Most of the time my echo area sits empty while the modeline of each of my windows displays plenty of redundant redundant information (current time, system load, and various other buffer-independent pieces of information).

Can I display the current time (right-aligned) in the echo area (whenever it is not in use?)


1 Answer 1


You can use the minibuffer-line package from GNU ELPA for this.

(require 'minibuffer-line)
(setq minibuffer-line-format '((:eval
                                (let ((time-string (format-time-string "%l:%M %b %d %a")))
                                   (make-string (- (frame-text-cols)
                                                   (string-width time-string)) ? )
  • Thanks! That package seems to work by running a timer and updating the echo area every 60 seconds. This means that when a message is displayed in the echo area, it takes 60 seconds for the clock to come back... I guess I could reduce the timer delay, but that doesn't sound optimal.
    – Clément
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 22:45
  • The clock comes back for me as soon as the echo area is not supposed to show anything else. I have been using this package ever since it was published; never needed to wait for the time to show up again. Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 22:53
  • @Clément I believe that the update happens every minute in the *Minibuf-0* buffer. And that buffer is displayed automatically in the echo area as soon as nothing is displayed in that area. Reference: C-h i g (elisp) Intro to Minibuffers Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 22:59
  • I imagine it's clashing with eldoc-mode then? In a lisp buffer, moving the point onto (defun and back into a blank area hides the eldoc message, but then I have to wait until a full minute has elapsed before the minibuffer-line text comes back. OOTH, moving the point with the mouse does seem to work.
    – Clément
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 23:48
  • @Clément Now that you mention it, I see that too. I never paid that close attention to it. Switching buffer also brings back the minibuffer-line text. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 0:00

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