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23.3.2 Keymaps and Minor Modes

Each minor mode can have its own keymap, which is active when the mode is enabled. To set up a keymap for a minor mode, add an element to the alist minor-mode-map-alist. See Definition of minor-mode-map-alist.

One use of minor mode keymaps is to modify the behavior of certain self-inserting characters so that they do something else as well as self-insert. (Another way to customize self-insert-command is through post-self-insert-hook, see Commands for Insertion. Apart from this, the facilities for customizing self-insert-command are limited to special cases, designed for abbrevs and Auto Fill mode. Do not try substituting your own definition of self-insert-command for the standard one. The editor command loop handles this function specially.)

Minor modes may bind commands to key sequences consisting of C-c followed by a punctuation character. However, sequences consisting of C-c followed by one of {}<>:;, or a control character or digit, are reserved for major modes. Also, C-c letter is reserved for users. See Key Binding Conventions.