Skip to content
Simple commands to move text around on Emacs
Branch: master
Clone or download
Latest commit 4e9b747 Mar 14, 2019
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

Table of Contents

What It Does

This is a package to move text around on Emacs. It uses basic functions to move words, lines, paragraphs, sentences and sexps forward and backward.

See it in action.


I’m an Evil user and write a lot of prose on Emacs. This package was inspired by this and this blog posts. It uses basic functions to move words, lines, paragraphs, sentences, and sexps both forward and backward. Being able to quickly reorganize my prose is extremely important for me.

This is my first attempt at publishing code, so criticism is more than welcome!


With use-package

Put cool-motions.el somewhere in your Emacs path and replace ~/.emacs.d/lisp/cool-moves with the path to it. Here’s an example (the keybindings are optional):

(use-package cool-moves
  :load-path "~/.emacs.d/lisp/cool-moves"
   :keymaps 'override
   "<C-down>" 'cool-moves/paragraph-forward
   "<C-up>" 'cool-moves/paragraph-backward
   "C-S-j" 'cool-moves/line-forward
   "C-S-k" 'cool-moves/line-backward
   "C-M-n" 'cool-moves/word-forward
   "C-M-p" 'cool-moves/word-backwards))

Without use-package

Remember to replace ~/.emacs.d/lisp/cool-moves. The rest is straightforward.

(add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d/lisp/cool-moves")
(load "cool-moves")

 :keymaps 'override
 "<C-down>" 'cool-moves/paragraph-forward
 "<C-up>" 'cool-moves/paragraph-backward
 "C-S-j" 'cool-moves/line-forward
 "C-S-k" 'cool-moves/line-backward
 "C-M-n" 'cool-moves/word-forward
 "C-M-p" 'cool-moves/word-backwards)


Each of these commands move something either forward or backwards, and are named in predictable manner. This package have no default keybindings, but I’ll make some suggestions below.

  • cool-moves/character-backward
  • cool-moves/character-forward
  • cool-moves/line-backward
  • cool-moves/line-forward
  • cool-moves/paragraph-forward
  • cool-moves/paragraph-backward
  • cool-moves/sentence-backward
  • cool-moves/sentence-forward
  • cool-moves/sexp-backward
  • cool-moves/sexp-forward
  • cool-moves/word-backwards
  • cool-moves/word-forward


Besides the keybindings there are no settings to be made.

Suggested Keybindings

I use general.el for my keybindings, so:

 :keymaps 'override
 "C-S-j" 'cool-moves/line-forward
 "C-M-n" 'cool-moves/word-forward
 "C-S-k" 'cool-moves/line-backward
 "C-M-p" 'cool-moves/word-backwards
 "<C-up>" 'cool-moves/paragraph-backward
 "<C-down>" 'cool-moves/paragraph-forward)

If you don’t use General and don’t know how to create keybindings, this article might be helpful.

Suggested Hydra

You can use a Hydra to make the commands easily accessible.

(defhydra hydra-text-motions (:color amaranth :hint nil :foreign-keys nil)
	_l_: line ↓      _w_: word →
	_L_: line ↑      _W_: word ←
	_p_: par  ↓      _c_: char →
	_P_: par  ↑      _C_: char ←
	_s_: sentence →  _x_: sexp →
	_S_: sentence ←  _X_: sexp ←


  ("<escape>" nil)
  ("u" nil)

  ("l" cool-moves/line-forward)
  ("L" cool-moves/line-backward)

  ("p" cool-moves/paragraph-forward)
  ("P" cool-moves/paragraph-backward)

  ("w" cool-moves/word-forward)
  ("W" cool-moves/word-backwards)

  ("c" cool-moves/character-forward)
  ("C" cool-moves/character-backward)

  ("s" cool-moves/sentence-forward)
  ("S" cool-moves/sentence-backward)

  ("x" cool-moves/sexp-forward)
  ("X" cool-moves/sexp-backward))

Differences from drag-stuff

drag-stuff is bigger, robuster and able to drag regions. Unlike cool-moves, it doesn’t move sentences or characters. When I try to use drag-stuff-right on the first word of a line, it’s switched with the last word of the previous paragraph. drag-stuff is clearly a good mode that does a lot with a single command, but in text editing predictability is a must and I don’t need the added complexity. I didn’t use any code from this package. My functions were largely inspired from the aforementioned blog post by Bozhidar Batsov.

You can’t perform that action at this time.