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I have used various versions of the Emacs editor for almost 15
years now. In Emacs, you press <Ctrl>+<Key> to edit text; for
example, <Ctrl>+<A> goes to the start of the line and
<Ctrl>+<E> goes to the end.
My fingers "think" in Emacs to edit just as thoroughly as they
"think" in QWERTY (standard keyboard) to type. I've tried using
other keyboard-based editors such as Vi and WordStar, and
they slow me down as much as if I had to type on a nonstandard
The first thing I did in WordPerfect, Word, and the Norton
desktop editor was redefine the <Ctrl> keys to emulate Emacs.
(Interleaf already uses this scheme for its editing.) I also
redefined a lot of other function keys to do the same tasks in
each of the different programs. I also use a lot of the standard
Windows keyboard shortcuts (such as <Alt>+<Down arrow> to open
a drop-down list).
This means I can use the same keyboard-based editing commands
in all the programs I use to edit text. I can edit a file
faster using my keyboard setup than most people can by using a
I do use the mouse sometimes when editing text (and most of the
time in graphics programs, although I'd prefer a stylus), but
it's usually faster to keep my hands on the keyboard.
Anyone interested in the gory details of my keyboard setups is
welcome to e-mail me directly (dphelan -at- mantos -dot- com).