I want to create a snippet, which does the following: When I write . foo it creates A.B while the cursor is in front of B.

I only found ways to insert text after the key and to delete text before, but not to insert text before the key. I suspect this can be done by some Emacs lisp, similarly to deleting characters in front, but I failed to find out how. How can I obtain the described behavior?

The reason I want this is, because I want to create a snippet, which puts an expression into LaTex math mode, i.e. I write x and want it to be put into math mode \(x\) by the snippet.
The goal is to then execute other context-sensitive (i.e. only working in math mode) manipulations of the character inside the snipped. For example, when I type x⃗, then the snipped should turn it into \(\vec{x}\). In this case ⃗ is the key of the snipped. I already have a snipped which turns x⃗ into \vec{x}, and I only want it to also put it into maths mode. This is the reason, why I want a technique to put a x into \(x\) because my hope is, that then I am able to combine this with the snipped I already have to get the desired result.

  • If you don't mind selecting region, there is another small template package TempEl that can wrap region and there are also general templates for latex-mode.
    – roomworoof
    Jun 5, 2023 at 4:07
  • Could give an example including what commands you run? Like (I is the position of the cursor): Buffer content is xI, I use yas-expand to expand the snippet (is x actually the key for your snippet? or can this be a whole formula?) and it should give me \(xI\). This can most likely be achieved with a function as you can programmatically expand a snippet with elisp (yas-expand-snippet (yas-lookup-snippet "block" 'org-mode)). A function not using yasnippet is probably even easier to write.
    – Hubisan
    Jun 19, 2023 at 8:40
  • The buffer content is xI, where x is not the key of my snipped, but instead it should be any char. I've edited my question to include some more context to, why I want this.
    – Sinthoras
    Jun 23, 2023 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


Using $0, you can set a position within the snippet that the cursor will go to after the snippet is loaded to the buffer, for example

# -*- mode: snippet -*-
# name: math mode
# key: m
# --

Will output your desired \( and \) then let you type in between

enter image description here

  • Thanks, but this is not quite what I want. I was aware of this functionality, but I want to type a character first, then afterwards execute the snipped which then turns the character into math mode. This is especially useful, because my aim is to then execute other context-sensitive (i.e. only working in math mode) manipulations of the character inside the snipped.
    – Sinthoras
    Jun 7, 2023 at 15:52

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