Before Emacs 24.4, indentation in c-mode happened after typing things like ;, , and so on and I like this behavior.

But in Emacs 24.4, c-mode also indents on RET. This causes a lot of problems for me because if I want to insert a blank line, I need to press RET and then delete any spaces or tabs that electric- inserts.

So I would like to disable indent on RET, but keep all other electric-indent functionality, like indent on ;.

How can I achieve this?

I tried calling (electric-indent-local-mode -1) in c-mode hooks, but this disabled not only indent on RET, but also indent on ;, , and so on.

  • FWIW, the way I do it is that I hit RET either at the beginning of the next line, or at the of the previous line, depending on whether I just want to insert a blank line, or intend to actualy type text after thi RET.
    – Stefan
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 14:22
  • FWIW, the news for release 24.4 notes that electric-indent-mode is now enabled by default; RET now inserts a newline and indents, while C-j inserts a newline but does not indent (basically swapping the functionality of RET and C-j from previous versions).
    – Dan
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 14:36

3 Answers 3


You could rebind RET to electric-indent-just-newline like this:

(add-hook 'c-mode-hook
          (lambda() (local-set-key (kbd "<RET>") 'electric-indent-just-newline)))
  • Please don't quote your lambdas.
    – Stefan
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 16:13
  • @Stefan: Thanks! I removed the redundant quote.
    – paprika
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 17:48

You want to do:

 (add-hook 'c-mode-hook
           (lambda ()
             (setq-local electric-indent-chars
                         (remq ?\n electric-indent-chars))))
  • Thanks, this looks more right solution, then rebinding RET.
    – fghj
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 15:53

Can't you simply use C-j to insert empty lines on Emacs 24.4?

  • 1
    No, pressing enter is conditioned reflex, why I should change my head firmware, instead of computer firmware
    – fghj
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 10:52
  • Fortunately you're not a computer, I believe. :) Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 11:31
  • 1
    @mdallastella: this response would probably be better as a comment on the question rather than an answer to it.
    – Dan
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 14:41
  • Drat: and by "response," I mean your original answer, not your commented response to OP's comment.
    – Dan
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 14:49
  • You're right, but I thought the op didn't know about C-j. Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 16:05

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