Let's say I'm editing my config file and there is a very long string like this:

(setq my-string "very\nlong\nstring [...] \"hello world\"")

How do edit the string without the escape characters (and maybe in a different mode) and than save the result back in the config file with the escape characters?

1 Answer 1


You can use the package string-edit for that purpose.

Essentially, it does exactly what you want: simply call string-edit-at-point to edit the string at point, then C-c C-c to return to the original buffer.

The documentation on github includes a demonstration (if the link appears to be dead, please see the github page directly).

  • Your demonstration link goes to a parked domain.
    – Geremia
    Commented Nov 8, 2015 at 6:32
  • Apparently the link on the github page was changed, I updated the answer.
    – T. Verron
    Commented Nov 8, 2015 at 12:57

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