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Subject:   Emacs: Meta-Control, how to do it in Terminal?
Date:   2003-02-14 05:26:37
From:   anonymous2
There are some Emacs keybord shortcuts, such as ESC C-c for exit-recursive-edit, that seem impossible to do in Terminal from the Mac keyboard. I use ctrl-option for the meta or ESC key, but just pressing these keys and releasing them doesn't do anything, so pressing ctrl-C afterwards is just ctrl-C, not ESC C-c. How to handle this?
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Showing messages 1 through 6 of 6.

  • Emacs: Meta-Control, how to do it in Terminal?
    2005-12-29 05:58:31  Trondtr [View]

    This is the bug that most of all makes me long for os9, but apart from this crucial omission, osX is great.

    In os9, i pressed ctrl-x etc for emacs C-x, and I pressed (simultaneously) ctrl-alt-x for emacs M-x. Only for some commands you have to press ESC and then the key. In osX, this possibility is blocked. In terminal settings (Keyboard), I can choose to have alt key set as meta key, but that road is blocked, for obvious reasons: Being a linguist, I need the alt key to various non-ascii letters, this was what made me a mac user in the mid eighties. In os9, there was a further option: "alt option as meta". So, how can I get my meta back?

    • Emacs: Meta-Control, how to do it in Terminal?
      2006-11-23 21:27:14  fluxion [View]

      A very kind person wrote this:

      I found a way to switch which key Mac OS X recognizes as meta. First, uncheck the “Use the system keyboard layout” option in X11 preferences. Then, create the file ~/.Xmodmap and insert the following six lines:

      clear Mod1
      clear Mod2
      keycode 63 = Mode_switch
      keycode 66 = Meta_L
      add Mod1 = Meta_L
      add Mod2 = Mode_switch

      It clears the keymappings for alt and escape and then reassigns them to the reverse of what they were before. Restart X11 and it should pick up the changes.

      source: http://snier.com/archives/2006/10/05/redefine-the-x11-meta-key-in-mac-os-x/
      • Emacs: Meta-Control, how to do it in Terminal?
        2007-09-02 15:03:00  Antonio666 [View]

        I don't think that the question was about anything under X11... It's about Terminal.app, which is not an X11 application.

        I also have been very frustrating by its inability to send the Control+Meta combination. As far as I can tell, there isn't a *single* terminal emulator that runs under OSX capable of sending it. My everyday work requires me to use a console emacs through an ssh connection, so being able to type it is very important. (The alternative is to a highly unergonomic need to press ESC every other keystroke!).

        If anyone figures out a fix, I'd *love* to hear it!



        [In the meantime, I'll try that X11 trick. It might be the next best thing...]

        • Emacs: Meta-Control, how to do it in Terminal?
          2007-10-05 02:19:56  aguest [View]

          You can try pressing "Esc" then Control-anotherkey, it's cumbersome but should work.

          If you look with Google you should find some config examples where are redefine a lot (all?) of terminal keys combinations (and the equivalent binding inside Emacs), but i don't recall if Meta-Control could be flawlessly integrated...
          • Emacs: Meta-Control, how to do it in Terminal?
            2008-06-18 19:47:35  denalilumma [View]

            Hi There,

            You need to configure the mac 'terminal' application so the 'alt / option' key sends 'meta'. In order to do this, go to:

            Terminal > Preferences > Settings > Keyboard

            and select the 'Use option as meta key' checkbox at the bottom of the window.

            I hope that helps,

            • Emacs: Meta-Control, how to do it in Terminal?
              2009-01-26 17:49:12  chompx [View]

              Dude. You rock. Thx.