I can't set fill-column in reStructuredText mode hook:

(add-hook 'rst-mode-hook
      (setq auto-fill-mode 1)  
      (set-fill-column 60)))

While the auto-fill-mode works, the default fill-column is not changed, is there anything wrong with the code?

1 Answer 1


Two things.

  1. auto-fill-mode is a function rather than a variable, so do not try to setq it.
  2. It's not immediately obvious why set-fill-column isn't working, but instead, try setqing fill-column rather than using set-fill-column, which works for me.

So, for example:

(defun my-rst-hook ()
  (auto-fill-mode 1)
  (setq fill-column 60))

(add-hook 'rst-mode-hook #'my-rst-hook)
  • I have tried that earlier it doesn't work. Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 13:01
  • I'm guessing it's something in your init file, then. Try evaluating this code after running emacs with no init file (emacs -Q). If it works fine (it should), then the problem is something else in your init file.
    – Dan
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 13:04
  • Thanks - it does work as you suggested. Something wrong in my .emacs files, I'll have to comb it out. Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 13:17
  • I have (desktop-save-mode 1) in my .emacs, and I was testing by shutting down emacs and restarting it, which apparently does not trigger the hook for open files. But if the rst file is closed and reopen then there's no problem. Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 15:13

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