1.4 The Minibuffer

The minibuffer is where commands are entered in. Editing can be done by commands from Insert state, namely:




Delete Word


Erase line


Quote the following character


Execute command

C-g and C-]

Emacs quit and abort keys. These may be necessary. See Vi State, for an explanation.

M-p and M-n

These keys are bound to functions that peruse minibuffer history. The precise history to be perused depends on the context. It may be the history of search strings, Ex commands, file names, etc.


If the minibuffer is entered via the Viper search commands / or ?, then this key inserts the last search string used by the Emacs incremental search command (which is bound to C-s everywhere except in this case).

Most of the Emacs keys are functional in the minibuffer. While in the minibuffer, Viper tries to make editing resemble Vi’s behavior when the latter is waiting for the user to type an Ex command. In particular, you can use the regular Vi commands to edit the minibuffer. You can switch between the Vi state and Insert state at will, and even use the replace mode. Initially, the minibuffer comes up in Insert state.

Some users prefer plain Emacs bindings in the minibuffer. To this end, set viper-vi-style-in-minibuffer to nil in your Viper customization file. See Customization, to learn how to do this.

When the minibuffer changes Viper states, you will notice that the appearance of the text there changes as well. This is useful because the minibuffer has no mode line to tell which Vi state it is in. The appearance of the text in the minibuffer can be changed. See Viper Specials, for more details.