## Monday, March 11, 2013

### Automatic bookmarking of locations in Emacs

One of the things I find myself doing over and again in Emacs is returning to the last place I was editing a file. Sometimes that's because I've killed a buffer before I should have done (thinking I was finished), sometimes it's because I've exited Emacs and sometimes it's because I simply return to something a day or two later.

Since it was incredibly annoying to have to search for the last place I was working I created a simple system in Emacs that automatically remembers where I was and then lets me jump there by hitting C-l (obviously you can choose whatever key binding you like, I choose that because I never use C-l for its real purpose).

The automatic bookmarking works by using three Emacs hooks: when kill-buffer-hook or after-save-hook are called it records the current line number of the buffer in an internal hash table; when kill-emacs-hook is called it makes sure that the line number in each current buffer is saved and serializes the hash table to ~/.emacs.d/last-location.

There are probably lots of improvements wizard elisp hackers can make, but here's what works for me (you need my-emacs-d to be the path to your .emacs.d directory):

PS As a commenter points out there's already saveplace.el that I had failed to find before writing my own.

If you enjoyed this blog post, you might enjoy my travel book for people interested in science and technology: The Geek Atlas. Signed copies of The Geek Atlas are available.

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