Multiple cursors for Emacs. This is some pretty crazy functionality, so yes, there are kinks. Don't be afraid tho, I've been using it since 2011 with great success and much merriment.
I highly recommend installing multiple-cursors through
M-x package-install multiple-cursors
The package depends on the
cl-lib package, so if you do not use
package.el or have a recent Emacs, you would need to install that
too: see GNU ELPA.
Start out with:
Then you have to set up your keybindings - multiple-cursors doesn't presume to know how you'd like them laid out. Here are some examples:
When you have an active region that spans multiple lines, the following will add a cursor to each line:
(global-set-key (kbd "C-S-c C-S-c") 'mc/edit-lines)
When you want to add multiple cursors not based on continuous lines, but based on keywords in the buffer, use:
(global-set-key (kbd "C->") 'mc/mark-next-like-this) (global-set-key (kbd "C-<") 'mc/mark-previous-like-this) (global-set-key (kbd "C-c C-<") 'mc/mark-all-like-this)
First mark the word, then add more cursors.
To get out of multiple-cursors-mode, press
C-g. The latter will
first disable multiple regions before disabling multiple cursors. If you want to
insert a newline in multiple-cursors-mode, use
Mark one more occurrence
mc/mark-next-like-this: Adds a cursor and region at the next part of the buffer forwards that matches the current region.
mc/mark-next-like-this-word: Adds a cursor and region at the next part of the buffer forwards that matches the current region, if no region is selected it selects the word at the point.
mc/mark-next-like-this-symbol: Adds a cursor and region at the next part of the buffer forwards that matches the current region, if no region is selected it selects the symbol at the point.
mc/mark-next-like-thisbut only for whole words.
mc/mark-next-like-thisbut only for whole symbols.
mc/mark-previous-like-this: Adds a cursor and region at the next part of the buffer backwards that matches the current region.
mc/mark-previous-like-this-word: Adds a cursor and region at the next part of the buffer backwards that matches the current region, if no region is selected it selects the word at the point.
mc/mark-previous-like-this-symbol: Adds a cursor and region at the next part of the buffer backwards that matches the current region, if no region is selected it selects the symbol at the point.
mc/mark-previous-like-thisbut only for whole words.
mc/mark-previous-like-thisbut only for whole symbols.
mc/mark-more-like-this-extended: Use arrow keys to quickly mark/skip next/previous occurances.
mc/add-cursor-on-click: Bind to a mouse event to add cursors by clicking. See tips-section.
mc/mark-pop: Set a cursor at the current point and move to the next (different) position on the mark stack. This allows for fine grained control over the placement of cursors.
Juggle around with the current cursors
mc/unmark-next-like-this: Remove the cursor furthest down in the buffer.
mc/unmark-previous-like-this: Remove the cursor furthest up in the buffer.
mc/skip-to-next-like-this: Remove the cursor furthest down, marking the next occurance down.
mc/skip-to-previous-like-this: Remove the cursor furthest up, marking the next occurance up.
Mark many occurrences
mc/edit-lines: Adds one cursor to each line in the current region.
mc/edit-beginnings-of-lines: Adds a cursor at the start of each line in the current region.
mc/edit-ends-of-lines: Adds a cursor at the end of each line in the current region.
mc/mark-all-like-this: Marks all parts of the buffer that matches the current region.
mc/mark-all-like-thisbut only for whole words.
mc/mark-all-like-thisbut only for whole symbols.
mc/mark-all-in-region: Prompts for a string to match in the region, adding cursors to all of them.
mc/mark-all-like-this-in-defun: Marks all parts of the current defun that matches the current region.
mc/mark-all-like-this-in-defunbut only for whole words.
mc/mark-all-like-this-in-defunbut only for whole symbols.
mc/mark-all-dwim: Tries to be smart about marking everything you want. Can be pressed multiple times.
set-rectangular-region-anchor: Think of this one as
set-markexcept you're marking a rectangular region.
mc/mark-sgml-tag-pair: Mark the current opening and closing tag.
mc/insert-numbers: Insert increasing numbers for each cursor, top to bottom.
mc/insert-letters: Insert increasing letters for each cursor, top to bottom.
mc/sort-regions: Sort the marked regions alphabetically.
mc/reverse-regions: Reverse the order of the marked regions.
Tips and tricks
To get out of multiple-cursors-mode, press
C-g. The latter will first disable multiple regions before disabling multiple cursors. If you want to insert a newline in multiple-cursors-mode, use
Sometimes you end up with cursors outside of your view. You can scroll the screen to center on each cursor with
M-vor you can press
C-'to hide all lines without a cursor, press
C-'again to unhide.
mc/mark-next-like-thiswith no region selected. It will just add a cursor on the next line.
mc/mark-next-like-this-symbolwith no region selected. It will mark the word or symbol and add a cursor at the next occurance
mc/mark-all-like-this-dwimon a tagname in html-mode.
Notice that the number of cursors active can be seen in the modeline.
If you get out of multiple-cursors-mode and yank - it will yank only from the kill-ring of main cursor. To yank from the kill-rings of every cursor use yank-rectangle, normally found at C-x r y.
You can use
mc/reverse-regionswith nothing selected and just one cursor. It will then flip the sexp at point and the one below it.
When you use
mc/edit-lines, you can give it a positive or negative prefix to change how it behaves on too short lines.
If you would like to keep the global bindings clean, and get custom keybindings when the region is active, you can try region-bindings-mode.
BTW, I highly recommend adding
mc/mark-next-like-this to a key binding that's
right next to the key for
Binding mouse events
To override a mouse event, you will likely have to also unbind the
down-mouse part of the event. Like this:
(global-unset-key (kbd "M-<down-mouse-1>")) (global-set-key (kbd "M-<mouse-1>") 'mc/add-cursor-on-click)
Or you can do like me and find an unused, but less convenient, binding:
(global-set-key (kbd "C-S-<mouse-1>") 'mc/add-cursor-on-click)
Multiple-cursors uses two lists of commands to know what to do: the run-once list and the run-for-all list. It comes with a set of defaults, but it would be beyond silly to try and include all the known Emacs commands.
So that's why multiple-cursors occasionally asks what to do about a command. It will
then remember your choice by saving it in
~/.emacs.d/.mc-lists.el. You can change
the location with:
(setq mc/list-file "/my/preferred/file")
NB! Make sure to do so before requiring multiple-cursors.
It is possible to set multiple-cursors to "run-for-all" for every
command except for those that are listed in
enable this set
mc/always-run-for-all to non-nil. Add commands to be
run once to
mc/cmds-to-run-once in ".mc-lists.el".
- isearch-forward and isearch-backward aren't supported with multiple cursors. If you want this functionality, you can use phi-search.
- Commands run with
M-xwon't be repeated for all cursors.
- All key bindings that refer to lambdas are always run for all cursors. If you need to limit it, you will have to give it a name.
- Redo might screw with your cursors. Undo works very well.
Yes, please do. There's a suite of tests, so remember to add tests for your specific feature, or I might break it later.
You'll find the repo at:
To fetch the test dependencies, install cask if you haven't already, then:
$ cd /path/to/multiple-cursors $ cask
Run the tests with:
- Takafumi Arakaki has contributed several small improvements
- Marco Baringer contributed looping to
mc/cycleand adding cursors without region for mark-more.
- Ivan Andrus added showing number of cursors in mode-line, and different options for how to handle short lines in
- Fuco added the first version of
- Zach Kost-Smith added
- Maciej Katafiasz added
- Aleksey Fedotov added
- Jules Tamagnan added
- Ingo Lohmar extended
mc/add-cursor-on-clickto toggle cursors.
- Andrea Orru added
Copyright (C) 2012-2016 Magnar Sveen
Author: Magnar Sveen firstname.lastname@example.org Keywords: editing cursors
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 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.