Emacs Modified for macOS is a distribution of GNU Emacs 25.3 (released September 11, 2017) bundled with a few select packages for R developers and LaTeX users.

The additions to stock Emacs are the following:

The distribution is based on the latest stable release of GNU Emacs compiled by David Caldwell and distributed on Emacs for Mac OS X.

Latest release

Version 25.3-modified-2 (Release notes)

System requirements

Mac OS X 10.4 or later.


Open the disk image and copy Emacs in the Applications folder or any other folder.


This distribution of Emacs is based on the NeXTstep port part of the official sources of GNU Emacs. Other than the additions mentioned above and the minor configurations found in the site-start.el file, this is a stock distribution of Emacs. Users of Emacs on other platforms will appreciate the similar look and feel of the application.

Those looking for a more Mac-like version of Emacs may consider Aquamacs. I used Aquamacs myself for two years, but I got tired of disabling the newer “features” in each release of the application. For me Aquamacs insists too much on opening new frames and on playing with fonts. Moreover, ESS is not kept up to date on a regular basis.

For more information of the various options to run Emacs on macOS, see the Emacs wiki.

Also available

Emacs Modified for Windows. Same idea, with a user friendly installer.