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Changing Key Bindings Interactively
You can redefine an Emacs key by changing its entry in a keymap.
You can change the global keymap, in which case the change is effective
in all major modes except those that have their own overriding local
definitions for the same key. Or you can change the current buffer's
local map, which affects all buffers using the same major mode.
`M-x global-set-key RET KEY CMD RET'
Defines KEY globally to run CMD.
`M-x local-set-key RET KEYS CMD RET'
Defines KEY locally (in the major mode now in effect) to run CMD.
`M-x local-unset-key RET KEYS RET'
Removes the local binding of KEY.
CMD is a symbol naming an interactively-callable function.
When called interactively, KEY is the next complete key sequence
that you type. When called as a function, KEY is a string, a vector of
events, or a vector of key-description lists as described in the
`define-key' function description. The binding goes in the current
buffer's local map, which is shared with other buffers in the same
The following example:
M-x global-set-key RET C-f next-line RET
redefines `C-f' to move down a line. The fact that CMD is read second
makes it serve as a kind of confirmation for KEY.
These functions offer no way to specify a particular prefix keymap as
the one to redefine in, but that is not necessary, as you can include
prefixes in KEY. KEY is read by reading characters one by one until
they amount to a complete key (that is, not a prefix key). Thus, if
you type `C-f' for KEY, Emacs enters the minibuffer immediately to read
CMD. But if you type `C-x', another character is read; if that
character is `4', another character is read, and so on. For example,
M-x global-set-key RET C-x 4 $ spell-other-window RET
redefines `C-x 4 $' to run the (fictitious) command
The most general way to modify a keymap is the function
`define-key', used in Lisp code (such as your `.emacs' file).
`define-key' takes three arguments: the keymap, the key to modify in
it, and the new definition. Note: Init File, for an example.
`substitute-key-definition' is used similarly; it takes three
arguments, an old definition, a new definition, and a keymap, and
redefines in that keymap all keys that were previously defined with the
old definition to have the new definition instead.
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