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Suppose I want to select some text (mark a region) using my mouse, but without dragging. What I normally do (in most apps but emacs) is:

  1. click with the left button of my mouse (down-mouse-1);
  2. release my mouse, in to leave the cursor where I want the selection to begin;
  3. press and hold the shift key;
  4. and finally click (down-mouse-1) again in the place of the text where I want the selection to end.

However, I cannot do this with emacs, because in step 4 a context menu pops up (Change default buffer face), and my selection gets lost.

I've tried remapping <S-down-mouse-1> to several other commands, with no success.

Does someone know how to accomplish this feat in emacs?

(I'm using emacs 24.2 on Xubuntu 12.04 and also on Mac Os X 10.8 (Cocoa Emacs); I'm using transient-mode and cua-mode.)


I have just tried this code, as suggested here, but also with no success.

  ;; shift + click select region
  (define-key global-map (kbd "<S-down-mouse-1>") 'ignore) ; turn off font dialog
  (define-key global-map (kbd "<S-mouse-1>") 'mouse-set-point)
  (put 'mouse-set-point 'CUA 'move)
share|improve this question
If you press C-h c, hold the shift key, and then click somewhere in the text, what do you get in the echo area? My Emacs says <S-mouse-1> (translated from <S-down-mouse-1> <S-mouse-1>) at that spot runs the command mouse-save-then-kill and behaves the way you want yours to behave. I'm also on 24.2 on OS X, using transient-mode but not cua-mode. – legoscia Dec 20 '12 at 14:07
@legoscia I added this to my init file, as you suggested, and it worked!!! (define-key global-map (kbd "<S-down-mouse-1>") 'mouse-save-then-kill). (Please add it as an answer and I will acknowledge it.) – NVaughan Dec 20 '12 at 14:52
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Not sure why you don't have this binding already, but this seems to have fixed your problem, as per your comment:

(define-key global-map (kbd "<S-down-mouse-1>") 'mouse-save-then-kill)
share|improve this answer

Have you tried using Cocoa emacs? I'm fairly certain the behavior you want works out of the box.

share|improve this answer
Well, I'm using it right now with no sucess. – NVaughan Dec 18 '12 at 20:31
Just tried running emacs with emacs -q, to see if something in my init files was messing up with the mouse's behavior, but nothing changed. – NVaughan Dec 18 '12 at 20:36
Have you tried it with no configuration? (i.e. temporarily rename your .emacs so it won't be found). Perhaps there's something in there causing the problem. I have the exact same emacs and OSX versions as you and it works without a .emacs. – James Porter Dec 18 '12 at 20:38
wow, that's bizarre. I can think of no remaining difference between our setups. – James Porter Dec 18 '12 at 20:45

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