Types of key bindings

  • navigate in a buffer
  • edit a buffer
  • query a buffer
  • manage buffers, frames, and windows
  • manage commands

Key bindings I frequently use

key binding command description type comment
C-a move to the beginning of line navigate
C-e move to the end of line navigate
M-> move to the bottom of the buffer navigate
M-< move to the top of the buffer navigate
goto-line move to a certain line navigate
M-f move forward to next word navigate
M-b move backward to previous word navigate
C-v move to the next screen of the buffer navigate
M-v move to the previous screen of the buffer navigate
C-x o move curser to different windows navigate
C-x b switching between open buffers in current frame navigate
C-x C-b list open buffers navigate
C-x r l list bookmarks navigate
C-x r m add a bookmark for the current buffer navigate
C-x 8 Enter insert a Unicode character by its Unicode name, e.g. "em dash" or hexidecimal number, e.g. "0x2E3B" edit
C-x r t xxx string-rectangle enter xxx on multiple lines in a rectangle area edit the rectangle area can be defined/selected by M-@
M-; comment-dwin comment multiple lines edit
C-_ or C-x u undo edit
C-y yank, reinsert the most recent killed text edit the kill ring
C-u 3 C-y yank, reinsert the third most recent killed text edit
C-k delete characters after cursur of the current line edit
C-d delete the next characters after cursur edit
C-x i insert content of another file edit
C-@ set-mark-command set the mark where the point is edit
M-% query-replace Query replace edit
C-M-% query-replace-regexp Query replace regexp edit
C-u C-x Tab ? indent a block of text rightward by a tab edit
C-x C-i ? indent a block of text rightward by a whitespace edit To select a block of text, move cursor to the front, C-Space to activate the selection, then move the cursor to the end, C-Space to end the selection.
C-u 5 C-x Tab ? indent a block of text rightward by 5 spaces edit
C-u 5 C-x C-i ? indent a block of text rightward by 5 spaces edit
M-l convert the following word to lower case edit
M-Tab (with cursor near an English word) check dictionary for alternative spellings edit
M-q (with a highlight region) fill-paragraph automatically line wraps a pragraph of text edit
C-M-@ mark-sexp undo edit 1) move cursor to the beginning of a block of text by mouse or up arrow key
2) C-M-@ to mark the beginning of the block
3) move cursor to the end of the block
4) operate on the block, e.g. indent rightward by 1 whitespace with C-x C-i, or indent rightward by 4 whitespaces with C-u -4 C-x C-i
C-s isearch-forward I-search query
C-r isearch-backward I-search backward query
C-M-s isearch-forward-regexp Regexp I-search query
C-M-r isearch-backward-regexp Regexp I-search backward query
C-x C-b list-buffers list open buffers manage buffer
C-r recentf-open-files list recently opened files manage buffer
C-x C-f find-file load file to current buffer manage buffer
C-x C-w write current buffer to a file manage buffer
C-x C-v Ret find-another-file load another file to current buffer, by default reload the same file manage buffer
revert-buffer get rid of extensive changes made to current buffer and revert back to manage buffer "Reverting a buffer." GNU Emacs Manual.
C-x b switch-to-buffer switch to buffer manage buffer
C-x C-w save buffer to another file manage buffer
C-x C-+ increase font size manage buffer
C-x C-+ decrease font size manage buffer
C-x b arrow key select buffer to load into current frame manage buffer
C-x 0 close current window manage frame/window
C-x 0 5 close current frame manage frame/window
C-x 3 split frame vertically manage frame/window
C-x 2 split frame horizontally manage frame/window
C-x 5 2 open a new frame manage frame/window
C-x o other-window move cursor to other window in the current frame manage frame/window
C-q cancel current command manage commands
C-l C-\ chinese-punct type Chinese punctuation misc Type C-l C-\ to turn on/off the input method
C-x C-h get help text in another buffer misc
M-Tab find possible word completion misc

Direct data download

Modifier keys

  • C-: Ctrl

  • M-: Meta, M, which is usually the Alt key on most keyboards, and possibly Esc on Mac computers

  • s-: Super, s, which can be typed in with C-x @ s

  • H-: Hyper, H, which can be typed in with C-x @ h

  • A-: Alt, A, which can be typed in with C-x @ a


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