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@shorttitlepage GNU Emacs Manual

GNU Emacs Manual

Ninth Edition, Emacs version 19.22

for Unix Users

November 1993

Richard Stallman Copyright (C) 1985, 1986, 1987, 1993 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Ninth Edition
For Emacs Version 19.19,
Printed August, 1993.

ISBN 1-882114-03-5

Published by the Free Software Foundation
675 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided also that the sections entitled "The GNU Manifesto", "Distribution" and "GNU General Public License" are included exactly as in the original, and provided that the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a permission notice identical to this one.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this manual into another language, under the above conditions for modified versions, except that the sections entitled "The GNU Manifesto", "Distribution" and "GNU General Public License" may be included in a translation approved by the Free Software Foundation instead of in the original English.

Cover art by Etienne Suvasa.


This manual documents the use and simple customization of the Emacs editor. The reader is not expected to be a programmer. Even simple customizations do not require programming skill, but the user who is not interested in customizing can ignore the scattered customization hints.

This is primarily a reference manual, but can also be used as a primer. However, I recommend that the newcomer first use the on-line, learn-by-doing tutorial, which you get by running Emacs and typing C-h t. With it, you learn Emacs by using Emacs on a specially designed file which describes commands, tells you when to try them, and then explains the results you see. This gives a more vivid introduction than a printed manual.

On first reading, just skim chapters one and two, which describe the notational conventions of the manual and the general appearance of the Emacs display screen. Note which questions are answered in these chapters, so you can refer back later. After reading chapter four you should practice the commands there. The next few chapters describe fundamental techniques and concepts that are used constantly. You need to understand them thoroughly, experimenting with them if necessary.

To find the documentation on a particular command, look in the index. Keys (character commands) and command names have separate indexes. There is also a glossary, with a cross reference for each term.

This manual comes in two forms: the published form and the Info form. The Info form is for on-line perusal with the Info program; this form of the manual and the Info program itself are distributed along with GNU Emacs. Both forms contain substantially the same text and are generated from a common source file, which is also distributed along with GNU Emacs.

GNU Emacs is a member of the Emacs editor family. There are many Emacs editors, all sharing common principles of organization. For information on the underlying philosophy of Emacs and the lessons learned from its development, write for a copy of AI memo 519a, "Emacs, the Extensible, Customizable Self-Documenting Display Editor", to Publications Department, Artificial Intelligence Lab, 545 Tech Square, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. At last report they charge $2.25 per copy. Another useful publication is LCS TM-165, "A Cookbook for an Emacs", by Craig Finseth, available from Publications Department, Laboratory for Computer Science, 545 Tech Square, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. The price today is $3.

This edition of the manual is intended for use with GNU Emacs installed on Unix systems. GNU Emacs can also be used on VMS systems, which have different file name syntax and do not support all GNU Emacs features. A VMS edition of this manual may appear in the future.

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