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Infer parentheses for Clojure, Lisp and Scheme.

A full-featured, super fast implementation of Shaun Lebron’s parinfer. This repo has Vim, Neovim, and Kakoune plugins, and an Emacs plugin is available. The Rust library can be called from other editors that can load dynamic libraries.

This plugin, unlike others available for Vim, implements "smart" mode. Rather than switching between "paren" mode and "indent" mode, parinfer uses information about how the user is changing the file to decide what to do.



  • rust >= 1.36

  • clang and libclang-dev packages or equivalent for your OS

Stand-alone CLI

If you just want to run parinfer-rust from the command-line:

$ cargo build --release
$ cargo install

If you use emacs add the corresponding feature flag during compilation

$ cargo build --release --features emacs

Vim and Neovim


If you are using Tim Pope’s pathogen:

$ cd ~/.vim/bundle
$ git clone
$ cd ~/.vim/bundle/parinfer-rust
$ cargo build --release


Plug 'eraserhd/parinfer-rust'

Then, build project using cargo:

$ cd /path/to/parinfer-rust
$ cargo build --release

Or, with optional automatic recompilation on update:

Plug 'eraserhd/parinfer-rust', {'do':
        \  'cargo build --release'}

If you are a NixOS user using Plug, you can use this command instead:

Plug 'eraserhd/parinfer-rust', {'do':
        \ 'nix-shell --run \"cargo build --release \"'}


If you are a Nix user using Nix + Home Manager to build your vim plugins, you can add:

programs.neovim = {
    [ pkgs.vimPlugins.parinfer-rust ];



Add this to your kakrc

plug "eraserhd/parinfer-rust" do %{
    cargo install --force --path .
} config %{
    hook global WinSetOption filetype=(clojure|lisp|scheme|racket) %{
        parinfer-enable-window -smart

Re-source your kakrc or restart Kakoune. Then run :plug-install. plug.kak will download, build and install plugin for you. Optionally add cargo clean line to the do block to clean plugin from build files, thus making it load a bit faster.


$ cd ~/my-projects
$ git clone
$ cd parinfer-rust
$ make install
$ cargo build --release
$ cargo install

Add this to your kakrc

hook global WinSetOption filetype=(clojure|lisp|scheme|racket) %{
    parinfer-enable-window -smart

NixOS or nix-darwin

  environment.systemPackages = let
    myKakoune = pkgs.wrapKakoune pkgs.kakoune-unwrapped {
      configure = {
        plugins = with self.kakounePlugins; [
  in [ myKakoune ];

Alternately, you can add your plugins as an overlay:

  nixpkgs.overlays = [
    (self: super: {
      kakoune = super.wrapKakoune self.kakoune-unwrapped {
        configure = {
          plugins = with self.kakounePlugins; [

  environment.systemPackages = [ pkgs.kakoune ];


To install parinfer-rust for Emacs follow the instructions at parinfer-rust-mode.el

Building WebAssembly

WebAssembly currently needs the ``nigthly'' toolchain:

$ rustup update
$ rustup install nightly
$ rustup target add wasm32-unknown-unknown --toolchain nightly
$ cargo +nightly install cargo-web

It can then be built with:

$ cargo +nightly web build --release


The CI server uses [Nix]( to make reproducible build and test environments. It’s a good idea to run tests with it.

$ nix-build release.nix                  # Build and test everything
$ cargo test                             # Run the native tests
$ cargo +nightly web test                # Test the WebAssembly version
$ vim --clean -u tests/vim/run.vim       # Test against locally-installed Vim
$ ( cd tests/kakoune && ./ )       # Test against locally-installed Kakoune
$ nix-build release.nix -A vim-tests     # Test against Nix Vim package
$ nix-build release.nix -A neovim-tests  # Test against Nix Neovim package
$ nix-build release.nix -A kakoune-tests # Test against Nix Kakoune package

Vim tests are in a nice, readable format in tests/vim/ Please add tests for any new features (or even old ones!). You can set the VIM_TO_TEST environment variable to Vim’s path to test weird or different builds.


This wouldn’t be possible without the work of others:

  • Shaun Lebron - Inventing parinfer and doing the math.

  • Case Nelson - Writing the nvim-parinfer, from which VimL code and some inspiration was stolen.

  • Justin Barclay - Emacs module.

  • Michael Camilleri - User-defined comments.

  • Mitsuhiro Nakamura - Support for Common Lisp and Scheme.

  • ElKowar - User-defined string-delimiters and support for Yuck.