Emacs: Command Name Alias

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

What is Alias

Alias is an alt name for function or command.

you can define an alias (in Emacs Init File) by:

(defalias 'old-name 'new-name)

there are many functions that have aliases by default. e.g.


Purpose of Alias

Useful Alias for Command Names

you can use alias to shorten commands. For example, make frequently used commands just 1 or 2 letters.

put this in your Emacs Init File:

;; replace some commands by other
(defalias 'list-buffers 'ibuffer)
(defalias 'yes-or-no-p 'y-or-n-p)

;; make frequently used commands short

(defalias 'qrr 'query-replace-regexp)
(defalias 'lml 'list-matching-lines)
(defalias 'dml 'delete-matching-lines)
(defalias 'dnml 'delete-non-matching-lines)
(defalias 'dtw 'delete-trailing-whitespace)
(defalias 'sl 'sort-lines)
(defalias 'rr 'reverse-region)
(defalias 'rs 'replace-string)

(defalias 'g 'grep)
(defalias 'gf 'grep-find)
(defalias 'fd 'find-dired)

(defalias 'rb 'revert-buffer)

(defalias 'sh 'shell)
(defalias 'fb 'flyspell-buffer)
(defalias 'sbc 'set-background-color)
(defalias 'rof 'recentf-open-files)
(defalias 'lcd 'list-colors-display)
(defalias 'cc 'calc)

; elisp
(defalias 'eb 'eval-buffer)
(defalias 'er 'eval-region)
(defalias 'ed 'eval-defun)
(defalias 'eis 'elisp-index-search)
(defalias 'lf 'load-file)

; major modes
(defalias 'hm 'html-mode)
(defalias 'tm 'text-mode)
(defalias 'elm 'emacs-lisp-mode)
(defalias 'om 'org-mode)
(defalias 'ssm 'shell-script-mode)

; minor modes
(defalias 'wsm 'whitespace-mode)
(defalias 'gwsm 'global-whitespace-mode)
(defalias 'ln 'global-display-line-numbers-mode)

💡 TIP: a key shortcut [see Emacs Keys: Define Key] is still less number of key strokes than M-x with 3 letter chars alias. However, alias is great for commands that you don't really use that frequently, but maybe once a day. It's easier to remember 3-letters abbrevs than an arbitrary key shortcut.