Edit with Emacs

Edit with Emacs is an extension for editing text areas in Google Chrome.

The extension requires an “edit server” to handle edit requests from Chrome(ium). This is due to the security model of Chrome preventing the execution of external applications. Fortunately the extension comes with a native elisp edit server which can run in your Emacs daemon session.

Tips and Tricks


The extension has a number of variables that allow various behaviours to be customised. Currently they are:

There are currently two hooks

    (lambda () (kill-ring-save (point-min) (point-max)))

Controlling invocation

If you’re already running an instance of Emacs in --daemon mode then you can wrap the code in something like:

 (when (and (daemonp) (locate-library "edit-server"))
   (require 'edit-server)

The edit To open pages for editing in a new buffer instead of a new frame on your running Emacs instance do:

(when (locate-library "edit-server")
  (require 'edit-server)
  (setq edit-server-new-frame nil)

Integration with Google Mail

Gmail has switched to a new compose window which unfortunately breaks interaction with edit-server. However fortunately someone has hacked together a solution for this: https://github.com/frobtech/edit-server-htmlize

To use, simply ensure that edit-server-htmlize.el is on your load-path and then do:

(autoload 'edit-server-maybe-dehtmlize-buffer "edit-server-htmlize" "edit-server-htmlize" t)
(autoload 'edit-server-maybe-htmlize-buffer   "edit-server-htmlize" "edit-server-htmlize" t)
(add-hook 'edit-server-start-hook 'edit-server-maybe-dehtmlize-buffer)
(add-hook 'edit-server-done-hook  'edit-server-maybe-htmlize-buffer)

Changing Default Mode

To have edit-server work in some other mode (other than text-mode), edit edit-server.el and change this line:

   (define-derived-mode edit-server-text-mode text-mode "Edit Server Text Mode"

to something like:

   (define-derived-mode edit-server-text-mode markdown-mode "Edit Server Text Mode"

Integrating with other modes

TODO: Look at integrating as-external…

On OS X, running Aquamacs 2.1, how would I force Aquamacs to bring the new message frame above Chrome? Currently, a new frame is opened on top of Aquamacs, but below Chrome. Also, i think the ALT+E button doesn’t function on Chrome 10.0.612.1 dev - no Aquamacs window is raised.

On OS X running Aquamacs (version 3.x development) : force Aquamacs to become the front application (bringing all frames forward, not just new “edit” frame) using: (add-hook ‘edit-server-start-hook (lambda () (do-applescript “tell application \“Aquamacs\” to activate”)))

I’ve described how to integrate edit-server with org-mode to save edits to an org-mode task and clock the time spent on them.