I have mark-even-if-inactive set to t in my init.el; I've found that I that so (interative "r") works as expected; if that variable is nil, I get "The mark is not active now" when I try to run my interactive commands.

I can use Customize to set that variable -- but I'm also using Hyperbole, and when hyperbole-mode is loaded, it explicitly sets that variable to nil:

(defun hyperbole--enable-mode ()
  "Enable Hyperbole global minor mode."
  ;; Store the current value and set `mark-even-if-inactive' to nil so
  ;; can select delimited things if the region is not active when
  ;; hyperbole-mode is enabled.
  (setq hyperbole--mark-even-if-inactive mark-even-if-inactive
    mark-even-if-inactive nil)
; etc etc

When I later manually set mark-even-if-inactive to t, things seem fine, so I'd like to override that behavior of hyperbole--enable-mode. What's a good way to do that?

  • Your question isn't clear. Do you just want to reenable the setting after enabling hyperbole mode? If so, it sounds like Hyperbole likely won't work (it's a global minor mode, apparently). Or do you want to make your commands work as if that var were non-nil, even though Hyperbole mode is enabled (and so the variable is nil)? Just what is it that you want to do?
    – Drew
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 21:27
  • You can always edit the function (i.e. fork Hyperbole) and eliminate the setting. I have no idea what that will do to Hyperbole however.
    – NickD
    Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 1:23
  • I want to reenable the setting after enabling hyperbole mode. I'm sure they had some good reason for doing that, but I haven't observed any problems, and am willing to suffer the consequences. :) @NickD, yes, I can edit hyperbole.el, but I'm curious to know if there's a more elegant or idiomatic way.
    – Dan Drake
    Commented Jun 5, 2022 at 21:34
  • If you don't want to fork Hyperbole, then I would guess (I haven't actually tried it out) the simplest way is to undo the setting in the hyperbole-mode-hook. That would avoid the need to fork Hyperbole, but whether it's elegant or not is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I would rather fork Hyperbole, but that's just me. The best way however might be to ask the question in the upstream Hyperbole repo (assuming that there is one somewhere): if it gets changed there, then you don't have to worry about it ever again.
    – NickD
    Commented Jun 5, 2022 at 23:50
  • Thanks, that's what I was looking for. I posted your suggestion as the answer. I'll also look into posting an issue on the Hyperbole repo.
    – Dan Drake
    Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


As @NickD points out, probably one of the most idiomatic ways to do this is to use a mode hook, in particular hyperbole-mode-hook.

I added this to my initialization:

(add-hook 'hyperbole-mode-hook (lambda () (setq mark-even-if-inactive t)))

and that works.

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