emacs keybindings in firefox

Use Firefox on *nix? Want Emacs key bindings in text fields? As described in the MozillaZine knowledge base, add this to your ~/.gtkrc-2.0 file.

gtk-key-theme-name = "Emacs"

This will give you many Emacs key bindings, specifically C-a, C-e, C-f, C-b, C-k, C-u, C-w, C-h, and C-d. However, you won’t get C-y, C-p, C-n, C-s, C-r, C-j, C-m, and C-l, since they’re overridden by menu item accelerators.

To get those key bindings too, go to about:config and set ui.key.accelKey to 18. This switches Firefox’s accelerator key from Ctrl to Alt. So, you’ll need to use Alt-L to go to the URL box, Alt-T to open a new tab, etc…but you’ll be able to use all the Emacs keybindings burned into your muscle memory!

Thanks to David Chandler for this tip.

6 thoughts on “emacs keybindings in firefox

  1. Changing accelKey to 18 doesn’t seem to enable the extra emacs keys (Firefox on Ubuntu Linux).

  2. For some reason, editing the .gtkrc-2.0 file doesn’t work for me in Gnome 2.14. However, I found an even easier way to do it. Just run this command:

    gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/gtk_key_theme Emacs --type string

    (You can use –unset if you decide you don’t like it).


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