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Build Status MELPA MELPA Stable Webstore


Edit with Emacs is an addon for webextension compatible browsers like Google's Chrome(ium), Opera or Firefox that allows you to edit text areas on your browser in a more full featured editor. It does this in conjunction with an "Edit Server" which services requests by the browser. This is because extensions cannot spawn new processes as a security measure.

The extension packages a native elisp version that can be downloaded, just follow the instructions from the options page of the extension. It has been known to work with GNU Emacs and Aquamacs (MacOS); it is presently not compatible with XEmacs.

Other example edit servers can be found at the project homepage. There is no reason why other server scripts could not spawn other editors and currently a number of servers support the simple URL based protocol.

This extension is licensed under the GPL v3 and development versions can be found at:


As mentioned above there are two parts you will need. The edit server which needs to be installed and configured on Emacs and the browser extension itself.

Edit Server

Perhaps the easiest way to install edit-server.el is via MELPA which provides a range of packages that can be installed via the package manager:

M-x package-install edit-server

Once installed you will want to update your configuration so the server is started before you edit. For example using the popular use-package config framework you might do something like this:

(use-package edit-server
  :ensure t
  :commands edit-server-start
  :init (if after-init-time
            (add-hook 'after-init-hook
                      #'(lambda() (edit-server-start))))
  :config (setq edit-server-new-frame-alist
                '((name . "Edit with Emacs FRAME")
                  (top . 200)
                  (left . 200)
                  (width . 80)
                  (height . 25)
                  (minibuffer . t)
                  (menu-bar-lines . t)
                  (window-system . x))))

Please see the built-in help for more information on how to configure the edit servers behaviour.

Browser Extension

If you just want to install Edit with Emacs you can simply visit the Chrome Store at:

Or if you're using Firefox, visit (AMO) at:

You then have the option of installing the packaged edit-server from the options page or alternatively you can install the latest version from MELPA if you have it enabled in Emacs 24+.

If you would like to help with the development of Edit with Emacs the easiest way is to fork the github repository ( and clone it to your development system. Then in Chrome(ium) go to:

Tools->Extensions Select "Developer Mode" Click "Load Unpacked Extension"

and point it at the cloned repository.


This modeline should be used in every source file to keep indentation consistent:

// -*- tab-width: 4; indent-tabs-mode: nil; c-basic-offset: 4 -*-

This tells both emacs use spaces instead of tabs and use a basic indentation of 4 spaces.

There is also a universal .editorconfig which should enforce this.

The code has a fair amount of whitespace damage. Please don't submit mega-patches to clean it up, just fixup the local code as you go. It makes history harder to navigate as well as potentially introducing changes in the noise.

There is currently a minimal Travis-CI control file which essentially ensures the edit-server.el still compiles. Additions to the test coverage are always welcome. ;-)

Submitting to Store

  • Update NEWS
  • Test
  • Tag vX.Y
  • git archive --format zip --output vX.Y
  • Upload that


Dave Hilley wrote the original proof of concept that showed it could be done. I then hacked around with the Javascript to make the behaviour more like the classic It's All Text add-on available to Firefox.


Edit with Emacs is open source and is brought to you thanks to contributions from the following people:

David Hilley Alex Bennée Riccardo Murri Niels Giesen Wei Hu Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason Chris Houser Robert Goldman Phil Pennock Sudish Joseph IRIE Shinsuke Nelson Elhage David J. Biesack Christopher Browne Mark Shroyer Remco van 't Veer John Croisant Tim Cuthbertson Ryszard Szopa Kazuya Sakakihara Steve Purcell Dale Sedivec Jonas Bernoulli Le Wang Mike Shulman Matt Walker Aaron Schrab Adam Spiers Dato Simó Philippe Vaucher Eli Barzilay Marc Tamsky Attila Lendvai Daniel Kraus John Brzustowski

Other Code

This extensions takes advantage of the jQuery library to do a lot of the heavy lifting in searching the page for elements.

It uses John Resig's jQuery Colour Animation plug-in to do the colour fades of the elements.

The settings code uses Frank Kohlhepp's excellent fancy-settings library. This has since been pulled from the web.

The textarea code uses the rather nifty mutation summary library by Google.


A Chromium "clone" of It's All Text for spawning an editor to edit text areas in browsers. Based on David Hilley's original Chromium extension.



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