September 12, 2008

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Emacs and w3m: Making tabbed browsing easier

If you browse with a lot of open tabs, like I do, w3m will be much easier to use once you remap w3m-next-buffer and w3m-previous-buffer onto single-key shortcuts, allowing you to press a key to quickly flip between tabs.

By default, w3m-previous-buffer is mapped to C-c C-p and w3m-next-buffer is mapped to C-c C-n. On a QWERTY keyboard, you may want to remap w3m-previous-buffer to q and w3m-next-buffer to w. You’ll probably also want to remap w3m-close-window (which had been bound to q), and x is a good keybinding for that. To make all these changes, add the following to your ~/.emacs:

(eval-after-load 'w3m
  '(progn
     (define-key w3m-mode-map "q" 'w3m-previous-buffer)
     (define-key w3m-mode-map "w" 'w3m-next-buffer)
     (define-key w3m-mode-map "x" 'w3m-close-window)))

If you use a Dvorak keyboard layout, you can bind . to w3m-previous-buffer and , to w3m-next-buffer instead. Just add the following code to your ~/.emacs:

(eval-after-load 'w3m
  '(progn
     (define-key w3m-mode-map "." 'w3m-previous-buffer)
     (define-key w3m-mode-map "," 'w3m-next-buffer)))

(This is part of the draft for my book on Emacs, to be published by No Starch Press if I’m not too late.)