Miscellaneous Emacs

Here are some really nice, low-maintenance tweaks that can make your Emacs extra shiny.


The rainbow-mode package displays color strings in that color; e.g. #000000 would be displayed as white in the buffer. This is really handy for web UI work or other places where you deal with color strings a lot. You can activate this in a buffer with M-x rainbow-mode RET, or add it as a mode hook. Here's an example of adding it to go-mode:

(add-hook 'go-mode-hook 'rainbow-mode)

A related package is rainbow-delimiters, which colors matching delimiters like parentheses to make it easier to decide what goes with what.


Hideshow offers code folding in Emacs for things like functions and classes. This can be useful when dealing with large classes or long methods. You can get visual fold fringes with hideshowvis. I bind hideshow commands to C-TAB for folding and C-S-TAB for unfolding like this:

;; Keybindings to hide/show text with hideshow
(global-set-key [C-tab] 'hs-hide-block)
(global-set-key [C-S-iso-lefttab] 'hs-show-block)


The diff-hl package highlights Git status in the side ribbon. This can show unstaged and uncommitted deletions and insertions, so you can have a sense of the file's status without having to do a manual git diff <file>. Here is an example of associating diff-hl with Python mode:

(add-hook 'python-mode-hook 'diff-hl)


Hiding the toolbar

;; No toolbar
(tool-bar-mode -1)

Automatching parentheses and quotes

;; Electric pair mode (automatch parens and quotes)
(electric-pair-mode 1)

Line/column numbering, and current row highlighting

;; Line/column numbering
(global-linum-mode 1)
(global-hl-line-mode t)