When cursor on one quote symbol, how to jump to the pairing quote?

  • 1
    I don't have Emacs now to try, but I'd imagine skip-syntax-forward would do that.
    – wvxvw
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 7:17
  • 1
    I tried (skip-syntax-forward "^\"") which can jump to the next double quote symbol, but it doesn't skip escaped symbol, e.g., "string \" cannot be skipped?".
    – AhLeung
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 6:10

3 Answers 3


M-C-f (or M-C-right) bound to forward-sexp should do that.

I suggest you try all well-known motion commands with the prefix M-C- instead of C-.

  • M-C-b (or M-C-left) gives backward-sexp
  • M-C-u (or M-C-up) gives backward-up-list
  • M-C-n (or M-C-down) gives forward-list
  • 1
    You should also mention backward-sexp bound to M-C-b.
    – Timm
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 10:01
  • @Timm I thought it would be rather obvious that one tries the motion commands with prefix M-C instead of C- if one knows M-C-f. Okay -- I will mention it in the answer.
    – Tobias
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 10:04
  • 1
    It seems that forward-sexp and backward-sexp stop at whitespaces inside a quoted string?
    – AhLeung
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 6:14

I always have trouble remembering the bindings for forward-sexp and backward-sexp, and I wanted something that worked more like % does in Vim's command mode. At some point, I added this to my config (the docstring says parens but it works for any of sort of bracket or quote), and now I'm satisfied:

;;;; originally ganked from <http://elfs.livejournal.com/1216037.html>
(defun genehack/paren-bounce ()
  "Bounce from one paren to the matching paren."
  (let ((prev-char (char-to-string (preceding-char)))
        (next-char (char-to-string (following-char))))
    (cond ((string-match "[[{(<\"']" next-char) (forward-sexp 1))
          ((string-match "[\]})>\"']" prev-char) (backward-sexp 1))
          (t (error "%s" "Not an expression boundary.")))))

;;;; bindings
(global-set-key (kbd "C-%")        'genehack/paren-bounce)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-5")        'genehack/paren-bounce)

I suggest using smartparens package for all such purposes. Short introduction is here: https://ebzzry.io/en/emacs-pairs/ .

  • 1
    Please provide a complete answer in your post. Link-only responses are okay for comments, but not for answers.
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 14:06
  • sp-beginning-of-sexp and sp-end-of-sexp are very close to what I want. I hope that they can be combined into one function (e.g., sp-matching-sexp) so that I only need to remember one keybinding. Maybe I will try to write an elisp function. Let me know if anyone did that before. Thanks.
    – AhLeung
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 6:18
  • ebzzry.io/en/emacs-pairs/#keys ("C-M-f" . sp-forward-sexp) ("C-M-b" . sp-backward-sexp) But you can set it different
    – Victor
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 8:51

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