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Cursorless consists of

  • an IDE plugin (eg a VSCode extension), and
  • a set of Talon files that define spoken commands

Because of this split, Cursorless has user settings available both on the IDE side, and on the Talon side. The rule of thumb is that anything that changes spoken forms happens Talon-side; everything else is IDE-side.

IDE-side settings

The IDE settings can be accessed by saying "cursorless settings" with your IDE (eg VSCode) focused.

Talon-side settings

Many of the spoken forms used in cursorless can be easily customized without needing to fork cursorless or modify the talon / python files contained therein. If you find that your customization needs cannot be met without making changes to cursorless files, please file an issue so we can improve customization.

The spoken forms for actions, scope types, colors, etc can be customized using the csvs found in the cursorless-settings subdirectory of your Talon user folder. On Linux and Mac, the directory is ~/.talon/user/cursorless-settings. On Windows, it is %AppData%\Talon\user\cursorless-settings.

The directory location can be customized using the user.cursorless_settings_directory Talon setting. If the path is relative, it will be taken relative to your Talon user directory.

Note that these csv's:

  • support empty lines,
  • supports multiple spoken forms for a single action
  • support comment lines beginning with #, and
  • ignore any leading / trailing whitespace on spoken forms and cursorless identifiers

If the spoken form begins with a -, it will be disabled. Please do not remove these lines, because that will trigger cursorless to add them back on next reload, as cursorless uses these lines to track disabled spoken forms.

Changing a spoken form

Simply modify the spoken form in the first column of any of the csvs in the directory above to change the spoken you'd like to use. The new spoken form will be usable immediately.

Multiple spoken forms can be used for the same action using the pipe operator remove|delete

New features

When new actions, scope types, etc are added, Cursorless will detect that they're missing from your csvs and append the default term to the end. You can then feel free to modify the spoken form if you'd like to change it.

Removing a term

If you'd like to remove an action, scope type, etc, you can simply set the spoken form in the first column to any thing starting with -. Please don't delete any lines, as that will trigger cursorless to automatically add the spoken form back on talon restart.

[Experimental] Cursorless custom IDE actions

You can use Cursorless to run any built-in IDE command on a specific target.

Just add your custom commands to: experimental/actions_custom.csv. For example, if you wanted to be able to say "push down <T>" to move the line(s) containing target <T> downwards, you could do the following:

Spoken form, VSCode command
push down, editor.action.moveLinesDownAction

Now when you say eg "push down air and bat", cursorless will first select the two tokens with a gray hat over the a and b, then issue the VSCode command editor.action.moveLinesDownAction, and then restore your original selection.

Toggling "hat" display

It is possible to show / hide the hats with a command. Keep in mind that many users, often after less than a week using Cursorless, find that their brain starts to tune out the hat display. Some start to miss them when they're gone 🥲

However, should you like to show / hide the hats within your editor, you can use the following approach.

  • Bring up the command pallet(Shift + CMD + P on Mac; Shift + Ctrl + P on Windows / Linux).
  • Enter cursorless.toggleDecorations or type Cursorless Toggle to see the command in the dropdown.

You should also be able to find the above command by saying "please toggle". The same command can be repeated to turn the hats back on.

While the hats are hidden, you will not be able to address any marks, eg "take air". However, Cursorless will still recognize scopes, eg "take funk".

If you'd like to map a voice command to toggle the hats, have a look at

Updating word separators

The word separators are characters that defines the boundary between words in a identifier. eg hello_world is an identifier with two words separated by _. If you like to support other separators like - in hello-world that can be accomplished by changing the cursorless.wordSeparators setting. This setting is also language overridable.

// Sets the word separator for all languages
"cursorless.wordSeparators": ["_"]

// Sets the word separator for css only
"[css]": {
"cursorless.wordSeparators": ["_", "-"]

Cursorless public API

Cursorless exposes a couple talon actions and captures that you can use to define your own custom command grammar leveraging cursorless targets.

Public Talon captures

  • <user.cursorless_target> Represents a cursorless target, such as "air", "this", "air past bat", "air and bat", "funk air past token bat and class cap", etc

Public Talon actions

  • user.cursorless_command(action_id: str, target: cursorless_target): Perform a Cursorless command on the given target eg: user.cursorless_command("setSelection", cursorless_target). Note that for "bring" (replaceWithTarget), cursorless_target will be the source of the bring and the destination will be the current selection(s), as if you had said "bring <target>"
  • user.cursorless_ide_command(command_id: str, target: cursorless_target): Performs a built-in IDE command on the given target eg: user.cursorless_ide_command("editor.action.addCommentLine", cursorless_target)

Example of combining capture and action

add dock string <user.cursorless_target>:
user.cursorless_command("editNewLineAfter", cursorless_target)

push <user.cursorless_target> down:
user.cursorless_ide_command("editor.action.moveLinesDownAction", cursorless_target)