I'm in the process of "modularizing" my config file and ran into a problem involving elisp macros.

Because of the way in which I'm defining my configuration modules, I ended up with a bunch of code blocks as the following:

(with-eval-after-load (expand-file-name
    :infix "o"
    "e" '(ebib :which-key "ebib"))
  (some-function x y z))

Since I was repeting that a lot, I tried to define a macro to have more readable config files. It is my first time writing macros in elisp, so this was what I ended up with:

(defmacro j/con-load (module &rest funcs)
      "TODO doc goes here"
           (expand-file-name (concat ,module ".el" j/config-path))

I'm trying to call it with

(j/con-load "latex"
    :infix "o"
    "e" '(ebib :which-key "ebib"))
  (some-function x y z))

but it just doesn't work.

What am I doing wrong here?

2 Answers 2


M-x pp-macroexpand-last-sexp is your friend. It shows you the code that your macro is expanding into, which is:

     (concat "latex" ".el" j/config-path))

Which tells Emacs to evaluate the variable funcs (which probably won't exist) should it ever load a library </path/to/current/default-directory>/latex.el</value/of/j/config-path> (which seems rather unlikely to ever occur).

@q.undertow has covered the concat usage.

For the rest, you probably wanted to splice your &rest argument into the expanded macro with ,@funcs ?

See C-hig (elisp)Backquote for more about splicing.


For one thing (and I am not at all sure there isn't another problem), the call to expand-file-name in the macro body is scrambled. It should be

(expand-file-name (concat ,module ".el") j/config-path)

Also you may want to evaluate the concatentation at macro expansion time:

(expand-file-name ,(concat module ".el") j/config-path)

hope this helps

  • Thanks for pointing this out. As you said, there are more errors in my code, with this is one less thing to worry about. Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 17:37

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