Is it possible to have a global prettify-symbols-alist that other modes add to? A lot of major modes override prettify-symbols-alist instead of pushing into it. One solution I thought of is to push the global entries in a hook that runs after the buffer and its mode have initialized. I don't know of such a hook, unfortunately.

  • Why do you want to do something like that? Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 6:45
  • after-change-major-mode-hook is exactly the hook you are looking for. Globalized modes also act there, so if you needed to do this before global-prettify-symbols-mode has enabled its buffer-local mode (which I think you probably do, although I haven't tested), then you would want to add to the hook after enabling that global mode (or otherwise manipulate the order).
    – phils
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 5:18

1 Answer 1


Modes usually inherit from each other. For example, java-mode inherits from prog-mode which inherits from fundamental-mode. Similarly, many modes inherit from special-mode. If you add a function to both fundamental-mode-hook and special-mode-hook, you should already cover many major modes.

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