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Emacs Keybindings *everywhere*

Well, world domination might be hard, but at least getting emacs keybindings working (nearly) everywhere doesn't have to be. Let's see how we're going:


Unix/Linux
  • Well, you can use emacs for starters!
  • Shell - bash uses emacs keybindings
  • Many GNU apps default to emacs keybindings
  • Gnome apps (includes Firefox) used to default to emacs keybindings. These days you need to change your user config to tell all Gnome apps to use emacs keybindings (see this freebsd gnome list message)
  • Windows

      Surprisingly Windows is really easy to convert to emacs keybindings in every application. That's right, you can use emacs keybindings in Microsoft Word!! All you need is XKeymacs. It's very configurable per-application.

    MacOS X

      Conveniently, MacOS doesn't use the control key much, so MacOS X is able to offer emacs keybindings without breaking the standard keybindings in other applications.
    • All Cocoa applications support simple emacs keybindings by default (C-a, C-e, C-k etc.). You can get even more advanced bindings (including multi-key C-x bindings). See here, here and here.
    • Firefox on MacOS X is unfortunately designed to be Mac Friendly, which means if you're a Unix/Emacs person you're left out. It doesn't even support the basic emacs bindings that Mac Cocoa applications do. Fortunately Firefox is such a dynamic runtime it's easy to rectify. See This mozillazine article for simple instructions.
    • And yes, I do use all these operating systems every day (including usually at least two brands of Unix)! I don't have any information on emacs keybindings for either BeOS or AmigaOS ;)

07:30 PM, 10 Jan 2006 by Mark Aufflick Permalink

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