For example I have this text in a buffer:


and I want it displayed with some spacing above the bbb line:



Is there a face or something which I could add to the bbb line, so it has some margin above it (without modyfing the buffer contents, so not with a newline like here, which I added only for demonstration purposes).

  • Not an ideal solution, but the first thing that comes to mind is using an overlay or text property with an :overline property and set the thickness to your desire and make the color be the same as the background so that it is basically invisible to the naked eye. If there is a project more specific that you wish to accomplish, then forum participants may have a more comprehensive solution to suggest if you provide some additional details .... – lawlist Jan 15 '20 at 17:18
  • Thanks, overline may work, though in my emacs the docs only says that I can set the color. Is the thickness an emacs 27 feature? – Tom Jan 15 '20 at 17:29
  • Hmmm ... I am having trouble getting :overline to behave like :underline in terms of setting color and thickness and style. If I am able to come up with a working example, I'll post a follow-up comment. – lawlist Jan 15 '20 at 18:12
  • Well, underline can work too, I guess, if it works for the line above. The point is to have some spacing between the two lines, so it doesn't really matter if it's a top margin or a bottom margin for the upper row. – Tom Jan 15 '20 at 18:42
  • Sorry ... according to the accepted answer in the following thread, Emacs does not permit underline thickness adjustment: emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/37813/… – lawlist Jan 15 '20 at 19:04

I found a solution which is bit hackish, but not too much. I find the first space in the line and set it to a larger height. The line in my case always have a space somewhere (and it's generally true usually), the bigger height space forces the line height to be bigger which is effectively a top margin:

(let ((pos (1- (save-excursion (beginning-of-line) (search-forward " ")))))
    (put-text-property pos (1+ pos) 'display '(height 1.5)))

In the comments @rpluim suggested an even simpler alternative: putting the text property on the newline, but note that this method does not work well if the line is long and spans multiple visual lines.

(put-text-property (line-end-position) (1+ (line-end-position)) 'display '(height 1.5))
  • 1
    I think you'd be better off putting the line-spacing or line-height property on the newline for the relevant lines. – rpluim Jan 16 '20 at 10:52
  • Good idea, that works too. – Tom Jan 16 '20 at 12:17
  • The newline method does not work well in practice, because I use the margin to make some files with long lines more readable (one physical line spans multiple visual lines), and if you put the line-height setting to the newline then the margin appears above the last virtual screen line of the physical line which is not good. If I put the height on the first space in the line then the first visual line always has the margin, even if the line spans multiple visual lines. – Tom Jan 16 '20 at 15:53

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