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GNU Emacs can be programmed to emulate (more or less) most other
editors. Standard facilities can emulate these:
EDT (DEC VMS editor)
Turn on EDT emulation with `M-x edt-emulation-on'. `M-x
edt-emulation-off' restores normal Emacs command bindings.
Most of the EDT emulation commands are keypad keys, and most
standard Emacs key bindings are still available. The EDT
emulation rebindings are done in the global keymap, so there is no
problem switching buffers or major modes while in EDT emulation.
To turn on emulation of Gosling Emacs (alias Unipress Emacs), type
the command `M-x set-gosmacs-bindings'. This redefines many keys,
mostly on the `C-x' and `ESC' prefixes, to work as they do in
Gosmacs. `M-x set-gnu-bindings' returns to normal GNU Emacs by
rebinding the same keys to the definitions they had before you used
vi (Berkeley Unix editor)
Turn on vi emulation with `M-x vi-mode'. This is a major mode
that replaces the previously established major mode. All of the
vi commands that, in real vi, enter "input" mode are programmed in
the Emacs emulator to return to the previous major mode. Thus,
ordinary Emacs serves as vi's "input" mode.
Because vi emulation works through major modes, it does not work
to switch buffers during emulation. Return to normal Emacs first.
If you plan to use vi emulation much, you probably want to bind a
key to the `vi-mode' command.
vi (alternate emulator)
Another vi emulator said to resemble real vi more thoroughly is
invoked by `M-x vip-mode'. "Input" mode in this emulator is
changed from ordinary Emacs so you can use ESC to go back to
emulated vi command mode. To get from emulated vi command mode
back to ordinary Emacs, type `C-z'.
This emulation does not work through major modes, and it is
possible to switch buffers in various ways within the emulator.
It is not so necessary to assign a key to the command `vip-mode' as
it is with `vi-mode' because terminating insert mode does not use
For full information, see the long comment at the beginning of the
source file, which is `lisp/vip.el' in the Emacs distribution.
I am interested in hearing which vi emulator users prefer, as well
as in receiving more complete user documentation for either or both
emulators. Warning: loading both at once may cause name conflicts; no
one has checked.
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