This is a really nice feature, but it only displays when inserting a paren, not when changing to a cursor position. Is there an interactive command that I can call to display this? Can I configure it to show up on cursor move?

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2 Answers 2


That message is printed when the beginning of the sexp is not visible in the window; otherwise, the opening paren is temporarily highlighted.

This behavior is implemented in simple.el and is not associated with any minor mode. It is implemented using a hook that runs when a character is inserted.

The actual blinking/message comes from command blink-matching-open, which you can call yourself. For example you could start an idle-timer that will call this command whenever you pause for a short time on a closing paren. This is the way that the built-in show-paren-mode works.

(defvar match-paren--idle-timer nil)
(defvar match-paren--delay 0.5)
(setq match-paren--idle-timer (run-with-idle-timer match-paren--delay t #'blink-matching-open))
  • I want this too, but how do I make it not temporary? I.e. I want the message to stay in the minibuffer till the cursor is moved. Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 6:27

You can use M-x blink-matching-open RET to display the message if you're right after a paren. To do it more "on the fly" you might like to try M-x show-paren-mode, tho it doesn't actually give you this message.

Otherwise, you could use something like

(add-hook 'post-command-hook
          (lambda ()
            (if (and (not (bobp))
                     (eq ?\) (char-syntax (char-before))))

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