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16.13 Miscellaneous Settings for a .emacs File

Here are a few miscellaneous settings:

Fixing Unpleasant Key Bindings

Some systems bind keys unpleasantly. Sometimes, for example, the <CTRL> key appears in an awkward spot rather than at the far left of the home row.

Usually, when people fix these sorts of keybindings, they do not change their ~/.emacs file. Instead, they bind the proper keys on their consoles with the loadkeys or install-keymap commands in their boot script and then include xmodmap commands in their .xinitrc or .Xsession file for X Windows.

For a boot script:

     loadkeys /usr/share/keymaps/i386/qwerty/emacs2.kmap.gz

install-keymap emacs2

For a .xinitrc or .Xsession file when the <Caps Lock> key is at the far left of the home row:

     # Bind the key labeled `Caps Lock' to `Control'
     # (Such a broken user interface suggests that keyboard manufacturers
     # think that computers are typewriters from 1885.)
     xmodmap -e "clear Lock"
     xmodmap -e "add Control = Caps_Lock"

In a .xinitrc or .Xsession file, to convert an <ALT> key to a <META> key:

     # Some ill designed keyboards have a key labeled ALT and no Meta
     xmodmap -e "keysym Alt_L = Meta_L Alt_L"