Zsh has a bit of completion-related automation that's nice most of the time: after pressing Tab, a space is inserted automatically (or some other appropriate character such as , inside braces).

I want to keep this feature except in one case: when I type & or | after pressing Tab, I don't want the space to be removed. I prefer the space to be removed on a ;, and I definitely want to suppress the automatically-inserted comma when pressing Tab } in a brace enumeration.

This feature works by default both in the “old” (compctl) and the “new” (compadd) completion systems. I'm only interested in the new system.

How can I tune the automatic suppression of the automatic suffix inserted by completion?

1 Answer 1


This feature can be tuned with ZLE_REMOVE_SUFFIX_CHARS and ZLE_SPACE_SUFFIX_CHARS shell parameters.

  • If the ZLE_REMOVE_SUFFIX_CHARS variable is set, it should contain a set of characters that, when typed, will cause automatic suffixes from the completion to be removed. If ZLE_REMOVE_SUFFIX_CHARS is unset, the default behaviour equates to

  • For characters set in ZLE_SPACE_SUFFIX_CHARS suffices are replaced with a space. It also takes precedence over ZLE_SPACE_SUFFIX_CHARS

So in order to get your desired behaviour, it should be sufficient to set


It seems that the automatically inserted , in brace enumerations is always removed when typing }.

Although zshparam(1) mentions that certain completion systems may override this behaviour it seems to work just fine with the "new" compsys (you called it compadd)

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