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Álvaro Ramírez

Álvaro Ramírez

16 April 2019 Mark region, indent, restore location

When I'm not using an automatic code formatter (ie. clang-format, gofmt, etc.), I often find myself using Emacs region marking commands like mark-defun, er/expand-region, and mark-whole-buffer prior to pressing <tab>, which is bound to indent-for-tab-command.

This is all working as expected: the selection gets indented and the point is left in the current location.

Say we have the following snippet we'd like to indent.


Mark region with C-M-h (mark-defun)


Indent with <tab> (indent-for-tab-command)


We're done. The selected function is now indented as expected.

But… I always wished the point returned to the location prior to initiating the region-marking command, in this case mark-defun.

In short, I wish the point had ended in the following location.


I'm not aware of an existing package that helps with this, so here's a tiny minor mode (divert-mode) to help with restoring point location after indenting a region. The diverted-events variable can be used to track specific region selecting commands and associate breadcrumb functions to replace the point location as needed.

;;; diverted.el --- Identify temporary diversions and automatically
;;; move point back to original location.

;;; Commentary:
;; Automatically come back to a original location prior to diversion.

;;; Code:

(require 'cl)
(require 'seq)

(defstruct diverted-event
  from ;; Initial function (eg. 'mark-defun)
  to ;; Follow-up function (eg. 'indent-for-tab-command)

(defvar diverted-events
   (make-diverted-event :from 'mark-defun
                        :to 'indent-for-tab-command
                        :breadcrumb (lambda ()
                                      (diverted--pop-to-mark-command 2)))
   (make-diverted-event :from 'er/expand-region
                        :to 'indent-for-tab-command
                        :breadcrumb (lambda ()
                                      (diverted--pop-to-mark-command 2)))
   (make-diverted-event :from 'mark-whole-buffer
                        :to 'indent-for-tab-command
                        :breadcrumb (lambda ()
                                      (diverted--pop-to-mark-command 2))))
  "Diversion events to look for.")

(defun diverted--resolve (symbol)
  "Resolve SYMBOL to event."
  (seq-find (lambda (event)
              (equal symbol
                     (diverted-event-from event)))

(defun diverted--pop-to-mark-command (n)
  "Invoke `pop-to-mark-command' N number of times."
  (dotimes (_ n)

(defun diverted--advice-fun (orig-fun &rest r)
  "Get back to location prior to diversion using advice around `diverted-events' (ORIG-FUN and R)."
  (let ((recognized-event (diverted--resolve last-command)))
    (when recognized-event
      (funcall (diverted-event-breadcrumb recognized-event))
      (message "Breadcrumbed prior to `%s'"
               (diverted-event-from recognized-event)))))

(defun diverted-mode-enable ()
  "Enable diverted-mode."
  (mapc (lambda (event)
          (advice-add (diverted-event-to event)
          (message "Looking for `%s' after `%s' diversions."
                   (diverted-event-to event)
                   (diverted-event-from event)))
  (message "diverted-mode enabled"))

(defun diverted-mode-disable ()
  "Disable diverted-mode."
  (mapc (lambda (event)
          (advice-remove (diverted-event-to event)
          (message "Ignoring `%s' after `%s' diversions."
                   (diverted-event-to event)
                   (diverted-event-from event)))
  (message "diverted-mode disabled"))

(define-minor-mode diverted-mode
  "Detect temporary diversions and restore point location."
  :init-value nil
  :lighter " diverted"
  :global t
  (if diverted-mode

(provide 'diverted)

;;; diverted.el ends here

UPDATE(2019-04-20): Source on github.