In the answer to a question on Quora, Gilles Castel wrote an answer highlighting the power of vim. The Question was:

How would you write a C program to print 1 to 100 without loop, recursion, or goto?

Here is the link to his Answer

How would one go about implementing the same in Emacs?

  • 4
    Why? What are you trying to do? What's the real question or use case? How will this question and its answer help Emacs users, including Emacs-Lisp programmers?
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 14:41

3 Answers 3


Emacs has keyboard macros with counter support. The gist of the solution would be (assuming default key bindings):

  • F3 to start recording a macro
  • Type printf("%d", "
  • F3 to insert the macro counter
  • Type the rest of the line, ");
  • F4 to end recording the macro
  • Use F4 with a prefix to run the macro n times, e.g. C-u 1 0 0 F4.

If you want to play editor golf and compare with that vim solution, I think the equivalent sequence would be this:

#include <stdio.h><RET>
int main(){<RET>
<F3>printf("%d ", <F3>);<RET>
<F4><C-p><C-S-backspace><C-u>100<F4>return 0;}
#include <stdio.h>
void main() { puts ("1 to 100"); }

You can use the command tiny-expand from the package tiny on ELPA.

Enter the following text and call the command (I like to bind it to C-o):

m1\n10|printf ("%%d ", %d);

The resulting buffer contents:

printf ("%d ", 1);
printf ("%d ", 2);
printf ("%d ", 3);
printf ("%d ", 4);
printf ("%d ", 5);
printf ("%d ", 6);
printf ("%d ", 7);
printf ("%d ", 8);
printf ("%d ", 9);
printf ("%d ", 10);

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