NonGNU ELPA - evil-matchit


Vim matchit ported to Evil
evil-matchit-2.4.1.tar, 2022-Jan-06, 140 KiB
Chen Bin <chenbin DOT sh AT gmail DOT com> <>
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To install this package, run in Emacs:

M-x package-install RET evil-matchit RET

Full description

1 evil-matchit

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Vim matchit.vim by Benji Fisher is ported into Emacs.

Press "%" to jump between matched tags in Emacs. For example, in HTML "<div>" and "</div>" are a pair of tags.

Supported programming languages and major modes:

  • HTML
  • Python
  • Java
  • C++/C
  • Javascript
  • Typescript
  • React JSX (rjsx-mode, react-mode)
  • JSON
  • OCaml
  • Markdown
  • Perl
  • Latex
  • MATLAB/Octave
  • CMake
  • Org-mode (match tag of org-mode and tags of other languages embedded in org file)
  • Ruby
  • Elixir
  • Bash
  • Lua
  • PHP
  • Fortran
  • SQL
  • Laravel Blade Templating
  • Vim script
  • Verilog
  • Diff/Patch
  • Shell/Terminal bundled in Emacs
  • Emacs email (message-mode)
  • VCS (Git/Subversion/Perforce …) merge conflicts

This package uses Evil as its vi layer!

Tested on Emacs 25, 26, 27, 28

2 Why use evil-matchit

  • No learning curve. Press "%" to jump. That's all!
  • Stable
  • Perfect integration with Evil
  • Support any modern languages (html/java/c/c++/python/latex/javascript …)
  • Powerful. If you mix jsp, freemarker, html, jquery template or any weird syntax into one file, it still works!
  • Extendable. Write a plugin for it takes only 5 minutes

Screen cast for python: screencast.gif

3 Install

It's already uploaded to

4 Set up

Insert below code into ~/.emacs:

(require 'evil-matchit)
(global-evil-matchit-mode 1)

Alternatively, you can enable evil-matchit-mode along a major mode by adding turn-on-evil-matchit-mode to the mode hook.

5 Usage

Press "%" to jump inside between tag pair in normal mode or visual mode (you press "v" to switch to visual mode). Please note evil-matchit is smart enough to detect the tag automatically.

Tag pair could be open/closed html tag, or character pair like "{}" "[]" "()", or the single/double quote(s) at the two ends of the string.

Inner/outer text object "%" is also created. It roughly equals the region when you press "%" from evil-matchit.

Press "va%" to select line(s) wrapped by tags including tags themselves. M-x evilmi-select-items does the same thing.

Press "da%" to delete line(s) wrapped by tags including tags themselves. M-x evilmi-delete-items does the same thing.

All commands support numeric argument like "3%", "5va%" or "9da%"

Pressing "3%" jumps to a line 3 percentage down the file. It's the default behavior in original evil-mode. You can (setq evilmi-may-jump-by-percentage nil) to turn off this feature. Then "3%" will jump 3 times.

Please note only evil-visual-state and evil-normal-state are supported.

If you need visually select lines, I strongly recommend using evilmi-select-items instead.

This is actually an advantage of Emacs, you can tweak the select region without go into visual state at all.

6 Advanced tips

6.1 Support new major modes

In order to apply three matching rules evilmi-template, evilmi-simple, and evilmi-html on mhtml-mode, please insert below code after your evil-matchit setup:

(evilmi-load-plugin-rules '(mhtml-mode) '(template simple html))

6.2 Use evilmi-select-items instead press "%" in evil-visual-state

evilmi-select-items is more robust and provides more functionality. It works even when evil-mode is not loaded.

So you'd better stick to evilmi-select-item if possible.

6.3 Add new tags into existing languages

Use ruby as an example.

If you want to add more tags into ruby, you can do two things:

  • You need define the regular expression to extract keyword
  • You need define the open/middle/closed tags

Open evil-matchit-ruby.el whole structure is like,

(defvar evilmi-ruby-extract-keyword-howtos '())
(defvar evilmi-ruby-match-tags '())
;; more code here ...
(provide 'evil-matchit-ruby)

So you configuration in ~/.emacs is as below:

(with-eval-after-load "evil-matchit-ruby"
  (push '("^[ \t]*\\([a-z]+\\)\\( .*\\| *\\)$" 1) evilmi-ruby-extract-keyword-howtos)
  (push '(("unless" "if") ("elsif" "else") "end")) evilmi-ruby-match-tags)

6.4 Re-define keybinding

All you need to do is to define function evilmi-customize-keybinding before turning on evil-matchit-mode:

The shortcut % is defined in evilmi-shortcut. It's the name of text object and shortcut of evilmi-jump-items. Some people prefer set it to "m".

Change keybinding of evilmi-jump-items and name of the text object,

(setq evilmi-shortcut "m")
(global-evil-matchit-mode 1)

Change keybinding only,

(defun evilmi-customize-keybinding ()
  (evil-define-key 'normal evil-matchit-mode-map
    "%" 'evilmi-jump-items))
(global-evil-matchit-mode 1)

6.5 Jump between the two end of the "string"

Please note the definition of "string" could be customized by user.

For example, we could treat C comment as string wrapper by "/".

Here is the setup to jump between the two ends of the C comment:

(setq evilmi-quote-chars (string-to-list "'\"/"))

6.6 Match case-sensitive tags?

It's decided by the Emacs global variable "case-fold-search". You need not care about it because the major mode will set this flag automatically.

6.7 Python

You can turn on evilmi-always-simple-jump to match brackets at first.

Thus, you disable our advanced algorithm which I highly recommend.

Some people may prefer simpler algorithm in python-mode.

7 Developer guide

7.1 Create plugin to support new language

Simple. You only need define two functions and tell evil-matchit in which major mode they should be used.

A complete setup:

;; detect tag in current line and return the result in variable rlt
;; the rlt will be used by evilmi-mylang-jump as the first parameter.
;; if NO tag found, the rlt SHOULD be nil
;; @return the data to be used by evilmi-mylang-jump which should be a list
;;         the first element of the list is the position of cursor before jump
;;         we use it to select/delete tag. The other elements of the list could
;;         be any data type
(defun evilmi-mylang-find-tag ()
  (list position-of-open-end "anything-you-like" "anything-you-like"))

;; @parama rlt result from evilmi-mylang-find-tag
;; @param NUM numeric argument when user press "%" to match tag
;; @return the matching tag position in theory, useful only for
;;         selecting or deleting text between matching tags and tags
(defun evilmi-mylang-jump (info num)
  (message "info=%s" info)
  ;; if we need select region between tags (including tags itself)
  ;; we get the beginning of region by reading the first element of
  ;; info
  (push-mark (nth 0 info) t t)
  ;; say 999 is the where we jump to
  (goto-char 999)
  ;; If you need know where is the end of the region for region operation,
  ;; you need return the end of region at the end of function
  ;; region operation means selection/deletion of region.

;; Notify evil-matchit how to use above functions
(evilmi-load-plugin-rules '(mylang-mode) '(mylang))

Place above code into your ~/.emacs, after the line "(global-evil-matchit-mode 1)"

7.2 Use SDK

For example, it only takes 3 steps to create a new rule script to match tags in script like Ruby/Lua/Bash/VimScript,

Step 1, create evil-matchit-script.el,

(require 'evil-matchit-sdk)

;; ruby/bash/lua/vimrc
(defvar evilmi-script-match-tags
  '((("unless" "if") ("elif" "elsif" "elseif" "else") ( "end" "fi" "endif"))
    ("begin" ("rescue" "ensure") "end")
    ("case" ("when" "else") ("esac" "end"))
    (("fun!" "function!" "class" "def" "while" "function" "do") () ("end" "endfun" "endfunction"))
    ("repeat" ()  "until"))
  "The table we look up match tags. This is a three column table.
The first column contains the open tag(s).
The second column contains the middle tag(s).
The third column contains the closed tags(s).
The forth *optional* column defines the relationship between open and close tags. It could be MONOGAMY

(defun evilmi-script-get-tag ()
  (evilmi-sdk-get-tag evilmi-script-match-tags

(defun evilmi-script-jump (rlt num)
  (evilmi-sdk-jump rlt

(provide 'evil-matchit-script)

Step 2, make sure the directory of evil-matchit-script.el is added into load-path.

Step 3, add below code to ~/.emacs.,

(evilmi-load-plugin-rules '(ruby-mode lua-mode) '(script))

7.3 APIs

  • evilmi-load-plugin-rules

8 Contact me