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I'm using the built-in table editor of org-mode.

As described in the documentation, I can use M-S-Down to insert a row above my current row. Using the universal argument, I can create my new line below my current line instead of above: C-u M-S-Down.

However, when trying to create multiple lines at the same time, it does not work: C-- C-5 M-S-Down: this only create one line.

How can I insert a specific number of line below my current line?

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AFAICS the function org-shiftmetadown is not implemented to handle the numeric prefix argument as a count of actions.

You can use a keyboard macro to use the prefix argument as a count for the number of repetitions.

One recipe which might do what you want goes like this:

C-x ( M-S-down C-x )

C-x C-k b F5

With the lines above F5 calls the macro (which does the M-S-down.)

The macro can handle numeric prefix arguments. E.g.

C-u 23 F5

calls the macro 23 times.

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    I don't think either C-x C-( or C-x C-) is bound by default. – Omar Jun 26 '19 at 5:08
  • Ah, a mistake! Thanks for pointing that out! I meant C-x ( and C-x ). – Marco Wahl Jun 26 '19 at 9:53
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    For a one-off, you might not want to waste a keybinding: in that case, skip the C-x C-k b F5 step and execute the macro 23 times with C-u 23 C-x e. Only the most recently defined macro can be executed with C-x e. – NickD Jun 26 '19 at 13:16
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    By the way, you might want to check out <f3> and <f4> instead of C-x ( and C-x ) (and <f4> can also replace C-x e). They're not just different bindings, they run slightly different commands you might prefer: <f3> starts recording or inserts the macro counter, <f4> stops recording or runs the last keyboard macro. – Omar Jun 26 '19 at 13:59
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For a handful of rows, I wouldn't bother: pressing M-S-<down> a few times is easy. If you are adding rows at the end of the table, pressing RET a bunch of times is even easier.

The next step up in complexity is Marco Wahl's macro-based solution.

The next step up is to write your own function which takes a numeric prefix and does the row insertion that many times:

(defun n-org-insert-row (n)
   (interactive "p")
   (dotimes (i n) (org-table-insert-row 'below)))

You call it like this: C-u 23 M-x n-org-insert-row. If you leave out the numeric prefix, n defaults to 1. You can also bind the function to a key but I won't go into that here: you can find out about it elsewhere on this site, e.g. here, although there is no substitute for the documentation.

In the next step up, you can write a generic "do this n times" function and tell it explicitly when you call it what "this" (the thing that you want to repeat) is:

(defun n-do-this (n this)
   (dotimes (i n) (funcall this)))

where this is a function of no arguments. You can do what you want by evaluating this form:

(n-do-this 23 (lambda () (org-table-insert-row 'below)))

where you pass in an anonymous function that inserts a row. You can then define n-org-insert-row like this:

(defun n-org-insert-row (n)
   (interactive "p")
   (n-do-this n (lambda () (org-table-insert-row 'below)))

This is a different implementation from the earlier one, but "it looks the same from the outside": it is called the same way and it behaves the same way.

The nice thing about n-do-this is that it can be asked to do anything n times, not just insert a row in a table.

I'll stop here, but as I hope you can see, the sky's the limit.

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