2

Similarly, I want to delete word backward when C-u C-w is pressed.

I would also value recommendation on cut/paste/kill conventions.

I tried to bind C-w to delete-backward-char, but kill-region stopped working. Please help as I find it irritating to stretch my fingers to tap DEL key and I commit a lot of mistakes while typing. Thank You

2 Answers 2

4

Taking you at your word, that you want to delete, and not kill, for the char and word cases, try this.

(Killing is like "cut" - it not only deletes the text but puts it on the kill-ring, which means it's available for yanking ("pasting"). Just deleting does not make the deleted text available for yanking.)

But if backward killing words is OK, then you don't need my-backward-delete-word - just use backward-kill-word in its place.

(defun my-C-w-dwim (&optional arg)
  "`delete-backward-char`, but if region is active then kill region.
With prefix arg N, delete backward to the start of the Nth word."
  (interactive "P")
  (cond (arg
         (my-backward-delete-word (prefix-numeric-value arg)))
        ((use-region-p)
         (kill-region (region-beginning) (region-end)))
        (t (delete-backward-char 1))))
    

(defun my-backward-delete-word (arg)
  "Like `backward-kill-word`, but just delete."
  (interactive "p")
  (delete-region (point) (progn (backward-word arg) (point))))

(global-set-key (kbd "C-w") 'my-C-w-dwim)

4
  • 1
    Maybe explain the difference between deleting and killing?
    – NickD
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 17:37
  • 3
    Good point, @NickD. So: killing removes text and places it on the kill-ring, ready to yank. This is roughly the same as what most apps call cutting and pasting. Deleting just removes text; the only way to get it back is to undo. Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 19:21
  • 1
    Thanks for taking time to read such a big question (for me at least), Your code worked perfectly but the only addition I did was to assign your 'my-backward-delete-word function to 'M-w' to delete word backward. I believe I will be able to understand your code one day.
    – deepanshu
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 19:52
  • @NickD. Done. Thx.
    – Drew
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 22:06
1

If you're like me and reading this and you just want backwards delete word without the c-u first so it works like the normal linux command line when nothing is highlighted copy this:

(defun my-C-w-dwim (&optional arg)
  "`delete-backward-char`, but if region is active then kill region.                                                                      
With prefix arg N, delete backward to the start of the Nth word."
  (interactive "P")
  (cond (arg
         (my-backward-delete-word (prefix-numeric-value arg)))
        ((use-region-p)
         (kill-region (region-beginning) (region-end)))
    (t (my-backward-delete-word (prefix-numeric-value arg)))))


(defun my-backward-delete-word (arg)
  "Like `backward-kill-word`, but just delete."
  (interactive "p")
  (delete-region (point) (progn (backward-word arg) (point))))

(global-set-key (kbd "C-w") 'my-C-w-dwim)

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