I like to run GNU emacs in a Terminal window under Mac OS X 10.6.4.

Unfortunately, whenever I hit a hot key for emacs I often "trip" on an OS X system hot key.

For instance, when I hit + space in emacs, I end up opening Spotlight.

Is there a way to "skip" system level hot keys when I use emacs under Terminal.app?

I hate to have to manually deactivate all system hot keys and re-enable them whenever I use emacs.


Found a way here that solved most of my own problem:


  • Can you elaborate? Do you mean you switched from using Emacs in a terminal to using Aquamacs or some other "GUI" Emacs?
    – Chris Page
    Aug 14 '11 at 1:43

On my machine, I replaced the Control modifier key for the Spotlight commands with Command. This is simple, since it changes it for all applications, and doesn't usually conflict with anything else.

System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Spotlight

Alternatively, you could add an additional modifier, e.g., --space. Or even change it altogether. I've used --F in the past, for example; though that's now the default key for Full Screen on Lion.

The default Spotlight keys are the main conflict with Terminal. I don't think there are other default shortcut keys that are a problem (because they either don't use Control, or if they do they usually use other modifiers or keys that don't conflict with how Terminal handles keyboard input).

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