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A minor mode for Emacs that provides some Ruby refactoring methods.

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Ruby refactor is inspired by the Vim plugin vim-refactoring-ruby, currently found at

These are the refactorings available

  • Extract to Method (C-c C-r e)
  • Extract Local Variable (C-c C-r v)
  • Extract Constant (C-c C-r c)
  • Add Parameter (C-c C-r p)
  • Extract to Let (C-c C-r l)
  • Convert Post Conditional (C-c C-r o)


The recommended way to install ruby-refactor is from Marmalade or MELPA.

M-x package-install RET ruby-refactor

To install manually, add ruby-refactor.el to your load path, then:

(require 'ruby-refactor)

In both cases, you must enable ruby-refactor-minor-mode in ruby-mode:

(add-hook 'ruby-mode-hook 'ruby-refactor-mode-launch)


Extract to Method:

Select a region of text and invoke ruby-refactor-extract-to-method. You'll be prompted for a method name and a new argument list. If your extracted method does not take parameters, leave it empty. The method will be created above the method you are in with the method contents being the selected region. The region will be replaced with a call to the method.

Extract Local Variable:

Select a region of text and invoke ruby-refactor-extract-local-variable. You'll be prompted for a variable name. The new variable will be created directly above the selected region and the region will be replaced with the variable.

Extract Constant:

Select a region of text and invoke ruby-refactor-extract-constant. You'll be prompted for a constant name. The new constant will be created at the top of the enclosing class or module directly after any include or extend statements and the regions will be replaced with the constant.

Add Parameter:

ruby-refactor-add-parameter This simply prompts you for a parameter to add to the current method definition. If you are on a text, you can just hit enter as it will use it by default. You can set ruby-refactor-add-parens if you like parens on your params list. Default values and the like shouldn't confuse it.

Extract to Let:

This is really for use with RSpec

ruby-refactor-extract-to-let There is a variable for where the 'let' gets placed. It can be "top" which is top-most in the file, or "closest" which just walks up to the first describe/context it finds. You can also specify a different regex, so that you can just use "describe" if you want. If you are on a line:

a = Something.else.doing


let(:a){ Something.else.doing }

If you are selecting a region:

a = Something.else


let :a do
  _a = Something.else

In both cases, you need the line, first line to have an = in it, as that drives conversion.

There is also the bonus that the let will be placed after any other let statements. It appends it to bottom of the list.

Oh, if you invoke with a prefix arg (C-u, etc.), it'll swap the placement of the let. If you have location as top, a prefix argument will place it closest. I kinda got nutty with this one.

Convert Post Conditional:

Select a region of text and invoke ruby-refactor-convert-post-conditional. This simply moves the expression inside of an 'if' or 'unless' block.

So this:

do_some_stuff('blah') if condition


if condition


From the vim plugin, these remain to be done (I don't plan to do them all.)

  • remove inline temp (sexy!)

How to contribute

The first thing you'll need to do is to get your tests passing. The tests depend on Cask, ecukes, and espuds. Cask is sort of like bundler for emacs and ecukes is basically cucumber for emacs.

To get started, install the necessary components:

~$ brew install cask
~$ cask

And run your tests (which should be green):

~$ cask exec ecukes

Tests are live in the features/ directory.


Copyright (C) 2013 Andrew J Vargo

Authors: Andrew J Vargo, Jeff Morgan

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see


A minor mode for Emacs that provides some Ruby refactoring methods.






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