A cursor goto hydra for emacs

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In the spirit of upping my navigation game, here we examine navigation by search like methods. You probably know about C-s with will search forward for a word, and C-r which will search backwards. This will get you to the start of a word pretty easily. It won't get you into a word though, you have to navigate to that, and it isn't too handy to get to a line, or window, or headline in an org-file. Each of these is an emacs command, which as with navigation I don't always remember. Today, we build a hydra to make this easy too.

We will use features from avy , and helm , and some standard emacs features. avy is pretty neat. It provides an interface to jump to characters, words and subwords by pressing keys. To jump to a character that is visible on the screen, you invoke avy-goto-char and press the character you want to jump to. avy will overlay a sequence of keys you then type to jump to that character. It might be more convenient to jump to a pair of characters, which you do by invoking avy-goto-char-2. Similarly, there are commands to jump to the beginning of a word, and a subword, both with variations that allow you to specify the beginning letter of the word, or to get overlays on every word.

I spend most of my days in org-files, so I frequently want to jump to an org headline in the current buffer, or some headline in an org-file in my agenda. Helm provides a nice set of functions for this in helm-org-headlines and helm-org-agenda-files-headings. We can also use helm-multi-swoop-org to use the swoop search function in all open org-buffers with helm selection. Within a buffer, you might also use the search forward and backward capabilities, or the more advanced helm-occur or swiper-helm features. Finally, I may want my cursor to go to another recent file, or open buffer.

The hydra we will develop here puts all of these commands a few keystrokes away, with a hint system to remind you what is possible. In addition to these "goto" commands, I add a character to switch to the navigation hydra we developed in the last post so I can switch to navigation if I change my mind. I also put two commands to store the current position before the goto command, and to return to that stored position conveniently. I bind this hydra to super-g, because the super key isn't used much on my Mac, and g reminds of "goto". So, here is my hydra code:

(defhydra goto (:color blue :hint nil)
  "
Goto:
^Char^              ^Word^                ^org^                    ^search^
^^^^^^^^---------------------------------------------------------------------------
_c_: 2 chars        _w_: word by char     _h_: headline in buffer  _o_: helm-occur
_C_: char           _W_: some word        _a_: heading in agenda   _p_: helm-swiper
_L_: char in line   _s_: subword by char  _q_: swoop org buffers   _f_: search forward
^  ^                _S_: some subword     ^ ^                      _b_: search backward
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
_B_: helm-buffers       _l_: avy-goto-line
_m_: helm-mini          _i_: ace-window
_R_: helm-recentf

_n_: Navigate           _._: mark position _/_: jump to mark
"
  ("c" avy-goto-char-2)
  ("C" avy-goto-char)
  ("L" avy-goto-char-in-line)
  ("w" avy-goto-word-1)
  ;; jump to beginning of some word
  ("W" avy-goto-word-0)
  ;; jump to subword starting with a char
  ("s" avy-goto-subword-1)
  ;; jump to some subword
  ("S" avy-goto-subword-0)

  ("l" avy-goto-line)
  ("i" ace-window)

  ("h" helm-org-headlines)
  ("a" helm-org-agenda-files-headings)
  ("q" helm-multi-swoop-org)

  ("o" helm-occur)
  ("p" swiper-helm)

  ("f" isearch-forward)
  ("b" isearch-backward)

  ("." org-mark-ring-push :color red)
  ("/" org-mark-ring-goto :color blue)
  ("B" helm-buffers-list)
  ("m" helm-mini)
  ("R" helm-recentf)
  ("n" hydra-navigate/body))

(global-set-key (kbd "s-g") 'goto/body)

As with the last navigation hydra, this is a pretty massive set of options and takes up some decent screen space at the bottom om my emacs. They are mostly here to remind me that there are better navigation options, and with practice I suspect muscle memory will provide fast navigation tools with more precision and fewer keystrokes than simple navigation.

Copyright (C) 2015 by John Kitchin. See the License for information about copying.

org-mode source

Org-mode version = 8.2.10

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