Emacs Tuning

Go Faster Tweaks

Emacs is a great writing tool, but the stock install needs some tuning to make it more usable.

Here are some tweaks I use to get Emacs purring like a tuned V8.

To see what it looks like click the image to view larger size:

Here's the dot.emacs config file:

; Disable scroll jump
(setq scroll-step 1)

; Enable line number in mode line
(line-number-mode 1)

; Enable column number in mode line
(column-number-mode 1)

; Set cursor color to blue
(set-cursor-color "blue")

; Disable blinking cursor
(blink-cursor-mode nil)

; Disable beep. Flash on error
(setq-default visible-bell t)

; Highlight selected text - Ctrl-Space
(transient-mark-mode t)

; Spaces instead tabs
(setq-default indent-tabs-mode nil)

; Delete selected/highlighted text
(delete-selection-mode t)

; Re-Map M-<
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x t") 'beginning-of-buffer)

; Re-Map M-> to Ctrl-x e
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x e") 'end-of-buffer)

; Disable startup message
(setq inhibit-startup-message t)

; Disable file backup
(setq make-backup-files nil)

; Disable file saves
(setq auto-save-list-file-name nil)

; Disable auto-save
(setq auto-save-default nil)

; Enable search highlight

(setq search-highlight t)

; Enable replace highlight
(setq query-replace-highlight t)

; Enable mouse highlight
(setq mouse-sel-retain-highlight t)

; Set region background color
(set-face-background 'region "orangered")

; Set region foreground color
(set-face-foreground 'region "white")

; Set background color
(set-background-color "white")

; Define Ctrl-h to backward delete
(keyboard-translate ?\C-h ?\C-?)

; Define M-h to help - Don't add extra ' after help
(global-set-key "\M-h" 'help)

The following is from Steve Yegge's Effective Emacs. Essential reading to improve your Emacs skills.

; Item 7: Lose the UI
(if (fboundp 'scroll-bar-mode) (scroll-bar-mode -1))
(if (fboundp 'tool-bar-mode) (tool-bar-mode -1))
(if (fboundp 'menu-bar-mode) (menu-bar-mode -1))

; Item 3: Prefer backward-kill-word over Backspace
(global-set-key "\C-w" 'backward-kill-word)
(global-set-key "\C-x\C-k" 'kill-region)
(global-set-key "\C-c\C-k" 'kill-region)

; Item 2: Invoke M-x without the Alt key

; To enable Ctrl-x Ctrl-m sequence add following to .emacs
(global-set-key "\C-x\C-m" 'execute-extended-command)
(global-set-key "\C-c\C-m" 'execute-extended-command)

; Item 1: Swap Caps-Lock and Control

That's about it.