Emacs Redux

Return to the Essence of Text Editing

Kill Whole Line

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Let’s continue our exploration of the fascinating topic of killing lines. Apart from killing lines from the cursor to the end of the line(kill-line) and killing lines from the cursor back to the beginning of the line(kill-line with a 0 prefix argument) you can also kill entire lines with a single command - kill-whole-line.

The command is bound to C-S-Backspace by default and kills the line including its newline. With a prefix argument, it will kill that many lines starting from the current line. If the argument is negative it will kill that many lines backward plus the preceding newline. If the argument is 0, it will kill the current line but exclude the trailing newline. We can improve the command a bit by making it indentation aware(like we did for backward kill line in the previous post):

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(defun smart-kill-whole-line (&optional arg)
  "A simple wrapper around `kill-whole-line' that respects indentation."
  (interactive "P")
  (kill-whole-line arg)
  (back-to-indentation))

Now we can rebind C-S-Backspace.

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(global-set-key [remap kill-whole-line] 'smart-kill-whole-line)

remap is a pretty neat trick in its own right; maybe I’ll write a bit more about it in the future.

The smart-kill-whole-line command is available out-of-the-box in Prelude.

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