Emacs: Xah Emacs Lisp Mode

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This is the home page of xah-elisp-mode, a major mode for emacs lisp.

screenshot xah-elisp-mode-2013-05-05
screenshot emacs-lisp-mode-2013-05-05
Default emacs-lisp-mode


Download here: https://github.com/xahlee/xah-elisp-mode

Also on MELPA http://melpa.org/#/xah-elisp-mode 〔➤ Emacs: How to Install Packages Using ELPA, MELPA, Marmalade

For any problems, file a report on github, or comment here.


  1. Semantic syntax coloring. Emacs lisp words are colored by their purpose. (for 99% statistically most frequently used elisp functions.)
  2. Keyword completion with ido-mode interface. Press Tab ↹ after a word to complete symbol.
  3. Function templates. (press Space after full name.)
  4. 1 to 4 letters abbrevs for top 50 most used functions. e.g. “bsnp” Space → “buffer-substring-no-properties”.
  5. Smart prettify code. Press Tab ↹ before a word (or at end of paren) to reformat entire sexp tree.

No dependency on third-party package. Only require bare GNU emacs.


Single-letter abbrevs are:

Call list-abbrevs to see the full list.

Yasnippt, Auto-Complete, Company Mode Users

If you want to use yasnippet for expansion instead, you'll need to bind the TAB key for the command yas-expand 〔➤ Emacs: How to Bind Keys for Major Mode? What's a Hook?

For auto-complete and company-mode, you'll need to either bind the TAB key, add xah-elisp-mode to the config.

xah-elisp-mode is designed without using them. I haven't had time to make them all work. But if you want to, just ask me in comment.


there are still some big tasks to do.

If you would like these features, different from traditional idea of line-based indentation, please do donate.

PayPal to 〔xah@xahlee.org〕. In the comment box, say “fund for elisp mode”.

or, Buy Xah Emacs Tutorial and add a comment “fund for elisp mode”.

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