I often create and save elaborate keyboard macros that I wish to use later, and hope to be prompted for the proper context to use them. I note that if I manually write a function to use as a command I can have a doc string

(defun my-handy-command ()
  "Some helpful guidance on when to use this"

However keyboard macros get saved as

(fset `my-named-kbd-macro

can I supply a docstring somehow. If I can't apply a docstring to fset what is the quickest and easiest way to go from a recorded keyboard macro to a usable emacs command with a docstring?

1 Answer 1


You can use defalias instead of fset. You use it like fset but it takes a docstring as third argument.


(defalias 'pastebelow
  (kmacro-lambda-form [?y ?y ?p] 0 "%d")
  "This is my keyboard macro.")

for Emacs version < 29


(defalias 'pastebelow
  (kmacro "y y p")
  "This is my keyboard macro.")

for Emacs version >= 29.

(y y p because I am an evil user).

Of course you can use M-x insert-kbd-macro after saving it with kmacro-name-last-macro (C-x C-k n).

  • defalias worked as advertised and I am using it now. I am however hesitant to accept your answer because I cannot reproduce your example. When I evaluate it I get an error on the line (kmacro "y y p") Debugger entered--Lisp error: (void-function kmacro) (kmacro "y y p") ... If you can clarify why that doesn't work for my version, or what I'm doing wrong or fix up your example, I will accept your answer. Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 18:23
  • Ah, I see. I am using Emacs 29, I did not know this worked differently in Emacs < 29. I have updated the answer. Thanks! Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 19:55

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