My answer to "What are some must-have emacs additions" on

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This is my answer for What are some must-have additions to your .emacs file? on

Emacs 24 is already bundled with a package manager. So you can download and install the package without leaving Emacs. See for how to set up.

If you want to know more tips about specific plugin. Please search its name in Emacswiki.

1 Warning

I'm a web programmer, so my focus could be different from other emacs users.

2 third party plugins

2.1 company-mode

auto completing code, it requires less key typing than another emacs plugin auto-complete. Besides, it's actively maintained

2.2 yasnippet

insert template

2.3 js2-mode

javascript development, best of the best

2.4 evil-mode

vim simulator, I cannot live without it as a vi guy

2.5 evil-leader

evil's plugin, simple and powerful if you realize that ALL the hot keys (for example, I map "M-x" to ",mx") can be re-mapped with it

2.6 evil-matchit (written by me)

jump between tag pair, port of vim matchit

2.7 evil-nerd-commenter (written by me)

(un)comment by lines, port of nerd-comment

2.8 helm

hard to describe but powerful

2.9 web-mode

major-mode for all html templates

2.10 windows-numbering.el

sub-window navigation, best one. well, it occupies hotkey from M-1 to M-9, For normal emacs user this could be issue. but I'm evil guy;)

2.11 smex

you don't need remember hot key or command any more

3 plugins bundled with emacs 24

3.1 org-mode

gtd tool, it changed my life, as git,vim,emacs did to me ages ago.

3.2 winner-mode

undo sub window-layout

3.3 gnus

hate and love it. the UI is too geek. but has some killer feature, for example, forward email, send email quickly, attach file. but the point is I can use with other awesome plugins like yasnippet, company-mode,evil.

3.4 ido

similar to helm, my tip, you can tell helm when to use ido, when to use helm.

3.5 imenu

display list of function in current buffer, the point is it is programmable

3.6 flymake

real time syntax check

3.7 flyspell

best spell checker, if you know how to do programming for it

4 The last and best plugin


  • simple
  • no learning curve,
  • it's syntax ensure that its plugin developer are experienced developers who knows at least three programming languages.

5 Tip

If I find some awesome plugin, I will investigate the original author and make sure what other tools he/she uses or develops

For example, mooz maintains js2-mode, he also developed:

firefox is converted into Emacs, best one in similar tools (I tried 3 or 2 similar firefox/chrome addons before settled on keysnail)
A genius utility for shell operation. Make me ten times faster when working in bash shell. Without it, I will quit my programming career immediately.
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