This page collects testimonial for ergoemacs-mode. Thank you. I appreciate them very much. Your nice words keep me going. – Xah Lee

Paul Michael Reilly – 2013-06-07

Posted Here

After some 30 years of using Emacs constantly, I recently switched from using Microsoft keyboards (of various sorts) to using Apple keyboards. Needless to say, Emacs Pinky arose and I found myself consuming most all of what Xah Lee has written in the area of using Emacs ergonomically with Apple keyboards. Most impressive material.

Being a bleeding edge Emacs User (and occasional developer, although it embarrasses me to think about how long it has been since I made any substantial contributions), I use the development nightly builds as a matter of course. So when I bit the bullet and installed ErgoEmacs, my instance blew up (in that nothing worked as expected) and I decided to back off a bit from going whole hog. [Mea culpa, but I did not have the time to debug the problems. At least not yet.]

To make a long story shorter, I embraced the notion of remapping keys to use the recommended ErgoEmacs layout, but tried to shortcut the process by turning "caps lock" into a "menu" key and creating key sequences that were productive for me; remapping the "control" key to "command", the "option" keys to "control" and the "command" keys to "option". But I did not take the pains of programmatically changing the key bindings for other packages (like org-mode) so I quickly ran into hassles.

To resolve the issue of other package interference with the ErgoEmacs keybindings I used (on Meta), I switched back to using the Mac default modifier keys and mapped the ErgoEmacs bindings to the "command" keys via Super.

One of Xah's best suggestions for me was the notion of "curled thumbs" to symmetrically type the Super keys. That has been a huge win, both in eliminating Emacs Pinky and improving my typing productivity. Who knew? :-)

I am still a bit anxious that OS X will intervene on some of my rebindings with the "command" key in particular but so far so good.

In all of this work that I've done, the major factor has been significantly reducing the need to use C-<key> and M-<key> chords and instead using "menu" key sequences and s-<key> chords.

Another factor has been standardizing on the short Apple keyboard (the one found on recent Apple laptops) which I once hated because of the lack of "control" key symmetry. I found that once I started using curled thumbs for chords, the short keyboard actually worked quite well for me. Especially since I use some half dozen MacBook Air/Pro laptops and Mac Mini systems on a regular basis.

There are probably a few other steps taken that I have forgotten but I think this captures most of a positive experience in embracing ErgoEmacs keyboarding.



fleontrotsky – 2012-10-12

Thanks to @xahlee for ergo-emacs. If #emacs could become my prime editor for windows, I would be exuberant!

Hacker News Mentions – 2012-10-12

Delicious bookmark and comments

Jeffrey E Pace – 2011-12-30

I just spent three days trying out Xah Lee's ErgoEmacs – ergonomic Emacs keybindings – and I've been impressed.

ErgoEmacs keybinding review

Joseph Buchignani – 2011-11-21

Xah Lee's Ergoemacs is five different kinds of awesome.

Installing and using Ergoemacs

Don Womick – 2010-08-17

From: Don Womick Subject: [Orgmode] ErgoEmacs Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 09:07:58 -0400 I've just found ErgoEmacs (, another Emacs distribution for Windows that tries to make Emacs easy to use for ordinary users… and it does so: I was able to use it immediately, with all the standard Windows shortcuts–the only things that tripped me up briefly were the file commands (C-xf moved to C-o and C-xw moved to C-w), and that they moved M-x to M-a (M-x now cuts the entire line). This looks like a distro that might ease the learning curve enough to drive more widespread adoption of Emacs (and org-mode!): it really does seem to be as easy to use as Notepad right out of the box, yet doesn't take away any of the power of Emacs (as far as I can tell, except that I did have to load an org-mode file before capture would work, but that may be a setup problem on my part). If you're on Windows, take a look and see what you think… and for org newbies on win32, I think this is the version I would recommend.

–Don emacs-orgmode

Kristian Hellquist – 2010-07-19

I started using ergoemacs last week, and it looks promising. It lacked a swedish keyboard layout though

Thanks for your great blog, work and opinions about emacs.

/Kristian Hellquist

Thanks to Kristian Hellquist for contributing a Swedish layout. It's in ErgoEmacs Keybinding v5.3.4. – 2010-06-09


ErgoEmacs 初探

一直以來,我都是從 Xah's Emacs Tutorial 獲得一些 Emacs 使用上的小技巧。前幾天突然發現 Xah Lee 弄了一個專案 — ErgoEmacs。一個很有趣的專案,同時也是破壞 Emacs 傳統的專案。

Emacs 專屬的 keybindings 可以說是一項足以自豪的傳統。對於那些不使用滑鼠的高手來說,keybindings 一定背的滾瓜瀾熟。但非人使用 Emacs 超過十年了,熟悉的 keybindings 不會多過 10 個。並不是非人不想背下來,而是太複雜了,今天背了明天就忘了。再加上非人非常地依賴滑鼠,所以總是記不了幾個 keybindings。而 ErgoEmacs 這個專案主要就是在改變 keybindings,讓 Emacs 更能符合現代使用電腦的習慣。這個套件可以從這裡下載。 非人的筆記本


Chow at Stack Overflow – 2010-06-04

I totally agree with the remap caps-lock solution, that helps quite a bit. To go even further, I tried and liked the Ergoemacs keybindings. The project is being actively developed, and supported quite well. I personally don't use it because it's not integrated with Mac OS X (some EMACS Keys are integrated in Cocoa), though it seems someone has posted an inputrc file with Ergoemacs keybindings. Another trick I've been playing with is enabling StickyKeys. It's supported on many platforms and alleviates some of the problems specific to chording (as opposed to just overuse): it is apparently recommended on the emacswiki:


jroes – 2010-05-24

I used to do the same thing, but I missed out on a lot of good emacs shortcuts. Today I use the dvorak version of Xah Lee's layout. You get vim-like navigation by holding Meta.

jroes Source

laurus – 2009-08-19

(9:06:35 AM) laurus: Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I recently installed your Ergoemacs and I'm enjoying it very much.

fadec – 2009-08-05

fadec: I had customized my keybindings but someone suggested I try Ergoemacs a few weeks ago. Forget vim - ergoemacs is how it's done.

Ghoul – 2009-01-26

freenode irc chat:

Ghoul``: xahlee: i appreciate the ergonomic emacs shortcuts especially M-x being M-a right now ☺ however only one thing is weird.. the M-; for searching (M-s in dvorak) but if i want to go to the next entry i press C-s and not M-; again; that's like the only tiny thing; otherwise i really like and use all the other shortcuts; really good stuff!

ginstre –2009-01-25

freenode irc chat:

ginstre: i'm an avid user of your ergonomic keybindings. one small suggestion: the isearch-mode-map bindings should be copied to the minibuffer-local-isearch-map. otherwise one can't resume an isearch that has been modified (⁖ by M-n, M-p or isearch-edit-string).

w k – 2008-12-27

From w k



Will Parsons – 2008-09-03

From: Will Parsons Date: 3 Sep 2008 00:21:16 GMT Subject: Re: ergonomic keybinding. Need qwerty testers.

Some comments:

I've been giving your keyboard mapping a try and generally like it. In particular, I like the cut/paste series (M-x, M-c, M-v) and the window-splitting series (M-0, M-1, M-2). I do regret, however, that the M-c binding does conflict with the default capitalize-word binding, as I use the capitalization functions bound by default to M-c, M-u, and M-l pretty frequently. At the moment, I've configured a "windows" key to be Hyper and bound the capitalization functions to H-c, H-u, and H-l, so I'll see how that works out.

(I've noticed a slight anomaly - since M-x is bound to kill-region, M-a is used for execute-extended-command, but when one hits M-a, one is still presented with a prompt "M-x ".)

As far as the cursor movement bindings, the single character movement bindings seem natural enough, but I suspect I'll prefer to continue to use arrow keys. I'll have to give the other movement bindings more of trial before making a final judgement, though the combinations involving M+S (Alt+Shift) seem a little awkward to me.

I've bound M-g to goto-line for some time now, and am happy with the standard C-k for kill-line, so prefer not to rebind M-g.

Similarly, I've bound M-p to ps-print-buffer, and since I don't use the recenter function too often, am happy to stick with C-l for it.

I found the binding of M-d to delete-backward-char somewhat disconcerting, because even though I've bound C-delete to kill-word, I'm still acustomed to having M-d perform the same function in other contexts (⁖, in Bash).

From newsgroup.

Jerome Alet – 2008-08-29


I've just read your rant about Emacs key bindings and other historical "features".

I simply wanted to thank you for this : now I know I'm not alone thinking about this sort of things. Although I didn't had your historical knowledge about Emacs, these key bindings and features are what has always turned me away from Emacs, and why I coded my own text editor 14 years ago (Jered, available from )

So, again : THANKS A LOT !


Jerome Alet

Markus Grunwald – 2008-07-28

a few weeks ago I saw your page with ergonomic keybindings for emacs. Since I did not like the original bindings very much and was on the way to an "emacs pinky" I tried your keybindings - they are great ☺

Pain decays slowly and the new bindings are going into muscle memory quickly. Of cource, I made a few changes according to my special needs.

Thank you VERY much!

Markus Grunwald

boskom –2008-05-02

I have used your ergonomickeybindingquerty.el a bit. It is interesting, it looks like it is the right way to go. Solution is elegant and does not interfere with or disable common shortcuts. There are two small issues I encountered: The first is that if CUA is enabled in emacs 22 moving around with page up/down (M-Shift-i and M- Shift-k) sets mark and starts selecting a region. The other issue is that on Windows pressing righ-alt + right-shift sometimes changes Windows keyboard layout.

The main issue for me still remains position of Control keys, but this needs to be addressed by a keyboard manufacturer.


boskom newsgroup, 2008-04-30.


Pretty impressive.

Do you have the frequency of the C-x prefix ? I use it pretty often, just wondering what's his rating. I definitively want to try your layout. Two remarks though. C-h = delete-backward-char is mandatory for me.

Too many applications use it that way. And the h key is a perfect spot on the Dvorak keyboard.

Also, C-t, M-t and M-c on a Dvorak keyboard definitely deserve better shortcuts than the default ones.

I am currently using C-t as the C-x prefix and M-t as M-x.

Sergio – 2007-09-12

Sergio // Sep 12, 2007 at 12:06 pm

That's nice, but the best thing about that website is the ‘ergonomic keybord layout’ that uses completely new bindings that are way more comfortable.

I know that for long-time emacs users a new layout is perhaps not something attractive, but for me, being new to emacs, a more modern and ergonomic layout is just what I needed to get up to speed.

They even have a Dvorak version. Great resource, thanks, I had been looking for this kind of info about how to make it easier to use emacs for a while.

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