Emacs tip of the day

This one is for people whose brain is often preempted by urgent/attractive tasks. Every once and then I find myself doing something that would help me to perform the task I really should be spending time on. This can be the writing of a powerful Emacs function for example or I suddenly realize I have to replace occurrences of a certain pattern for consistency. When I’m done with the subtask I’m no longer in the adequate state for switching back to the real task, and sometimes I hardy remember what the task was, to start with. Here is a small snippet that helps regarding this :

;; Enter a recursive edit. C-M-c will bring back exactly there
(global-set-key (kbd "C-c r") (lambda ()

Hitting C-c r will put you in a “recursive editing mode”, that is simply an embedded call to the editing loop. The point here is that you can exit this inner loop, which means that you return from the recursive-edit function. This way, the recursive editing can be guarded by some context-saving macros : here save-window-excursion and save-excursion. Once the user quits the recursive edit, the context is restored, which means here that the windows state, current buffer and position are restored : you’re back in the state where your brain was preempted without even needing to remember it.