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Mnemonic key bindings for Lispy!
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lispy-mnemonic.el License: GPL

This package provides a minor mode that sets up mnemonic key bindings for Lispy. lispy-mnemonic also makes extensive use of hydras for grouping related commands and improving discoverability.


lispy-mnemonic started out as an attempt to make it easier for myself to learn Lispy. I'm familiar with the concept of modal editing, but I'm not a Vim user (which means that it doesn't come naturally to me to use, e.g., hjkl for movement). Also, I find it harder to commit a key sequence to memory if it is completely unrelated to the command it is bound to (as evidenced by the fact that I rely heavily on mnemonics in my personal Emacs configuration).


There are probably some exceptions but in general, key binding choices are based on the following principles:

  1. Make key bindings match command names. Alternatively, base key binding choices on default bindings for related functionality that ships with Emacs.

  2. Group related commands under a common prefix. Separate commands that share a common prefix in Lispy if they don't seem to be strongly related in terms of functionality.

  3. Improve discoverability, but don't be overly obtrusive.

  4. Do not override default key bindings (especially if the functionality they provide is completely unrelated to the command you are trying to bind).

Target Audience

If you:

  • would like to start learning Lispy
  • have played around with Lispy but not mastered it
  • haven't burned Vim-style key bindings into your muscle memory
  • find that mnemonics make it easier to learn and remember new commands and key bindings

... there is a good chance you'll benefit from using lispy-mnemonic.

If you have already memorized most or all of Lispy's commands and key bindings (kudos!), you probably don't need this package. But before you leave, do have a look at the hydras that lispy-mnemonic ships with. Who knows, maybe you'll find a couple that you like :)


lispy-mnemonic is not on MELPA (yet). To start using it, follow these steps:

  1. If you haven't already, install lispy:

    M-x package-install RET lispy RET

  2. Clone this repo:

     git clone
  3. Add the following to your init-file:

     (add-to-list 'load-path "~/path/to/lispy-mnemonic/")
     (require 'lispy-mnemonic)
  4. Optional: To turn lispy-mnemonic-mode on automatically for, e.g., buffers that are in emacs-lisp-mode, add the following code to your init-file:

     (add-hook 'emacs-lisp-mode-hook 'lispy-mnemonic-mode)


Do M-x lispy-mnemonic-mode RET to turn lispy-mnemonic-mode on or off.

See here for a full list of bindings.


By default, lispy-mnemonic does not alter Lispy bindings that conflict with default bindings for built-in commands. If you would like to restore the original behavior of any bindings that Lispy overrides, add the following to your init-file:

(setq lispy-mnemonic-restore-bindings t)

Here is a list of bindings that will be restored:

Keys Command
C-2 digit-argument
C-3 digit-argument
C-4 digit-argument
C-7 digit-argument
C-8 digit-argument
C-9 digit-argument
M-, tags-loop-continue
M-m back-to-indentation
M-i tab-to-tab-stop
M-j indent-new-comment-line
M-J indent-new-comment-line
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