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Awesome Emacs Keymap - VSCode emacs keybinding with multi cursor support
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Awesome Emacs Keymap (emacs-mcx)

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This Visual Studio Code extension provides emacs-like keybindings and operations. This is inspired by the great vscode extension by hiro-sun and its forks such as vscode-emacs-friendly by Sebastian Zaha, vscode-emacs-improved by rkwan94 and vscode-emacs-neon by NotKyon.

Though there were such great extensions, this extension is written from scratch because it was hard to achieve the goal listed below by extending the existent code base.

This extension aims

  • to provide emacs-like keybindings
  • to be fully compatible with multi cursor
  • to support kill-ring integrated with the system clipboard
  • to support prefix argument
  • to support sexp
  • to fix some bugs in the existing extensions such as
    • mark-mode states are shared amoung all editors

This extension makes use of code in the existent extensions listed above and, in addition, VSCode Vim extension. Thanks to all these great works. Mainly, almost all keybinding settings are derived from vscode-emacs-friendly by Sebastian Zaha.

Move commands

Command Prefix argument Desc
C-f Move forward (forward-char)
C-b Move backward (backward-char)
C-n Move to the next line (next-line)
C-p Move to the previous line (previous-line)
C-a Move to the beginning of line (move-beginning-of-line)
C-e Move to the end of line (move-end-of-line)
M-f Move forward by one word unit (forward-word)
M-b Move backward by one word unit (backward-word)
C-v Scroll down by one screen unit (scroll-up-command)
M-v Scroll up by one screen unit (scroll-down-command)
M-g g (M-g M-g) Jump to line (command palette)
M-g n (M-g M-n, C-x ` ) Jump to next error
M-g p (M-g M-p) Jump to previous error
C-l Center screen on current line (recenter-top-bottom)

Search Commands

Command Desc
C-s Search forward
C-r Search backward
M-S-5 (M-% with US keyboard) Replace
C-Enter Replace One Match (In replace dialog)
C-M-n Add selection to next find match (Tips: This extension also provides emacs-mcx.addSelectionToNextFindMatch command so that you can register its keybinding by yourself if you want.)

Edit commands

Command Prefix argument Desc
C-d Delete right (DEL)
C-h Delete left (BACKSPACE)
M-d Delete word
M-Bksp Delete word left
C-k Kill from the current cursor to the end of line (kill-line)
C-S-Bksp Kill whole line (kill-whole-line)
C-w Kill region
M-w Copy region to kill ring
C-y Yank
M-y Yank pop
C-o Open line
C-j New line
C-m New line
C-x C-o Delete blank lines around (delete-blank-lines)
C-x h Select All
C-x u (C-/) Undo
C-; Toggle line comment in and out
M-; Toggle region comment in and out
C-x C-l (M-l) Convert to lower case (On the Emacs' original behavior, C-x C-l and M-l are assigned to the different functionalities. However, this extension assigns these keys to the same emacs-mcx.transformToLowercase command which calls editor.action.transformToLowercase command internally and works similarly to both the original Emacs' functionalities based on the context. Uppercase (below) is same)
C-x C-u (M-u) Convert to upper case

Other Commands

Command Desc
C-g (ESC) Cancel
C-space Set mark
C-quote IntelliSense Suggestion
M-x Open command palette
C-M-SPC Toggle SideBar visibility
C-x z Toggle Zen Mode

File Commands

Command Desc
C-x C-s Save
C-x C-w Save as
C-x C-n Open new window

Tab / Buffer Manipulation Commands

Command Desc
C-x b Switch to another open buffer
C-x C-f QuickOpen a file
C-x k Close current tab (buffer)
C-x C-k Close all tabs
C-x 0 Close editors in the current group.
C-x 1 Close editors in other (split) group.
C-x 2 Split editor horizontal
C-x 3 Split editor vertical
C-x 4 Toggle split layout (vertical to horizontal)
C-x o Focus other split editor

Prefix argument

Command Desc
C-u universal-argument (See for detail)


Command Desc
C-M-f Move forward by one s-exp
C-M-b Move backward by one s-exp

This extension makes use of paredit.js to provide sexp functionalities. Thank you for this great library.

'when' clause context

This extension provides mark-mode functionality and you can use emacs-mcx.inMarkMode in when clause of your keybinding settings in order to check whether or not mark-mode is enabled.

Conflicts with default key bindings

  • ctrl+d: editor.action.addSelectionToNextFindMatch => Use ctrl+alt+n instead;
  • ctrl+g: workbench.action.gotoLine => Use alt+g g instead;
  • ctrl+b: workbench.action.toggleSidebarVisibility => Use ctrl+alt+space instead;
  • ctrl+space: toggleSuggestionDetails, editor.action.triggerSuggest => Use ctrl+' instead;
  • ctrl+x: editor.action.clipboardCutAction => Use ctrl+w instead;
  • ctrl+v: editor.action.clipboardPasteAction => Use ctrl+y instead;
  • ctrl+k: editor.debug.action.showDebugHover, editor.action.trimTrailingWhitespace, editor.action.showHover, editor.action.removeCommentLine, editor.action.addCommentLine, editor.action.openDeclarationToTheSide;
  • ctrl+k z: workbench.action.toggleZenMode => Use ctrl+x z instead;
  • ctrl+y: redo;
  • ctrl+m: editor.action.toggleTabFocusMode;
  • ctrl+/: editor.action.commentLine => Use ctrl+; instead;
  • ctrl+p & ctrl+e: workbench.action.quickOpen => Use ctrl+x b instead;
  • ctrl+p: workbench.action.quickOpenNavigateNext => Use ctrl+n instead.
  • ctrl+o: workbench.action.files.openFileFolder;
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