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(mirror) Emacs mode to indent, navigate around and act on indentation units: perfect for yaml, python and the like.

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Indent, move around and act on code based on indentation (yaml, python, jade, etc).

Meant for indentation-based languages, but can be used any time with indented text.


Navigating by blocks:



Set up MELPA and use package.el: M-x package-install RET indent-tools RET.


You can activate a minor mode or use an Hydra.

We recommand you to use the hydra because it shows all available options and it allows to call an action multiple times in a row, with a single keypress:

M-x indent-tools-hydra/body

To bind the Hydra at C-c >:

(require 'indent-tools)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-c >") 'indent-tools-hydra/body)

To bind this in python-mode:

(add-hook 'python-mode-hook
 (lambda () (define-key python-mode-map (kbd "C-c >") 'indent-tools-hydra/body))

(C-c > originally bound to indent the line).

With the minor mode (M-x indent-tools-minor-mode), the prefix key is at C-c > (you can change the variable indent-tools-keymap-prefix). See its keymap with C-h f indent-tools-minor-mode.

Indent, de-indent

Indent an indentation tree: M-x indent-tools-demote. This indents according to the major mode (currently specially supported: python, jade, yaml. For other modes, it indents by indent-tools-indent-offset, 4 spaces).

With the hydra, repeat this action as much as you wish.

Indent by only one space (useful for jade-mode): SPC key with the hydra.

Indent the paragraph: M-x indent-tools-indent-paragraph, or P with the hydra.

See also: (de)indenting until the end of the current indentation level (i.e., indent every nodes with the same level).

Move around

Move to the end of the current indentation,

to the next or the previous sibling (a line with the same indentation),

move one parent up or the first child down (line with lesser or greater indentation), much useful for a large yaml file, but also for code navigation.

j and k (with the hydra) as usual go to the next and previous line.

Recenter screen (L)

While you move around, you may want to recenter the screen, what we usually do with C-l (“recenter-top-bottom”). We can not bind control keys into hydras, so this is bound to L. Successive calls will put the point in the middle, at the top or at the bottom of the screen.

Kill, copy, (un)comment, select, fold

See the hydra.

Some actions (kill, copy, comment) will ask you again what to operate upon: the indented block, the whole level, or the paragraph.

Other actions (toggle fold) act straight away on the indented block.

So one can:

  • kill something
  • copy
  • comment
  • uncomment (only a paragraph)
  • toggle the fold (of the current indentation)
  • call imenu to go to another function definition, keeping the hydra.

There are interactive functions too:

M-x indent-tools-kill-[hydra/body, tree, level, paragraph]


M-x indent-tools-copy-[hydra/body, tree, level, paragraph]


The hydra binds _ to undo-tree-undo, so we can try commands and undo anything by staying inside it.


To know the indentation of the current major mode, call indent-tools-indentation-of-current-mode.

If it doesn’t know the current mode, see the variable indent-tools-indentation-of-modes-alist. It is an alist which associates a mode to a function which returns the desired indentation level (an int).

If no indentation level is known for this mode, it uses indent-tools-indentation-offset, which defaults to Emacs’ standard-indent.


(defun indent-tools-indentation-of-python ()
  "Return Python's current indentation as an int, usually 4."
  (cond ((and (boundp 'python-indent-offset)
              (numberp python-indent-offset))

;; The alist.
(setq indent-tools-indentation-of-modes-alist
        (python-mode . indent-tools-indentation-of-python)
        (yaml-mode . indent-tools-indentation-of-yaml)
        (jade-mode . indent-tools-indentation-of-jade)


To run the unit tests, go into the tests file and run ert:

M-x ert

and either choose a specific test, either keep t to run all.

You’ll have an ert buffer with passing tests in green, failing ones in red. Use TAB end ENTER in this buffer (à la org-mode).

Ideas, todos

[X] Demote.

[X] Indent according to mode. Done for python, yaml and jade.

[X] Do something with the default behaviour of M-x indent-rigidly which lets us indent interactively. Would be useful for jade templates. => just used the Hydra feature.

[X] See if the utilities functions of mine on yaml-utils can be useful (indent all siblings at once ? Move around siblings ?).

See `move-text` in melpa to move regions up and down.

[X] See how yafolding did.

See also

  • json-navigator - to display any JSON document as a tree, which leafs you can unfold and follow. (Emacs 25.1) Based on the more generic hierarchy.

Change log

  • <2018-01-24 mer.> simplify Kill: it kills the indented block, no more choice to kill a paragraph or all the level in a hydra, not fitting in this package.
  • <2017-08-03 jeu.> L insteal of C-l to recenter the screen (“recenter-top-bottom”).
  • <2017-07-21 ven.> undo-tree within the hydra (press “_”)
  • <2017-07-21 ven.> small fix for “>” indent: go to the beginning of text before action.
  • <2017-03-22 mer.> added Uncomment the paragraph


(mirror) Emacs mode to indent, navigate around and act on indentation units: perfect for yaml, python and the like.






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