I installed column-marker.el. I like the highlighting style better than fci-mode. Unfortunately, column-marker does not highlight bits of the window where the actual line is not 80 chars or more (or whatever its set to). Can this be fixed, so that there's a continuous highlighted strip at column 80? I saw that this issue used to exist in fci-mode, but was fixed. I didn't investigate carefully.

I suppose it's possible to configure fci-mode to display like column-marker, but I haven't investigated this carefully either.

  • 1
    Perhaps, but a screen-shot sure would help. I would probably use the libraries by Drew instead though (col-highlight.el / crosshairs.el) and vline.el by Taiki Sugawara. I haven't studied column-marker.el, but if it doesn't use 'after-string overlays, then a marker will not appear if there is no text underneath -- i.e., there needs to be a floating overlay out there in no-man/woman's land to the right of the text.
    – lawlist
    Jul 29, 2015 at 19:07
  • If the :background color of the vertical ruler is of particular interest to the original poster, then fci-mode can be modified -- take a look at fci-make-rule-string (which uses only :foreground).
    – lawlist
    Jul 29, 2015 at 19:18
  • column-marked doesn't seem to use overlays at all, but font-lock, so I guess I'm stuck with trying your other suggestion (eventually). Jul 29, 2015 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


Library vline.el (vline.el) does what you're requesting.

  • If you want the current column to be highlighted as you move around, then turn on vline-mode. (C-u turns it off.) Use vline-global-mode to do this everywhere.

  • If you instead want a particular column to be highlighted and stay highlighted then use function (not command) vline-show. (Function vline-clear clears it.)

  • See option vline-style for different ways to highlight.

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