Idiomdrottning’s homepage

Retro markdown-mode for Emacs

This fork of markdown-mode exists since the commands in the upstream version only works for active regions or transient-mark-mode.

Here is the git issue.

To use this fork, the repo is at

git clone

Or you can use it with straight.el like this:

(push '(idi "" "") straight-hosts)

 '(markdown-mode :host idi :repo "markdown-mode"))

Send patches to

The name of this fork is “retro markdown-mode” since markdown-mode’s commands used to work on normal regions. It used to be possible to select a block of text and hit C-c C-s q and it’d get blockquoted.

Then they changed it to require the region to be active. The reason for that change was so commands could me multipurpose: when there’s an active region, do stuff to the region, otherwise do it to word at point. So C-c C-s i would put stars around the word at point. That was their thinking. That’s nifty, but I haven’t gotten able to get used to that, to hitting C-SPC twice all the time.

The solution I have here is for (use-region-p) to also check if transient-mark-mode is even on. I’ve seen this in vertico and in edit-indirect.

If the issue gets resolved in upstream, that’ll also be the end of this fork. I get that I come across as super petty to make a fork just for one rejected issue but it’s a setting I need in a mode I use daily.

Some thoughts about the fork

I use markdown-mode many hours per day most days of the week for the past many years and hopefully a long time in the future. That means a couple of things:

  1. I owe the markdown-mode team a lot of gratitude for making an editor that’s obviously good enough for me to use and rely on it every day. I am very thankful for them making it. I never mean to come across as taking that for granted.

  2. Since I do use it so much, I become acutely aware of painpoints in the UI and convenciences that become annoyances, DWIM features that do what I don’t mean, and things that are a li’l bit unreliable and buggy. I’m grateful to get an opportunity to try to have my own version here. That’s the magic of FOSS. I can only hope I won’t introduce more bugs than I will fix.