I noticed something odd. If I press M-P I get the message M-p is undefined rather than M-P etc.. Is there a reason for this?

Version 26.2. Using Arch Linux and the X window system.

  • Try using describe-key on both keys. It might be translated. – DoMiNeLa10 Apr 22 at 16:38
  • @DoMiNeLa10, that works as expected. just curious about this behaviour. – Toothrot Apr 22 at 16:39
  • Does it mention that keys are translated in some way? If they are, that's your answer - someone set them up to be translated, and you might even get a link to see where it's been done. – DoMiNeLa10 Apr 22 at 17:14
  • @DoMiNeLa10, no, this happens with -q. – Toothrot Apr 22 at 17:17
  • 1
    I can't reproduce that from emacs -Q. Is this in a terminal? OS may also affect key input. – npostavs Apr 22 at 17:42

It's a feature. Refer to this duplicate Q&A on the main S.O. site:


It's still slightly misleading, given that in your case the lower-case sequence also has no binding (as the docs imply that the translation only occurs when there is a lower-case binding), but I think it's all part and parcel of the same mechanism.

read_key_sequence contains the following comments:

  /* If KEY is not defined in any of the keymaps,
 and cannot be part of a function key or translation,
 and is an upper case letter
 use the corresponding lower-case letter instead.  */
  /* We have to do this unconditionally, regardless of whether
     the lower-case char is defined in the keymaps, because they
     might get translated through function-key-map.  */
  shift_translated = true;

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