(I am using Aquamacs 3.5 which is based on GNU Emacs, in case this matters.)

While searching (isearch-forward) in a buffer it often happens that I need to see some lines before/after the matched string. It happens regularly (as shown in the screenshot below) that the matched string appears at the bottom of the buffer. In that case I was searching for [h!] and there is not even one line showing below the matched line.

enter image description here

I tried to customise the variable list-matching-lines-default-context-lines without success. In the screenshot above list-matching-lines-default-context-lines was set to 5. I suspect that isearch does not pay attention to that variable.

list-matching-lines-default-context-lines is a variable defined in ‘replace.el’.
Its value is 5
Original value was 0

Default number of context lines included around ‘list-matching-lines’ matches.
A negative number means to include that many lines before the match.
A positive number means to include that many lines both before and after.

Is there a variable I can set to get the desired behaviour?

1 Answer 1


You can just use C-l at any time during Isearch, to center the current search hit vertically in the window.

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