I've rebound some keys in god-mode so that S and R start a forward and backward incremental search and s and r repeat but never start incremental searches. This is the approximate division of labor between Vim's //? and n/N .

This has some behavior I like, namely that the previous incremental search query is available until I specifically replace it with a new one via S or R .

But, it leaves "stray highlighting" when I'm moving around via s and r. The stray highlighting seems to last indefinitely.

To reproduce the problem, run the .emacs file below, it will drop you into the scratch buffer with scratch-mode already activated.

  1. hit g < to navigate to the top of the buffer
  2. hit S + s + RET to start a forward incremental search. The cursor should now be immediately after This.
  3. hit s + s + s, then r + r + r moving forward three matches and then backward three matches.
  4. wait one second
  5. All of the s characters in the buffer are now highlighted with a greenish color behind them.

How do I clear the greenish color behind all the s characters without replacing the "current default isearch query"?

;; minimal init.el to represent problem.

      (defun isearch-repeat-forward-command ()

      (defun isearch-repeat-backward-command ()

      (require 'god-mode)

      (global-set-key (kbd "s-g") #'god-mode-all)

      (define-key god-local-mode-map (kbd "i") #'god-local-mode)
      (define-key god-local-mode-map (kbd "s") #'isearch-repeat-forward-command)
      (define-key god-local-mode-map (kbd "r") #'isearch-repeat-backward-command)
      (define-key god-local-mode-map (kbd "S") #'isearch-forward-regexp)
      (define-key god-local-mode-map (kbd "R") #'isearch-backward-regexp)

      (identity 1))

1 Answer 1


Didn't bother to follow your recipe, but you should be able to use M-: (lazy-highlight-cleanup) to remove all such highlighting. You can use M-: (lazy-highlight-cleanup t) to force removal, if necessary.

You can put that code in a command, if you like, and bind that to a key in isearch-mode-map or wherever.

Just to be sure you're aware of it: In Isearch you can use M-p and M-n, repeating as needed, to retrieve a previously used search string. That's what I do, instead of using multiple keys to initiate vs resume search, such as you're doing.

And if you use Isearch+ then you can also use M-TAB, C-M-i, or C-M-TAB to choose a previous search string using completion. This makes it easy and quick to pick up a particular search string among many that you've used.

(Isearch+ also lets you use M-= l during Isearch to toggle option `lazy-highlight-cleanup.)

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