What’s coming up in Emacs 24

UPDATE: Emacs 24 has not yet been released. Developers can get it from the version control system (git/master, for example). Alpha/nightly builds are available for Windows and Mac OSX. This is still a bleeding-edge version. Expect much breakage, even from popular packages like BBDB.

See C-h n (view-emacs-news) for all the details. Some highlights:

Emacs packages

M-x list-packages to browse and install packages, which are enabled by default. If you’ve installed a number of packages but you don’t want them to all load at startup, customize package-load-list. Not that many packages yet, but I’m sure people will add more.

Emacs themes and user-interface changes

M-x customize-themes lets you choose color themes or create your own. There have also been a number of user-interface cleanups (scrollbars on the right, smoother antialiasing, that sort of stuff), but nothing radical.

Bidirectional support

Big one for international support.


x-select-enabled-clipboard is now true by default, which means Emacs newbies in Linux won’t get confused by an inability to copy and paste between applications.

Version control

With the increasing popularity of distributed version control systems such as bzr, we now have a way to pull updates using M-x vc-update (also known as M-x vc-pull). There’s also a M-x vc-merge command. Looking forward to git support for both of these.


There is a create-animated-image function. Interesting.

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