The Emacs Editor
Emacs is the extensible, customizable, self-documenting real-time
display editor. This Info file describes how to edit with Emacs and
some of how to customize it; it corresponds to GNU Emacs version 20.7.
For information on extending Emacs, see Emacs Lisp (elisp).
* Distrib How to get the latest Emacs distribution.
* Copying The GNU General Public License gives you permission
to redistribute GNU Emacs on certain terms;
it also explains that there is no warranty.
* Intro An introduction to Emacs concepts.
* Glossary The glossary.
* Antinews Information about Emacs version 19.
* MS-DOS Using Emacs on MS-DOS (otherwise known as "MS-DOG").
* Manifesto What's GNU? Gnu's Not Unix!
* Acknowledgments Major contributors to GNU Emacs.
Indexes (nodes containing large menus)
* Key Index An item for each standard Emacs key sequence.
* Command Index An item for each command name.
* Variable Index An item for each documented variable.
* Concept Index An item for each concept.
Important General Concepts
* Screen How to interpret what you see on the screen.
* User Input Kinds of input events (characters, buttons,
* Keys Key sequences: what you type to request one
* Commands Named functions run by key sequences to do editing.
* Text Characters Character set for text (the contents of buffers
* Entering Emacs Starting Emacs from the shell.
* Exiting Stopping or killing Emacs.
* Command Arguments Hairy startup options.
Fundamental Editing Commands
* Basic The most basic editing commands.
* Minibuffer Entering arguments that are prompted for.
* M-x Invoking commands by their names.
* Help Commands for asking Emacs about its commands.
Important Text-Changing Commands
* Mark The mark: how to delimit a ``region'' of text.
* Killing Killing text.
* Yanking Recovering killed text. Moving text.
* Accumulating Text Other ways of copying text.
* Rectangles Operating on the text inside a rectangle on the screen.
* Registers Saving a text string or a location in the buffer.
* Display Controlling what text is displayed.
* Search Finding or replacing occurrences of a string.
* Fixit Commands especially useful for fixing typos.
Major Structures of Emacs
* Files All about handling files.
* Buffers Multiple buffers; editing several files at once.
* Windows Viewing two pieces of text at once.
* Frames Running the same Emacs session in multiple X windows.
* International Using non-ASCII character sets (the MULE features).
* Major Modes Text mode vs. Lisp mode vs. C mode ...
* Indentation Editing the white space at the beginnings of lines.
* Text Commands and modes for editing English.
* Programs Commands and modes for editing programs.
* Building Compiling, running and debugging programs.
* Abbrevs How to define text abbreviations to reduce
the number of characters you must type.
* Picture Editing pictures made up of characters
using the quarter-plane screen model.
* Sending Mail Sending mail in Emacs.
* Rmail Reading mail in Emacs.
* Dired You can ``edit'' a directory to manage files in it.
* Calendar/Diary The calendar and diary facilities.
* Gnus How to read netnews with Emacs.
* Shell Executing shell commands from Emacs.
* Emacs Server Using Emacs as an editing server for `mail', etc.
* Hardcopy Printing buffers or regions.
* Postscript Printing buffers or regions as Postscript.
* Postscript Variables
Customizing the Postscript printing commands.
* Sorting Sorting lines, paragraphs or pages within Emacs.
* Narrowing Restricting display and editing to a portion
of the buffer.
* Two-Column Splitting apart columns to edit them
in side-by-side windows.
* Editing Binary Files
Using Hexl mode to edit binary files.
* Saving Emacs Sessions
Saving Emacs state from one session to the next.
* Recursive Edit A command can allow you to do editing
"within the command". This is called a
`recursive editing level'.
* Emulation Emulating some other editors with Emacs.
* Dissociated Press Dissociating text for fun.
* Amusements Various games and hacks.
* Customization Modifying the behavior of Emacs.
Recovery from Problems
* Quitting Quitting and aborting.
* Lossage What to do if Emacs is hung or malfunctioning.
* Bugs How and when to report a bug.
* Contributing How to contribute improvements to Emacs.
* Service How to get help for your own Emacs needs.
Here are some other nodes which are really inferiors of the ones
already listed, mentioned here so you can get to them in one step:
--- The Detailed Node Listing ---
The Organization of the Screen
* Point The place in the text where editing commands operate.
* Echo Area Short messages appear at the bottom of the screen.
* Mode Line Interpreting the mode line.
* Menu Bar How to use the menu bar.
Basic Editing Commands
* Inserting Text Inserting text by simply typing it.
* Moving Point How to move the cursor to the place where you want to
* Erasing Deleting and killing text.
* Undo Undoing recent changes in the text.
* Files Basic Files. Visiting, creating, and saving files.
* Help Basic Help. Asking what a character does.
* Blank Lines Commands to make or delete blank lines.
* Continuation Lines Lines too wide for the screen.
* Position Info What page, line, row, or column is point on?
* Arguments Numeric arguments for repeating a command.
* Minibuffer File Entering file names with the minibuffer.
* Minibuffer Edit How to edit in the minibuffer.
* Completion An abbreviation facility for minibuffer input.
* Minibuffer History Reusing recent minibuffer arguments.
* Repetition Re-executing commands that used the minibuffer.
* Help Summary Brief list of all Help commands.
* Key Help Asking what a key does in Emacs.
* Name Help Asking about a command, variable or function name.
* Apropos Asking what pertains to a given topic.
* Library Keywords Finding Lisp libraries by keywords (topics).
* Language Help Help relating to international language support.
* Misc Help Other help commands.
The Mark and the Region
* Setting Mark Commands to set the mark.
* Transient Mark How to make Emacs highlight the region--
when there is one.
* Using Region Summary of ways to operate on contents of the region.
* Marking Objects Commands to put region around textual units.
* Mark Ring Previous mark positions saved so you can go back there.
* Global Mark Ring Previous mark positions in various buffers.
Deletion and Killing
* Deletion Commands for deleting small amounts of text and
* Killing by Lines How to kill entire lines of text at one time.
* Other Kill Commands Commands to kill large regions of text and
syntactic units such as words and sentences.
* Kill Ring Where killed text is stored. Basic yanking.
* Appending Kills Several kills in a row all yank together.
* Earlier Kills Yanking something killed some time ago.
* RegPos Saving positions in registers.
* RegText Saving text in registers.
* RegRect Saving rectangles in registers.
* RegConfig Saving window configurations in registers.
* RegFiles File names in registers.
* Bookmarks Bookmarks are like registers, but persistent.
Controlling the Display
* Scrolling Moving text up and down in a window.
* Horizontal Scrolling Moving text left and right in a window.
* Follow Mode Follow mode lets two windows scroll as one.
* Selective Display Hiding lines with lots of indentation.
* Optional Mode Line Optional mode line display features.
* Text Display How text is normally displayed.
* Display Vars Information on variables for customizing display.
Searching and Replacement
* Incremental Search Search happens as you type the string.
* Nonincremental Search Specify entire string and then search.
* Word Search Search for sequence of words.
* Regexp Search Search for match for a regexp.
* Regexps Syntax of regular expressions.
* Search Case To ignore case while searching, or not.
* Replace Search, and replace some or all matches.
* Other Repeating Search Operating on all matches for some regexp.
* Unconditional Replace Replacing all matches for a string.
* Regexp Replace Replacing all matches for a regexp.
* Replacement and Case How replacements preserve case of letters.
* Query Replace How to use querying.
Commands for Fixing Typos
* Kill Errors Commands to kill a batch of recently entered text.
* Transpose Exchanging two characters, words, lines, lists...
* Fixing Case Correcting case of last word entered.
* Spelling Apply spelling checker to a word or a whole buffer.
* File Names How to type and edit file-name arguments.
* Visiting Visiting a file prepares Emacs to edit the file.
* Saving Saving makes your changes permanent.
* Reverting Reverting cancels all the changes not saved.
* Auto Save Auto Save periodically protects against loss of data.
* File Aliases Handling multiple names for one file.
* Version Control Version control systems (RCS, CVS and SCCS).
* Directories Creating, deleting, and listing file directories.
* Comparing Files Finding where two files differ.
* Misc File Ops Other things you can do on files.
* Compressed Files Accessing compressed files.
* Remote Files Accessing files on other sites.
* Quoted File Names Quoting special characters in file names.
* Backup How Emacs saves the old version of your file.
* Interlocking How Emacs protects against simultaneous editing
of one file by two users.
* Introduction to VC How version control works in general.
* VC Mode Line How the mode line shows version control status.
* Basic VC Editing How to edit a file under version control.
* Old Versions Examining and comparing old versions.
* Secondary VC Commands The commands used a little less frequently.
* Branches Multiple lines of development.
* Snapshots Sets of file versions treated as a unit.
* Miscellaneous VC Various other commands and features of VC.
* Customizing VC Variables that change VC's behavior.
Using Multiple Buffers
* Select Buffer Creating a new buffer or reselecting an old one.
* List Buffers Getting a list of buffers that exist.
* Misc Buffer Renaming; changing read-onlyness; copying text.
* Kill Buffer Killing buffers you no longer need.
* Several Buffers How to go through the list of all buffers
and operate variously on several of them.
* Indirect Buffers An indirect buffer shares the text of another buffer.
* Basic Window Introduction to Emacs windows.
* Split Window New windows are made by splitting existing windows.
* Other Window Moving to another window or doing something to it.
* Pop Up Window Finding a file or buffer in another window.
* Force Same Window Forcing certain buffers to appear in the selected
window rather than in another window.
* Change Window Deleting windows and changing their sizes.
Frames and X Windows
* Mouse Commands Moving, cutting, and pasting, with the mouse.
* Secondary Selection Cutting without altering point and mark.
* Mouse References Using the mouse to select an item from a list.
* Menu Mouse Clicks Mouse clicks that bring up menus.
* Mode Line Mouse Mouse clicks on the mode line.
* Creating Frames Creating additional Emacs frames with various contents.
* Multiple Displays How one Emacs job can talk to several displays.
* Special Buffer Frames You can make certain buffers have their own frames.
* Frame Parameters Changing the colors and other modes of frames.
* Scroll Bars How to enable and disable scroll bars; how to use them.
* Menu Bars Enabling and disabling the menu bar.
* Faces How to change the display style using faces.
* Font Lock Minor mode for syntactic highlighting using faces.
* Support Modes Font Lock support modes make Font Lock faster.
* Misc X Iconifying and deleting frames. Region highlighting.
* Non-Window Terminals Multiple frames on terminals that show only one.
Font Lock Support Modes
* Fast Lock Mode Saving font information in files.
* Lazy Lock Mode Fontifying only text that is actually displayed.
* Fast or Lazy Which support mode is best for you?
International Character Set Support
* International Intro Basic concepts of multibyte characters.
* Enabling Multibyte Controlling whether to use multibyte characters.
* Language Environments Setting things up for the language you use.
* Input Methods Entering text characters not on your keyboard.
* Select Input Method Specifying your choice of input methods.
* Coding Systems Character set conversion when you read and
write files, and so on.
* Recognize Coding How Emacs figures out which conversion to use.
* Specify Coding Various ways to choose which conversion to use.
* Fontsets Fontsets are collections of fonts
that cover the whole spectrum of characters.
* Defining Fontsets Defining a new fontset.
* Single-Byte European Support
You can pick one European character set
to use without multibyte characters.
* Choosing Modes How major modes are specified or chosen.
* Indentation Commands Various commands and techniques for indentation.
* Tab Stops You can set arbitrary "tab stops" and then
indent to the next tab stop when you want to.
* Just Spaces You can request indentation using just spaces.
Commands for Human Languages
* Words Moving over and killing words.
* Sentences Moving over and killing sentences.
* Paragraphs Moving over paragraphs.
* Pages Moving over pages.
* Filling Filling or justifying text.
* Case Changing the case of text.
* Text Mode The major modes for editing text files.
* Outline Mode Editing outlines.
* TeX Mode Editing input to the formatter TeX.
* Nroff Mode Editing input to the formatter nroff.
* Formatted Text Editing formatted text directly in WYSIWYG fashion.
* Auto Fill Auto Fill mode breaks long lines automatically.
* Fill Commands Commands to refill paragraphs and center lines.
* Fill Prefix Filling paragraphs that are indented
or in a comment, etc.
* Adaptive Fill How Emacs can determine the fill prefix automatically.
* Program Modes Major modes for editing programs.
* Lists Expressions with balanced parentheses.
* List Commands The commands for working with list and sexps.
* Defuns Each program is made up of separate functions.
There are editing commands to operate on them.
* Program Indent Adjusting indentation to show the nesting.
* Matching Insertion of a close-delimiter flashes matching open.
* Comments Inserting, killing, and aligning comments.
* Balanced Editing Inserting two matching parentheses at once, etc.
* Symbol Completion Completion on symbol names of your program or language.
* Documentation Getting documentation of functions you plan to call.
* Change Log Maintaining a change history for your program.
* Tags Go directly to any function in your program in one
command. Tags remembers which file it is in.
* Emerge A convenient way of merging two versions of a program.
* C Modes Special commands of C, C++, Objective-C and Java modes.
* Fortran Fortran mode and its special features.
* Asm Mode Asm mode and its special features.
Indentation for Programs
* Basic Indent Indenting a single line.
* Multi-line Indent Commands to reindent many lines at once.
* Lisp Indent Specifying how each Lisp function should be indented.
* C Indent Choosing an indentation style for C code.
* Tag Syntax Tag syntax for various types of code and text files.
* Create Tags Table Creating a tags table with `etags'.
* Select Tags Table How to visit a tags table.
* Find Tag Commands to find the definition of a specific tag.
* Tags Search Using a tags table for searching and replacing.
* List Tags Listing and finding tags defined in a file.
Merging Files with Emerge
* Overview of Emerge How to start Emerge. Basic concepts.
* Submodes of Emerge Fast mode vs. Edit mode.
Skip Prefers mode and Auto Advance mode.
* State of Difference You do the merge by specifying state A or B
for each difference.
* Merge Commands Commands for selecting a difference,
changing states of differences, etc.
* Exiting Emerge What to do when you've finished the merge.
* Combining in Emerge How to keep both alternatives for a difference.
* Fine Points of Emerge Misc.
Compiling and Testing Programs
* Compilation Compiling programs in languages other
than Lisp (C, Pascal, etc.).
* Compilation Mode The mode for visiting compiler errors.
* Compilation Shell Customizing your shell properly
for use in the compilation buffer.
* Debuggers Running symbolic debuggers for non-Lisp programs.
* Executing Lisp Various modes for editing Lisp programs,
with different facilities for running
the Lisp programs.
* Lisp Libraries Creating Lisp programs to run in Emacs.
* Lisp Interaction Executing Lisp in an Emacs buffer.
* Lisp Eval Executing a single Lisp expression in Emacs.
* External Lisp Communicating through Emacs with a separate Lisp.
Running Debuggers Under Emacs
* Starting GUD How to start a debugger subprocess.
* Debugger Operation Connection between the debugger and source buffers.
* Commands of GUD Key bindings for common commands.
* GUD Customization Defining your own commands for GUD.
* Abbrev Concepts Fundamentals of defined abbrevs.
* Defining Abbrevs Defining an abbrev, so it will expand when typed.
* Expanding Abbrevs Controlling expansion: prefixes, canceling expansion.
* Editing Abbrevs Viewing or editing the entire list of defined abbrevs.
* Saving Abbrevs Saving the entire list of abbrevs for another session.
* Dynamic Abbrevs Abbreviations for words already in the buffer.
* Basic Picture Basic concepts and simple commands of Picture Mode.
* Insert in Picture Controlling direction of cursor motion
after "self-inserting" characters.
* Tabs in Picture Various features for tab stops and indentation.
* Rectangles in Picture Clearing and superimposing rectangles.
* Mail Format Format of the mail being composed.
* Mail Headers Details of permitted mail header fields.
* Mail Aliases Abbreviating and grouping mail addresses.
* Mail Mode Special commands for editing mail being composed.
* Distracting NSA How to distract the NSA's attention.
* Mail Methods Using alternative mail-composition methods.
Reading Mail with Rmail
* Rmail Basics Basic concepts of Rmail, and simple use.
* Rmail Scrolling Scrolling through a message.
* Rmail Motion Moving to another message.
* Rmail Deletion Deleting and expunging messages.
* Rmail Inbox How mail gets into the Rmail file.
* Rmail Files Using multiple Rmail files.
* Rmail Output Copying message out to files.
* Rmail Labels Classifying messages by labeling them.
* Rmail Attributes Certain standard labels, called attributes.
* Rmail Reply Sending replies to messages you are viewing.
* Rmail Summary Summaries show brief info on many messages.
* Rmail Sorting Sorting messages in Rmail.
* Rmail Display How Rmail displays a message; customization.
* Rmail Editing Editing message text and headers in Rmail.
* Rmail Digest Extracting the messages from a digest message.
* Out of Rmail Converting an Rmail file to mailbox format.
* Rmail Rot13 Reading messages encoded in the rot13 code.
* Movemail More details of fetching new mail.
Dired, the Directory Editor
* Dired Enter How to invoke Dired.
* Dired Commands Commands in the Dired buffer.
* Dired Deletion Deleting files with Dired.
* Flagging Many Files Flagging files based on their names.
* Dired Visiting Other file operations through Dired.
* Marks vs Flags Flagging for deletion vs marking.
* Operating on Files How to copy, rename, print, compress, etc.
either one file or several files.
* Shell Commands in Dired Running a shell command on the marked files.
* Transforming File Names Using patterns to rename multiple files.
* Comparison in Dired Running `diff' by way of Dired.
* Subdirectories in Dired Adding subdirectories to the Dired buffer.
* Subdirectory Motion Moving across subdirectories, and up and down.
* Hiding Subdirectories Making subdirectories visible or invisible.
* Dired Updating Discarding lines for files of no interest.
* Dired and Find Using `find' to choose the files for Dired.
The Calendar and the Diary
* Calendar Motion Moving through the calendar; selecting a date.
* Scroll Calendar Bringing earlier or later months onto the screen.
* Counting Days How many days are there between two dates?
* General Calendar Exiting or recomputing the calendar.
* LaTeX Calendar Print a calendar using LaTeX.
* Holidays Displaying dates of holidays.
* Sunrise/Sunset Displaying local times of sunrise and sunset.
* Lunar Phases Displaying phases of the moon.
* Other Calendars Converting dates to other calendar systems.
* Diary Displaying events from your diary.
* Appointments Reminders when it's time to do something.
* Daylight Savings How to specify when daylight savings time is active.
Movement in the Calendar
* Calendar Unit Motion Moving by days, weeks, months, and years.
* Move to Beginning or End Moving to start/end of weeks, months, and years.
* Specified Dates Moving to the current date or another
Conversion To and From Other Calendars
* Calendar Systems The calendars Emacs understands
(aside from Gregorian).
* To Other Calendar Converting the selected date to various calendars.
* From Other Calendar Moving to a date specified in another calendar.
* Mayan Calendar Moving to a date specified in a Mayan calendar.
* Diary Commands Viewing diary entries and associated calendar dates.
* Format of Diary File Entering events in your diary.
* Date Formats Various ways you can specify dates.
* Adding to Diary Commands to create diary entries.
* Special Diary Entries Anniversaries, blocks of dates, cyclic entries, etc.
* Buffers of Gnus The group, summary, and article buffers.
* Gnus Startup What you should know about starting Gnus.
* Summary of Gnus A short description of the basic Gnus commands.
Running Shell Commands from Emacs
* Single Shell How to run one shell command and return.
* Interactive Shell Permanent shell taking input via Emacs.
* Shell Mode Special Emacs commands used with permanent shell.
* Shell History Repeating previous commands in a shell buffer.
* Shell Options Options for customizing Shell mode.
* Remote Host Connecting to another computer.
* Minor Modes Each minor mode is one feature you can turn on
independently of any others.
* Variables Many Emacs commands examine Emacs variables
to decide what to do; by setting variables,
you can control their functioning.
* Keyboard Macros A keyboard macro records a sequence of
keystrokes to be replayed with a single command.
* Key Bindings The keymaps say what command each key runs.
By changing them, you can "redefine keys".
* Keyboard Translations
If your keyboard passes an undesired code
for a key, you can tell Emacs to
substitute another code.
* Syntax The syntax table controls how words and
expressions are parsed.
* Init File How to write common customizations in the
* Examining Examining or setting one variable's value.
* Easy Customization
Convenient and easy customization of variables.
* Hooks Hook variables let you specify programs for parts
of Emacs to run on particular occasions.
* Locals Per-buffer values of variables.
* File Variables How files can specify variable values.
* Basic Kbd Macro Defining and running keyboard macros.
* Save Kbd Macro Giving keyboard macros names; saving them in files.
* Kbd Macro Query Making keyboard macros do different things each time.
Customizing Key Bindings
* Keymaps Generalities. The global keymap.
* Prefix Keymaps Keymaps for prefix keys.
* Local Keymaps Major and minor modes have their own keymaps.
* Minibuffer Maps The minibuffer uses its own local keymaps.
* Rebinding How to redefine one key's meaning conveniently.
* Init Rebinding Rebinding keys with your init file, `.emacs'.
* Function Keys Rebinding terminal function keys.
* Named ASCII Chars Distinguishing <TAB> from C-i, and so on.
* Mouse Buttons Rebinding mouse buttons in Emacs.
* Disabling Disabling a command means confirmation is required
before it can be executed. This is done to protect
beginners from surprises.
The Init File, `~/.emacs'
* Init Syntax Syntax of constants in Emacs Lisp.
* Init Examples How to do some things with an init file.
* Terminal Init Each terminal type can have an init file.
* Find Init How Emacs finds the init file.
Dealing with Emacs Trouble
* DEL Gets Help What to do if <DEL> doesn't delete.
* Stuck Recursive `[...]' in mode line around the parentheses.
* Screen Garbled Garbage on the screen.
* Text Garbled Garbage in the text.
* Unasked-for Search Spontaneous entry to incremental search.
* Memory Full How to cope when you run out of memory.
* Emergency Escape Emergency escape---
What to do if Emacs stops responding.
* Total Frustration When you are at your wits' end.
* Criteria Bug Criteria. Have you really found a bug?
* Understanding Bug Reporting How to report a bug effectively.
* Checklist Steps to follow for a good bug report.
* Sending Patches How to send a patch for GNU Emacs.
Command Line Options and Arguments
* Action Arguments Arguments to visit files, load libraries,
and call functions.
* Initial Options Arguments that take effect while starting Emacs.
* Command Example Examples of using command line arguments.
* Resume Arguments Specifying arguments when you resume a running Emacs.
* Environment Environment variables that Emacs uses.
* Display X Changing the default display and using remote login.
* Font X Choosing a font for text, under X.
* Colors X Choosing colors, under X.
* Window Size X Start-up window size, under X.
* Borders X Internal and external borders, under X.
* Title X Specifying the initial frame's title.
* Icons X Choosing what sort of icon to use, under X.
* Resources X Advanced use of classes and resources, under X.
* Lucid Resources X resources for Lucid menus.
* Motif Resources X resources for Motif menus.
* General Variables Environment variables that all versions of Emacs use.
* Misc Variables Certain system specific variables.
MS-DOS and Windows 95/98/NT
* MS-DOS Input Keyboard and mouse usage on MS-DOS.
* MS-DOS Display Fonts, frames and display size on MS-DOS.
* MS-DOS File Names File-name conventions on MS-DOS.
* Text and Binary Text files on MS-DOS use CRLF to separate lines.
* MS-DOS Printing How to specify the printer on MS-DOS.
* MS-DOS Processes Running subprocesses on MS-DOS.
* Windows Processes Running subprocesses on Windows.
* Windows System Menu Controlling what the ALT key does.
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