Emacs normally contains many keymaps; at any given time, just a few of them are active, meaning that they participate in the interpretation of user input. All the active keymaps are used together to determine what command to execute when a key is entered.
Normally the active keymaps are the
keymap property keymap,
the keymaps of any enabled minor modes, the current buffer's local
keymap, and the global keymap, in that order. Emacs searches for each
input key sequence in all these keymaps. See Searching Keymaps,
for more details of this procedure.
When the key sequence starts with a mouse event,
the active keymaps are determined based on the
position in that event. If the event happened on a string embedded
property (see Special Properties), the non-
properties of the string override those of the buffer (if the
underlying buffer text contains map properties in its text properties
or overlays, they are ignored).
The global keymap holds the bindings of keys that are defined
regardless of the current buffer, such as C-f. The variable
global-map holds this keymap, which is always active.
Each buffer may have another keymap, its local keymap, which
may contain new or overriding definitions for keys. The current
buffer's local keymap is always active except when
overriding-local-map overrides it. The
or overlay property can specify an alternative local keymap for certain
parts of the buffer; see Special Properties.
Each minor mode can have a keymap; if it does, the keymap is active
when the minor mode is enabled. Modes for emulation can specify
additional active keymaps through the variable
The highest precedence normal keymap comes from the
text or overlay property. If that is non-
nil, it is the first
keymap to be processed, in normal circumstances. Next comes
any keymap added by the function
See Controlling Active Maps.
However, there are also special ways for programs to substitute
other keymaps for some of those. The variable
overriding-local-map, if non-
nil, specifies a keymap
that replaces all the usual active keymaps except the global keymap.
Another way to do this is with
it operates on a per-terminal basis. These variables are documented
Since every buffer that uses the same major mode normally uses the
same local keymap, you can think of the keymap as local to the mode. A
change to the local keymap of a buffer (using
example) is seen also in the other buffers that share that keymap.
The local keymaps that are used for Lisp mode and some other major
modes exist even if they have not yet been used. These local keymaps are
the values of variables such as
lisp-mode-map. For most major
modes, which are less frequently used, the local keymap is constructed
only when the mode is used for the first time in a session.
The minibuffer has local keymaps, too; they contain various completion and exit commands. See Intro to Minibuffers.
Emacs has other keymaps that are used in a different way—translating
read-key-sequence. See Translation Keymaps.
See Standard Keymaps, for a list of some standard keymaps.
This returns the list of active keymaps that would be used by the command loop in the current circumstances to look up a key sequence. Normally it ignores
overriding-terminal-local-map, but if olp is non-
nilthen it pays attention to them. position can optionally be either an event position as returned by
event-startor a buffer position, and may change the keymaps as described for
This function returns the binding for key according to the current active keymaps. The result is
nilif key is undefined in the keymaps.
The argument accept-defaults controls checking for default bindings, as in
lookup-key(see Functions for Key Lookup).
When commands are remapped (see Remapping Commands),
key-bindingnormally processes command remappings so as to return the remapped command that will actually be executed. However, if no-remap is non-
key-bindingignores remappings and returns the binding directly specified for key.
If key starts with a mouse event (perhaps following a prefix event), the maps to be consulted are determined based on the event's position. Otherwise, they are determined based on the value of point. However, you can override either of them by specifying position. If position is non-
nil, it should be either a buffer position or an event position like the value of
event-start. Then the maps consulted are determined based on position.
An error is signaled if key is not a string or a vector.(key-binding "\C-x\C-f") ⇒ find-file