I am trying to edit a Swagger JSON file in emacs. It contains large nested JSON objects, so I want to collapse and hide some of them.

I have tried origami-mode, configured as origami-c-style-parser in origami-parser-alist, but it is quite unsophisticated (the word "parser" seems to be an overly grandiose word for what it does). It doesn't notice that Swagger URL parameter substrings like {id} are inside JSON strings, so it happily collapses them too when I ask it to collapse all nodes in the buffer except the current node. I don't want it to do that. I want a way of collapsing only JSON subtrees like objects, not substrings of JSON strings that happen to have curly braces in them. How can I achieve this goal?

  • I don't know this for sure, but it is quite possible that js2-mode has folding that can also fold JSON files.
    – wvxvw
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 5:55
  • Related: Code-folding extensions for json.
    – Dan
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 15:48
  • One approach is to convert your json into some similar tree format and operate on that. This can convert into xml github.com/hay/xml2json. Yaml would be another approach.
    – Att Righ
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 18:43

2 Answers 2


Emacs comes with hs-minor-mode which can be used selectively hide/show code and comment blocks in several languages, including JavaScript. By default this will let you hide and show JSON blocks delimited by '{' and '}' but it is easily modified to allow '[' and ']' as block delimeters as well. To do this we need to modify the js-mode entry in hs-special-modes-alist with something like:

(setcdr (assoc 'js-mode hs-special-modes-alist) '("[{[]" "[}\\]]" "/[*/]" nil))

You should then find that [...] blocks can be hidden and shown as well as {...} blocks.


My json-mode has a code folding feature which shouldn't try to fold things that look like Objects or Arrays inside of strings. It's not a mature major-mode, but it should be usable.

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