If you have a set of key bindings that you like to use all the time, you can specify them in your initialization file by writing Lisp code. See The Emacs Initialization File, for a description of the initialization file.
The recommended way to write a key binding using Lisp is to use
keymap-global-set or the
functions. For example, here’s how to bind C-z to the
shell command in the global keymap (see Interactive Subshell):
(keymap-global-set "C-z" 'shell)
The first argument to
keymap-global-set describes the key
sequence. It is a string made of a series of characters separated
by spaces, with each character corresponding to a key. Keys with
modifiers can be specified by prepending the modifier, such as
‘C-’ for Control, or ‘M-’ for Meta. Special keys, such as
TAB and RET, can be specified within angle brackets as in
TAB and RET.
The single-quote before the command name that is being bound to the
shell in the above example, marks it as a
constant symbol rather than a variable. If you omit the quote, Emacs
would try to evaluate
shell as a variable. This will probably
cause an error; it certainly isn’t what you want.
Here are some additional examples, including binding function keys and mouse events:
(keymap-global-set "C-c y" 'clipboard-yank) (keymap-global-set "C-M-q" 'query-replace) (keymap-global-set "<f5>" 'flyspell-mode) (keymap-global-set "C-<f5>" 'display-line-numbers-mode) (keymap-global-set "C-<right>" 'forward-sentence) (keymap-global-set "<mouse-2>" 'mouse-save-then-kill)
Language and coding systems may cause problems with key bindings for non-ASCII characters. See Non-ASCII Characters in Init Files.
Alternatively, you can use the low level functions
global-set-key. For example, to bind C-z to the
shell command, as in the above example, using these low-level
(global-set-key (kbd "C-z") 'shell)
There are various ways to specify the key sequence but the simplest is
to use the function
kbd as shown in the example above.
kbd takes a single string argument that is a textual
representation of a key sequence, and converts it into a form suitable
for low-level functions such as
global-set-key. For more
details about binding keys using Lisp, see Keymaps in The
Emacs Lisp Reference Manual.
As described in Local Keymaps, major modes and minor modes can
define local keymaps. These keymaps are constructed when the mode is
loaded for the first time in a session. The function
can be used to make changes in a specific keymap. To remove a key
Since a mode’s keymaps are not constructed until it has been loaded,
you must delay running code which modifies them, e.g., by putting it
on a mode hook (see Hooks). For example, Texinfo mode
runs the hook
texinfo-mode-hook. Here’s how you can use the
hook to add local bindings for C-c n and C-c p, and remove
the one for C-c C-x x in Texinfo mode:
(add-hook 'texinfo-mode-hook (lambda () (keymap-set texinfo-mode-map "C-c p" 'backward-paragraph) (keymap-set texinfo-mode-map "C-c n" 'forward-paragraph))) (keymap-set texinfo-mode-map "C-c C-x x" nil)