I would like to config emacs to run c-c c-k command after edit text happen and delay 3 secs. if edit happen within 3 secs, then no need to run the command. if edit happened then after 3 secs not edit happen, I need to run c-c c-k command.

How can I write my init script to get such result?

2 Answers 2


The function for doing this is called run-with-idle-timer. From the help for that function:

(run-with-idle-timer SECS REPEAT FUNCTION &rest ARGS)

Perform an action the next time Emacs is idle for SECS seconds. The action is to call FUNCTION with arguments ARGS.

See the full help with C-h f run-with-idle-timer, and the relevant manual section is (elisp) Idle Timers.

For your issue, you probably want something like:

(run-with-idle-timer 3 t #'my-function)

Where my-function is the name of the function called by C-c C-k. By default, C-c C-k isn't bound to anything, so I don't know what this does on your Emacs, it must be a custom configuration you have added.

Note that this will run my-function once every time Emacs is idle for more than 3 seconds. You only want it to run when the buffer has been edited. You can accomplish this by writing a wrapper that only calls my-function when buffer-edited-p returns t:

(defun my-idle-function ()
  (if (buffer-edited-p) (my-function))) 

And then something like this:

(run-with-idle-timer 3 t #'my-idle-function)
  • Awesome, exactly what I want. I am using skewer-mode to edit javascript. I wish this take effect only for skewer mode. and how can I know which function c-c c-k called?
    – lucky1928
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 15:38
  • With a buffer in skewer-mode, say C-h c C-c C-k, or (which is the same thing) M-x describe-key-briefly RET C-c C-k.
    – NickD
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 19:03
  • You accepted this answer; if it works OK for you in casual usage, great! But idle timers are not per-buffer. If you see problems (e.g. your skewer function runs on whatever buffer happens to be current) I could post a more complicated but more reliable approach as another answer. Commented May 2, 2022 at 16:03

As I commented on the accepted answer, it might work fine for you in casual use -- in which case, that's great, and you can ignore this answer!

What I think you need to do, for it to be most reliable, is unfortunately a little more complicated: Use an after-change hook to detect edits, and have that set an idle timer (passing it the buffer to use).

;; The basic plan here:
;; 1. Use an after-change-hook, which is called only after the buffer
;; changes.
;; 2. That sets a 3 second timer, after which the C-c C-k skewer
;; command is called.

(defvar-local my/idle-timer nil
  "Buffer-local variable for idle timer.")

(defun my/skewer-after-change-function (_beg _end _len)
  "A value for `after-change-functions' hook."
  ;; Cancel any existing idle timer
  (when (timerp my/idle-timer)
    (cancel-timer my/idle-timer))
  ;; Set a fresh timer for 3 seconds from now, to run once only. If it
  ;; expires, it will call `my/run-skewer-function', passing the value
  ;; of `current-buffer' in effect right now.
  (setq my/idle-timer
        (run-with-idle-timer 3   ;seconds
                             nil ;no repeat

(defun my/run-skewer-function (buffer)
  "A function to be called from our idle timer.

Mainly it just checks the buffer is live, and makes it current before
calling the skewer command."
  (when (buffer-live-p buffer)
    (with-current-buffer buffer
      ;; Here call whatever command is bound to C-c C-k in skewer-mdoe
      (the-C-c-C-k-skewer-function)))) ;name TBD

(defun my/add-skewer-hook ()
  (add-hook 'after-change-functions
            t)) ;LOCAL is true; important

(add-hook 'skewer-mode #'my/add-skewer-hook)

Note: I named the variable and functions using a my/ prefix so that hopefully they won't collide with anything else in your init file or Emacs.

  • Many thanks, when I try it, I got a error: Error running timer `my/run-skewer-function': (void-function buffer-livep)
    – lucky1928
    Commented May 2, 2022 at 17:23
  • Sorry about that typo, it should be buffer-live-p; I'll update the code in the answer. Commented May 2, 2022 at 17:58
  • By the way, the provenance of this example code is part of my Racket Mode package. Although that's tested, it addresses some other concerns, so I tried to simplify and adapt it for this answer. Commented May 2, 2022 at 18:04

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