Most of auto pair packages provides that automatic insertion of closing parentheses (one of ), }, ].) if you type a opening parenthese.

However, what I want is when I type a closing pair, I want Emacs want to replace the closing character based on the context. For example (| is the point):


No matter which closing character (like one of ), ], or }) I typed, I want Emacs smartly insert ], ), ], and ) respectively.

Is there any minor mode to do that? (FYI, I need such a feature while I'm editing Scheme or Clojure source files)


After experimenting syntactic-close (provided by Manuel Uberti), I wanted to bind it to all of ), ], }, and >.

One minor update. It looks like that syntactic-close will not insert closing character if there is no matching opening one. And the set of closing characters varies depending on the major-mode. What I want it is to insert matching closing character if it found, and if not, I want it to insert the character that I typed. So I came up with the small wrapper like this:

(defun syntactic-close-or-self-insert (&optional arg)
  (interactive "P")
  (unless (call-interactively 'syntactic-close)
    (call-interactively 'self-insert-command nil
                        [(listify-key-sequence (this-command-keys))])))

(let ((mode-maps (list
  (dolist (map mode-maps)
    (define-key map [(?\))] 'syntactic-close-or-self-insert)
    (define-key map [(?\])] 'syntactic-close-or-self-insert)
    (define-key map [(?\})] 'syntactic-close-or-self-insert)
    (define-key map [(?\>)] 'syntactic-close-or-self-insert)))

It may not be optimal, but it does serve my purpose. Thanks Manuel, and if you have any more advice, I'll appreciate it.

1 Answer 1


You can try syntactic-close.

From the package README:

Insert closing delimiter char(s), i.e. parenthesis, bracket(s), brace(s) or whatever is needed.

That way closing may be done by just one convenient key.

I needed something similar to your requirement a while ago.

FWIW, I wrote about this package and how I configured it here:

(use-package syntactic-close            ; Automatically insert closing delimiter
  :ensure t
  :bind ("C-c x c" . syntactic-close))
  • You're welcome. You can accept the answer, if it solved your problem. Mar 11, 2018 at 5:40

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