Protesilaos Stavrou
Philosopher. Polymath.

Emacs' powerful OCCUR function in practice

In this screen cast I demonstrate the power of Emacs’ occur function using a real-world scenario.

On the face of it, occur is similar to grep: it outputs a list of results matching a search pattern. However, these results can be interfaced with and can even be edited directly, with all changes echoed to the actual file.

As such, occur can be used as a “scoping” or “narrowing” tool to limit the buffer to certain terms. Then the full editing capabilities of Emacs can be put to use: replacing using regular expressions, keyboard macros, external packages such as multiple-cursors, etc.

I can already state with confidence that Emacs is a powerhouse of productivity once you familiarise yourself with its tools and utilities.