Emacs Looks Mahvelous

Table of Contents

1 I got here as fast as I could

There is an old saying in Texas; "I wasn't born here, but I got here as fast as I could." No matter what brings you to emacs, or what editor you used previously, learning emacs is going to be, to some degree, difficult.

Fortunately for all, emacs has wonderful help built right into its bones. If you learn nothing else from this little tutorial, learn C-h.

2 Help for the helpless

You may know that, by default, emacs offers key combinations (maybe chords) that give you access to underlying functions. One of those combinations C-h (hold down the control key and press h), gives you access to the in built help system. If you press "?" after pressing C-h emacs will open another buffer that lists all the available functions and their corresponding access keys.

If you don't believe me, you could try C-h yourself. Or, you could use the help system. Press C-h c then the key combo you want information about. In this case C-h c C-h c gives

C-h c runs the command describe-key-briefly

Another helpful key combo is C-h b. If you are curious about what C-h b does, just use the previous key combo (C-h c). You'll find that C-h b runs describe-bindings and when run gives you a list of all available keys for all active modes1.

All very handy, but you only know those two (C-h c & C-h b) because I told you. Maybe you want to know every key binding to access under C-h. Well, C-h ? is your man. It is the help helper. Help for help. Helps helping hand.

Ok, enough of that.



Modes are how emacs determines which editing super powers are active for any given buffer. Buffers can have major and minor modes (generally one major and one or more minor.

Date: 2020-09-10 Thu 00:00

Author: Doc Green

Created: 2020-09-15 Tue 15:13