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I want to create an overlay (or, to avoid X-Y problems, a multicolored, multilayered, visually distinct line at an arbitrary position that cannot be removed, like a page-break) that spans the entire "page", by which I mean the margins and buffer width, of zero width, and insertable anywhere.

I've created a sample function which does that (be sure to (require 'svg) if you want to test it)

(defun insert-svg-overlay ()
  (interactive)
(let*
    ((margin-pixel-width (* (frame-char-width) (car (window-margins))))
    (svg (svg-create margin-pixel-width 50))
    (svg2 (svg-create (window-body-width nil t) 50))
    (ov (make-overlay (point) (point))))
    (svg-rectangle svg 0 0
                           margin-pixel-width 50
                           :fill-color "red")
    (svg-rectangle svg2 0 0
                            (window-body-width nil t) 50
                            :fill-color "yellow")
  (overlay-put ov 'before-string
               (concat
               (propertize "x" 'display (svg-image svg2))
               (propertize "x" 'display
                           (list (list 'margin 'right-margin) (svg-image svg)))
               (propertize "x" 'display
                           (list (list 'margin 'left-margin) (svg-image svg)))))))

which, if you have margins set, will insert an (ugly-looking) overlay like so red-yellow line inserted in the middle of some code.

This does exactly what I want at the start of an "actual" line. However, I would like it to do the same thing at the start of a visual line. However, doing so yields (inserting before (svg-image svg)) same line, now with the yellow line offset from the rest

How do I "prevent" some of the overlay from going places it shouldn't? I have tried so many different combinations of before-string, after-string and plain inserting images, to no avail. There are two things that do work, but are undesirable in their own right.

  1. Make the middle rectangle 1 pixel shorter, by changing svg2 to (svg2 (svg-create (1- (window-body-width nil t) 50)) same line, now correct but with a 1 pixel gap between the middle yellow chunk and the right red chunk Undesirable for obvious reasons.
  2. Make the overlay occupy non-zero space. This allows you to change the region occupied by the overlay to the image/whatever, which somehow does work. Undesirable because this would remove the character(s) we want to have.

I feel like there is some combination of before-strings and after-strings and svg-order that will accomplish what I want, but I have had very little luck so far.

Somehow parts of the overlay get pushed to the next line, but why?

I am using svg's/overlays because I want to be able to draw in them/display multiple lines. This way of displaying in the margins comes from put-image.

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  • 1
    The people that can answer this are more likely to be found on the emacs-devel mailing list than here.
    – rpluim
    Jun 25 at 16:11
  • Thanks for the suggestion, I will try my luck there!
    – Wibbo
    Jun 28 at 12:35

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