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I'm tired of typing #+begin_quote and the other one manually (couldn't type it, too tired). Is there a way to surround a region with this? I can't help but feel like there must already be a function for it that I just have to bind to some keystroke.

I'm a new emacs (spacemacs) user, using the vim keybindings, if that makes any difference.

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Not sure if the same works on spacemacs, but it's worth trying: there is a set of predefined abbrevs in org-mode where you type

<q<TAB>

i.e. the '<' char, the q char and the TAB char which is expanded to

#+BEGIN_QUOTE

#+END_QUOTE

with the cursor left in between the two lines. For other abbreviations like this, check out the documentation of the variable org-structure-template-alist. The documentation of this feature can be found here.

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    Sweet, that's just the kind of thing I was looking for. It'd be nicer if it handled ranges, that is, be able to add that around a selected passage, but it works for now. – Jonathan May 1 '17 at 14:33
  • Unfortunately, it does not handle a region AFAICT. When I want to surround a region, I use this mechanism to insert an empty template just before the region and then move the #+END part to the end of the region manually, by killing and yanking. – NickD May 2 '17 at 20:57

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