If I paste a piece of code from the browser to emacs -nw with middle mouse button, or Ctrl+Shift+v (in gnome-terminal paste from clipboard), it's incorrectly indented.

Original code:

for (i=0; i<=10; i++) {
    j = j + i;
    print j;


for (i=0; i<=10; i++) {
          j = j + i;
                print j;

In vim one would turn off auto-indent. In emacs I tried 2 ways that doesn't work:

Method 1:

Configure ctrl+y to use PRIMARY selection in ~/.emacs

(setq x-select-enable-primary t)

And try to paste with Ctrl-y instead of middle-mouse-key or Ctrl+Shift+V. Result: ctrl-y only pastes from emacs' kill ring, not from external selection.

Method 2: Unmap RET from newline-and-indent:

(add-hook 'lisp-mode-hook '(lambda ()
  (local-set-key (kbd "RET") 'newline)))

It works for typing RET (no indent), but for middle-mouse-key or Ctrl+Shift+V auto-indent is applied anyway.

  • Do ^H m and read about configuring auto-fill-mode or ^U 0 ESC X auto-fill-mode to turn it OFF.
    – waltinator
    Sep 6, 2015 at 3:47
  • Having auto-fill-mode disabled doesn't help. The extra auto-indent can still be reproduced. My understanding is that, for the extra indents, RET - by default defines to newline-and-indent - is at work instead of auto-fill-mode ? Sep 7, 2015 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


Autoindentation occurs in emacs when the newline character is encountered. You can use electric-indent-local-mode and electric-indent-mode to toggle this setting.

From http://emacsredux.com/blog/2013/03/29/automatic-electric-indentation/

What’s little known is that Emacs 24.1 introduced a new global minor mode called electric-indent-mode. When enabled, typing certain characters(like newlines) triggers reindentation.

  • 1
    I'm running emacs 24.3.1 on Ubuntu, and turning off electric-indent-mode doesn't prevent the indentation. Even after also doing the add-hook suggested by @Zhang Weiwu.
    – TextGeek
    Apr 25, 2016 at 18:46
  • 1
    electric-indent-local-mode worked for me.
    – ychaouche
    Apr 1, 2019 at 9:01

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