With evil-mode, I found myself pressing escape very often, but it's a bit far to reach. Also, it seems semantic wise, keyboard-quit is similar to evil-force-normal-state, so I would like to use C-g for both of them with the following conditional logic that Only when cursor is a buffer with evil-mode's insert state, then C-g should execute evil-force-normal-state, other it should execute its normal binding of keyboard-quit

I guess that there might be a sub-key-map for evil with insert state?

If you have ready example, I'd appreciate your sharing.

In the meantime, I'll check the possibility of customizing the key-binding with evil's input state. I'm studying this link now:

I tried the following, but it didn't work:

(evil-define-key 'insert evil-insert-state-map (kbd "C-g") 'evil-normal-state)


(evil-define-key 'insert evil-insert-state-map (kbd "C-g") 'evil-force-normal-state)

C-g still executes keyboard-quit

I found that I can use key-chord to execute evil-force-normal-state:

(key-chord-define evil-normal-state-map ",," 'evil-force-normal-state)
(key-chord-define evil-visual-state-map ",," 'evil-change-to-previous-state)
(key-chord-define evil-insert-state-map ",," 'evil-normal-state)
(key-chord-define evil-replace-state-map ",," 'evil-normal-state)


  • I'd welcome solution to make executing evil-force-normal-state even more convenient.
    – Yu Shen
    Jul 7, 2015 at 6:34

1 Answer 1


If you'd like a command that detects your evil state and behaves contextually, you can use an if:

(defun quit-it ()
  "If in evil insert state, force normal state, else run
  (if (and evil-mode (eq evil-state 'insert))

Of course, you may want to be able to do that when you get into some of the other evil keymaps, and there's no particular harm that I can see to forcing normal state elsewhere, so you could probably say:

(defun evil-keyboard-quit ()
  "Keyboard quit and force normal state."
  (and evil-mode (evil-force-normal-state))

Now go ahead and bind it in the relevant maps:

(define-key evil-normal-state-map   (kbd "C-g") #'evil-keyboard-quit) 
(define-key evil-motion-state-map   (kbd "C-g") #'evil-keyboard-quit) 
(define-key evil-insert-state-map   (kbd "C-g") #'evil-keyboard-quit) 
(define-key evil-window-map         (kbd "C-g") #'evil-keyboard-quit) 
(define-key evil-operator-state-map (kbd "C-g") #'evil-keyboard-quit) 
  • Thanks for showing the example. I'll give it a try to confirm.
    – Yu Shen
    Jul 13, 2015 at 4:06
  • evil-window-state-map could not be found with my emacs "24.5.1". It didn't bother me so far. Anyway, your suggestion works beautifully. C-g seems a good binding.
    – Yu Shen
    Jul 13, 2015 at 4:22
  • 1
    @YuShen: sorry, my mistake: it should have been evil-window-map. The answer is now corrected.
    – Dan
    Jul 13, 2015 at 9:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.