I tried the following to assign Ctrl-left/right for moving one word forward/backward, but none of them works:

(global-set-key (kbd "<C-left>") 'backward-word)
(global-set-key (kbd "<C-right>") 'forward-word)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-<left>") 'backward-word)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-<right>") 'forward-word)

Has anyone an idea?

  • What does ` C-h k` follow by hitting control and the right arrow report? That will show the key to use in kbd. Apr 18, 2015 at 7:01
  • BTW, keyboard macros are something else. Your question concerns key bindings. Apr 18, 2015 at 7:03
  • C-h k followed by C+<left> or C+<right> does not do anything (emacs does not take the key combination as input at all). Apr 18, 2015 at 9:51
  • Then some other app or the OS "steal" it. Sorry, I don't have a Mac so have no clue how to change that. Apr 18, 2015 at 10:32

1 Answer 1


Ctrl-left/right is assigned to Mission Control by default. Remove the assignment of those two shortcuts in Mac OS X system preferences / keyboard / keyboard shortcuts: Chose Mission Control on the left side and uncheck assignments on the right side.


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