How to install a decent version of emacs on Mac OS X with org-mode, ess and everything installed


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I think one of the major reason why people do not use emacs is it comes with no default configuration. The default behavior is just stupid with respect to many aspects and totally counter productive. That's the reason why I'm sharing my emacs configuration with others.

I also realize that more and more people (even students) have Mac OS X laptops and Jean-Marc, my office mate often complains about how using emacs is difficult on mac os X (yeah, emacs means Escape, Meta, Alt, Control, Shift and since I played piano for ten years before learning emacs saved me from RSI ;) ) because of the special keys and the unnatural shortcuts.

23:16 Comment on fait pour utiliser/configurer une souris de Imac USB
      avec un seul bouton sous X ?
23:59 23.16 : on utilise la touche commande (le trefle) et option ou
      bien 2 touches dupave numerique (0 et ,) lorsque celui ci n'est
      pas en numlock pour simuler les 2 autres boutons
00:01 23:59 Xemacs+Mac = Mortal Kombat :-))

So I spent half an hour (maybe more) with Alexis Martin (many thanks for your time!) to see whether it was so hard. We had a few issues but in the end, it's not so difficult:

  1. Install the dmg file from to have a recent emacs, ess and auctex… The one from does not come bundled with ess and I could not find ess in the elpa (a package manager included in Emacs since version 24), which is a pain.
  2. Install a recent version of org through elpa, i.e. open emacs and lauch the following emacs command (if you don't know what M-x stands for, on a Mac, try to press Ctrl or Option simultaneouly with the x key, this will allow you to call an emacs function): M-x list-packages . Then search for Org, click on it, and click on install.
  3. Finally follow these instructions on how to use/set up the file your just downloaded.

And then, it works like a charm! I suggest you open an org file and try the following shortcuts:

I hope this helps and do not hesitate to write me back if you find way to improve these tips.