After the command loop has translated a key sequence into a command,
it invokes that command using the function
the command is a function,
call-interactively, which reads the arguments and calls the
command. You can also call these functions yourself.
Note that the term “command”, in this context, refers to an interactively callable function (or function-like object), or a keyboard macro. It does not refer to the key sequence used to invoke a command (see Keymaps).
This function returns
t if object is a command.
Otherwise, it returns
Commands include strings and vectors (which are treated as keyboard
macros), lambda expressions that contain a top-level
interactive form (see Using Interactive), byte-code
function objects made from such lambda expressions, autoload objects
that are declared as interactive (non-
nil fourth argument to
autoload), and some primitive functions. Also, a symbol is
considered a command if it has a non-
interactive-form property, or if its function definition
If for-call-interactively is non-
t only for objects that
call-interactively could call—thus, not for keyboard macros.
documentation in Accessing Documentation, for a
realistic example of using
This function calls the interactively callable function command, providing arguments according to its interactive calling specifications. It returns whatever command returns.
If, for instance, you have a function with the following signature:
(defun foo (begin end) (interactive "r") ...)
foo with the region (
An error is signaled if command is not a function or if it
cannot be called interactively (i.e., is not a command). Note that
keyboard macros (strings and vectors) are not accepted, even though
they are considered commands, because they are not functions. If
command is a symbol, then
call-interactively uses its
If record-flag is non-
nil, then this command and its
arguments are unconditionally added to the list
Otherwise, the command is added only if it uses the minibuffer to read
an argument. See Command History.
The argument keys, if given, should be a vector which specifies
the sequence of events to supply if the command inquires which events
were used to invoke it. If keys is omitted or
default is the return value of
See Definition of this-command-keys-vector.
This function executes command. The argument command must
commandp predicate; i.e., it must be an interactively
callable function or a keyboard macro.
A string or vector as command is executed with
execute-kbd-macro. A function is passed to
call-interactively (see above), along with the
record-flag and keys arguments.
If command is a symbol, its function definition is used in its
place. A symbol with an
autoload definition counts as a
command if it was declared to stand for an interactively callable
function. Such a definition is handled by loading the specified
library and then rechecking the definition of the symbol.
The argument special, if given, means to ignore the prefix argument and not clear it. This is used for executing special events (see Special Events).
This function reads a command name from the minibuffer using
completing-read (see Completion). Then it uses
command-execute to call the specified command. Whatever that
command returns becomes the value of
If the command asks for a prefix argument, it receives the value
execute-extended-command is called
interactively, the current raw prefix argument is used for
prefix-argument, and thus passed on to whatever command is run.
execute-extended-command is the normal definition of M-x,
so it uses the string ‘M-x ’ as a prompt. (It would be better
to take the prompt from the events used to invoke
execute-extended-command, but that is painful to implement.) A
description of the value of the prefix argument, if any, also becomes
part of the prompt.
(execute-extended-command 3) ---------- Buffer: Minibuffer ---------- 3 M-x forward-word RET ---------- Buffer: Minibuffer ---------- ⇒ t