Some code editors such as eclipse automatically form neat blocks when you start typing a multi-line comment:

enter image description here

Is there some package or another way to do this in emacs too?

Edit: To clarify: I do not want a key-combination that inserts a comment block. I want a comment block to be automatically created when I press RET after /*.

  • Did you check this similar question? stackoverflow.com/a/6578421/4780877
    – Emacs User
    Aug 7, 2015 at 17:34
  • @EmacsUser: Yeah. But that's not what I want. I don't want just a snippet or the feature to comment an already written region.
    – Geier
    Aug 7, 2015 at 17:44
  • See the manual for Multiple Lines of Comments.
    – Dan
    Aug 7, 2015 at 18:04
  • @Dan: That's pretty close, but it does not automatically insert the closing */
    – Geier
    Aug 7, 2015 at 18:45
  • 2
    @Name The * signs are not strictly required, but nice to have.
    – Geier
    Aug 7, 2015 at 21:18

1 Answer 1


The below code works fine from my brief testing in a c-mode buffer:

  • After typing /*, hit M-j, the default binding for indent-new-comment-line (and the default binding for c-indent-new-comment-line in c-mode). If it is the first comment line the closing closing characters */ will be auto-inserted.
  • Hitting M-j more times with insert more comment lines with the * prefix. This is the in-built behavior of c-indent-new-comment-line/indent-new-comment-line functions. Check out the Multiple lines of comments documentation.
  • An extra nugget in the below code ensures that there is at least one space between the * on each comment line and the comment.
(defun my-prettify-c-block-comment (orig-fun &rest args)
  (let* ((first-comment-line (looking-back "/\\*\\s-*.*"))
         (star-col-num (when first-comment-line
                           (re-search-backward "/\\*")
                           (1+ (current-column))))))
    (apply orig-fun args)
    (when first-comment-line
        (dotimes (cnt star-col-num)
          (insert " "))
        (move-to-column star-col-num)
        (insert "*/"))
      (move-to-column star-col-num) ; comment this line if using bsd style
      (insert "*") ; comment this line if using bsd style
  ;; Ensure one space between the asterisk and the comment
  (when (not (looking-back " "))
    (insert " ")))
(advice-add 'c-indent-new-comment-line :around #'my-prettify-c-block-comment)
;; (advice-remove 'c-indent-new-comment-line #'my-prettify-c-block-comment)

For instance, after evaluating the above code, I get the below on typing: /* M-j First comment line M-j Second comment line. The ▮ indicates the cursor location at the end of typing.

 * First comment line
 * Second comment line▮

Testing offset comment block ..

With cursor after the semicolon, typing: /* M-j Test offset comment gives the below. The ▮ indicates the cursor location at the end of typing.

main() {
  printf("Hello World"); /*
                          * Test offset comment▮  
  • Thanks! That works, but if I have (setq c-default-style "bsd" c-basic-offset 4) in my init.el, this happens: i.imgur.com/KMLx6Ll.gif Any idea?
    – Geier
    Aug 10, 2015 at 17:27
  • 1
    Removing (move-to-column star-col-num) (insert "*") from the above solution will fix that for you. I don't code in C, so I haven't investigated what variables are set by "bsd" style. Aug 10, 2015 at 18:06
  • Using this code with Dafny mode from github.com/boogie-org/boogie-friends, I get ` /*` for each newline rather than ` *`.
    – JAB
    May 22, 2017 at 22:59

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