I always forget the keybindings for the Emacs debugger. I'd like to have a small window open at the same time the debugger window opens with a list of keybindings (I'm thinking of something that would appear similar to the bottom Ediff window in this screenshot https://gpvprasad.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/ediff.png).

I was hoping a package like guide-key could perform this task but it doesn't seem possible.

What is the simplest way to make a window appear containing a concise list of keybindings for the active window?

1 Answer 1


C-h m (command describe-mode) is your friend, always. Including in Debugger mode.

C-h b (command describe-bindings) lists more bindings.

If you use Icicles then you can get the possible keys at any time, anywhere, and you can complete prefix keys. This is key completion.

The relevant command is icicle-complete-keys. By default, Icicles binds it to S-TAB in places where S-TAB is not already bound.

S-TAB is already bound to command backward-button in Debugger mode (that is, in debugger-mode-map). You can bind icicle-complete-keys to another key in that map, or bind it to S-TAB there, if you like.

  • It seems like this is the correct answer. Icicles is a little heavyweight to use only for this purpose (though I have used it in the past with success). I'll probably stick with just using h to describe the mode.
    – Conor
    Oct 28, 2015 at 16:59

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