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
tif 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
interactiveform (see Using Interactive), byte-code function objects made from such lambda expressions, autoload objects that are declared as interactive (non-
nilfourth argument to
autoload), and some primitive functions. Also, a symbol is considered a command if it has a non-
interactive-formproperty, or if its function definition satisfies
If for-call-interactively is non-
tonly for objects that
call-interactivelycould call—thus, not for keyboard macros.
documentationin 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") ...)
then saying(call-interactively 'foo)
foowith the region (
mark) as the arguments.
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-interactivelyuses its function definition.
If record-flag is non-
nil, then this command and its arguments are unconditionally added to the list
command-history. 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
nil, the default is the return value of
this-command-keys-vector. See Definition of this-command-keys-vector.
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
autoloaddefinition 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-executeto call the specified command. Whatever that command returns becomes the value of
If the command asks for a prefix argument, it receives the value prefix-argument. If
execute-extended-commandis called interactively, the current raw prefix argument is used for prefix-argument, and thus passed on to whatever command is run.
execute-extended-commandis 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