1. Emacs For Mac Port
  2. Emacs For Mac Osx

The eMac, short for education Mac, is an all-in-one Macintosh desktop computer made by Apple Computer, Inc. Released in 2002, it was originally aimed at the education market, but was later made available as a cheaper mass-market alternative to Apple's second-generation LCD iMac G4. The Mac OS 8/9 code is now part of the standard source distribution of Emacs 21. Although you can obtain the latest version of the source code by anonymous CVS from the Emacs project page, Emacs cannot bootstrap on Mac OS 8/9 so the Lisp files must be compiled on another platform (such as Mac OS X). Obtaining Files for Emacs 21.1.

Table of Contents

  • For use within Emacs
  • For use outside Emacs
    • org-mac-protocol – create links and remember notes from a variety of OS X applications

Assorted hacks to interact with org-mode whilst working with OS Xapplications other than Emacs…

For use within Emacs

Pull information from other applications into org-mode.

org-mac-mailing – linking to messages in OS X Mail.app

Create links to selected or flagged messages in Mail.app. Writtenby Matt Strickland.

org-mac-iCal – import OS X iCal.app events into Emacs diary

org-mac-link – Hyperlink to items in mac applications

grab the current link or selection from an open mac application andinsert it as a hyperlink at point in an org-mode document. Writtenby Anthony Lander.

For use outside Emacs

Push information from the current application into org-mode.

org-mac-protocol – create links and remember notes from a variety of OS X applications

Written by Christopher Suckling.Address Book support by Alexander Poslavsky.

A suite of scripts that allow the user to annotate their org-modebuffers without switching focus from other OS X applications.

The following applications are currently supported:

  • Safari, including links to multiple tabs
  • Mail
  • Address Book
  • Pages
  • Numbers
  • Finder
  • Terminal


Emacs For Mac Port

A git repository, together with full documentation, can be found at http://github.com/claviclaws/org-mac-protocol.

org-mac-maillink – linking to messages in OS X Microsoft Entourage app

A short Applescript/terminal hack that allows the user to create a link to amessage from within the Microsoft Entourage application andpaste it directly into an Org-mode file. The link uses the email'ssubject line as its description.Written by Matt Strickland.

alfred-org-capture - Use Alfred to run org-capture

Use Alfred to call up org-capture from only a couple key strokesWritten by JJ Asghar. With acknowledged work by Haider Rizvi,Robert P. Goldman, Alan Schmitt, Alexander Baier, and Damon Haley


Emacs has its own terminology for these concepts:

Emacs For Mac Osx

Emacs For Mac
Common NameCommon KeyEmacs NameEmacs Key
Cut C-xKill-region C-w
Copy C-cKill-ring-save M-w
Paste C-vYank C-y
Yank next M-y

If you do not care for the DefaultKillingAndYankingkey bindings, then consider these alternatives:

  • PcSelectionMode – the Windows and Motif flavour with C-<ins>, C-<del>, and S-<ins>.
  • CuaMode – use C-x, C-c and C-v to copy and paste
  • CuaLightMode – something between PcSelectionMode and CuaMode
  • DeleteSelectionMode – DEL deletes the region; just typing replaces it.
  • WholeLineOrRegion – C-w and M-w act on the current line when TransientMarkMode is not active

X11 Copy & Paste to/from Emacs:

X copy and paste support has historically been a mess. This is relevant, as Emacs supports the various aspects of this mess.

Important for this discussion is the understanding that X generally distinguishes between two types of selection, the PRIMARY and the CLIPBOARD. Every time you select a piece of text with the mouse, the selected text is set as the PRIMARY selection. Using the copy function will place the selected text into the CLIPBOARD. Pasting using the middle mouse button will insert the PRIMARY selection, pasting using the paste function will insert the CLIPBOARD.

With this out of the way, starting with Emacs 24.1, GNU Emacs should already do the right thing here. If you dislike this behavior, there are two options you can customize:

  • x-select-enable-primary - default nil; set this to t if you want the Emacs commands C-w and C-y to use the primary selection.
  • x-select-enable-clipboard - default t; set this to nil if you want the Emacs commands C-w and C-y to use the clipboard selection.

Yes, you can have Emacs use both at the same time.

This does not affect pasting using the middle mouse button. By default, this uses mouse-yank-primary, which will only look at the primary selection. If you want the middle mouse button to insert the clipboard instead, use the following:

Finally, in other applications, pasting usually replaces the selected text with the contents of the clipboard. To enable this behavior in Emacs, use DeleteSelectionMode with the following:


Third party plugins


Emacs For Mac

You can use https://github.com/rolandwalker/simpleclip which ALWAYS works.

More specifically, for copy&paste, there are only two commands:


Read clipboard history from clipboard managers (Parcellite, ClipIt at Linux and Flycut at Mac). https://github.com/redguardtoo/cliphist


If it’s getting to be a bit of a hassle, use https://github.com/thomp/datclip to simply show the primary, secondary, and clipboard selections in the datclip buffer.


Monitor the clipboard and insert any change into the kill-ring. It makes it easier to use yank-pop from several inputs outside Emacs. https://github.com/bburns/clipmon

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