I'm quite new to emacs and a lot of the documentation I'm finding online is going over my head a bit at the moment.

I've been using emacs as my git editor for a while now by mostly eye-balling reasonable line lengths but it's not at the point where I want to have line lengths taken care of for me. I'm not yet at the point of using emacs as my shell environment so I'm looking for a simple solution to simply handle the recommended line lengths (50 chars for the summary line, and 75 chars for all other lines)

I found this EmacsWiki page which explains that there's a log-edit.el bundled with emacs by default. I'd rather not pull in a large package like magit while I'm still getting to grips with things but I can't find any explanation of how to enable the git log editing mode with log-edit.el

My question is two fold, does log-edit.el enforce these recommended line lengths some how (some sort of colour change perhaps), and if so how would I enable it in my emacs config / git config so that it is used for editing git commits?

If log-edit doesn't have this capability, I'm open to further suggestions or I will take a look at getting started with magit. I'd just like to avoid overloading myself with too much to learn all at once.

1 Answer 1


magit is completely worth the effort, and you should start using it as soon as possible. ;)

That said, you can install the git-commit part of magit separately using MELPA (https://melpa.org/#/git-commit)

  • May as well bite the bullet then, I feel like I'm picking up JavaScript for the first time with all these modules and package managers haha. Thanks for the link to the git-commit part! Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 8:48
  • I just tried out MELPA and it was super simple, I've decided to go with git-commit first and then start with magit as soon as I've got to grips with general emacs usage which hopefully won't be long! Thanks for the suggestion about MELPA. Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 9:07
  • My pleasure! Have fun. There are a lot of great packages on MELPA. Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 14:14

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