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Re: How to type when using Emacs?

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: How to type when using Emacs?
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2008 18:47:10 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

SomeDeveloper <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hello,

> Just getting started with Emacs. Would like to get advice on how to
> train finger movement when learning/using Emacs.

I've used Emacs a lot for a long time.  What I'm about to say works for
me, but there's no guarantee it'll work for you.  I suggest you take
everybody's suggestions here and try them out.  Then put them together
in the way which works for you.

> Should I try to continue to follow standard, English typing rules...
> where you park your fingers on the home-row, and then press a key only
> with the finger reserved for it? Or, should I feel free to jump
> arbitrarily or do whatever is necessary/convenient to become effective
> longer-term?

I stick to English touch-typing rules.  If you can do it, I'd stick with
this.  However, I've also got a secondary "home position", with my right
hand down by the 4 arrow keys (middle, ring, pinky), <ctrl> (thumb) and
<shift> (fore).

> Saw an article or two on the Net ( 
> ) where the authors are recommending swapping CAPS and CTRL keys. Not
> sure if this by itself would be enough, or if I would need to also
> break standard typing rules?

I tried this once, but it didn't gain me enough to make it worth the
hassle of re-learning.

> For example: If I had to type
>   C-x t C-u 8 0

> using the standard typing rules, I would use
>   <finger>  ( <for-key> )
>  Right pinky (C)
>  Left ring finger (x)
>  Left pinky (C)
>  Right index finger (u)
>  Right middle finger (8)
>  Right pinky (0)

> How would you type the above? Similarly, an example recommendation of
> a complicated, Meta key combination would also help.

For some reason, I only use my LH for <ctrl> (apart from as described
above).  So my finger-sequence would be:

L Pinky, L Middle (C-x)
L Fore (t)
L Pinky, R Index (C-u)
R Index (8)
R ring (0)

> Hoping to hear from Emacs experts and veterans. Thanks...

> Regards,
> /SD

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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