Emacs: electric-pair-mode

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

This page shows you ways to insert brackets in pairs.


Emacs 24 has a new minor mode electric-pair-mode. When on, typing any left bracket automatically insert the right matching bracket. [see Emacs 24.1 New Features (released 2012-06)]

You can have it on always. Put this in your emacs init:

;; auto close bracket insertion. New in emacs 24
(electric-pair-mode 1)

Brackets includes ASCII and Unicode brackets or quotation marks: " ' () {} [] «» and more [see Matching Brackets in Unicode]

Deleting one bracket doesn't delete the other.

Exactly which brackets are auto-closed depends on the current major mode's syntax table.

[see Elisp: Syntax Table]

If you always want certain brackets be inserted in pairs, you can customize the variable electric-pair-pairs. Its value should be a Association List.

[see Elisp: Association List]

For example, the curly bracket {} isn't auto-closed when in emacs-lisp-mode. You can make it do so, like this:

;; make electric-pair-mode work on more brackets
(setq electric-pair-pairs
        (?\" . ?\")
        (?\{ . ?\})))

Better Brackets Pairs Insert Command

Emacs: Insert Brackets by Pair

Working with Brackets

  1. Highlight Brackets ()[]{}
  2. electric-pair-mode
  3. Insert Brackets by Pair
  4. Delete Brackets ()[]{} by Pair
  5. Select Line, between Quotes, Extend Selection
  6. Move Cursor to Bracket/Quote
  7. Change Brackets/Quotes

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Emacs Lisp