The kill ring is the emacs clip board. I admit that I hardly ever use it in the ways for which it is designed, but I probably should. As you “kill” text (i.e., delete) it gets tacked onto the kill ring, from which you can “yank” it later (yes, this is some sort of religious reference possibly having to do with Hare Krishna).

emacs-goodies, a package of add-ons to add functionality to emacs (though many of these goodies are built in to the latest versions) gives you

Alt-X browse-kill-ring

This opens a buffer (a buffer is what non emacs users call a “file” or a “window”) with the kill ring on it. You can then position the cursor (“point”) within a block of the saved text on the kill ring and hit enter to have it inserted in the original document.

All clipboards should work this way!

Click here to see a stand alone version of browse-kill-ring. If you use emacs and browse-kill-ring is not already available, just put this file (the “.el” file) into the directory where your emacs knows to look for such things and this functionality will suddenly be yours.


  1. #1 Den!s
    July 19, 2011

    friends don’t let friends use Apple products

  2. #2 Marion Delgado
    July 20, 2011

    I really regard emacs as a repetitive stress injury factory.

  3. #3 marion Delgado
    July 20, 2011

    The above notwithstanding, if you are using emacs with Apple products, say Aquamacs (and i’ve shoehorned it into my LISPBOX), you should click the download button, rename browse-kill-ring.el.txt to drop the .txt, and move it to ~/Library/Application Support/Aquamacs Emacs/