I use a different keyboard layout (colemak) so standard evil keys are a bit annoying. Is there a way to swap keys globally (minus when writing text)?

  • I don't have experience with using alternative layouts, but it seems like toggle-input-method (bound to `C-\` ) might work for this. It changes the keys for typing, but not for navigation.
    – nispio
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 14:29
  • Sorry I forget a tag, I was specifically asking about spacemacs.
    – Horstenson
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 14:31
  • Spacemacs has a layer for different keyboard layouts. I've never used it, but maybe it's a start for what you're trying to do.
    – Wieland
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 12:20
  • Awesome, that's exactly what I need. Thanks a lot.
    – Horstenson
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 11:46
  • @Wieland Can you write your comment as an answer? Hortenson, can you then accept it?
    – syl20bnr
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


you may be looking for https://github.com/wbolster/evil-colemak-basics which provides basic rebindings that aren't "a bit annoying" but instead an awesome mix of colemak and qwerty that feels very natural for seasoned vim/evil users switching to colemak.

(i am the author.)

  • 1
    This is really great and with minor modifications probably the setup I had before. But does this work with spacemacs? In the sense that the spacemacs keys get rewired as well?
    – Horstenson
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 20:33
  • i do not use spacemacs, so please be more specific. evil-colemak-basics is a minor mode that overrides key bindings in motion, normal and visual states (and a few extra things) which are provided by evil. afaik spacemacs uses evil so in theory this should work as-is. Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 20:51
  • Spacemacs uses leader key and vim keys to do everything in emacs. So ideally I wanted to swap the keys there as well. Anyway clearly your package doesn't do that but works well inside a buffer so thanks a lot.
    – Horstenson
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 21:49
  • 1
    A late thanks, I revisited your package and it works well now with spacemacs.
    – Horstenson
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 12:37
  • ok wow, so you actually use it? any feedback or improvements that come to mind? (use github please) Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 15:39

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