Linux Fu: The Browser Emacs Fusion

It is no secret that I have a few things permanently burned into my neurons: the 1802 instruction set, the commands for WordStar, and the commands for emacs. There was a time when emacs was almost my operating system. With no X11, emacs gave you a way to have a shell in one window, check your mail, and keep your work open.

I still use emacs a lot (although I’ve been getting more and more pleased with vscode with an emacs keybinding extension). But I also spend a lot of time — like right now — writing in a Web browser. Especially if I’m writing about code, it gets hard to remember which set of keys you have to use and I’ve wanted to do something about it for a long time. The answer is a very cool program called Autokey. (You can download my files for it, but you probably want to read more first.) It probably doesn’t work if you have switched to Wayland, but it can do a lot for you ranging from saving you some typing to reprogramming your favorite program to have different keystrokes. However, it isn’t without its problems, and I’ll tell you what I know about it.

The Value Proposition

Autokey sits in your system tray and it watches what you type. In its most simple usage, you can set up different phrases to substitute what you type.

For example, I might reprogram HaD to show up as Hackaday to save myself some typing. I usually use some odd character at the start or end so I don’t accidentally trigger things. So maybe I’m tired of typing or mistyping I could set up ~had to automatically type the correct URL for me.

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