns separated by commas; it
matches if at least one of these sub\-patterns matches (they are
`or\&'ed)\&. These sub\-patterns are in turn composed of other
sub\-patterns separated by white spaces which match if all of the
sub\-patterns match (they are `and\&'ed)\&.  An element of the
sub\-patterns is of the form `\fIc\fP\fB[\fP\&.\&.\&.\fB][\fP\&.\&.\&.\fB]\fP\&', where the pairs of
brackets may be repeated as often as necessary, and matches if any of
the sets of brackets match (an `or\&')\&.  The example below makes this
clearer\&.
.PP
The elements may be any of the following:
.PP
.PD 0
.TP
.PD
\fBs[\fP\fIstring\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Matches if the current word on the command line starts with
one of the strings given in brackets\&.  The \fIstring\fP is not removed
and is not part of the completion\&.
.TP
\fBS[\fP\fIstring\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Like \fBs[\fP\fIstring\fP\fB]\fP except that the \fIstring\fP is part of the
completion\&.
.TP
\fBp[\fP\fIfrom\fP\fB,\fP\fIto\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Matches if the number of the current word is between one of
the \fIfrom\fP and \fIto\fP pairs inclusive\&. The comma and \fIto\fP
are optional; \fIto\fP defaults to the same value as \fIfrom\fP\&.  The
numbers may be negative: \fB\-\fP\fIn\fP refers to the \fIn\fP\&'th last word
on the line\&.
.TP
\fBc[\fP\fIoffset\fP\fB,\fP\fIstring\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Matches if the \fIstring\fP matches the word offset by
\fIoffset\fP from the current word position\&.  Usually \fIoffset\fP
will be negative\&.
.TP
\fBC[\fP\fIoffset\fP\fB,\fP\fIpattern\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Like \fBc\fP but using pattern matching instead\&.
.TP
\fBw[\fP\fIindex\fP\fB,\fP\fIstring\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Matches if the word in position \fIindex\fP is equal
to the corresponding \fIstring\fP\&.  Note that the word count is made
after any alias expansion\&.
.TP
\fBW[\fP\fIindex\fP\fB,\fP\fIpattern\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Like \fBw\fP but using pattern matching instead\&.
.TP
\fBn[\fP\fIindex\fP\fB,\fP\fIstring\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Matches if the current word contains \fIstring\fP\&.  Anything up to and
including the \fIindex\fPth occurrence of this string will not be
considered part of the completion, but the rest will\&.  \fIindex\fP may
be negative to count from the end: in most cases, \fIindex\fP will be
1 or \-1\&.  For example,
.RS
.PP
.RS
.nf
\fBcompctl \-s \&'`users`' \-x 'n[1,@]' \-k hosts \-\- talk\fP
.fi
.RE
.PP
will usually complete usernames, but if you insert an \fB@\fP after the
name, names from the array \fIhosts\fP (assumed to contain hostnames,
though you must make the array yourself) will be completed\&.  Other
commands such as \fBrcp\fP can be handled similarly\&.
.RE
.TP
\fBN[\fP\fIindex\fP\fB,\fP\fIstring\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Like \fBn\fP except that the string will be
taken as a character class\&.  Anything up to and including the
\fIindex\fPth occurrence of any of the characters in \fIstring\fP
will not be considered part of the completion\&.
.TP
\fBm[\fP\fImin\fP\fB,\fP\fImax\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Matches if the total number of words lies between \fImin\fP and
\fImax\fP inclusive\&.
.TP
\fBr[\fP\fIstr1\fP\fB,\fP\fIstr2\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Matches if the cursor is after a word with prefix \fIstr1\fP\&.  If there
is also a word with prefix \fIstr2\fP on the command line after the one 
matched by \fIstr1\fP it matches
only if the cursor is before this word\&. If the comma and \fIstr2\fP are
omitted, it matches if the cursor is after a word with prefix \fIstr1\fP\&.
.TP
\fBR[\fP\fIstr1\fP\fB,\fP\fIstr2\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Like \fBr\fP but using pattern matching instead\&.
.TP
\fBq[\fP\fIstr\fP\fB]\fP\&.\&.\&.
Matches the word currently being completed is in single quotes and the 
\fIstr\fP begins with the letter `s\&', or if completion is done in
double quotes and \fIstr\fP starts with the letter `d\&', or if
completion is done in backticks and \fIstr\fP starts with a `b\&'\&.
.PP
.SH "EXAMPLE"
.PP
.RS
.nf
\fBcompctl \-u \-x \&'s[\fB+\fP] c[\-1,\-f],s[\-f+]' \e 
  \-g \&'~/Mail/*(:t)' \- 's[\-f],c[\-1,\-f]' \-f \-\- mail\fP
.fi
.RE
.PP
This is to be interpreted as follows:
.PP
If the current command is \fBmail\fP, then
.PP
.RS
.nf

if ((the current word begins with \fB+\fP and the previous word is \fB\-f\fP)
or (the current word begins with \fB\-f+\fP)), then complete the
non\-directory part (the `\fB:t\fP\&' glob modifier) of files in the directory
\fB~/Mail\fP; else
.PP
if the current word begins with \fB\-f\fP or the previous word was \fB\-f\fP, then
complete any file; else
.PP
complete user names\&.

.fi
.RE