I want to copy just one character underneath the cursor. Its not ascii, so I can't type it. Is there a function or key that allows for this?

Vanilla emacs welcome, though evil and spacemacs answers are also acceptable.

  • I suppose you want to copy a char to insert it somewhere. If you know the char number, why not simply insert it where you want it to be ? M-:(insert-char (read-number "char: ") ) ? Or you can compose an interactive function to do it. If you don't know how to do it, ask for it
    – gigiair
    Feb 17, 2021 at 19:05

3 Answers 3


Three keys, as observed by view-lossage

 C-SPC                   ;; set-mark-command
 C-f                     ;; forward-char
 <escape> w              ;; kill-ring-save

You can add this function in your init file:

    (defun kill-ring-save-char-at-point ()
    "save the character at point in the kill-ring "
      (unless (eq (point) (point-max))
        (kill-ring-save (point) (1+ (point)))))

and bind it to a key of your choice.

  • I like this answer, but I preferr to use motions already defined by emacs. Still, thanks! Feb 18, 2021 at 6:58
  • Perhaps it would be better to copy the characters to a register. C-SPC C-f C-x r s to record them then C-x r i to play them back.
    – gigiair
    Feb 18, 2021 at 10:15

spacemacs (evil): Copy: vy Paste: p

  • 1
    Welcome to Emacs.SE! Can you please explain your answer in more detail.
    – Dan
    Feb 17, 2021 at 12:02
  • v - visual mod. Char under cursor is already selected. Now "y" to copy end exit visual mod.
    – Hive
    Feb 17, 2021 at 18:36
  • 2
    Please edit your answer to add the material you put in your comment.
    – Dan
    Feb 17, 2021 at 20:08
  • This is my favorite, though it would be nicer if the comment was added to the full answer. Feb 18, 2021 at 7:00

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