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An extension to emacs that sorta lets you mark several regions at once

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Please note! mark-multiple has been superseded by multiple-cursors

It has all the functionality of mark-multiple, but with a more robust implementation and more features.

To get the features from mark-multiple, use:

  • mc/mark-more-like-this in place of mark-more-like-this
  • set-rectangular-region-anchor as a more convenient replacement for inline-string-rectangle
  • or mc/edit-lines for a more familiar replacement for inline-string-rectangle
  • mc/mark-sgml-tag-pair in place of rename-sgml-tag

Read more about multiple-cursors on its own page.


An emacs extension that sorta lets you mark several regions at once.

More precisely, it allows for one master region, with several mirror regions. The mirrors are updated inline while you type. This allows for some awesome functionality. Or at least, some more visually pleasing insert and replace operations.


You can watch an intro to mark-multiple at Emacs Rocks.


  • A general library for managing master and mirrors
  • mark-more-like-this which selects next/previous substring in the buffer that matches the current region.
  • inline-string-rectangle which works like string-rectangle but lets you write inline - making it less error prone.
  • rename-sgml-tag which updates the matching tag while typing.

Note: js2-rename-var has been moved to js2-refactor.el.


git submodule add site-lisp/mark-multiple

Then add the modules you want to your init-file:

(require 'inline-string-rectangle)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x r t") 'inline-string-rectangle)

(require 'mark-more-like-this)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-<") 'mark-previous-like-this)
(global-set-key (kbd "C->") 'mark-next-like-this)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-M-m") 'mark-more-like-this) ; like the other two, but takes an argument (negative is previous)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-*") 'mark-all-like-this)

(add-hook 'sgml-mode-hook
          (lambda ()
            (require 'rename-sgml-tag)
            (define-key sgml-mode-map (kbd "C-c C-r") 'rename-sgml-tag)))

Feel free to come up with your own keybindings.

Bugs and gotchas

  • Adding a master and mirrors does not remove the active region. This might feel strange, but turns out to be practical.

  • The current mark-multiple general library lets you do stupid shit, like adding overlapping mirrors. That's only a problem for people who want to write their own functions using mm/create-master and mm/add-mirror.

  • Seems like there is some conflict with undo-tree.el, which sometimes clobbers the undo history. I might be doing something particularly stupid. Looking into it.

  • Reverting a buffer with active marks makes them unremovable.

A wild idea

Is this a subset of a crazy multiple-point module? Would that even work?

Edit: Yes, indeed it is. And yes, it does. This module has been pretty much eclipsed by multiple-cursors.el, which goes quite a bit farther and with a saner implementation to boot.


If you make some nice commands with mark-multiple, it would be great if you opened a pull-request. The repo is at:


  • Pao-Chin Wu fixed mark-next-like-this if no region is active.
  • Syohei YOSHIDA improved the error messages for mark-next-like-this
  • Mounier Florian added mark-all-like-this and mark-all-like-this-in-region



Copyright (C) 2011 Magnar Sveen

Author: Magnar Sveen Keywords: marking library

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.


An extension to emacs that sorta lets you mark several regions at once






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