You can place a pointer on a number, like 1, and increment it to 2. There are many alternatives on this. See also the Emacs Wiki:


7 alternatives to increment a number under the pointer! But there is a thing that I still miss. In Vim, you can increment the number/character under the pointer whether it's a character or a number.

Incrementing an A turns into a B.

Incrementing a 1 turns into a 2.

Emacs seems be to able to increment numbers only, from what I found on Emacs Wiki. Is there any way to dinstinct characters from numbers and increment them accordingly?


Characters are numbers (non-negative integers under some limit), in Emacs. If you want to increment a single character, including a digit character, then just increment it as a character:

(defun increment-char-at-point ()
  "Increment number or character at point."
  (condition-case nil
        (let ((chr  (1+ (char-after))))
          (unless (characterp chr) (error "Cannot increment char by one"))
          (delete-char 1)
          (insert chr)))
    (error (error "No character at point"))))

But if you want to increment either a sequence of digits (a numeral) or a single character, then use something like this:

(defun increment-number-or-char-at-point ()
  "Increment number or character at point."
  (let ((nump  nil))
      (skip-chars-backward "0123456789")
      (when (looking-at "[0123456789]+")
        (replace-match (number-to-string (1+ (string-to-number (match-string 0)))))
        (setq nump  t)))
    (unless nump
        (condition-case nil
            (let ((chr  (1+ (char-after))))
              (unless (characterp chr) (error "Cannot increment char by one"))
              (delete-char 1)
              (insert chr))
          (error (error "No character at point")))))))

If you want point to advance after the command, remove the uses of save-excursion.

The code inside the first save-excursion here is from the first increment-number-at-point definition at the wiki page you referenced. Choose different increment-number code for that if you prefer. Note that the increment-number code shown here takes no account of decimal or exponential format, or other bases besides base 10.

  • Great. It worked fine, and your posts gives me a valuable lesson into the inner workings of Emacs Lisp. I really deeply appreciate your contributions on this awesome site. – ReneFroger Feb 22 '16 at 12:31
(defun increment-number-at-point ()
  "increnment-number automatically search-forward to get integer in current  line"
  (skip-chars-backward "0-9")
  (or (search-forward-regexp "[0-9]+"))  
  (replace-match (number-to-string
                  (1+ (string-to-number
                       (match-string 0))))))

if you want to increment a number in current line and you don't want to move your cursor to this number, this function will help you.

It automatically search-forward about number and move cursor to it and increment numbers on it.

  • I didn't expect to get any addition on this. Thanks for that! – ReneFroger May 19 '18 at 21:08

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