My Setup

  • Emacs 28.1
  • Evil version 1.15.0
  • Gnome 42.4 wayland

Observed Behavior

  • In default emacs (GUI), with no init file, if you highlight a region with mouse 1 and then use a keyboard movement, the highlighted region disappears.

  • If you load evil and nothing else, then do the same, the region does not disappear and, in fact, will be extended as you move from the keyboard. In addition, the i command does not work to get into insert mode. This behavior is the same as it would be if you had used v to highlight the region instead of the mouse.

The latter behavior is problematic for my workflow because if I'm working in another window and click over to emacs, I often inadvertently highlight at least a little bit of text. I then get confused when I can't insert and there is a region following me around like I stepped on something sticky.

I'm having a hard time zeroing in on why this behavior occurs or finding a way to make the highlighted region behave the same as it would under non-evil Emacs. Do you know if this is a bug or an expected evil behavior? How would I go about changing it?

=== EDIT ===

I just tried this in gvim and the behavior is the same as the default behavior in evil. Evil considers deviation from the way things work in vim to be a bug, so my guess is this was implemented this way on purpose. I would still love to know how to un-implement it. Anyone who has another idea on where to look for the source of this will be a hero.

  • 1
    I am able to reproduce the behavior. I suspect a bad setting for the variable transient-mark-mode (which see). I'm not an evil user myself, but in my basic test, it looked like dragging the mouse invoked both evil-mouse-drag-region and mouse-set-region (which I learned via C-h k and then dragging to set a selection). I can't tell whether that is expected or not, but maybe it gives you (or someone else) a thread to pull.
    – nispio
    Oct 10, 2022 at 21:12

1 Answer 1


The evil folks have addressed this issue--gotta love the emacs community. You can now change the behavior so that text highlighted by the mouse will become unhighlighted when a keyboard command is issued. You need to put the following in your init

(setq evil-transient-mouse-selection t)

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