Emacs Keys Overview

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Organization of Emacs Key Shortcuts

Emacs keys are often confusing to beginners. Here's a summary.

Alt+x is to call a command by name.

Ctrl+letter is for frequently used editing commands. e.g.

Alt+letter is for somewhat less frequently used operations, often complement to Ctrl. e.g.

Ctrl+x keys is for commands that are useful globally. e.g.

Ctrl+c keys is for major-mode specific commands. e.g.

Ctrl+h keys is for help or getting info. e.g.

Ctrl+Alt+key is for lisp coding related commands. e.g.

Note Alt+x is technically Meta+x, ususually written as M-x. “Meta” is a physical key on lisp machine keyboards. If you are in a text terminal, and no Meta remapping has been setup, you can type Meta+x by pressing Escape x. [see Space-cadet Keyboard and Lisp Machine Keyboards]

Emacs Keybinding