I'm new to emacs-lisp. I wrote a function that kills the buffer of my main work document work.org and opens specific project files.

(defun load-current-files ()
  (kill-buffer "work.org") 
  (find-file "~/file-1.txt")
  (find-file "~/file-2.txt")
  (find-file "~/file-3.txt"))

The function works perfectly when work.org is open. However, if I've already killed that buffer, the function, very naturally throws an error saying Lisp error: (error "No buffer named work.org").

That makes perfect sense. But how do I tell a defun to just keep chugging along even if it encounters an error? Can I wrap a command in an (ignore-errors) layer or something?

(ignore-errors (kill-buffer "work.org"))

Something like that?

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can use the macro ignore-errors, it is a wrap of the special form condition-case, use the latter if you want to handle that error.

ELisp Ref: Writing Code to Handle Errors or (info "(elisp) Handling Errors").

  • 4
    condition-case is not only for handling errors. It also lets you selectively ignore only particular errors. ignore-errors, on the other hand, ignores all errors. See also with-demoted-errors.
    – Drew
    Oct 9, 2015 at 18:22

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