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Emacs Helm and Hydra minor modes

Recently, I stumbled upon two nice Emacs minor modes.

Helm mode

Helm mode offers an incremental completion and selection narrowing framework. It will help you to find what you’re looking for in Emacs (like buffers, files, commands etc). Resources and discussions can be found at the following homepages:

I can recommend to use the TAB key for completion and not for other actions. You can bind the TAB key back to helm-execute-persistent-action with

;; Bind TAB to complete stuff.
(define-key helm-map (kbd "TAB")         'helm-execute-persistent-action)
;; Rebind `helm-select-action' (originally bound to TAB).
(define-key helm-map (kbd "C-j")         'helm-select-action)

I had used Ido mode extensively before I switched to Helm mode. I must admit that the first thought was: too heavy and, oh, I miss the insertion with RET as well as that Ido remembers which files I had visited earlier. Also, completion cannot be used when looking for commands with helm-M-x. However, with Helm mode I enjoy most that I get an overview of what is out there. That is what I miss with Ido mode. Try it out yourself!

Hydra mode

Hydra mode makes Emacs key bindings stick around so that they can be used without modifiers. It also displays them on the screen, so that rarely used shortcuts can be remembered without looking into the configuration files again (and again and again). It is very useful!

Check it out: