Briefly highlight the current line
Emacs Lisp
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Briefly highlight the current line in Emacs.


(require 'nav-flash)


Nav-flash temporarily highlights the line containing the point, which is sometimes useful for orientation after a navigation command.

There is no user-level interface for this library; it is only used by other Lisp libraries. However, you might find it useful to call nav-flash-show in your ~/.emacs file. For example, the following hook causes a flash to appear after navigating via imenu:

(add-hook 'imenu-after-jump-hook 'nav-flash-show nil t)

See Also

  • M-x customize-group RET nav-flash RET
  • M-x customize-group RET pulse RET


This library reuses an overlay defined in compile.el, but should not affect the normal use of compile.el / next-error.

pulse.el provides similar functionality and is included with Emacs. This library can use pulse.el, but does not do so by default, because pulse.el uses sit-for, breaking this type of construct:

(with-temp-message "message here"
   (sit-for 2))

When using an overlay and timer for cleanup (as nav-flash does by default) the flash and message appear simultaneously.

nav-flash.el is also simpler than pulse.el.

Compatibility and Requirements

GNU Emacs version 24.4-devel     : yes, at the time of writing
GNU Emacs version 24.3           : yes
GNU Emacs version 23.3           : yes
GNU Emacs version 22.2           : yes, with some limitations
GNU Emacs version 21.x and lower : unknown

No external dependencies