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I'm looking for a way to set a variable that isn't buffer local in such a way that it will act like one.

It's possible to do it with file local variables, but I haven't found a way to set a variable in this way from elisp.

I don't want to rely on defining file local variables with comments inside of them.

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If you want to set a buffer-local value for a variable, use setq-local.

Depending on what you are actually trying to accomplish, you may also want to look at the help for make-local-variable and make-variable-buffer-local. These functions do not actually set a value, but arrange for a variable to have a buffer-local value when set.

  • Neither make-local-variable nor make-variable-buffer-local "set[s] a buffer-local value for a variable." – Drew Jan 20 '17 at 21:12

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