I am trying to implement the following behavior: when hideshow minor mode is enabled and user start editing file (or alternatively pressed spacebar or enter key): automatically execute hs-show-all or just disable hs-minor-mode, - is there is a way to do that?

Idea is to use hideshow mode as some sort of navigation shortcut: on certain key execute hs-hide-all, then use arrow keys to navigate to desired portion of the document and automatically show all document when editing started. I will be happy to use other packages if similar functionality could be archived by other means. Thanks,

1 Answer 1


You could define the following function

(defun hs-show-all-on-editing ()
  (unless (member last-command-event '(up down left right))
    (remove-hook 'pre-command-hook #'hs-show-all-on-editing)))

and then advise hs-show-all to add this function to the pre-command-hook:

(advice-add 'hs-hide-all :after (lambda () (add-hook 'pre-command-hook #'hs-show-all-on-editing nil t)))

The logic in the function calls hs-show-all only when some other key than an arrow key is pressed, but you could add more 'keys' (that should not trigger hs-show-all) to the list.

Of course, this only works if you use hs-hide-all to hide the blocks (but you can always advise more functions).

If you'd like to use SPC or RET to trigger hs-show-all without inserting, then you could conditionally remove the inserted char using the post-command-hook:

(defun hs-show-delete-backward-char ()
  (when (memq last-command-event '(13 32))
    (delete-backward-char 1)
    (remove-hook 'post-command-hook #'hs-show-all-on-editing)))

(advice-add 'hs-hide-all :after (lambda () (add-hook 'post-command-hook #'hs-show-delete-backward-char nil t)))

Be aware that you should call hs-hide-all via a shortcut, because if you call it via M-x (which requires pressing RET) then this hook function will run directly after running hs-hide-all.

This is the most pragmatic solution. A better solution might be implemented by defining a minor mode, but this would require fully rewriting this answer, and as long as thing work fine, they work fine.

Although this idea does not seem bad at all, personally I am mostly using imenu (with helm/counsel/consult, i.e. SPC j i in Spacemacs) and 'evil marks' for quick navigation.

  • Fantastic, this is exactly what i was looking for @dalanicolai ! - I have tried this solution but getting the following error: condition-case: Invalid function: (hs-show-all-on-editing t), - thoughts?
    – WorkPerNap
    Nov 8, 2022 at 19:08
  • Also, thank you for imenu tip, - i was not aware of this functionality, looking it up now...
    – WorkPerNap
    Nov 8, 2022 at 19:09
  • ok, looks like using (advice-add 'hs-hide-all :after '(lambda () (add-hook 'pre-command-hook #'hs-show-all-on-editing))) fix the error. However there is one nuance: pressing space/enter still edit the text. So i tried to insert undo into hs-show-all-on-editing but this does not seems to work...
    – WorkPerNap
    Nov 8, 2022 at 19:26
  • Ah sorry, yeah the advice-add definitely expects a function, don't know why I forgot to make it a lambda (lambda's are self-quoting b.t.w.). I thought using SPC or RET for executing hs-show-all was an 'alternative'. Anyway, I have 'extended' the answer. Nov 9, 2022 at 0:30
  • Awesome - thank you very much @dalanicolai - this was very useful and educational! I have tried to replace (delete-backward-char 1) with (undo) but oddly enough while working this produced message Error in post-command-hook (hs-show-delete-backward-char): (user-error "No further undo information") - any idea why? Thanks,
    – WorkPerNap
    Nov 9, 2022 at 22:48

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