31.3.2 Indenting Several Lines
When you wish to reindent several lines of code which have been
altered or moved to a different level in the parenthesis structure,
you have several commands available.
- Reindent all the lines within one parenthetical grouping (
- Reindent all lines in the region (
- C-u <TAB>
- Shift an entire parenthetical grouping rigidly sideways so that its
first line is properly indented.
- M-x indent-code-rigidly
- Shift all the lines in the region rigidly sideways, but do not alter
lines that start inside comments and strings.
You can reindent the contents of a single parenthetical grouping by
positioning point before the beginning of it and typing C-M-q
indent-pp-sexp in Lisp mode,
c-indent-exp in C mode; also
bound to other suitable commands in other modes). The indentation of
the line where the grouping starts is not changed; therefore this
changes only the relative indentation within the grouping, not its
overall indentation. To correct that as well, type <TAB> first.
Another way to specify the range to be reindented is with the
region. The command C-M-\ (
<TAB> to every line whose first character is between point and
If you like the relative indentation within a grouping, but not the
indentation of its first line, you can type C-u <TAB> to
reindent the whole grouping as a rigid unit. (This works in Lisp
modes and C and related modes.) <TAB> with a numeric argument
reindents the current line as usual, then reindents by the same amount
all the lines in the parenthetical grouping starting on the current
line. It is clever, though, and does not alter lines that start
inside strings. Neither does it alter C preprocessor lines when in C
mode, but it does reindent any continuation lines that may be attached
You can also perform this operation on the region, using the command
M-x indent-code-rigidly. It rigidly shifts all the lines in the
region sideways, like
indent-rigidly does (see Indentation Commands). It doesn't alter the indentation of lines that start
inside a string, unless the region also starts inside that string.
The prefix arg specifies the number of columns to indent.