When I do bulk calculations in a scratch buffer, it is annoying to have to delete the actual expressions after they are evaluated (I want them to be deleted on evaluation).


(+ 2 2)

Pressing C-u C-x C-e gives:

(+ 2 2)4

What I want instead is only this (the expression has been removed):


Is there a command that I'm not aware of? I'm curious if there is an easy work around before I write something of my own.

2 Answers 2


Two possibilities that I am aware of.

  1. In the package crux https://github.com/bbatsov/crux there is a function crux-eval-and-replace which does exactly what you are asking for. If you don't want to use the whole package you can just take this function.
(defun crux-eval-and-replace ()
  "Replace the preceding sexp with its value."
  (let ((value (eval (elisp--preceding-sexp))))
    (insert (format "%S" value))))
  1. There is also the package lispy, see https://github.com/abo-abo/lispy that I like very much for editing lisp files. It has a function lispy-eval-and-replace which also does what you want but might be an overkill if you don't want to use the package.
  • it's funny, I pretty much collected my own crux over time. It could have saved me a whole lot of time.
    – A_P
    Feb 19, 2019 at 14:33

Try writing the expression in the minibuffer instead. Using eval-expression with the universal prefix argument inserts the result:

C-u M-: (+ 2 2) RET
  • Not related to the question. I do bulk calculation on thousands of lines in scratch buffer. Typing it out is not an option by any means.
    – A_P
    Feb 20, 2019 at 14:16

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