Skip to content


Folders and files

Last commit message
Last commit date

Latest commit



91 Commits

Repository files navigation


Never lose your place in Emacs again!

This library automatically and smartly remembers where you’ve been, in and across buffers, and helps you quickly return to any of those places. It works similarly to a Web browser’s history list and back/forward commands, but with more contextual information and customization. As well, for most modes, it can return to a place even if its buffer no longer exists.

It’s configurable to suit each user, with regard to how often places are remembered, which ones, and for how long. It uses standard Emacs completion, so it works with Helm, Ivy, Selectrum, Vertico, etc. For Helm users, a helm-dogears-source is also provided in helm-dogears.el that can be used with any Helm command.


This shows the dogears-list buffer, in which you can browse entries, sort them, etc.


This screenshot shows it while using the theme doom-solarized-dark, and the Line column shows some source code snippets with highlighting by prism.el.





If you installed from MELPA, you’re done. Just run one of the commands below.


The recommended way to install is with quelpa-use-package, like this:

;; Install and load `quelpa-use-package'.
(package-install 'quelpa-use-package)
(require 'quelpa-use-package)

(use-package dogears
  :quelpa (dogears :fetcher github :repo "alphapapa/dogears.el"
                   :files (:defaults (:exclude "helm-dogears.el")))

  ;; These bindings are optional, of course:
  :bind (:map global-map
              ("M-g d" . dogears-go)
              ("M-g M-b" . dogears-back)
              ("M-g M-f" . dogears-forward)
              ("M-g M-d" . dogears-list)
              ("M-g M-D" . dogears-sidebar)))


If you want to install it manually, it’s simple enough, but you should know what you’re doing, and you’re on your own.


It works by automatically remembering (“dogearing”) the place at point when any of three things happens:

  • The dogears idle timer runs (after 5 seconds idle, by default).
  • One of the dogears-hooks is run (only including imenu-after-jump-hook by default).
  • One of the functions listed in dogears-functions is called (none, by default).

Then the user can run a command to view or go to places in the list.

dogears-modeAutomatically remember places, according to configuration.
dogears-rememberManually remember the place at point.
dogears-goGo to a dogeared place, selected with completion.
dogears-backGo to previous dogeared place.
dogears-forwardGo to next dogeared place.
dogears-listShow dogeared places in a tabulated list buffer.
dogears-sidebarShow Dogears list in a side window.


  • You can customize settings in the dogears group.




  • Commands dogears-forward and dogears-back accept a universal prefix argument to move to manually remembered places.
  • Highlight index of last-selected place in dogears-list buffer.


  • Command dogears-go offers only “relevant” places by default; with universal prefix, it offers all places.
  • Commands dogears-forward and dogears-backward corrected: “backward” means to go to older places in history, and “forward” to go to more recent ones.


  • Various logic regarding moving between remembered places.
  • Mark for manually remembered places in dogears-list completion.
  • Truncate path segments with ellipsis.
  • Swap mode and buffer name in formatted records. (#23. Thanks to Pablo Castellanos.)
  • Alignment of fields in formatted records.


First tagged release.


Bug reports, feature requests, suggestions — oh my!


Internally, Dogears uses the built-in Emacs bookmark library to make bookmark-like records, however they are stored in dogears-list rather than bookmark-alist, so they are not accessible with bookmark commands. Nor is the dogears-list persisted to a file; it is empty when Emacs starts. If the bookmark-make-record-function does not return a record for a place, Dogears uses a simple fallback that saves a record referring to the buffer by name, which allows it to remember places in, e.g. the *scratch* buffer. When returning to a place, Dogears uses bookmark-jump, which for many, if not most, modes returns not only to the buffer or file but to the specific location in it. And by using bookmark internally, Dogears benefits from packages that extend it, like org-bookmark-heading.

Dogears also uses other built-in Emacs libraries, such as which-function and imenu, to provide information about the context surrounding a place, such as a function or variable definition, an outline heading, etc.


Some other, similar packages:

Gumshoe is a collection of global minor modes that quietly keep tabs on your Point movements so you can retrace your steps if you ever need a reminder of where you’ve been. Each mode keeps a log local to some scope. Gumshoe does not keep track of every move you make, rather, only at increments of some minimum Euclidean distance from the last tracked position, like a leash. It will also automatically log a position if you’ve idled there for a configurable amount of time. This package is very similar to Vim’s jump list, just generalized for Emacs.
Bookmark+ Automatic Idle-Period Bookmarking
Automatic idle-period bookmarking uses autonamed bookmarks. It lets you navigate among them to visit spots where you spent some time (idly).