I am using Emacs 27.1 (GNU Emacs 27.1 (build 1, x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.24.24, cairo version 1.16.0) of 2021-03-28, modified by Debian).

When I hover the mouse pointer over the "copy" button in the toolbar the tooltip shows me M-w as keyboard shortcut. Good.

But for "cut" there is <S-delete>. Would expect C-w.

And for "paste" there is <S-insertchar>. Would expect C-y

I am using evil-mode also. Not sure if they interfere.

EDIT: I do not know what <S-delete> or <S-insertchar> means or how to invoke them by keyboard. The emacs defaults C-w and C-y definitely do not work. So I assume that the tooltip is correct because it do not show me the emacs default keys because they do not work.

  • 1
    evil-mode definitely overrides a lot of vanilla emacs keybindings (eg, C-w). The S in the examples you give refers to the shift key. You can use C-h k (describe-key) to find out what your keys are bound to.
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


I am using evil-mode also. Not sure if they interfere.

The entire purpose of evil is to make Emacs behave like vi/vim, and a very significant part of that emulation is the different key bindings, so you would use the vi/vim key binding for paste instead of the Emacs key bindings.

You need to disable evil (or simply not install it in the first place) if you wish to use default key bindings.


What's the question? Your title says that some default key binding doesn't work - which one? Does <S-delete> or <S-insertchar> not work for you? Or is this a question about the Emacs UI (e.g. tooltips)?

C-w and C-y should also work, by default. To get the tooltip to tell you that the keys are C-w and C-y instead of the others (which should also work), consider filing an enhancement request / bug report: M-x report-emacs-bug.

There are sometimes multiple keys bound to the same command by default. Things like a tooltip show only one of them. But sometimes they don't show the most appropriate one. M-x report-emacs-bug.

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