Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Emacs Incremental Search Highlighting

Sometime in the fairly recent past default emacs incremental search behavior was modified to underline every occurrence of the search string in the current view. This makes searching very difficult to use if one wants to just skip ahead, e.g., a few 'o' characters, because every 'o' is highlighted, with no way to know which one is at the cursor. To return to the original, more usable behavior add this to your .emacs file: (setq isearch-lazy-highlight nil) ⟨editorial⟩ Emacs more and more is acting less and less like a text editor, and trying to get cute about things. Default behavior keeps changing, and often for the worse. This incremental search highlighting is a good example. Another is that in text mode it's now hard to line things up consistently because tab is no longer tab. Instead tab inserts enough spaces or tabs to line the cursor up with the beginning of the previous line, or with the beginning of a word in the previous line. I'd rather tab be tab. ⟨lairotide⟩

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