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This page last modified: Jun 01 2007
title:Installing xemacs, xemacs highlight (hilite) zmacs-regions
description:Installing xemacs, xemacs highlight (hilite) zmacs-regions

By defaults xemacs uses a features called zmacs-regions. At first this
looks clever since it highlights text after C-space as you move the
cursor. However, it turns out that it breaks the mark-search-copy of
emacs. If you mark, move the cursor, and then copy things are
ok. However, if you try to mark, search, then copy it doesn't
work. The region between the mark the the current cursor location (at
the search result) is not highlighted.

The solution is simple (but frustrating to find since how the heck
would you know that highlighting is called "zmacs-regions"?). Add the
following lines to your .xemacs/init.el file:

;; Disable the nasty zmacs region highlighting in xemacs. Having it on
;; breaks mark-search-cut behavior. 
(setq zmacs-regions nil)

xemacs under Fedora Core needs an extra package if you want to use the
html-mode. The Yum package name is:


Too bad it is 16Mb just to get one mode.

The default key binding in Xemacs of M-| is 

and not indent-region as any sane person would expect (as is the
standard in real emacs).

I just noticed that:

a) you can select text in the Xemacs mini-buffer in full X windows

b) Xemacs ignores saved custom colors in -nw (non windowing) mode.

You'll be asking why I used Xemacs if I don't like it. The html-mode
indentation in normal Emacs is broken. The only thing I use Xemacs for
is editing HTML (something I try to avoid since HTML is best generated
by a script from a template).

To change the default grey background, you want to change the Custom,
Faces, Default. Remember to save.

Rumor is that the other way of doing this doesn't save the setting.