I use strings like "include/lib-one", "include/lib-two", "src/lib-three" all the time.

Is there an easy way to set shortcuts for these strings, e.g. as C-c 1, C-c 2 and so on?

  • There's abbrev or yasnippet. But auto-completion for your specific language would be better.
    – abo-abo
    Dec 20, 2014 at 10:09

2 Answers 2


You can also use define-key or global-set-key like this:

(global-set-key (kbd "C-c a") "include/lib-one")

I've used C-c a instead of C-c 1 because the former is a reserved-for-end-users sequence, whereas the latter is reserved for major modes. See C-hig(elisp) Key Binding Conventions RET

  • Also of note: this method executes the keyboard macro defined by the given string. So you can have things like "\C-j" in there, and it would be as if you hit C-j.
    – Malabarba
    Jan 18, 2015 at 11:57

You can use the insert function to insert strings at point. You can define keybinding to an invocation of this function. For example,

(define-key your-mode-map (kbd "C-c 1") (lambda () (insert "include/lib-one")))
  • thanks! One more question: what is your-mode-map?
    – Beginner
    Dec 20, 2014 at 10:17
  • It is the name of the mode where you want this keybinding. For example, if you want this in c++-mode only, you will replace your-mode-map by c++-mode-map. Alternatively, if you want it to be defined globally, use global-set-key.
    – Pradhan
    Dec 20, 2014 at 10:19
  • I've tried adding similar keybindings to my .emacs file, but they are never taken into account when I launch emacs. Is there something that I'm missing?
    – Dai
    Oct 19, 2017 at 14:54

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