I tried to bind a key using a prefix-key of C-z, but Emacs told me: Key sequence C-z c starts with non-prefix key C-z. I guess this means that C-z is already bound to something.

So I tried to do M-x describe-key RET C-z, but when I do that it doesn't describe that key, it just waits for the next key press (by adding a hyphen after C-z).

How can I tell describe-key that I just want to know what C-z is?


Use C-z C-h.

That shows you a list of all the keys, and their commands, that have C-z as a prefix key.

  • When I press C-z C-h I'm told that the following are bound: C-z C-b, C-z b, C-z o, C-z p, C-z q, C-z r, C-z s, C-z t. But emacs was complaining when I tried to set: ; (("C-z c" . avy-goto-char-timer) ; ("C-z l" . avy-goto-line) ; ("C-C j" . avy-resume)) I'm sorry, but I cannot figure out how to put newlines here, every time I hit enter, it saves the comment.
    – basedrum1
    Jan 8 '20 at 16:08
  • Sounds like a different question. Your question here is about telling "describe-key that I just want to know what C-z is?". In any case, please put all info about a question in the question itself - comments can be deleted at any time.
    – Drew
    Jan 8 '20 at 16:21
  • For your second question (but please pose it as a separate question): Specify what keymap(s) you're talking about. An answer as to how to bind a key is specific to the map you want to define it for.
    – Drew
    Jan 8 '20 at 16:23
  • Thanks, I indeed did open a new question about this!
    – basedrum1
    Jan 8 '20 at 16:37
  • 1
    What keymap are you trying to bind to? What you've shown us in your comment is just data, and insufficient to indicate how the data is being used. I would guess that you're trying to bind to the global map, and therefore need to (global-set-key (kbd "C-z") nil) to remove the standard global binding.
    – phils
    Jan 8 '20 at 21:45

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