Copyright (C) 2023 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with the Front-Cover Texts being “A GNU Manual,” and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License.”
(a) The FSF’s Back-Cover Text is: “You have the freedom to copy and modify this GNU manual.”
This manual, written by Protesilaos Stavrou, describes the
customization options for the Emacs package called
substitute.el), and provides every other piece of information
pertinent to it.
The documentation furnished herein corresponds to stable version 0.2.0, released on 2023-07-01. Any reference to a newer feature which does not yet form part of the latest tagged commit, is explicitly marked as such.
Current development target is 0.3.0-dev.
If you are viewing the README.org version of this file, please note that the GNU ELPA machinery automatically generates an Info manual out of it.
|• Sample configuration|
|• GNU Free Documentation License|
— The Detailed Node Listing — Installation
|• GNU ELPA package|
|• Manual installation|
|• Function index|
|• Variable index|
|• Concept index|
Substitute is a set of commands that perform text replacement (i)
throughout the buffer, (ii) limited to the current definition (per
narrow-to-defun), (iii) from point to the end of the buffer, and
(iv) from point to the beginning of the buffer.
These substitutions are meant to be as quick as possible and, as such,
differ from the standard
query-replace (which I still use). The
provided commands prompt for substitute text and perform the
The substitution prompt mentions the target-to-be-substituted. It is
possible to use the “future history” at this prompt (by typing
with the default key bindings for the
This populates the prompt with the text of the target. As such, if we
want to operate on ‘FOO’ to make it ‘FOO-BAR’, we use
M-n and then
By default, the substitution prompt informs the user about the target
and highlights matches in the given scope (what the current command
will substitute). Highlights can be disabled by setting the user
substitute-highlight to nil.
The substitution commands behave the same way except for their scope of application. What they have in common is how they identify the target of the substitution: it is either the symbol at point or the text within the boundaries of the active region. The differences in scope are as follows:
substitute-target-in-buffer: Substitute the target across the entire buffer.
substitute-target-in-defun: Substitute the target only in the current definition (per
substitute-target-below-point: Substitute the target from point to the end of the buffer (alias
substitute-target-above-point: Substitute the target from point to the beginning of the buffer (alias
All of the aforementioned commands accept an optional prefix argument
(‘C-u’ with the default key bindings). This passes the ‘FIXED-CASE’
argument, which means that the substitution will not try to preserve
the letter casing of the target text. Concretely, targeting ‘test’
and ‘TEST’ with a substitute of ‘test-new’ will make both of those
lower case. Whereas without the prefix argument the result would be
‘test-new’ and ‘TEST-NEW’. In many cases this is the desired effect.
To always have fixed letter casing, set the user option
substitute-fixed-letter-case to a non-nil value. Doing so is the
same as always calling the aforementioned commands with a prefix
Every substitution triggers the
This special hook runs any function assigned to it with four
arguments: ‘TARGET’, ‘SUB’, ‘COUNT’, and ‘SCOPE’. For a reference
substitute-report-operation. This hook can be
leveraged by the user to produce a report on what just happened by
printing a message to the echo area. Custom functions that accept
those arguments are to the discretion of the user. By default, the
hook is empty and no post-substitution action is performed (e.g. the
|• GNU ELPA package|
|• Manual installation|
The package is available as
substitute. Simply do:
M-x package-refresh-contents M-x package-install
And search for it.
GNU ELPA provides the latest stable release. Those who prefer to follow the development process in order to report bugs or suggest changes, can use the version of the package from the GNU-devel ELPA archive. Read: https://protesilaos.com/codelog/2022-05-13-emacs-elpa-devel/.
Assuming your Emacs files are found in ‘~/.emacs.d/’, execute the following commands in a shell prompt:
cd ~/.emacs.d # Create a directory for manually-installed packages mkdir manual-packages # Go to the new directory cd manual-packages # Clone this repo, naming it "substitute" git clone https://git.sr.ht/~protesilaos/substitute substitute
Finally, in your ‘init.el’ (or equivalent) evaluate this:
;; Make Elisp files in that directory available to the user. (add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d/manual-packages/substitute")
Everything is in place to set up the package.
(require 'substitute) ;; Set this to nil if you do not like visual feedback on the matching ;; target. Default is t. (setq substitute-highlight nil) ;; Set this to t if you want to always treat the letter casing ;; literally. Otherwise each command accepts a `C-u' prefix ;; argument to do this on-demand. (setq substitute-fixed-letter-case t) ;; If you want a message reporting the matches that changed in the ;; given context. We don't do it by default. (add-hook 'substitute-post-replace-functions #'substitute-report-operation) ;; We do not bind any keys. This is just an idea. The mnemonic is ;; that M-# (or M-S-3) is close to M-% (or M-S-5). (let ((map global-map)) (define-key map (kbd "M-# s") #'substitute-target-below-point) (define-key map (kbd "M-# r") #'substitute-target-above-point) (define-key map (kbd "M-# d") #'substitute-target-in-defun) (define-key map (kbd "M-# b") #'substitute-target-in-buffer))
substitute is meant to be a collective effort. Every bit of help
Ed Tavinor, Kostas Andreadis, Wang Chunye.
Tomasz Hołubowicz, ersi-dnd, revrari.
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|• Function index|
|• Variable index|
|• Concept index|
|Jump to:||C I|
|Jump to:||C I|