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15.2 Nonincremental Search

Emacs also has conventional nonincremental search commands, which require you to type the entire search string before searching begins.

C-s RET string RET

Search for string.

C-r RET string RET

Search backward for string.

To start a nonincremental search, first type C-s RET. This enters the minibuffer to read the search string; terminate the string with RET, and then the search takes place. If the string is not found, the search command signals an error.

When you type C-s RET, the C-s invokes incremental search as usual. That command is specially programmed to invoke the command for nonincremental search, search-forward, if the string you specify is empty. (Such an empty argument would otherwise be useless.) C-r RET does likewise, invoking the command search-backward.