I would like for the autocomplete feature to search through contexts, for example if I have a symbol named A`B`C`MyFunction, when I type A` and press "cmd + shift + k" it will complete it.


To be clear, I don't want to have to type the path because it's usually very long, and I don't want to have to type the function name again, even if the path itself gets auto completed. I want the following:

If I have these functions:


I want to be able to type Very` and then press CMD+Shift+k, to get a dropdown menu saying exactly

  • $\begingroup$ I assume you mean cmd-k, since cmd-shift-k inserts a template. $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2012 at 2:06

2 Answers 2


This is obsolete in Mathematica 9, which automatically includes contexts in completions.

Undocumented function: use at your own risk, subject to change in future versions, etc....

The function you're interested in is FE`FC.

It's been around for a while (here's a Mathematica Journal article that references it, near the end) although it has changed argument structure at least once that I'm aware of.

Anyway, here's the code I currently use to a similar end as what Mike would like. (Most of this is boilerplate from the original definition; the main difference is the use of a new function FE`names.)

(* Nice little hack to have command completion (cmd-k) include contexts *)

FE`FC[FE`nameString_, FE`ignoreCase_:False] /; $Notebooks:=
        FE`names[FE`nameString<>"*"], FE`ignoreCase],

FE`names[FE`str_, FE`ignoreCase_:False] :=
    Join[FE`shortContexts[FE`str], Names[FE`str, IgnoreCase -> FE`ignoreCase]];

 With[{FE`brettclen = Length[StringSplit[FE`patt, "`"]]},
      Riffle[Take[#, Min[FE`brettclen, Length[#]]], "`", {2, -1, 2}]] & /@
    StringSplit[Contexts[FE`patt], "`"]]

The end result is that when I use command completion, I get contexts that match in addition to symbols. This isn't quite the same as Mike's request, since it gives the contexts one at a time:

enter image description here

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since otherwise the list can get a bit overwhelming. For example, if you typed Int and then tried to complete to IntegerPart, there's a factor of ten difference:

In[5]:= {Length[Names["Int*"]] + Length[Contexts["Int*"]], 

Out[5]= {41, 419}
  • $\begingroup$ wow, I have somehow missed autocomplete for the last 5 years.... thanks for this! $\endgroup$
    – tkott
    Jun 15, 2012 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ Exactly! I knew I wasn't crazy. $\endgroup$
    – M.R.
    Jun 15, 2012 at 19:52

One option is to put the context on the path:

$ContextPath = AppendTo[$ContextPath, "A`B`C`"]
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this works. After appending to the $ContextPath, if you type "CMD+Shift+k", after typing "A`", you don't get a list with ABC`(functions) as items to complete, as you would if you typed "MapThre"... $\endgroup$
    – M.R.
    Jun 14, 2012 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Mike, expanding MyF+Shift+k works just fine. If you want something else, I suggest to state that more clearly in your question. $\endgroup$
    – user21
    Jun 14, 2012 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Mike, just that we are on the same page: adding ABCMyFunction ABCMyFunction2 give a list of items. Maybe I don't get what you want. $\endgroup$
    – user21
    Jun 14, 2012 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for the confusion! I just updated the question a bit. $\endgroup$
    – M.R.
    Jun 14, 2012 at 23:10

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