The Automatic Overlays package allows you to define overlays that are created (and updated and destroyed) automatically when text in a buffer matches a regular expression. Various classes of automatic overlay are provided, to make it easy to define matches for different text regions: words, lines, regions enclosed by start and end tags, or regions enclosed by delimiters. You can also define your own custom classes.

The overlays are updated just before any buffer modification. The built-in overlay classes update only as much as is necessary to ensure that overlays covering the point are consistent. Therefore the overlays at the point are guaranteed to be correct before any buffer modification takes place there, but updating the overlays takes very little time and causes no noticeable delay. (See also PredictiveMode.)

The latest version 0.10.7 (released January 2012) can be obtained from:

The development version is hosted in the same git repository as PredictiveMode. Note that the git repository URL is a git repository, not a web-site. You cannot view it in a web browser. To grab the latest development version, clone the repository using:

  git clone

Please send bug reports and suggestions to (you can post them here as well if you like, of course). I don’t check this page regularly, so anything not emailed to me is likely to languish here unnoticed for some time.


CategoryCode CategoryExtensions