I tried Spacemacs recently and I really liked the idea of their hybrid mode. But sadly, I can't figure out how to do a few things in Spacemacs so I'm thinking of just using Evil in regular Emacs. So, I'd really like to know if there's a way to enable Emacs movement and text-editing keys in Evil's insert and replace states. Has anyone tried this kind of thing? Any pointers would be appreciated.

  • When I started with evil-mode, I also thought the same way; and it was difficult to switch to full (or sort of full) Vim way. But you will get over it. I would highly recommend Practical Vim by Drew Neil. It is well worth the reading to get the best out of Vim or evil-mode, especially if you are new to Vim.
    – Arktik
    May 29, 2018 at 14:06
  • Thanks @A.Blizzard. I've used vim for a couple of years (in fact I'm new to emacs and newer still to spacemacs) and I feel my efficiency could increase if I could do some movements right in insert mode, instead of exiting insert mode, moving and then getting back in. It's not required all the time, but it's handy every so often. But I'll check out the book you suggest. May 29, 2018 at 23:44

1 Answer 1


Replace state works just fine here, I can navigate with arrow keys and C-f/C-b/C-n/C-p as expected. For insert state, it's as simple as customizing evil-disable-insert-state-bindings to t.

edit: Note that this has to be done before loading up Evil.

  • Thanks for the reply. I tried (require 'evil) (evil-mode 1) (setq-default evil-disable-insert-state-bindings t) And also reversing the order of the last two lines. But both the insert state and replace state try to, for example, autocomplete on C-n. May 29, 2018 at 23:39
  • You have to do the customization before loading up Evil, so if anything, but it before (require 'evil). Generally, (require 'evil) isn't required if you've installed it via package.el, thanks to autoloads you can just call (evil-mode) in your init file after (package-initialize) has been called (like, by either calling it as early as possible or using after-init-hook).
    – wasamasa
    May 30, 2018 at 7:21

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