I'm using helm-mode in emacs to open files. However, when I try to copy the path of a file (say /home/user1/Documents/file1.txt) to paste it in terminal, I get a message saying

<down-mouse-1> is undefined

How can I defined the left-click and hold of mouse for copy in helm-mode?

  • Helm doesn't (and won't) support mouse according to github.com/emacs-helm/helm/issues/501#issuecomment-140496283. I think you can implement your needs as a helm action and add it to relevant helm source, then use keyboard to use it. Nowadays, it is easier to custom helm actions for many helm commands.
    – xuchunyang
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 16:34
  • If thats the case can you tell me how to copy a path from helm-mode? Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


If you don't insist on using mouse in Emacs, implementing your request using keyboard is straightforward. For example, if you want to copy some filename while running the helm-find-files command, customize helm-find-files-actions:

(with-eval-after-load "helm-files"
  (add-to-list 'helm-find-files-actions '("Copy filename" . kill-new) :append)
  (setq helm-source-find-files (helm-make-source "Find Files" 'helm-source-ffiles)))

then you can use the new action "Copy filename" from helm's action menu, that is, type TAB (helm-select-action) in a helm session.

If you like, you can even assign a shortcut key (e.g., C-c m) for it, so that you can invoke that action without switching to helm's action menu.

(defun helm-ff-run-copy-filename ()
    (helm-exit-and-execute-action 'kill-new)))

(with-eval-after-load "helm-files"
  (define-key helm-find-files-map (kbd "C-c m") #'helm-ff-run-copy-filename))

For other helm commands, customize corresponding action, for example, for helm-recentf command, customize helm-type-file-actions similarly.

  • I'm not insistent on mouse. I need to copy the whole path not just the filename Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 17:14
  • filename here means the full path of a file.
    – xuchunyang
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 17:17
  • I get the following error when I put the first add-to-list in .emacs I get an error Warning (initialization): An error occurred while loading '/Users/user1/.emacs': Symbol's value as variable is void: helm-find-files-actions Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 17:34
  • You can solve it by wrapping undefined variable, e.g., helm-find-files-actions and helm-find-files-map, within (with-eval-after-load "helm-files" ...).
    – xuchunyang
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 17:47
  • Sorry I'm new to helm. It will help if you can modify your answer. Once it works I will accept your answer Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 17:50

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