Filed under: emacs

The past few days I’ve been using emacs more than iterm for the daily blogging workflow, which is primarily markdown, haskell, and shell major modes. Accessing these are easy with spacemacs and navigating through buffers and modes within emacs reminds me of playing piano chords.

Cat playing keys

Writing some of the most common chords down as a quick reference guide for me to later come back to but also to share with you what I use most often in the past few days.

`SPC f e d` open .spacemacs file for editing configs

`SPC f e R` reload spacemacs with file configs

`SPC :` it's spacebar plus colon and it is same as the usual `M-X`

`SPC t S` toggle spell checker

`SPC '` open emacs shell

`SPC w 2` split window with 2 columns

tangential thoughts

Some colleagues who are fans of vi(m) are probably nodding their head along yea yea yea whatevs why use emacs it’s so old school and so hefty not lightweight at all. To that perspective, I will mention my taste preferences: I like my cup of tea a fine blend of loose leaves (normally white tea) with floral notes and a dash of citrus in a delicate gold rimmed vintage bone china. Translation: I like fancy and cute.

Spacemacs serves that void in the command line world of customisable offerings that can easily be tweaked into fancy and cute option. In fact my instagram page ( shows how matchy the spacemacs theme colors are to tropical sunset colors. I love how photogenic my code is :smile: It got more likes than the photo of central park, and my shoes!

I love vi too - it comes with almost every linux distro and therefore very useful to know how to use. I can’t say I pick one over the other for all use cases but at the moment I love the fanciness I can achieve easily with emacs, I don’t need to install separately iterm2 + tmux + vim + themes but instead install spacemacs and turn on layers. It’s like finding the right shade of red lipstick and realizing the tube comes with a mirror.

No lie, there a learning curve involved with learning a new editor, especially if you’re looking to become productive and wanting to not consult reference guide every two minutes. I installed spacemacs some time before thanksgiving last year but didn’t really get around using it everyday until starting this blog.

I’ll tell you what helps me remember spacemacs keys - it wasn’t until reading the docs last night that the prominence of the spacebar in the design became obvious.

Spacemacs => spacebar

After pressing the spacebar you have several actions options such as:




MUCH easier to remember these keys than the emacs original key bindings. It took about 4 clean spacemacs installs (three in the past week) to finally start getting a grasp of the configuraton options and elisp organization. That’s how long it took to realize I should read the comments and docs :smirk: