I just installed Spacemacs, mainly for its nifty defaults. One default I'm not so pleased about is that it puts tildes on empty lines in the file.

I've tried putting (setq vi-tilde-fringe nil) and (setq indicate-empty-lines nil) inside the dotspacemacs/user-config function, which seem to have no effect.

How can I get rid of all these messy tildes once and for all?

2 Answers 2



You can toggle it off with (spacemacs/toggle-vi-tilde-fringe-off), you can get the list of all toggles in helm-spacemacs accessible via SPC f e h or SPC h SPC in more recent versions. Every toggle in this list have 3 functions associated to them, if we take vi-tilde-fringe then the functions are:

  • spacemacs/toggle-vi-tilde-fringe (toggle the state on and off)
  • spacemacs/toggle-vi-tilde-fringe-on (force the toggle state to on)
  • spacemacs/toggle-vi-tilde-fringe-off (force the toggle state to off)

To get the name of the function associated to a key binding use SPC h d k (or C-h k) and type the key binding, with the vi-tilde-fringe example this is SPC h d k SPC T ~ (in most recent version) and you should get the function name.

Excluded packages

Another way to remove the tildes is to exclude the package vi-tilde-fringe from your configuration by adding vi-tilde-fringe to your dotfile variable dotspacemacs-excluded-packages. This will have the effect of completely removing the package and all its associated configuration from your Spacemacs.

Once again to get the package name you can try helm-spacemacs and type tilde in the helm buffer.


Here's a method that worked great for me:

M-x customize-group RET vi-tilde-fringe RET

which inserted:

 '(global-vi-tilde-fringe-mode nil)

in (custom-set-variables) in .spacemacs.

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