I'm very new to emacs, and can't seem to get cua-mode to work by default. I'm using emacs 26.3 with spacemacs 0.300 on Kubuntu 20.04.1

I have set (cua-mode t) in my .spacemacs, and cua-mode shows up as active when I check the M-x menu, but the cua commands won't work until I toggle cua-mode in the M-x menu (i.e. turn it off, and then on again), then they work perfectly.

This gets old, and I would really like to have those commands working by default.

I've tried adjusting a few settings to no avail, here are the related lines in my .spacemacs now:

    (cua-mode t)
    (setq cua-auto-tabify-rectangles nil) ;; Don't tabify after rectangle commands
    (transient-mark-mode 1) ;; No region when it is not highlighted
    (setq cua-keep-region-after-copy t) ;; Standard behaviour
    (setq org-CUA-compatible t)

Thanks for reading, any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

1 Answer 1


So, fwiw, I belatedly discovered that I can remap the commands to accomplish the same effect, as described here, by adding the following to my init.el:

(define-key evil-insert-state-map (kbd "C-c") 'cua-copy-region)
(define-key evil-insert-state-map (kbd "C-v") 'cua-paste)
(define-key evil-insert-state-map (kbd "C-x") 'cua-cut-region)
(define-key evil-insert-state-map (kbd "C-z") 'undo-tree-undo)
(define-key evil-insert-state-map (kbd "C-y") 'undo-tree-redo)

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