To install this package, run in Emacs:
M-x package-install RET expand-region RET
Expand region increases the selected region by semantic units. Just keep pressing the key until it selects what you want. An example: (setq alphabet-start "abc def") With the cursor at the `c`, it starts by marking the entire word `abc`, then expand to the contents of the quotes `abc def`, then to the entire quote `"abc def"`, then to the contents of the sexp `setq alphabet-start "abc def"` and finally to the entire sexp. You can set it up like this: (require 'expand-region) (global-set-key (kbd "C-=") 'er/expand-region) There's also `er/contract-region` if you expand too far. ## Video You can [watch an intro to expand-region at Emacs Rocks](http://emacsrocks.com/e09.html). ## Language support Expand region works fairly well with most languages, due to the general nature of the basic expansions: er/mark-word er/mark-symbol er/mark-method-call er/mark-inside-quotes er/mark-outside-quotes er/mark-inside-pairs er/mark-outside-pairs However, most languages also will benefit from some specially crafted expansions. For instance, expand-region comes with these extra expansions for html-mode: er/mark-html-attribute er/mark-inner-tag er/mark-outer-tag You can add your own expansions to the languages of your choice simply by creating a function that looks around point to see if it's inside or looking at the construct you want to mark, and if so - mark it. There's plenty of examples to look at in these files. After you make your function, add it to a buffer-local version of the `er/try-expand-list`. **Example:** Let's say you want expand-region to also mark paragraphs and pages in text-mode. Incidentally Emacs already comes with `mark-paragraph` and `mark-page`. To add it to the try-list, do this: (defun er/add-text-mode-expansions () (make-variable-buffer-local 'er/try-expand-list) (setq er/try-expand-list (append er/try-expand-list '(mark-paragraph mark-page)))) (er/enable-mode-expansions 'text-mode 'er/add-text-mode-expansions) Add that to its own file, and require it at the bottom of this one, where it says "Mode-specific expansions" **Warning:** Badly written expansions might slow down expand-region dramatically. Remember to exit quickly before you start traversing the entire document looking for constructs to mark. ## Contribute If you make some nice expansions for your favorite mode, it would be great if you opened a pull-request. The repo is at: https://github.com/magnars/expand-region.el Changes to `expand-region-core` itself must be accompanied by feature tests. They are written in [Ecukes](http://ecukes.info), a Cucumber for Emacs. To fetch the test dependencies: $ cd /path/to/expand-region $ git submodule init $ git submodule update Run the tests with: $ ./util/ecukes/ecukes features If you want to add feature-tests for your mode-specific expansions as well, that is utterly excellent. ## Contributors * [Josh Johnston](https://github.com/joshwnj) contributed `er/contract-region` * [Le Wang](https://github.com/lewang) contributed consistent handling of the mark ring, expanding into pairs/quotes just left of the cursor, and general code clean-up. * [Matt Briggs](https://github.com/mbriggs) contributed expansions for ruby-mode. * [Ivan Andrus](https://github.com/gvol) contributed expansions for python-mode, text-mode, LaTeX-mode and nxml-mode. * [Raimon Grau](https://github.com/kidd) added support for when transient-mark-mode is off. * [Gleb Peregud](https://github.com/gleber) contributed expansions for erlang-mode. * [fgeller](https://github.com/fgeller) and [edmccard](https://github.com/edmccard) contributed better support for python and its multiple modes. * [François Févotte](https://github.com/ffevotte) contributed expansions for C and C++. * [Roland Walker](https://github.com/rolandwalker) added option to copy the contents of the most recent action to a register, and some fixes. * [Damien Cassou](https://github.com/DamienCassou) added option to continue expanding/contracting with fast keys after initial expand. Thanks!