Emacs Redux

Return to the Essence of Text Editing

Erase Buffer

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Some Emacs users find themselves wondering what’s the fastest way to erase the contents of a buffer. As you know, I’m fond of delete-selection-mode and I find the combination of C-x h (mark-whole-buffer) + inserting anything afterwards pretty potent.

Another pretty quick way to erase a buffer would be the built-in erase-buffer command. It’s disabled by default since it’s considered that beginners find it confusing(although I’m not sure why), so you’ll be prompted to enable it the first time you run M-x erase-buffer. Alternative you can simply put this snippet in your config:

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;; enable erase-buffer command
(put 'erase-buffer 'disabled nil)

You should note that any narrowing restrictions would have no effect over erase-buffer and the buffer would be truly empty after invoking the command. Conversely - narrowing has an effect over mark-whole-buffer.

If you like the command you might want to bind it to some keybinding like C-c E:

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(global-set-key (kbd "C-c E")  'erase-buffer)

Personally, I rarely need it, so I don’t bind it to anything.

The erase-buffer command is enabled by default in Prelude.

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