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Emacs major mode and other utilities for NCL.
Emacs Lisp OpenEdge ABL Shell
Latest commit 0155973 May 26, 2015 @yyr Cask: Depend on emacs24.


Ncl-mode Test status

Emacs editing mode for Ncar Command Language(NCL).


ncl-mode package contains emacs major mode and other utilities to help write Ncl scripts

Please do to confuse this mode with the other written by NCAR people. You may think this package newer and hopefully better Emacs support for Ncl.


  • Easy code navigation (consistent with other Emacs modes)
  • Better indentation
  • Proper comment handling
  • Imenu support (my favorite)
  • Menu support
  • Snippets for yasnippet
  • auto-complete support
  • ctags support (ctags generation script included)
  • ncl-doc-mode minor mode for browsing/searching NCL documentation from NCAR website
  • inf-ncl.el mode for running NCL within Emacs.


Emacs-24.1 or above.



ncl-mode can be installed from MELPA. If you have already set melpa in your sources. Just do

M-x package-install RET ncl-mode RET

El-get (recommended way)

If you el-get just do

M-x el-get-install ncl-mode

Manual Installation

  • Download the package from the latest release from here

  • unzip/untar put some where in your path (optionally rename it to ncl-mode)

  • put the following your .emacs

    (load "/path/to/downloaded/ncl-mode/ncl-mode-load.el")
  • That' it. It will take care of all the needed set up for ncl-mode, ncl-doc-mode, auto-complete, yasnippet and inf-ncl. If you care to know what they are, then read on..

Bug & Feature request

Please open a issue on github, if you have a patch want to contribute please drop me a mail (replace unicode character) or preferably make a pull request through github interface.


Helps you read NCL documentation for NCAR website.


M-x ncl-doc-query-at-point ( C-c C-s )

This function does few things.

  1. It prompts for a string/keyword and collects a given string
  2. It tries to find a URL for the given string
    • if it finds URL for the string call the browser to open that URL
    • If no URL is found, then goes on to search for the given string.
    • Displays all search matches in separate buffer category wise. In that buffer RET in any search match will call browser for take you to that page.
    • If no matches found for a given string it leaves you there

M-x ncl-doc-query-open ( C-c C-o )

Use this function you lets you choose from the all keywords ncl-doc has in its database and takes you to that page.

To get an idea what ncl-doc does: here I loaded the ncl-doc.el then called the function "ncl-doc-query-at-point" and given "add" string.


Which lets you run NCL within Emacs and interact NCL process from ncl-mode buffer. ac-completion support is also available for this mode.


One linper to generate ctags from NCL Source files (look into tools directory); uses USAGE: /path/to/ncl/files

if no arguments supplied it searches for ncl files in current directory including sub directories


M-x customize-group RET ncl-doc RET check out the following variables

  • `ncl-doc-url-base' = defaults to "" you can change this to any folder if you have downloaded the documentation from the NCL website and want read offline.
(setq ncl-doc-url-base "file:///home/yagnesh/docs/ncl/")

Tip from NCL website FAQ:

Is there a way I can download the NCL website documentation so I
can access it locally on my machine?

TJ Onley pointed out this nice solution. For example, if you just want
to download the files under, use:
 wget -r -l0  -p -np -nH -k

This will create a directory called "Document", and in that directory,
you can open the "index.shtml" file with your web browser and have
access to all the files locally.
  • `ncl-doc-minor-mode-hook'


See file.


GPL v3 (or later). License GPL 3

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