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I am using Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and emacs 23.3.1. In the Terminal I can mark text with the mouse, copy it with CMD-C and paste it with CMD-V. This is all I need and it works great, even within emacs. Which is important for me, since I'm still not very comfortable with it.

The only problem is, I have to use the mouse! How can I select the text with keyboard only? Is there really no solution?

It seems like someone else had a similar question, though the unsatisfying answers (for me) suggest otherwise.

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You could use Emacs, as suggested in that answer, or screen or tmux, which both provide a layer between the terminal and the programs running within, and support keyboard commands for navigating/searching the terminal contents. – Chris Page Jul 4 '12 at 3:21
@ChrisPage Stop it. – Daniel Beck Jul 5 '12 at 5:38
@DanielBeck Could you elaborate? – Chris Page Jul 9 '12 at 0:35
@ChrisPage My comment was referring to your deleted comment (moderators seem to agree) urging the user to ask this question on a different site. – Daniel Beck Jul 9 '12 at 6:45
@DanielBeck Is there some way for me to see the deleted comment so I can figure out exactly what this is about? Also, is there a way to send messages to users—say, you—without using this question’s comments to do it? – Chris Page Jul 12 '12 at 5:57
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Short of using some fancy scripting you can't select text without the mouse. Alternatively you could use a terminal command like screen but then that isn't interacting with Mac clipboard.

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Thank you for the answer ClarkGoble. I was afraid this would be the case. Isn't that something that thousands of OS X users want? – user1323995 Jul 5 '12 at 7:05
It should be fairly easy to build a, albeit shitty, implementations with Apple Automator App, no? When I press Cmd-s in Terminal, I can export the Terminal output. So having a script, which allows to copy the x-th line sounds straightforward. Granted, that would still be an ugly solution and while using eMacs I couldn't be bothered using this. For outside emacs it would be useful though. Say I do $ git log and want to copy the commit id of an earlier commit to check it out. – user1323995 Jul 5 '12 at 7:12
Your best alternative is to use iTerm2 instead of Terminal. It does allow mouse less copy. link – ClarkGoble Jul 9 '12 at 1:42
Thank you so much ClarkGlobe! iTerm2 seems to be very nice, and yes you can copy&paste text without the mouse, though only one line max and its a bit clumsy. Still better than nothing. Plus, I love full screen mode! Still, it bugles my mind, that this is even an issue ... – user1323995 Jul 11 '12 at 7:20

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