home | O'Reilly's CD bookshelfs | FreeBSD | Linux | Cisco | Cisco Exam  

UNIX Power Tools

UNIX Power ToolsSearch this book
Previous: 32.4 Backup and Auto-Save Files Chapter 32
GNU Emacs
Next: 32.6 Command Completion

32.5 Putting Emacs in Overwrite Mode

Many users are used to editors that are normally in overwrite mode : when you backspace and start typing, you "type over" the character that is underneath the cursor. [2] By default, Emacs works in insertion mode , where new characters are inserted just before the cursor's position.

[2] This includes some mainframe editors, like XEDIT, and (in my memory) a lot of older tools for word processing and general editing.

If you prefer overwrite mode, just give the command ESC   x   overwrite-mode . You can use command abbreviation ( 32.6 ) to shorten this to ESC   x   ov . On many keyboards, pressing INSERT also turns on overwrite mode. If you get tired of overwrite mode, use the same command to turn it off.

If you always want to use overwrite mode, create a file named .emacs in your home directory, and put the following line in it:

(setq-default overwrite-mode t)

This is a simple Emacs customization; for a lot more about customization, see O'Reilly & Associates' Learning GNU Emacs , by Debra Cameron and Bill Rosenblatt.

- ML , DC

Previous: 32.4 Backup and Auto-Save Files UNIX Power Tools Next: 32.6 Command Completion
32.4 Backup and Auto-Save Files Book Index 32.6 Command Completion

The UNIX CD Bookshelf Navigation The UNIX CD BookshelfUNIX Power ToolsUNIX in a NutshellLearning the vi Editorsed & awkLearning the Korn ShellLearning the UNIX Operating System