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23.4 Saving Abbrevs

These commands allow you to keep abbrev definitions between editing sessions.

M-x write-abbrev-file

Write a file describing all defined abbrevs.

M-x read-abbrev-file

Read such an abbrev file and define abbrevs as specified there.

M-x quietly-read-abbrev-file

Similar, but do not display a message about what is going on.

M-x define-abbrevs

Define abbrevs from buffer.

M-x insert-abbrevs

Insert all abbrevs and their expansions into the buffer.

Use M-x write-abbrev-file to save abbrev definitions for use in a later session. The command reads a file name using the minibuffer and writes a description of all current abbrev definitions into the specified file. The text stored in the file looks like the output of M-x list-abbrevs.

M-x read-abbrev-file prompts for a file name using the minibuffer and reads the specified file, defining abbrevs according to its contents. M-x quietly-read-abbrev-file is the same but does not display a message in the echo area; it is actually useful primarily in the init file. See Init File. If you give an empty argument to either of these functions, the file name Emacs uses is the value of the variable abbrev-file-name, which is by default "~/.abbrev_defs".

Emacs offers to save abbrevs automatically if you have changed any of them, whenever it offers to save all files (for C-x s or C-x C-c). Set the variable save-abbrevs to nil to inhibit this feature.

The commands M-x insert-abbrevs and M-x define-abbrevs are similar to the previous commands but work on text in an Emacs buffer. M-x insert-abbrevs inserts text into the current buffer before point, describing all current abbrev definitions; M-x define-abbrevs parses the entire current buffer and defines abbrevs accordingly.

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