I would like to be able to leave the insert state (I think that's what it's called in emacs?) using the Ctrl+c combination I know from vim. I'm using doom-emacs in case that's important, and I'm completely new to emacs.

  • 1
    Let me suggest you find a different keybinding to exit insert state (or just use esc). Emacs uses the C-c prefix for countless keybindings, and if you override it, you'll clobber a lot of functionality
    – Dan
    Nov 30, 2020 at 2:20

1 Answer 1


Ex-vimmer also. As Dan pointed out in the comment of OP, binding to C-c is too devastating in emacs. What I do is instead binding to C-c C-c so I can hit C-c like a crazy person to get back to normal. (Just like hitting C-s 10 times is the proper way to save MS Word documents, I do this a lot: C-c C-c C-c ... C-c C-g C-g ... C-g to make sure I'm in normal state)

(define-key evil-insert-state-map (kbd "C-c C-c") 'evil-normal-state)
(define-key evil-normal-state-map (kbd "C-c C-c") 'evil-normal-state)

Note, this has a downside though (not very serious or often encounterd), is that you would override some useful C-c C-c bindings from famous packages, like org-ctrl-c-ctrl-c in org-mode, as well as several cases for magit. It's not serious in the sense that I use Spacemacs which also binds these common C-c C-c cases to , , for evil-normal-state, so I'm not really missing anything important. In your case you are using doom-emacs, which is somewhat influenced by Spacemacs, it might also have provided a nice keybinding alternative already. If not, nothing can stop you from rebinding some C-c C-c cases yourself.

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