I just upgraded to emacs 26.2 using homebrew on my MAC (update: I had actually done a global "brew update" and assumed it had also updated emacs) and now kill-rectangle with C-x r k no longer works, and instead gives me an error:

Cannot open load file: No such file or directory, rect 

Any idea how I can get it back as it is a super useful feature...

  • rect is part of Emacs, so the fact that your computer can't see it suggests that there was either an error in installation, or else there were additional things you needed to install. That's probably more of a homebrew issue than an Emacs issue per se, but maybe some mac users can explain better.
    – Dan
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 16:26
  • Two things to try: C-h k C-x r k to see what command that key chord is running. (For me I get C-x r k runs the command kill-rectangle). Then try C-h f kill-rectangle to see the documentation for that command, which should tell you what the associated keybinding is.
    – MTS
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 18:22
  • Can you reproduce the problem with emacs -Q?
    – Stefan
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


Comments on the question post made me understand that the rect library was missing. I looked into brew and tried a

brew upgrade emacs 

and surprise surprise it told me that emacs was not installed, so it seems that my emacs was a default "build in" prior to me switching to use homebrew and my global brew upgrade command had not actually upgraded emacs but instead had somehow messed up the syncing of library versions.

brew install emacs 

installed v26.3 and was all I needed to put things right.

  • 1
    This one is kind of on the fence about whether it is about Emacs per se or about the Mac, but it seems like this could be something that other Emacs users will run into. I'm inclined to say keep the question and answer post. Go ahead and accept your own answer as soon as the system lets you.
    – Dan
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 19:09
  • okay and thanks for your improvements with the edits and help with the question Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 20:25

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