An essential convenience feature every reasonable shell provides is command / file name completion (usually triggered by pressing Tab). I miss it heavily when I use command line in Midnight Commander. Is there a way to use it (other than by hiding the panels with Ctrl+O)?

3 Answers 3


You just need to prepend it with Esc: Esc-Tab does completion, and it will even give you a tiny dropdown if you do it twice. (That being said, you probably won't get the more fancy expansion possibilities of some shells.)

  • 5
    This makes mc effectively unusable. You can switch panels with ctrl-u, so why can't they just leave the tab key alone? Or make panels switch with cursor right/left.
    – weberjn
    Jan 22, 2018 at 15:30
  • @weberjn Ctrl-u does not switch panels, it swaps panels and you are still in the same panel.
    – Marcel
    Nov 12, 2021 at 17:34
  • It's also alt-tab, or m-tab, whichever makes sense to you (depending on your OS). Esc is usually a reliable way when you don't have alt or meta.
    – KFL
    Jul 10, 2022 at 6:31

There was a fix in MC 4.8.19 which makes redefining tab work


This config sample from the fix makes simple Tab work:

ChangePanel = tab
ChangePanel =
Complete = tab; alt-tab
  • 1
    put those lines into ~/.config/mc/mc.keymap midnight-commander.org/ticket/3664
    – Winand
    Oct 14, 2020 at 19:34
  • The mentioned feature is not implemented. The task is still new. (Tested with 4.8.24) So the solution does not work as expected. Just the lower assignment take precedence and tab now always invokes auto completion. You are no longer able to switch panels by keyboard anymore.
    – Marcel
    Nov 12, 2021 at 18:24
  • @Winand and weberjn - using mc 4.8.19. works a treat. thanks, excellent.
    – J Evans
    Apr 17, 2022 at 23:05
  • Does not work for me on 4.8.27. Do I need to do something after saving mc.keymap file?
    – Piotrek
    Jan 8 at 16:02

Alt + Tab do the autocomplete native list of MC.

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