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Repeating Commands in Emacs

by mickey on July 15th, 2011

Repeating a command you just carried out is a surprisingly useful thing to do, yet most people are completely unaware that bound to C-x z is Emacs’s repeat command.

Like the . command in vi, the repeat command will repeat the last action, skipping any input events (like character input.)

To save you from press the rather awkward keybind every time you want to repeat something, you can repeatedly press z after your first invocation to call repeat. Of course, you can also use the universal argument to repeat the command N number of times.

As I mentioned in my article on Mastering Keybindings in Emacs, you can also repeat (and edit!) complex commands like query-replace-regexp by typing C-x M-: or C-x M-ESC.

  1. You’ve just made my day.

  2. jpkotta permalink

    I made this from an idea on an Emacs news group. The docstring explains what it is. I don’t use it too much yet, so there may be bugs. Hopefully the formatting doesn’t get messed up in this post.

  3. jsled permalink

    Also, “C-x (“, and the macro stuff for more complex sequences.

    • mickey permalink

      Hi. Yeah, but macros sort of deserve their own post given how complex a subject it is.

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