Emacs 24.3 had a nice way of inserting text into rectangles:

  1. Select rectangle.

  2. C-x r t <string-to-be-inserted> RET

This doesn't seem to work in Emacs 24.4. I tried rectangle-mark-mode using C-x SPC. I could managed to insert a yanked rectangle, but how does one insert fresh text into the rectangle?

Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    I'm on Emacs 24.4 and C-x r t works fine for me for inserting fresh text. Start Emacs via emacs -Q (which will keep your personal configuration from being loaded) and try again. Does it work?
    – itsjeyd
    Feb 27, 2015 at 12:24
  • @itsjeyd... thanks! emacs -q seems to have the keys working fine... I wonder what has been causing issues in my .emacs file. Nevertheless, I would be interested to know how it could be done through rectangle-mark-mode.
    – deejay
    Feb 27, 2015 at 13:12
  • rectangle-mark-mode is a fairly young feature; it was introduced in Emacs 24.4. The NEWS file says: "New command C-x SPC (rectangle-mark-mode) makes a rectangular region. Most commands are still unaware of it, but kill/yank do work on the rectangle." Based on this I assume what you are trying to do is not possible (yet) with rectangle-mark-mode. You might want to look into cua-mode (built-in) or multiple-cursors.
    – itsjeyd
    Feb 27, 2015 at 13:27
  • As for debugging your .emacs file, the following method can help you identify problematic code quickly: Recursively bisect your .emacs: Comment out half of it and restart Emacs. If you can reproduce the problem, the code that's causing it is in the portion of your init-file that's not commented out (and vice versa). Repeat the process for the portion of the code that you know is causing the issue: Comment out half of it, restart, check for problem. Keep going until you've narrowed the problem down to a few lines; this shouldn't take too long.
    – itsjeyd
    Feb 27, 2015 at 13:33
  • (contd.) If you can't figure out why the code you've isolated is causing the issue, add it to your question so we can have a look at it.
    – itsjeyd
    Feb 27, 2015 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


C-x r t should still work in 24.4 just as in 24.3.

You can get the same functionality from C-x SPC by hitting C-t after you've selected the rectangle of interest.

  • Excellent! That works out of the box! Thanks dude!
    – deejay
    Mar 2, 2015 at 9:11

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