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How to indent a block of text rightward by 2 whitespace characters in Emacs?

How to indent a block of text rightward by 4 whitespace characters in Emacs?

[EDIT] I need a method that doesn't interfere with CUA mode.

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Try the key binding C-x TAB (aka C-x C-i) which is bound to indent-rigidly, which indents a region by a single space.

So, you'd indent by two by pressing that twice setting the region around the code you want to indent and typing:

C-x C-i C-x C-i

Or, you can pass a numeric prefix with

C-u 2 C-x C-i

To get 4 spaces, do a prefix with 4

C-u 4 C-x C-i

And, as a bonus, you can remove spaces with a negative prefix argument. Removing 4 spaces is accomplished by

C-u - 4 C-x C-i
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How to set the starting and ending points of the block to which I want to indent? – qazwsx Jan 17 '12 at 7:42
@user6076: the same way you mark a region for any other purpose. In one of the positions, press C-space, and navigate to the other. – choroba Jan 17 '12 at 8:18
There are two ways to mark a region of code: M-x mark-sexp and M-x mark-defun. – Trey Jackson Jan 17 '12 at 15:32
@choroba Doing what you described deletes the text in the block. – qazwsx Jan 17 '12 at 17:45
To select a block of text to indent: 1) move cursor to the beginning of the block by mouse or up arrow key; 2) C-M-@ 3) move cursor to the end of the block 4) C-X C-i – Computist Jan 17 '12 at 22:16

You can also use Rectangles.

Mark the beginning of the region with C-Space, go to then end of the region and then type C-xrtRET.


v----------------------- cursor position
blabla bla bla bla
bla bla bla
bla bla bla


blabla bla bla bla
bla bla bla
bla bla bla
^----------------------- cursor position


  blabla bla bla bla
  bla bla bla
  bla bla bla
  ^----------------------- cursor position
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By go to then end of the region, what concrete keyboard and/or mouse movement do you do? If I use down arrow key to do that, the following C-x will delete the text. – qazwsx Jan 17 '12 at 17:47
As described in the example I've used C-n. C-space pushes a mark at the current position and C-n goes to the next line. – Daimrod Jan 18 '12 at 16:48

I noticed your edit "I need a method that doesn't interfere with CUA mode." Assuming you have CUA mode enabled, I would also like to recommend you to try C-Enter (cua-set-rectangle-mark). Here is the sequence that works for me.

  1. Move the cursor to the start (top-left) of the block.
  2. Press C-ENTER.
  3. Move the cursor down to the end (bottom-left) of the block.
  4. Press SPACE twice or four times depending on your indentation width.
  5. Press C-ENTER to quit the selection.
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