You may choose to swap the left Control key with Caps Lock, or just to make
them both Control keys — in Emacs and bash you can uppercase a word with
(upcase-word) and the region with
C-x C-u (upcase-region).
Now you will find the navigation keys like
closer to your home row position than the arrow keys. Learn to navigate in
larger jumps with
C-e (beggining and end of line),
(forward and back by one word),
C-M-b (forward and back by one
block of parentheses or braces), and
M-e (beginning and end of a
sentence or expression).
If you need to move to a far-away position it is often faster to get there by
For fixing typos,
C-t (transpose-chars) comes in handy.
Instead of reaching for the backspace key, consider rebinding
backspace (as in most shells), and
C-w to backward-kill-word (also as in most
shells; in Emacs it is normally bound to
C-d deletes the
next character, and you don’t even need to bind it yourself.
C-h is a bit tricky, because after making your binding you might
activate some major or minor mode that binds a new sequence beginning with
C-h, undoing your own binding. You can use
key-translation-map to make
C-h appear to Emacs as the backspace key, ignoring all other
now or in future:
You will still be able to access the help commands with
Some of these tips were inspired by Steve Yegge’s Effective Emacs article. Read it.