Delete/Cancel/Disable Atom Key Bindings


Is there a way to remove the enhancement to the copy text command that Atom provides when compared to the default behavior of cmd-c (OSX) or ctrl-x (Windows, returning the cmd-c key sequence to the way it works courtesy the OS?

My preference, if possible, would be to take Atom out of the business of controlling how copy/paste works, submitting itself to the operating system’s behavior. That wheel does not require reinvention.

When I unset the key binding, I lost the ability to copy with cmd-c.


What exactly is the difference between how Atom handles copy commands and how it works in other programs for you? I haven’t noticed anything.


The difference I have noticed is a small one, probably insignificant to most folks. To me, the most striking aspect of this is the possibility that Atom is incapable of not affecting what happens on cmd-c (OSX) I am very curious about the mechanism producing this. I get the same result in Windows, but my Windows installation is a guest operating system on OSX. I don’t think behavior of ctrl-c on a reqular Windows machine can be predicted from this configuration.

Steps to observe the difference. **
****This is What I am Accustomed To
On OSX or Windows

  1. Open text edit, notepad, Word, Eclipse, Visual Studio, PowerPoint, the command line, a shell editor at the command line, Safari, Chrome, Opera, or Firefox, take your pick.
  2. Select a few lines of text.
  3. Click cmd-c (copies text to the clipboard).
  4. Click anywhere in any app except atom, without selecting text, The most meaningful example for me is within an editable text area where my typical intention is to paste the text from the clipboard.
  5. While no text is selected, click cmd-c.
  6. Click cmd-v or use any normal command for pasting.
    The result of these steps is the text copied in step 3 will be pasted into any editable text area where the cursor has obtained focus.

To see how it works differently with Atom, continue with the rest of the steps.
7. Repeat steps 1-3 from above.
8. Now put the cursor into an open document editor in Atom (i.e., open a file with Atom and put the cursor into the area where the file can be edited with the keyboard.).
9. Without selecting any text, click cmd-c.
10. Paste content of the clipboard where ever you choose. The result is the text that will be pasted will not be the text copied into the clipboard in steps 1-3 or 7. Instead, the line of text where the cursor was placed in Atom without selecting text is pasted.

Now that I typed it out, and tested it for this note, it looks like the situation is that hitting cmd-c in Atom when no text is selected copies the current line into the clipboard, instead of there being no effect on the clipboard.

I guess this is a nice feature, I just wish Atom was not overriding the OS on this function.

OK, I’ll confess to my problem. I have a habit of hitting cmd-c when I have placed the cursor in a target text area before hitting cmd-v. I have become accustomed to relying on that nervous habit having no effect on getting the intended text where I need it. Using Atom, that nervous habit costs me the hassle of going back to the source and recopying it to the clipboard. I am going to have to learn to avoid the extraneous but until now harmless extra tap on cmd-c.

Even though I hate that hassle, the more significant issue is that Atom appears to have tossed the OS’s text manipulations out the window. That is a pretty big commitment. I would imagine this was done to give Atom a relatively easy way to standardize its environment, insulated from the OS, especially with regard to character encoding. The cost of implementing that is enormous and also bound to create changes in the user interface people are not used to seeing. It is a huge risk to the succes of the application, because it makes itself foreign to every operating system. Maybe there will be a perceived net benefit but but it is bound to create negatives as well.

I think this is tied to many of the usability issues discussed in this thread.

Any plans for Atom to have its own file system? Is this part of an intention to develop a new OS?


I understand your issue and I have experienced that, myself. One option you have is to override core:copy to do nothing if no text is selected. In fact, there’s an API entirely for clipboard operations.

I don’t know what text manipulations you’re talking about. Do you have something running on your Mac that operates on the clipboard in other programs?

Any plans for Atom to have its own file system? Is this part of an intention to develop a new OS?

I think that’s a stretch.


Wow, thank you. I could not see any way of doing that. This is great.

I don’t run anything for this other osx or Windows defaults. I have been concentrating on avoiding the accidental cmd-c I’d say that is not an issue.

The manipulations I am referring to are the interactions among the keyboard, mouse/trackpad, clipboard, monitors, and editors, especially for file creation, copying, moving, text or image copy/paste with the clipboard as a go-between. I copy files and directories a lot. click-to-select one or more files and/or directories, right-click for choice of action or cmd-c for copy. Click on the target, cmd-v to paste. boom badda bing. Where I was coming from is it ius bad enough that 80% of that stuff is missing and then to interfere with non-optional key-binding, that made think Atom is invasive and degrading to a system in certain areas.

Here is my perspective. I have seen applications that usurp functions from the OS. It is not as common as it used to be. Web apps do it all the time, because they are practically forced to. At some level, usurping the OS is impossible unless it has bugs, so I doubt usurp is the right word. Still, it seems like usurping to me when functions I associate with an OS are disabled by an app. A VM will create a world that seems independent of the host OS, and that is VM should do and it’s fantastic it can do it and still be isolated within the overall system and not have effects outside the VM. Atom is not VM though, or is it? There are apps that create what amount to their own file systems. I never like that. because my assumption is OS always is going to be best on the box at handling files, so why let anything else even try that function? It will always be lame compared to the OS.

I am glad to see is a way of adjusting the cmd-c to behave in accordance with the OS default.

It never entered my head until I saw the interface for handling copying/pasting text taken over by the key bindings.