Lockdown Beam: volatile-highlights


In the middle of a frantic editing session one can use some help. You are there sweating, firing key bindings with a smugness you can barely keep at bay, with buffers and windows appearing and disappearing. Point is visibly tired of your powerful skills because, let’s face it, jumping around is not always pleasurable.

In situations such as this, you may find yourself killing a paragraph or a block of code in order to yank it somewhere else. If that “somewhere else” is another buffer (e.g., a Clojure file others worked on), I for one don’t want to make a mess. This is precisely where Keitaro Miyazaki’s volatile-highlights finds its place.

Keitaro’s package adds a temporary highlight to the yanked text which makes the addition stand out briefly, and so I get a sense of what I am doing in a buffer I’m not entirely familiar with yet. There are other commands that benefit from it, as the volatile-highlights README explains. For instance, I find the highlights around undo operations and occur-mode occurrences very helpful.

Although I didn’t play with it, volatile-highlights can be extended to support other packages and commands. Check out vhl/define-extension and vhl/install-extension if you want to go down that road.

This is the last entry in my “Lockdown Beam” series. I was hoping to outlast the lockdown, but I lost the battle eventually. Anyway, do give these packages a chance. It’s easy to overlook a little gem in the ever-growing Emacs ecosystem.