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I want to use the same basic keybindings for copy (C-c), paste (C-v), cut (C-x), etc. that are supported in some other software.

How can I do that?

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    For cut, copy & paste there's cua-mode. – paprika Nov 18 '14 at 11:00
  • cua? What is that? – John Demetriou Nov 18 '14 at 11:03
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    CUA stands for "Common User Access" and allows you to use C-c, C-v, C-x, and C-z as you would in other programs (see also the EmacsWiki page). @paprika: do you want to convert your comment to an answer? – Dan Nov 18 '14 at 11:14
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    @Dan: I don't have time for that currently. I was sure that someone else would mention cua-mode as part of an answer anyway. And TaylanUB did. :-) – paprika Nov 18 '14 at 13:31
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    Oh thank the gods, or just Dan four years ago... I didn't know I'd stumbled across and installed CUA mode while scratching around in some emacs rabbit hole or something and now was sorely missing my scroll-up-command and scroll-down-command -- thank you! – Mallory-Erik Feb 18 '18 at 15:59
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As others commented, cua-mode does this, which ships with Emacs. Just M-x cua-mode RET to enable it, or put (cua-mode 1) in your .emacs or .emacs.d/init.el to enable it at startup.

Unless it changed in 24.4, it will also enable using DEL (usually backspace) to delete (without cutting) a selected region, simply starting to type to overwrite (without cutting) a selected region, and holding down Shift and navigating to select a region, just like all "normal" text editing software does. Possibly some of this functionality has been split up in 24.4; looking into the Emacs manual should tell you.

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You also might want to check out ergoemacs mode, https://ergoemacs.github.io/. It remaps emacs keybindings to ones that make more sense to users acclimated to modern editing software, among many other changes.

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  • Note that ergoemacs-mode is in GNU ELPA, so you can install it directly via M-x package-list. – Stefan Nov 18 '14 at 14:07

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