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Emacs - Highlight thing at point, selection and more
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Highlight Symbols, Selections, Enclosing Parens and More

This repo was deprecated and moved to new place,

Highlight things at point, selections, enclosing parentheses with different colors. Fix grumbling issue of highlights being overridden by hl-line-mode and global-hl-line-mode.


hl-anything screenshot

Basic Usage - First Step, Enable hl-highlight-mode

There're GLOBAL and LOCAL kinds of highlights. The global highlights appear in every buffer; The local highlights only exist in the current buffer.

hl-anything screenshot

Global Highlights:

  • Command hl-highlight-thingatpt-global to toggle global highlight at point or selection.
  • Command hl-unhighlight-all-global to remove all global highlights.

Local Highlights:

  • Command hl-highlight-thingatpt-local to toggle local highlight at point or selection.
  • Command hl-unhighlight-all-local to remove all local highlights.

You can change foreground and background colors of highlights:

  • Foreground colors are stored in hl-highlight-foreground-colors variable.
  • Background colors are stored in hl-highlight-background-colors variable.

hl-anything screenshot

Turn Highlight On/Off

M-x hl-global-highlight-on/off to turn highlight on or off!


hl-anything screenshot

Search Highlights

Put your cursor on the highlight and use following commands to search highlights.

M-x hl-find-next-thing and hl-find-prev-thing to go through highlights.

hl-anything screenshot

Save & Restore Highlights

Once hl-highlight-mode is on, it will save highlights automatically before Emacs exits. It will also try to restore highlights when Emacs opens.

  • M-x hl-save-highlights to save highlights; M-x hl-restore-highlights to restore highlights.
  • Saved file-path is stored in hl-highlight-save-file variable.

Parenthese Highlight, hl-paren-mode

hl-anything screenshot

  • Colors of outward parentheses are stored in hl-outward-paren-fg-colors and hl-outward-paren-bg-colors variables.
  • Colors of inward parentheses are stored in hl-inward-paren-fg-color variables.

Advanced - hl-highlight-special-faces

This is a special faces storage. The faces storing here are always on the top of the current line highlight (hl-line-mode and global-hl-line-mode).

hl-anything screenshot


;; 'YOUR-FACE will never be hidden by current line highlight.
(add-to-list 'hl-highlight-special-faces 'YOUR-FACE t)


  • Highlight Enclosing syntax in Emacs REGEX.
  • Integrate with helm to give ability to navigate highlights. hl-anything screenshot
  • Define all the parenthesis pairs using a variable that can be highlighted. issue#8


Forks and pull requests are welcome!

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