Endless Parentheses

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New in Emacs 25.1: Round quotes in Help buffers

Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of this feature. Its implementation has been the most controversial addition to the upcoming Emacs release — to a comical degree. This post, however, is not about arguments or implementation, it’s about Emacs 25. And this little nugget is all set for the next release.

The feature is simple, next time you’re reading a docstring (maybe via C-h f or C-h v), instead of looking like this
help-buffer-grave-quote.png it’ll look like this
help-buffer-round-quote.png It’s a simple, but noticeable, improvement for user experience.

If you don’t like the change, it’s configurable via the new option: text-quoting-style.

Note that these quotes are introduced directly in the *Help* buffer. The function that does this conversion is substitute-command-keys, so you can use it if you’d like the same effect for other purposes. You should still use `grave-and-straight' quotes when writing docstrings for your defun.

On the other hand, if you need to write a straight quote that shouldn’t be converted to a round quote when it’s printed in the *Help* buffer, you’ll need to write \\= before it.

Tags: emacs-25, emacs,

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