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Better fcitx integration for Emacs.


This package provides a set of functions to make fcitx work better in Emacs.

This is originally designed to be used along with fcitx on Linux, but it can also be used on other platforms with other input methods.


Recommendation: install this package from melpa.

Or, if you like to manually install this package:

(add-to-list 'load-path "/path/to/fcitx.el")
(require 'fcitx)

You can choose between two different setup commands:

M-x fcitx-default-setup


M-x fcitx-aggressive-setup

The differences between these two setups will be explained later.

Example Settings

All the examples below use fcitx-aggressive-setup.

For Emacs users on Linux:

(setq fcitx-use-dbus t)  ;; or set to 'fcitx5 if you use fcitx5

For Emacs users on OS X:


For Spacemacs users:

;; Make sure the following comes before `(fcitx-aggressive-setup)'
(setq fcitx-active-evil-states '(insert emacs hybrid)) ; if you use hybrid mode
(fcitx-prefix-keys-add "M-m") ; M-m is common in Spacemacs
;; (setq fcitx-use-dbus t) ; uncomment if you're using Linux

NOTE: In Linux, using the dbus interface has a better performance. But if you also set echo-keystrokes, you may experience a lagging issue. See #30. If that is something you can’t tolerate, don’t change the value of fcitx-use-dbus.


This package comes with a bunch of features to provide better fcitx integration for Emacs. For every feature, you can enable or disable it using the corresponding *-turn-on or *-turn-off command.

To simplify the configuration, we provide two different setup commands, fcitx-default-setup and fcitx-aggressive-setup. They will enable different lists of features. You can choose the setup command that fits your need best. For users who want a better control, you can define and use your own setup command by enabling the features you want using the *-turn-on commands.

The Feature List

X indicates that the corresponding feature is enabled.

Character & key inputXX
M-x,M-!,M-& and M-:X
Disable fcitx in minibufferX
org-speed-command supportXX

Features Enabled in Both Setup Commands

The following features are enabled in both fcitx-default-setup and fcitx-aggressive-setup. You don’t have to do anything if you’re satisfied with the default settings.

Disable Fcitx by Prefix Keys

  • Why this feature

    If you’ve enabled fcitx, then you can’t easily change your buffer by C-x b because the second key, b, will be blocked by fcitx(and you need to press enter in order to send b to emacs). This feature allows you to temporarily disable fcitx after pressing some prefix keys you’ve defined.

  • What do the pre-defined setup comamnds do

    Both setup comamnds define C-x and C-c to be such prefix keys, which means fcitx will be disabled after C-x or C-c is pressed. This setting should be enough for most users.

  • For Spacemacs users

    If you’re a Spacemacs user who uses it in the Emacs way(or hybrid mode), it is possible that you want M-m to be the prefix key too. You can use the following command to add M-m:

    (fcitx-prefix-keys-add "M-m")
  • For users who want more customizations

    You can define the prefix keys as you want:

    (fcitx-prefix-keys-add "C-x" "C-c" "C-h" "M-s" "M-o")

    After defining prefix keys, you need to call


    to enable this feature.

    Of course, you can use


    to disable this feature.

Evil Support

  • Why this feature

    This feature allows you to disable fcitx when you exit the “insert mode” and to reenable fcitx after enter “insert mode”. Similar to fcitx.vim.

    In addition, it will also disable fcitx if you use switch-to-buffer or other-window to switch to a buffer which is not in “insert mode”. For example, if you’re currently in “insert mode” in buffer A and you’ve enabled fcitx, then you call switch-to-buffer to switch to another buffer B, which is currently, say, in normal mode, then fcitx will be disabled in buffer B.

  • What do the pre-defined setup comamnds do

    Both setup commands enable this feature. By default, fcitx.el consider both evil-insert-state and evil-emacs-state as “insert mode”. Any transition from evil-insert-state or evil-emacs-state to any other evil state will disable fcitx if necessary.

  • How to customize it

    The evil states in which fcitx should be enabled are defined in the variable fcitx-active-evil-states. The default value is (insert emacs), which means fcitx will be enabled if necessary when entering evil-insert-state or evil-emacs-state. For Spacemacs users who use its hybrid mode, you may also want to add hybrid mode to the list:

    (setq fcitx-active-evil-states '(insert emacs hybrid))
  • Bugs

    Note that currently the Evil support is not perfect. If you come across any bugs, consider filing an issue or creating a pull request.

Character & Key Input Support

  • Why this feature
    • Case 1: If you’re using ace-pinyin, you need to input a letter after calling ace-pinyin.
    • Case 2: You’re using C-h k to see the binding for a key sequence.

    In both cases, fcitx will block your input. This feature can make fcitx automatically disabled when you’re required to input a key sequence or a character.

  • What do the pre-defined setup comamnds do

    Both commands call (fcitx-read-funcs-turn-on) to enable this feature.

  • What if I don’t want it

    Use (fcitx-read-funcs-turn-off) to disable it.

org-speed-command Support

  • Why this feature

    This feature allows fcitx to be disabled when the cursor is at the beginning of an org heading so that you can use speed keys such as n and p.

  • What do the pre-defined setup comamnds do

    Both commands call (fcitx-org-speed-command-turn-on) to enable this feature.

  • What if I don’t want it

    Use (fcitx-org-speed-command-turn-off) to disable it.

Features Enabled ONLY in fcitx-default-setup Command

M-x, M-!, M-& and M-: Support

  • Why these features

    Usually you don’t want to type Chinese when you use M-x, M-! (shell-command), M-& (async-shell-command) or M-: (eval-expression). You can automatically disable fcitx when you’re using these commands.

  • What does fcitx-default-setup do

    It enables these features by calling the following commands:


    Your M-x binding should be one of execute-extended-command (the default M-x command), smex , helm-M-x and counsel-M-x.

    WARNING: If you rebind M-x to smex, helm-M-x, or counsel-M-x, then you should call fcitx-default-setup or fcitx-M-x-turn-on after the key rebinding.

  • How to customize it

    You can enable some of the above three features by calling their corresponding *-turn-on commands, but remember if you rebind your M-x, you should call (fcitx-M-x-turn-on) after the key rebinding.

Features Enabled ONLY in fcitx-aggressive-setup Command

Disable Fcitx in Minibuffer

  • Why this features

    For me, I personally don’t need to type Chinese in minibuffer, so I would like to temporarily disable fcitx in minibuffer, no matter in what kind of command. If you are the same as me, then you could choose this setup.

  • What does fcitx-aggressive-setup do

    Unlike fcitx-default-setup, it would not turn on M-x, M-!, M-& and M-: support. Instead, it will call fcitx-aggressive-minibuffer-turn-on to temporarily disable fcitx in all commands that use minibuffer as a source of input, including, but not limited to, M-x, M-!, M-& and M-:. That is why this is called “aggressive-setup”. For example, if you press C-x b to switch buffer, or press C-x C-f to find file, fcitx will be disabled when you are in the minibuffer so that you can type English letters directly. However, if you choose fcitx-default-setup, fcitx will not be disabled after you press C-x b or C-x C-f. I prefer this more aggressive setup because I don’t use Chinese in my filename or buffer name.

Extra Functions That are not Enabled in Both Commands

These functions are not enabled in either fcitx-default-setup or fcitx-aggressive-setup. You need to enable them manually if you want to use them.

I-search Support

Usually when you use fcitx, you also want to I-search in Chinese, so this feature is not enabled by eith fcitx-default-setup or fcitx-aggressive-setup. If you do want to disable fcitx when using I-search, enable this feature explicitly by


Using D-Bus Interface

For Linux users, it is recommended that you set fcitx-use-dbus to be non-=nil= to speed up a little (but pay attention to the lagging issue mentioned above):

(setq fcitx-use-dbus t)  ;; or 'fcitx5 if you use fcitx5

For OSX users who use fcitx-remote-for-osx, don’t set this variable.

Work with Other Input Methods

Although this package is named fcitx.el, it is not tightly coupled with fcitx itself. fcitx.el makes use of the tool fcitx-remote (or the dbus interface in Linux) to do the following two things:

  1. Know the status of the current input method (active or inactive)
  2. Activate or deactivate the input method

If you want to add support for other input methods, as long as it is possible to achieve the above two things from Emacs Lisp, then you get all the functionalities in fcitx.el for free. That said, you just need to provide three functions:

  1. one that returns the status of the current input method
  2. one to activate the input method
  3. one to deactivate the input method

So we can see that the functionalities provided in this package is very general, which can be easily adapted to used with other input methods.


  • Better Evil support

For more features, pull requests are always welcome!