Skip to content

keyboard – How to have Emacs keybindings everywhere in Macbook Air M1 Monterey 12.5? Is tweaking ~/Library/KeyBindings/ the best approach?

  • by
Spread the love

I am new to macOS and a big fan of Emacs. I am trying to achieve Emacs keybindings everywhere.

Despite the fact that I have read multiple times on the web people stating that macOS was friendly and out of the box with Emacs keybindings, I am having some hassles. Obviously, the problems happen outside of Emacs. In Emacs, things work as expected.

I am struggling with copy, paste, cut, for instance. But I also used to have problems with those in Linux (Ubuntu/NixOs).

Unlike in macOS, in Linux I managed to get M-b (move back word) and M-f (move forward) to work.

It is possible to do it with Command-M-b and Command-M-f but I do not want to change my habbit/muscle memory. I want to make this new computer adapt to me – not the opposite.

Some old posts (like #1, #2, #3, #4) mention a tweak on ~/Library/KeyBindings/. By the way, a lot of posts are mentioning Jacob Rus’ comprehensive guide which is hosted on Harvard University domain…. But the link is broken.

Unfortunately, I cannot even find this folder:

Pedros-MacBook-Air:Library pedro$ pwd
Pedros-MacBook-Air:Library pedro$ cd Key
Keyboard/         Keyboard Layouts/ KeyboardServices/ Keychains/ 

How to find ~/Library/KeyBindings/ in Mac M1 Monterey 12.5?
Should I create it?

Also, others posting more recent content are suggesting other alternatives, such as Karabiner-elements (#1 #2). Karabiner-elements can also be useful for short keys to launch applications.

What is the best technical practice to change keybindings in macOS?
What are the technical arguments around every solution?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *