I'm using Prelude v 1.0.0. I want to turn off the syntax coloring when my lines exceed a certain word-limit. I don't know where that setting is set. Thanks!

EDIT: I should be more precise. Prelude, by default, sets the color of the text from it's "normal" color to a brighter, more annoying color when it exceeds a certain word-limit. I'm trying to figure out where to tweak it in prelude. I'll give the below suggestion a whirl though.

  • Here's some discussion on how to improve font-lock performance: emacswiki.org/emacs/FontLockSpeed but it doesn't deal with what you want exactly (i.e. it doesn't tell how and whether at all it is possible to not fontify large files).
    – wvxvw
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 8:46
  • Do you mean that Prelude highlights long lines automatically and you want to stop that from happening? Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 11:26
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    Does this behavior depend at all on prelude? It doesn't sound like it, but I don't know much about prelude.
    – Dan
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 14:06
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    My guess is that prelude has whitespace-mode turned on by default to highlight long lines. Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 18:05
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    @Jordon Biodono is absolutely correct and there are already a few threads on this issue, some of which describe how to turn off whitespace-mode and others about how to customize whitespace-style. One of the other threads even cites the Prelude documentation that discusses this. I'll list a few of the threads I am aware of that deal with this issue: stackoverflow.com/questions/28244739/… and github.com/bbatsov/prelude#disabling-whitespace-mode and wikemacs.org/wiki/Prelude#Turn_off_whitespace_mode
    – lawlist
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 5:07

3 Answers 3


@lawlist is correct: This question is a (not-so-obvious) duplicate of How to change word wrap highlighting in Emacs on StackOverflow. Since we can't close questions against posts on other StackExchange sites, I'm going to repeat the answer that I gave over there:

Highlighting of content that exceeds word wrap bounds is provided by whitespace-mode (which is actually a built-in mode).

The Prelude documentation explains how to disable it:

Disabling whitespace-mode

Although whitespace-mode is awesome some people might find it too intrusive. You can disable it in your personal config with the following bit of code:

(setq prelude-whitespace nil)


I know this question is already several years old, but for the benefit of people who have this problem and then find this page while searching for a solution:

While looking at some variables (C-h v whitespace) that might have been the culprit, I discovered (to make a long story short):

  1. M-x customize-group RET whitespace
  2. Look for the category Whitespace Style.
  3. Uncheck the box that says, (Face) Lines, only overlong part.
  4. Finally, reload the major mode of the buffer you're working in (to see the changes right away.)

Since Prelude is good about keeping Customize settings in a separate, dedicated file (personal/custom.el), this should be an easy-to-implement, working solution.


Something along the liens of following should work:

(font-lock-add-keywords nil '(("^.\\{70,\\}$" 0 default prepend)))

I'm not sure if it blocks other keywords from considering same line but I'm sure it's possbile. Then you'll need to substitute "." with a word regexp, if it's important and adjust the number 70 according to your sepcification.

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