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Emacs configuration file


This is an Emacs configuration file written in Org mode. It is an attempt to keep my ~/.emacs.d tidy, but still be able to keep it all in one file. I aim to briefly explain all my configurations as I go along!

I would not recommend using this configuration as-is, because it probably contains a lot you don’t really need. I do, however, hope people find some golden nuggets that they can smuggle into their own configs.

If you really do want to try this config out, this is how I’d go about it:

Clone the repo.

git clone

Backup your old ~/.emacs.d (if necessary).

mv ~/.emacs.d ~/.emacs.d-bak

Backup your old ~/.emacs-file (if necessary).

mv ~/.emacs ~/.emacs-bak

And finally

mv dot-emacs ~/.emacs.d

On first run it should install a bunch of packages (this might take a while), and you might have to restart your Emacs the first time. If you experience bugs, please let me know!



All changes to the configuration should be done in, not in init.el. Any changes in the init.el will be overwritten by saving The init.el in this repo should not be tracked by git, and is replaced the first time Emacs is started (assuming it has been renamed to ~/.emacs.d).

Emacs can’t load .org-files directly, but org-mode provides functions to extract the code blocks and write them to a file. There are multiple ways of handling this; like suggested by this StackOverflow post, one could just use org-babel-load-file, but I had problems with byte-compilation. Previously I tracked both the org.- and el.-files, but the git commits got a little messy. So here is a new approach.

When this configuration is loaded for the first time, the init.el is the file that is loaded. It looks like this:

;; This file replaces itself with the actual configuration at first run.

;; We can't tangle without org!
(require 'org)
;; Open the configuration
(find-file (concat user-emacs-directory ""))
;; tangle it
;; load it
(load-file (concat user-emacs-directory "init.el"))
;; finally byte-compile it
(byte-compile-file (concat user-emacs-directory "init.el"))

It tangles the org-file, so that this file is overwritten with the actual configuration.

There is no reason to track the init.el that is generated; by running the following command git will not bother tracking it:

git update-index --assume-unchanged init.el

If one wishes to make changes to the repo-version of init.el start tracking again with:

git update-index --no-assume-unchanged init.el

I want lexical scoping for the init-file, which can be specified in the header. The first line of the configuration is as follows:

;;; -*- lexical-binding: t -*-

The init.el should (after the first run) mirror the source blocks in the We can use C-c C-v t to run org-babel-tangle, which extracts the code blocks from the current file into a source-specific file (in this case a .el-file).

To avoid doing this each time a change is made we can add a function to the after-save-hook ensuring to always tangle and byte-compile the org-document after changes.

(defun tangle-init ()
  "If the current buffer is '' the code-blocks are
tangled, and the tangled file is compiled."
  (when (equal (buffer-file-name)
               (expand-file-name (concat user-emacs-directory "")))
    ;; Avoid running hooks when tangling.
    (let ((prog-mode-hook nil))
      (byte-compile-file (concat user-emacs-directory "init.el")))))

(add-hook 'after-save-hook 'tangle-init)

I’d like to keep a few settings private, so we load a private.el if it exists after the init-file has loaded.

 (lambda ()
   (let ((private-file (concat user-emacs-directory "private.el")))
     (when (file-exists-p private-file)
       (load-file private-file))
     (when custom-file
       (load-file custom-file))

A common optimization is to temporarily disable garbage collection during initialization. Here, we set the gc-cons-threshold to a ridiculously large number, and restore the default value after initialization.

(let ((old-gc-treshold gc-cons-threshold))
  (setq gc-cons-threshold most-positive-fixnum)
  (add-hook 'after-init-hook
            (lambda () (setq gc-cons-threshold old-gc-treshold))))


Managing extensions for Emacs is simplified using package which is built in to Emacs 24 and newer. To load downloaded packages we need to initialize package. cl is a library that contains many functions from Common Lisp, and comes in handy quite often, so we want to make sure it’s loaded, along with package, which is obviously needed.

(require 'package)

Packages can be fetched from different mirrors, melpa is the largest archive and is well maintained.

(setq package-archives
      '(("gnu" . "")
        ("MELPA" . ""))
      '(("MELPA" . 5)
        ("gnu" . 0)))

The configuration assumes that the packages listed below are installed. To ensure we install missing packages if they are missing.

(let* ((package--builtins nil)
        '(auto-compile         ; automatically compile Emacs Lisp libraries
          cider                ; Clojure Interactive Development Environment
          clj-refactor         ; Commands for refactoring Clojure code
          company              ; Modular text completion framework
          company-coq          ; A collection of extensions PG's Coq mode
          counsel              ; Various completion functions using Ivy
          counsel-projectile   ; Ivy integration for Projectile
          define-word          ; display the definition of word at point
          diff-hl              ; Highlight uncommitted changes using VC
          doom-themes          ; An opinionated pack of modern color-themes
          erlang               ; Erlang major mode
          expand-region        ; Increase selected region by semantic units
          focus                ; Dim color of text in surrounding sections
          golden-ratio         ; Automatic resizing windows to golden ratio
          haskell-mode         ; A Haskell editing mode
          jedi                 ; Python auto-completion for Emacs
          js2-mode             ; Improved JavaScript editing mode
          lsp-mode             ; LSP mode
          lsp-java             ; Java support for lsp-mode
          magit                ; control Git from Emacs
          markdown-mode        ; Emacs Major mode for Markdown-formatted files
          maude-mode           ; Emacs mode for the programming language Maude
          minizinc-mode        ; Major mode for MiniZinc code
          multiple-cursors     ; Multiple cursors for Emacs
          olivetti             ; Minor mode for a nice writing environment
          org                  ; Outline-based notes management and organizer
          org-bullets          ; Show bullets in org-mode as UTF-8 characters
          org-roam             ; Roam Research replica with Org-mode
          org-roam-server      ; Org Roam Database Visualizer
          paredit              ; minor mode for editing parentheses
          pdf-tools            ; Emacs support library for PDF files
          projectile           ; Manage and navigate projects in Emacs easily
          proof-general        ; A generic Emacs interface for proof assistants
          racket-mode          ; Major mode for Racket language
          slime                ; Superior Lisp Interaction Mode for Emacs
          smex                 ; M-x interface with Ido-style fuzzy matching
          try                  ; Try out Emacs packages
          vterm                ; A terminal via libvterm
          which-key            ; Display available keybindings in popup
          z3-mode)))           ; z3/SMTLIBv2 interactive development
  (when (memq window-system '(mac ns))
    (push 'exec-path-from-shell packages)
    (push 'reveal-in-osx-finder packages))
  (let ((packages (seq-remove 'package-installed-p packages)))
    (print packages)
    (when packages
      ;; Install uninstalled packages
      (mapc 'package-install packages))))

Mac OS X

I run this configuration mostly on Mac OS X, so we need a couple of settings to make things work smoothly. In the package section exec-path-from-shell is included (only if you’re running OS X), this is to include environment-variables from the shell. It makes using Emacs along with external processes a lot simpler. I also prefer using the Command-key as the Meta-key.

(when (memq window-system '(mac ns))
  (setq ns-pop-up-frames nil
        mac-option-modifier nil
        mac-command-modifier 'meta
        x-select-enable-clipboard t)
  (when (fboundp 'mac-auto-operator-composition-mode)
    (mac-auto-operator-composition-mode 1)))

Sane defaults

These are what I consider to be saner defaults.

We can set variables to whatever value we’d like using setq.

(setq auto-revert-interval 1            ; Refresh buffers fast
      default-input-method "TeX"        ; Use TeX when toggling input method
      echo-keystrokes 0.1               ; Show keystrokes asap
      inhibit-startup-screen t          ; No splash screen please
      initial-scratch-message nil       ; Clean scratch buffer
      recentf-max-saved-items 100       ; Show more recent files
      ring-bell-function 'ignore        ; Quiet
      scroll-margin 1                   ; Space between cursor and top/bottom
      sentence-end-double-space nil     ; No double space
      custom-file                       ; Customizations in a separate file
      (concat user-emacs-directory "custom.el"))
;; Some mac-bindings interfere with Emacs bindings.
(when (boundp 'mac-pass-command-to-system)
  (setq mac-pass-command-to-system nil))

Some variables are buffer-local, so changing them using setq will only change them in a single buffer. Using setq-default we change the buffer-local variable’s default value.

(setq-default tab-width 4                       ; Smaller tabs
              fill-column 79                    ; Maximum line width
              truncate-lines t                  ; Don't fold lines
              indent-tabs-mode nil              ; Use spaces instead of tabs
              split-width-threshold 160         ; Split verticly by default
              split-height-threshold nil        ; Split verticly by default
              frame-resize-pixelwise t          ; Fine-grained frame resize
              auto-fill-function 'do-auto-fill) ; Auto-fill-mode everywhere

The load-path specifies where Emacs should look for .el-files (or Emacs lisp files). I have a directory called site-lisp where I keep all extensions that have been installed manually (these are mostly my own projects).

(let ((default-directory (concat user-emacs-directory "site-lisp/")))
  (when (file-exists-p default-directory)
    (setq load-path
           (let ((load-path (copy-sequence load-path)))
             (normal-top-level-add-subdirs-to-load-path)) load-path))))

Answering yes and no to each question from Emacs can be tedious, a single y or n will suffice.

(fset 'yes-or-no-p 'y-or-n-p)

To avoid file system clutter we put all auto saved files in a single directory.

(defvar emacs-autosave-directory
  (concat user-emacs-directory "autosaves/")
  "This variable dictates where to put auto saves. It is set to a
  directory called autosaves located wherever your .emacs.d/ is

;; Sets all files to be backed up and auto saved in a single directory.
(setq backup-directory-alist
      `((".*" . ,emacs-autosave-directory))
      `((".*" ,emacs-autosave-directory t)))

Set utf-8 as preferred coding system.

(set-language-environment "UTF-8")

By default the narrow-to-region command is disabled and issues a warning, because it might confuse new users. I find it useful sometimes, and don’t want to be warned.

(put 'narrow-to-region 'disabled nil)

Automaticly revert doc-view-buffers when the file changes on disk.

(add-hook 'doc-view-mode-hook 'auto-revert-mode)


There are some modes that are enabled by default that I don’t find particularly useful. We create a list of these modes, and disable all of these.

(dolist (mode
         '(tool-bar-mode                ; No toolbars, more room for text
           scroll-bar-mode              ; No scroll bars either
           blink-cursor-mode))          ; The blinking cursor gets old
  (funcall mode 0))

Let’s apply the same technique for enabling modes that are disabled by default.

(dolist (mode
         '(abbrev-mode                  ; E.g. sopl -> System.out.println
           column-number-mode           ; Show column number in mode line
           delete-selection-mode        ; Replace selected text
           dirtrack-mode                ; directory tracking in *shell*
           global-company-mode          ; Auto-completion everywhere
           global-diff-hl-mode          ; Highlight uncommitted changes
           global-so-long-mode          ; Mitigate performance for long lines
           counsel-projectile-mode      ; Manage and navigate projects
           recentf-mode                 ; Recently opened files
           show-paren-mode              ; Highlight matching parentheses
           which-key-mode))             ; Available keybindings in popup
  (funcall mode 1))

(when (version< emacs-version "24.4")
  (eval-after-load 'auto-compile
    '((auto-compile-on-save-mode 1))))  ; compile .el files on save


Change the color-theme to leuven.

(load-theme 'doom-one-light t)

leuven is my preferred light theme, but monokai makes a very nice dark theme. I want to be able to cycle between these.

(defun cycle-themes ()
  "Returns a function that lets you cycle your themes."
  (let ((themes '#1=(doom-one-light doom-one . #1#)))
    (lambda ()
      ;; Rotates the thme cycle and changes the current theme.
      (load-theme (car (setq themes (cdr themes))) t)
      (message (concat "Switched to " (symbol-name (car themes)))))))

Use the Inconsolata font if it’s installed on the system.

(cond ((member "Hasklig" (font-family-list))
       (set-face-attribute 'default nil :font "Hasklig-14"))
      ((member "Inconsolata" (font-family-list))
       (set-face-attribute 'default nil :font "Inconsolata-14")))

Let’s pick out the my favorite elements from elegant emacs! It looks really nice.

(add-to-list 'default-frame-alist '(internal-border-width . 24))

;; simplified mode line
(define-key mode-line-major-mode-keymap [header-line]
  (lookup-key mode-line-major-mode-keymap [mode-line]))

(defun mode-line-render (left right)
  (let* ((available-width (- (window-total-width) (length left))))
    (format (format "%%s %%%ds" available-width) left right)))

       (list (propertize "" 'face `(:inherit mode-line-buffer-id)
                         'help-echo "Mode(s) menu"
                         'mouse-face 'mode-line-highlight
                         'local-map   mode-line-major-mode-keymap)
             " %b "
             (if (and buffer-file-name (buffer-modified-p))
                 (propertize "(modified)" 'face `(:inherit font-lock-comment-face)))))
       (propertize "%4l:%2c  " 'face
                   `(:inherit font-lock-comment-face))))
     'face `(:underline ,(face-foreground 'font-lock-comment-face))))))

(setq-default mode-line-format nil)

New in Emacs 24.4 is the prettify-symbols-mode! It’s neat.

(setq-default prettify-symbols-alist '(("lambda" . )
                                       ("delta" . )
                                       ("gamma" . )
                                       ("phi" . )
                                       ("psi" . )))

Olivetti is a package that simply centers the text of a buffer. It is very simple and beautiful. The default width is just a bit short.

(with-eval-after-load 'olivetti
  (setq-default olivetti-body-width 82)
  (remove-hook 'olivetti-mode-on-hook 'visual-line-mode))


Let’s try Ivy in favor of helm.

(setq ivy-wrap t
      ivy-height 25
      ivy-use-virtual-buffers t
      ivy-count-format "(%d/%d) "
      ivy-on-del-error-function 'ignore)
(ivy-mode 1)

PDF Tools

PDF Tools makes a huge improvement on the built-in doc-view-mode; the only drawback is the pdf-tools-install (which has to be executed before the package can be used) takes a couple of seconds to execute. Instead of running it at init-time, we’ll run it whenever a PDF is opened. Note that it’s only slow on the first run!

(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.pdf\\'" . pdf-tools-install))
(add-hook 'pdf-view-mode-hook
          (lambda () (setq header-line-format nil)))


Auto-Complete has been a part of my config for years, but I want to try out company-mode. If I code in an environment with good completion, I’ve made an habit of trying to guess function-names, and looking at the completions for the right one. So I want a pretty aggressive completion system, hence the no delay settings and short prefix length.

(setq company-idle-delay 0
      company-echo-delay 0
      company-dabbrev-downcase nil
      company-minimum-prefix-length 2
      company-selection-wrap-around t
      company-transformers '(company-sort-by-occurrence


Flyspell offers on-the-fly spell checking. We can enable flyspell for all text-modes with this snippet.

(add-hook 'text-mode-hook 'turn-on-flyspell)

To use flyspell for programming there is flyspell-prog-mode, that only enables spell checking for comments and strings. We can enable it for all programming modes using the prog-mode-hook.

(add-hook 'prog-mode-hook 'flyspell-prog-mode)

When working with several languages, we should be able to cycle through the languages we most frequently use. Every buffer should have a separate cycle of languages, so that cycling in one buffer does not change the state in a different buffer (this problem occurs if you only have one global cycle). We can implement this by using a closure.

(defun cycle-languages ()
  "Changes the ispell dictionary to the first element in
ISPELL-LANGUAGES, and returns an interactive function that cycles
the languages in ISPELL-LANGUAGES when invoked."
  (let ((ispell-languages '#1=("american" "norsk" . #1#)))
    (ispell-change-dictionary (car ispell-languages))
    (lambda ()
      ;; Rotates the languages cycle and changes the ispell dictionary.
       (car (setq ispell-languages (cdr ispell-languages)))))))

flyspell signals an error if there is no spell-checking tool is installed. We can advice turn-on-flyspell and flyspell-prog-mode to only try to enable flyspell if a spell-checking tool is available. Also we want to enable cycling the languages by typing C-c l, so we bind the function returned from cycle-languages.

(defadvice turn-on-flyspell (before check nil activate)
  "Turns on flyspell only if a spell-checking tool is installed."
  (when (executable-find ispell-program-name)
    (local-set-key (kbd "C-c l") (cycle-languages))))
(defadvice flyspell-prog-mode (before check nil activate)
  "Turns on flyspell only if a spell-checking tool is installed."
  (when (executable-find ispell-program-name)
    (local-set-key (kbd "C-c l") (cycle-languages))))


When editing org-files with source-blocks, we want the source blocks to be themed as they would in their native mode.

(setq org-src-fontify-natively t
      org-src-tab-acts-natively t
      org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil
      org-edit-src-content-indentation 0)

This is quite an ugly fix for allowing code markup for expressions like =”this string”=, because the quotation marks causes problems.

(with-eval-after-load 'org
  (require 'org-tempo)
  (setcar (nthcdr 2 org-emphasis-regexp-components) " \t\n,")
  (custom-set-variables `(org-emphasis-alist ',org-emphasis-alist)))

Enable org-bullets when opening org-files.

(add-hook 'org-mode-hook (lambda () (org-bullets-mode 1)))

Org Roam

Trying out org-roam for organizing notes.

(setq org-roam-directory "~/Dropbox/org-roam")
(add-hook 'after-init-hook 'org-roam-mode)

(setq org-roam-dailies-capture-templates
      '(("d" "dagbok" entry
         "\n* %?"
         :file-name "daily/dagbok-%<%Y-%m-%d>"
         :head "#+title: Dagbok %<%Y-%m-%d>\n")

        ("r" "reading" entry
         "\n* %?"
         :file-name "daily/reading-%<%Y-%m-%d>"
         :head "#+title: Reading %<%Y-%m-%d>\n")))

(with-eval-after-load 'org-roam
  (define-key org-roam-mode-map (kbd "C-c r l") 'org-roam)
  (define-key org-roam-mode-map (kbd "C-c r d") 'org-roam-dailies-today)
  (define-key org-roam-mode-map (kbd "C-c r f") 'org-roam-find-file)
  (define-key org-roam-mode-map (kbd "C-c r g") 'org-roam-graph)

  (define-key org-mode-map (kbd "C-c r i") 'org-roam-insert)
  (define-key org-mode-map (kbd "C-c r I") 'org-roam-insert-immediate))
(setq org-roam-server-host ""
      org-roam-server-port 8080
      org-roam-server-authenticate nil
      org-roam-server-export-inline-images t
      org-roam-server-serve-files nil
      org-roam-server-served-file-extensions '("pdf" "mp4" "ogv")
      org-roam-server-network-poll t
      org-roam-server-network-arrows nil
      org-roam-server-network-label-truncate t
      org-roam-server-network-label-truncate-length 60
      org-roam-server-network-label-wrap-length 20)

Interactive functions


just-one-space removes all whitespace around a point - giving it a negative argument it removes newlines as well. We wrap a interactive function around it to be able to bind it to a key. In Emacs 24.4 cycle-spacing was introduced, and it works like just-one-space, but when run in succession it cycles between one, zero and the original number of spaces.

(defun cycle-spacing-delete-newlines ()
  "Removes whitespace before and after the point."
  (if (version< emacs-version "24.4")
      (just-one-space -1)
    (cycle-spacing -1)))

Often I want to find other occurrences of a word I’m at, or more specifically the symbol (or tag) I’m at. The isearch-forward-symbol-at-point in Emacs 24.4 works well for this, but I don’t want to be bothered with the isearch interface. Rather jump quickly between occurrences of a symbol, or if non is found, don’t do anything.

(defun jump-to-symbol-internal (&optional backwardp)
  "Jumps to the next symbol near the point if such a symbol
exists. If BACKWARDP is non-nil it jumps backward."
  (let* ((point (point))
         (bounds (find-tag-default-bounds))
         (beg (car bounds)) (end (cdr bounds))
         (str (isearch-symbol-regexp (find-tag-default)))
         (search (if backwardp 'search-backward-regexp
    (goto-char (if backwardp beg end))
    (funcall search str nil t)
    (cond ((<= beg (point) end) (goto-char point))
          (backwardp (forward-char (- point beg)))
          (t  (backward-char (- end point))))))

(defun jump-to-previous-like-this ()
  "Jumps to the previous occurrence of the symbol at point."
  (jump-to-symbol-internal t))

(defun jump-to-next-like-this ()
  "Jumps to the next occurrence of the symbol at point."

I sometimes regret killing the *scratch*-buffer, and have realized I never want to actually kill it. I just want to get it out of the way, and clean it up. The function below does just this for the *scratch*-buffer, and works like kill-this-buffer for any other buffer. It removes all buffer content and buries the buffer (this means making it the least likely candidate for other-buffer).

(defun kill-this-buffer-unless-scratch ()
  "Works like `kill-this-buffer' unless the current buffer is the
*scratch* buffer. In witch case the buffer content is deleted and
the buffer is buried."
  (if (not (string= (buffer-name) "*scratch*"))
    (delete-region (point-min) (point-max))
    (switch-to-buffer (other-buffer))
    (bury-buffer "*scratch*")))

To duplicate either selected text or a line we define this interactive function.

(defun duplicate-thing (comment)
  "Duplicates the current line, or the region if active. If an argument is
given, the duplicated region will be commented out."
  (interactive "P")
    (let ((start (if (region-active-p) (region-beginning) (point-at-bol)))
          (end   (if (region-active-p) (region-end) (point-at-eol)))
          (fill-column most-positive-fixnum))
      (goto-char end)
      (unless (region-active-p)
      (insert (buffer-substring start end))
      (when comment (comment-region start end)))))

To tidy up a buffer we define this function borrowed from simenheg.

(defun tidy ()
  "Ident, untabify and unwhitespacify current buffer, or region if active."
  (let ((beg (if (region-active-p) (region-beginning) (point-min)))
        (end (if (region-active-p) (region-end) (point-max))))
    (indent-region beg end)
    (untabify beg (if (< end (point-max)) end (point-max)))))

Org mode does currently not support synctex (which enables you to jump from a point in your TeX-file to the corresponding point in the pdf), and it seems like a tricky problem.

Calling this function from an org-buffer jumps to the corresponding section in the exported pdf (given that the pdf-file exists), using pdf-tools.

(defun org-sync-pdf ()
  (let ((headline (nth 4 (org-heading-components)))
        (pdf (concat (file-name-base (buffer-name)) ".pdf")))
    (when (file-exists-p pdf)
      (find-file-other-window pdf)
       (cl-find headline (pdf-info-outline pdf)
                :key (lambda (alist) (cdr (assoc 'title alist)))
                :test 'string-equal)))))


An advice can be given to a function to make it behave differently. This advice makes eval-last-sexp (bound to C-x C-e) replace the sexp with the value.

(defadvice eval-last-sexp (around replace-sexp (arg) activate)
  "Replace sexp when called with a prefix argument."
  (if arg
      (let ((pos (point)))
        (goto-char pos)

When interactively changing the theme (using M-x load-theme), the current custom theme is not disabled. This often gives weird-looking results; we can advice load-theme to always disable themes currently enabled themes.

(defadvice load-theme
    (before disable-before-load (theme &optional no-confirm no-enable) activate)
  (mapc 'disable-theme custom-enabled-themes))


These functions provide something close to text-scale-mode, but for every buffer, including the minibuffer and mode line.

(let* ((default (face-attribute 'default :height))
       (size default))

  (defun global-scale-default ()
    (global-scale-internal (setq size default)))

  (defun global-scale-up ()
    (global-scale-internal (setq size (+ size 20))))

  (defun global-scale-down ()
    (global-scale-internal (setq size (- size 20))))

  (defun global-scale-internal (arg)
    (set-face-attribute 'default (selected-frame) :height arg)
     (let ((map (make-sparse-keymap)))
       (define-key map (kbd "C-=") 'global-scale-up)
       (define-key map (kbd "C-+") 'global-scale-up)
       (define-key map (kbd "C--") 'global-scale-down)
       (define-key map (kbd "C-0") 'global-scale-default) map))))

Mode specific


LSP mode works really well, especially with languages like Java, which traditionally has had quite poor Emacs support.

(with-eval-after-load 'lsp-mode
  (define-key lsp-mode-map (kbd "C-c f") lsp-command-map)
  (add-hook 'lsp-mode-hook #'lsp-enable-which-key-integration))


I often run latexmk -pdf -pvc in a compilation buffer, which recompiles the latex-file whenever it is changed. This often results in annoyingly large compilation buffers; the following snippet limits the buffer size in accordance with comint-buffer-maximum-size, which defaults to 1024 lines.

(add-hook 'compilation-filter-hook 'comint-truncate-buffer)


Inspired by torenord, I maintain quick access to shell buffers with bindings M-1 to M-9. In addition, the M-§ (on an international English keyboard) toggles between the last visited shell, and the last visited non-shell buffer. The following functions facilitate this, and are bound in the Key bindings section.

(let ((last-vterm ""))
  (defun toggle-vterm ()
    (cond ((string-match-p "^\\vterm<[1-9][0-9]*>$" (buffer-name))
          ((get-buffer last-vterm) (switch-to-buffer last-vterm))
          (t (vterm (setq last-vterm "vterm<1>")))))

  (defun switch-vterm (n)
    (let ((buffer-name (format "vterm<%d>" n)))
      (setq last-vterm buffer-name)
      (cond ((get-buffer buffer-name)
             (switch-to-buffer buffer-name))
            (t (vterm buffer-name)
               (rename-buffer buffer-name)))))

  (defun goto-non-vterm-buffer ()
    (let* ((r "^\\vterm<[1-9][0-9]*>$")
           (vterm-buffer-p (lambda (b) (string-match-p r (buffer-name b))))
           (non-vterms (cl-remove-if vterm-buffer-p (buffer-list))))
      (when non-vterms
        (switch-to-buffer (car non-vterms))))))

Don’t query whether or not the shell-buffer should be killed, just kill it.

(defadvice vterm (after kill-with-no-query nil activate)
  (set-process-query-on-exit-flag (get-buffer-process ad-return-value) nil))

Use zsh:

(setq vterm-shell "/usr/local/bin/zsh")

I’d like the C-l to work more like the standard terminal (which works like running clear), and resolve this by simply removing the buffer-content. Mind that this is not how clear works, it simply adds a bunch of newlines, and puts the prompt at the top of the window, so it does not remove anything. In Emacs removing stuff is less of a worry, since we can always undo!

(defun clear-comint ()
  "Runs `comint-truncate-buffer' with the
`comint-buffer-maximum-size' set to zero."
  (let ((comint-buffer-maximum-size 0))


I use Paredit when editing lisp code, we enable this for all lisp-modes.

(dolist (mode '(cider-repl-mode
  ;; add paredit-mode to all mode-hooks
  (add-hook (intern (concat (symbol-name mode) "-hook")) 'paredit-mode))

Emacs Lisp

In emacs-lisp-mode we can enable eldoc-mode to display information about a function or a variable in the echo area.

(add-hook 'emacs-lisp-mode-hook 'turn-on-eldoc-mode)
(add-hook 'lisp-interaction-mode-hook 'turn-on-eldoc-mode)

Common lisp

I use Slime along with lisp-mode to edit Common Lisp code. Slime provides code evaluation and other great features, a must have for a Common Lisp developer. Quicklisp is a library manager for Common Lisp, and you can install Slime following the instructions from the site along with this snippet.

(defun activate-slime-helper ()
  (when (file-exists-p "~/.quicklisp/slime-helper.el")
    (load (expand-file-name "~/.quicklisp/slime-helper.el"))
    (define-key slime-repl-mode-map (kbd "C-l")
  (remove-hook 'common-lisp-mode-hook #'activate-slime-helper))

(add-hook 'common-lisp-mode-hook #'activate-slime-helper)

We can specify what Common Lisp program Slime should use (I use SBCL).

(setq inferior-lisp-program "sbcl")

More sensible loop indentation, borrowed from simenheg.

(setq lisp-loop-forms-indentation   6
      lisp-simple-loop-indentation  2
      lisp-loop-keyword-indentation 6)


Indent neatly when using pattern matching in Clojure.

(with-eval-after-load 'clojure-mode
   (match 1)))


(setq python-shell-interpreter "python3")
(add-hook 'python-mode-hook
          (lambda () (setq forward-sexp-function nil)))

Java and C

The c-mode-common-hook is a general hook that work on all C-like languages (C, C++, Java, etc…). I like being able to quickly compile using C-c C-c (instead of M-x compile), a habit from latex-mode.

(defun c-setup ()
  (local-set-key (kbd "C-c C-c") 'compile))

(add-hook 'c-mode-hook 'c-setup)

Some statements in Java appear often, and become tedious to write out. We can use abbrevs to speed this up.

(define-abbrev-table 'java-mode-abbrev-table
  '(("psv" "public static void main(String[] args) {" nil 0)
    ("sopl" "System.out.println" nil 0)
    ("sop" "System.out.printf" nil 0)))

To be able to use the abbrev table defined above, abbrev-mode must be activated.

(add-hook 'java-mode-hook 'lsp)
(add-hook 'java-mode-hook 'yas-minor-mode)


When writing assembler code I use # for comments. By defining comment-start we can add comments using M-; like in other programming modes. Also in assembler should one be able to compile using C-c C-c.

(defun asm-setup ()
  (setq comment-start "#")
  (local-set-key (kbd "C-c C-c") 'compile))

(add-hook 'asm-mode-hook 'asm-setup)

LaTeX and org-mode LaTeX export

.tex-files should be associated with latex-mode instead of tex-mode.

(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.tex\\'" . latex-mode))

Use latexmk for compilation by default.

(add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook
          (lambda ()
            (add-hook 'hack-local-variables-hook
                      (lambda ()
                       (setq-local compile-command
                                   (concat "latexmk -pdf -pvc "
                                           (if (eq TeX-master t)
                                               (file-name-base (buffer-name))
                      t t)))

Use biblatex for bibliography.

(setq-default bibtex-dialect 'biblatex)

I like using the Minted package for source blocks in LaTeX. To make org use this we add the following snippet.

(eval-after-load 'org
  '(add-to-list 'org-latex-packages-alist '("" "minted")))
(setq org-latex-listings 'minted)

Because Minted uses Pygments (an external process), we must add the -shell-escape option to the org-latex-pdf-process commands. The tex-compile-commands variable controls the default compile command for Tex- and LaTeX-mode, we can add the flag with a rather dirty statement (if anyone finds a nicer way to do this, please let me know).

(eval-after-load 'tex-mode
  '(setcar (cdr (cddaar tex-compile-commands)) " -shell-escape "))

When exporting from Org to LaTeX, use latexmk for compilation.

(eval-after-load 'ox-latex
  '(setq org-latex-pdf-process
         '("latexmk -pdflatex='pdflatex -shell-escape -interaction nonstopmode' -pdf -f %f")))

For my thesis, I need to use our university’s LaTeX class, this snippet makes that class available.

(eval-after-load "ox-latex"
     (add-to-list 'org-latex-classes
                   ("\\chapter{%s}" . "\\chapter*{%s}")
                   ("\\section{%s}" . "\\section*{%s}")
                   ("\\subsection{%s}" . "\\subsection*{%s}")
                   ("\\subsubsection{%s}" . "\\subsubsection*{%s}")
                   ("\\paragraph{%s}" . "\\paragraph*{%s}")
                   ("\\subparagraph{%s}" . "\\subparagraph*{%s}")))
     (add-to-list 'org-latex-classes
                  '("easychair" "\\documentclass{easychair}"
                   ("\\section{%s}" . "\\section*{%s}")
                   ("\\subsection{%s}" . "\\subsection*{%s}")
                   ("\\subsubsection{%s}" . "\\subsubsection*{%s}")
                   ("\\paragraph{%s}" . "\\paragraph*{%s}")
                   ("\\subparagraph{%s}" . "\\subparagraph*{%s}")))
    (custom-set-variables '(org-export-allow-bind-keywords t))))

Use Emacs for opening the PDF file, when invoking C-c C-e l o.

(require 'org)
(add-to-list 'org-file-apps '("\\.pdf\\'" . emacs))


haskell-doc-mode is similar to eldoc, it displays documentation in the echo area. Haskell has several indentation modes - I prefer using haskell-indent.

(add-hook 'haskell-mode-hook 'interactive-haskell-mode)
(add-hook 'haskell-mode-hook 'turn-on-haskell-doc-mode)
(add-hook 'haskell-mode-hook 'turn-on-haskell-indent)

Due to a bug in haskell-mode I have to keep this monstrosity in my config…

(setq haskell-process-args-ghci
      '("-ferror-spans" "-fshow-loaded-modules"))

(setq haskell-process-args-cabal-repl
      '("--ghc-options=-ferror-spans -fshow-loaded-modules"))

(setq haskell-process-args-stack-ghci
      '("--ghci-options=-ferror-spans -fshow-loaded-modules"
        "--no-build" "--no-load"))

(setq haskell-process-args-cabal-new-repl
      '("--ghc-options=-ferror-spans -fshow-loaded-modules"))


Use --- for comments in Maude.

(add-hook 'maude-mode-hook
          (lambda ()
            (setq-local comment-start "---")))

(with-eval-after-load 'maude-mode
 (add-to-list 'maude-command-options "-no-wrap"))


(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.mzn\\'" . minizinc-mode))

(defun minizinc-setup ()
  (let ((command (concat "minizinc " (buffer-file-name) " "))
        (f (concat (file-name-base (buffer-file-name)) ".dzn")))
    (local-set-key (kbd "C-c C-c") 'recompile)
    (setq-local compile-command (concat command (if (file-exists-p f) f "")))))

(add-hook 'minizinc-mode-hook 'minizinc-setup)


(add-hook 'coq-mode-hook #'company-coq-mode)

Key bindings

Inspired by this StackOverflow post I keep a custom-bindings-map that holds all my custom bindings. This map can be activated by toggling a simple minor-mode that does nothing more than activating the map. This inhibits other major-modes to override these bindings. I keep this at the end of the init-file to make sure that all functions are actually defined.

(defvar custom-bindings-map (make-keymap)
  "A keymap for custom bindings.")

Bindings for define-word

(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c D") 'define-word-at-point)

Bindings for expand-region

(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C->")  'er/expand-region)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-<")  'er/contract-region)

Bindings for multiple-cursors

(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c e")  'mc/edit-lines)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c a")  'mc/mark-all-like-this)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c n")  'mc/mark-next-like-this)

Bindings for Magit

(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c m") 'magit-status)

Bindings for Counsel

(global-set-key (kbd "C-c i")     'swiper-isearch)
(global-set-key (kbd "M-x")     'counsel-M-x)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x C-f") 'counsel-find-file)
(global-set-key (kbd "M-y")     'counsel-yank-pop)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x b")   'ivy-switch-buffer)

Bindings for company-mode

(define-key company-active-map (kbd "C-d") 'company-show-doc-buffer)
(define-key company-active-map (kbd "C-n") 'company-select-next)
(define-key company-active-map (kbd "C-p") 'company-select-previous)
(define-key company-active-map (kbd "<tab>") 'company-complete)

Bindings for Projectile

(define-key projectile-mode-map (kbd "C-c p") 'projectile-command-map)

Bindings for Cider

(with-eval-after-load 'cider
 (define-key cider-repl-mode-map (kbd "C-l") 'cider-repl-clear-buffer))

Bindings for Olivetti

(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c o") 'olivetti-mode)

Bindings for built-ins

(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "M-u")         'upcase-dwim)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "M-c")         'capitalize-dwim)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "M-l")         'downcase-dwim)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "M-]")         'other-frame)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-j")         'newline-and-indent)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c s")       'ispell-word)
(define-key comint-mode-map     (kbd "C-l")         'clear-comint)

Bindings for functions defined above.

(define-key global-map          (kbd "M-p")     'jump-to-previous-like-this)
(define-key global-map          (kbd "M-n")     'jump-to-next-like-this)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "M-,")     'jump-to-previous-like-this)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "M-.")     'jump-to-next-like-this)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c .")   (cycle-themes))
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-x k")   'kill-this-buffer-unless-scratch)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c C-0") 'global-scale-default)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c C-=") 'global-scale-up)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c C-+") 'global-scale-up)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c C--") 'global-scale-down)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c j")   'cycle-spacing-delete-newlines)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c d")   'duplicate-thing)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "<C-tab>") 'tidy)
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-z")     'toggle-vterm)
(dolist (n (number-sequence 1 9))
  (global-set-key (kbd (concat "M-" (int-to-string n)))
                  (lambda () (interactive) (switch-vterm n))))
(define-key custom-bindings-map (kbd "C-c C-q")
  '(lambda ()
     (focus-mode 1)
     (focus-read-only-mode 1)))
(with-eval-after-load 'org
  (define-key org-mode-map (kbd "C-'") 'org-sync-pdf))

Lastly we need to activate the map by creating and activating the minor-mode.

(define-minor-mode custom-bindings-mode
  "A mode that activates custom-bindings."
  t nil custom-bindings-map)


My Emacs configurations written in Org mode.

Copyright (c) 2013 - 2020 Lars Tveito

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


My Emacs configurations written in Org mode







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