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
    Sep 20, 2021 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


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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