Migrating habituated cut copy and paste into Emacs

Posted by Katherine's Blog on Thursday, November 14, 2019


In order to get as versitile as possible, I try to avoid re-config keybindings in different operating environment. I made myself to get used to the environment, for example there are about four or five different settings in Emacs, VIM, bash, Windows OS and other terminal. Overall speaking, I find this brings me more benefit than the cost of learning or migrating customerized config to other environment. In most cases, it’s just *nix (VIM, Emacs) v.s. modern environments (MS, macOS).

In modern system we fix text work with two steps: (1) copy new content (2) mark the old content and directly paste to replace. But the old systems do not have replace function and this makes the above procedure 3 steps: (1) copy new content (2)mark the old content and delete (3) paste new content. However the killing function is actually cutting: the deleted stuff overwrites the content you were about to paste in clipboard. (Of course you could press many backspaces in insert-mode to keep the killing ring/clipboard right but no one really do that) So I found my actual operation often became more steps (1) I copied new content (2) I marked places and cut it (3) paste and remembered the clipboard has been overwrote. (4) I went back and re-copied new content (5) I pasted it and got totally pissed off.

Wether making killing function as cutting is a good design or not, at this point the best solution is in my opinion is keeping multiple history in clipboard. Using helm-show-kill-ring to keep 5 recent deleted records for your further concern. This not only frees your mind of remembering the cut/copy operation, but also save your time for repetitive work.

The alternative choices are browse-kill-ring and counsel-kill-ring-pop.

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