I am using the

brew install emacs

version of gui-based emacs. After using the mac shortcut to access the Menu bar, I am able to use the mnemonic to access the individual top level menu items: e.g.

  ALT-F  for file

The problem is that then hitting down arrow key or return does not dropdown the menu items. Well .. with two exceptions: the

Alt-E (Emacs) and 
Alt-H (Help)

dropdowns actually work. The others? Nothing happens. Only by using the Mouse (which is unacceptable to me for common commands in an editor).

Any hints/ideas on this?

2 Answers 2


I found a good workaround in emacs (beta) forum:


(define-key global-map (kbd "C-<f2>")
  (lambda ()
    (x-popup-menu (list '(0 0) (selected-frame))

Not sure which Emacs you are using, but if it is GNU Emacs, at least, you should be able to use library La Carte, which gives you complete access to all of the menu-bar menus using the keyboard. You can match the complete path to a menu item deep in a submenu, etc. The source code is here:lacarte.el.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .