Some time ago I wrote about highlighting matching parentheses with show-paren-mode. This is definitely useful, but it’s kind of restrictive, since parentheses are just a specific kind of paired delimiter. Single and double quotes are also paired delimiters (at least in most programmming languages). In the Ruby programmming language, for instance, do and end also constitute paired delimiter.

smartparens offers extremely customizable handling of paired delimiters and comes with an extra minor mode called show-smartparens-mode to highlight them. This mode totally replaces show-paren-mode and language specific modes like hirb (which highlights Ruby blocks).

Assuming you’re already using smartparens, enabling show-smartparens-mode is trivial:

(show-smartparens-global-mode +1)

Here’s a glimpse of it in action:


In Prelude show-paren-mode was replaced by show-smartparens-mode some time ago.