For more information about emacs , see Learning GNU Emacs , listed in the Bibliography.
Although emacs is not part of SVR4 or Solaris,[1 ] this text editor is found on many Unix systems because it is a popular alternative to vi . This book documents GNU emacs (Version 20.3), which is available from the Free Software Foundation (http://www.gnu.org ).
To start an emacs editing session, type:
emacs [file ]
On some systems, GNU emacs is invoked by typing gmacs instead of emacs .
commands use the Control key and the Meta key (Meta is usually the Escape key). In this chapter, the notation
In the command tables that follow, the first column lists the keystroke and the last column describes it. When there is a middle column, it lists the command name. This name is accessed by typing
is such a comprehensive editor, containing literally thousands of commands, some commands must be omitted for the sake of preserving a "quick" reference. You can browse the command set by typing
If you're just getting started with emacs , here's a short list of the most important commands:
A very common problem is that the Del or Backspace key on the terminal does not delete the character before the cursor, as it should. Instead, it invokes a help prompt. This problem is caused by an incompatible terminal. A fairly robust fix is to create a file named .emacs in your home directory (or edit one that's already there) and add the following lines:
(keyboard-translate ?\C-h ?\C-?) (keyboard-translate ?\C-\\ ?\C-h)
Now the Del or Backspace key should work, and you can invoke help by pressing C-\ (an arbitrarily chosen key sequence).
Another problem that could happen when you are logged in from a remote terminal is that C-s may cause the terminal to hang. This is caused by an old-fashioned handshake protocol between the terminal and the system. You can restart the terminal by pressing C-q, but that doesn't help you enter commands that contain the sequence C-s. The only solution (aside from using a more modern dial-in protocol) is to create new key bindings that replace C-s.