Category “Emacs Tips” — 15 articles

Marking whole word

I’ve discovered recently another Emacs facility that I since then use several times a day, and I wonder how I did without it before: C-M-SPC runs the command mark-sexp. *Well, `mark-sexp` apparently is related to the Sex Pistols* It’s pretty simple actually, when you have the point at the beginning of a word or an identifier (containing numbers, dashes, underscores and other punctuation signs), you can select the whole of it in a single key chord!

About Vimgolf

Following some tweet I found myself desultory watching an episode of the awesome VimGolf in Emacs video series by Tim Visher. Those series are about picking some challenge from vimgolf and implementing it with our favorite editor instead. Because Emacs Rocks guys. Let me tell you upfront that I really dislike the whole idea of the vim golf challenge. I’ve been a user of both Emacs and Vim for many years, and finally decided to switch to living in Emacs; or if you prefer, climbing my way up from level 2 as in The Levels Of Emacs Proficiency.

Editing SQL

It’s hard to read my blog yet not know I’m using Emacs. It really is a great tool and has a lot to compare to PostgreSQL in terms of extensibility, documentation quality and community. And there’s even a native implementation of the PostgreSQL Protocol written in Emacs Lisp. One of the things where Emacs really shines is that interactive development environment you get when working on some Emacs Lisp code. Evaluating an function as easy as a single key chord, and that will both compile in the function and load it in the running process.

M-x recompile

A friend of mine just asked me for advice to tweak some Emacs features, and I think that’s really typical of using Emacs: rather than getting used to the way things are shipped to you, when using Emacs, you start wanting to adapt the tools to the way you want things to be working instead. And you can call that the awesome! In this case we’re talking about the M-x compile and M-x recompile functions.


From the first days of el-get is was quite clear for me that we would reach a point where users would want a nice listing including descriptions of the packages, and a major mode allowing you to select packages to install, remove and update. It was also quite clear that I was not much interested into doing it myself, even if I would appreciate having it done. Well, the joy of Open Source & Free Software (pick your own poison).

Dimitri Fontaine

PostgreSQL Major Contributor

Open Source Software Engineer