2019-03-18 Free Emacs key bindings

As we all know, most Emacs users customize Emacs in various ways. Usually, at some point in time, the built-in customization options cease to suffice. Then you proceed to writing your own functions and commands. Then, you want to bind them to some keys.

The purpose of this post is to list some default Emacs bindings which may be useless for some people, and so could be reused as command-invoking or even prefix keys. Of course, YMMV – for me, C-t is a very useful keybinding for a command I use quite often, but many will disagree, for instance.

As I mentioned some time ago, one of the keys which seems completely useless for anyone using Emacs in a GUI is C-z. Personally, I bound it to a prefix keymap so that I can launch a host of things using C-z combos, like turning on various modes or starting a few apps (like an email client or Beeminder). At some point I will probably turn my C-z keymap into a hydra, too.

Also, there are quite a few C-x bindings which just waste good key combinations. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list:

Also, if you use home and end to move to the beginning and end of line, C-a and C-e may be worth rebinding. Depending on you usage, C-o (open-line) and a lot of movement keybindings which are available elsewhere (C-p, C-n, C-f, C-b, C-j, C-v, M-v) could be rebound. (The same applies to C-d, though I personally prefer it to delete.)

And then the meta commands follow. The ones that are probably useless for (almost?) anyone are:

And then there are keys which some of you may use every day and some of you never:

Finally, let’s not forget about function keys. I use three of them: F12 for Emms, F10 for Org-mode related stuff (mainly clocking) and F8 for various other stuff, from displaying the battery state, to magit-blaming, to turning on various minor modes, to running Eshell.

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