I used M-x ispell to spellcheck. When I finished, on the mini buffer a sentenced flashed quickly: "You can use s-:" or something like that. What does s-: stand for?

  • 1
    You can do C-h w ispell RET to find out to which key(s) the command ispell is bound to. Maybe there is another one that is more convenient/accessible on MacOS.
    – NickD
    Dec 17, 2022 at 14:32
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    When something flashes by quickly in the minibuffer, it also appears in the Messages buffer which you can quickly reach with with C-h e. Dec 17, 2022 at 14:39
  • @FranBurstall Great, I always wondered why those messages disappeared so quickly, Now I can look in the messages, thanks.
    – zeynel
    Dec 17, 2022 at 15:43
  • @NickD I checked, only s-: is listed. It's first time I see a binding for super key.
    – zeynel
    Dec 17, 2022 at 15:45
  • It's not standard AFAICT: is it defined if you start with emacs -Q? If not, some init file (platform, or site, or personal) is probably defining it.
    – NickD
    Dec 17, 2022 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


I am not sure for Macs, but on GNU/linux or Windows s stand for the super/Windows key (usually left of the spacebar somewhere between Ctrl and Alt). Of course : stands for the colon (usually Shift-semicolon), so here you would have to press super+shift+(semi)colon simultaneously.

  • Thanks. I searched for super key for mac but could't find anything useful. At least, now I know what "s" stands for.
    – zeynel
    Dec 17, 2022 at 13:27
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    The CMD key works as Super in emacs on macOS
    – nega
    Dec 18, 2022 at 3:17
  • @nega Thanks! It works.
    – zeynel
    Dec 18, 2022 at 7:33

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