When I write a backquotedlist that starts with ,( emacs aligns the remaining items to the parenthesis and not to the comma; e.g.:

(defun kb-test1 ()

(defparameter *kb-test2*

I would expected it to be aligned as:

(defparameter *kb-test2*

When the first term does not start with ,@( or ,(; e.g.:

(defparameter *kb-test2*

The indentation is as I expect.

I experimented with enabling and disable various modes, I removed my .emacs and .emacs.d and customized my emacs step by step. Using the following steps I could reproduce the indent behaviour:

  • Remove .emacs and .emacs.d
  • Plain emacs v.26.1
    Indents as expected
  • Add https://melpa.org/packages to package-archives
    Indents as expected
  • Install the package slime (version slime-20181106.1113)
  • Quit emacs
  • Start emacs
  • Visit a fresh file ~/tmp/test.lisp
    This shows lisp-mode and slime-mode are active (e.g. my status line is U:--- test.lisp All L1 (Lisp Slime))
  • type: (defun f()enter `(,@(hello) enter (In reality I did not type a space after the backquote).
  • Now point is at (3,6) (as shown by column-number-mode) aligned with the second parenthesis instead of at (3,4) aligned with ,.

Is this how lisp code ought to be aligned? Is this a bug in Lisp-mode or one of the other minor modes? Or is it a matter of personal taste?

Is this caused by slime-mode or does it have some other cause?

How can I correct it? Should I send a bug report?

  • 3
    Have you tried disabling each of these minor modes to tell which one is the culprit?
    – user12563
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 16:28
  • 2
    It works as expected for me in Emacs 27.0.50, in Lisp-mode without any other minor modes enabled. Try starting emacs as emacs -Q and then opening your example file. If the problem persists in that case, something in your personal configuration is causing the problem (maybe one or the minor modes you're using).
    – Tyler
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 19:51
  • I get the behavior you expect in Emacs 24.5 as well, with Lisp mode and no other minor modes (I've never heard of Lispy or Lispyville). Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 22:58
  • With emacs -Q the indendation is as I expect. So it must be in personal settings or in some minor mode. I will search for the config that causes it and edit my question. Commented Oct 27, 2018 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


Control the indentation of backquoted lists via lisp-backquote-indentation

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.