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XEmacs User's Manual

XEmacs 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, but not how to extend it. It corresponds to XEmacs version 21.0.

This manual is intended as a detailed reference to XEmacs. If you are looking for an introductory manual, see the New User's Guide.

GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE  The GNU General Public License gives you permission to redistribute XEmacs on certain terms; and also explains that there is no warranty.
Distribution  How to get XEmacs.
Introduction  An introduction to XEmacs concepts.
Glossary  The glossary.
The GNU Manifesto  What's GNU? Gnu's Not Unix!
Indices, nodes containing large menus
Key (Character) Index  An item for each standard XEmacs key sequence.
Command and Function 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
1. The XEmacs Frame  How to interpret what you see on the screen.
2. Keystrokes, Key Sequences, and Key Bindings  Keyboard gestures XEmacs recognizes.
2.4 XEmacs Pull-down Menus  The XEmacs Pull-down Menus available under X.
3. Entering and Exiting Emacs  Starting Emacs from the shell.
3.1 Exiting Emacs  Stopping or killing XEmacs.
3.2 Command Line Switches and Arguments  Hairy startup options.
3.3 How XEmacs finds Directories and Files  
22.8 Packages  How XEmacs organizes its high-level functionality.
Fundamental Editing Commands
4. Basic Editing Commands  The most basic editing commands.
5. Undoing Changes  Undoing recently made changes in the text.
6. The Minibuffer  Entering arguments that are prompted for.
7. Running Commands by Name  Invoking commands by their names.
8. Help  Commands for asking XEmacs about its commands.
Important Text-Changing Commands
9. Selecting Text  The mark: how to delimit a "region" of text.
9.2 Selecting Text with the Mouse  Selecting text with the mouse.
9.3 Additional Mouse Operations  Other operations available from the mouse.
9.4 Deletion and Killing  Killing text.
9.5 Yanking  Recovering killed text. Moving text.
9.6 Using X Selections  Using primary selection, cut buffers, and highlighted regions.
9.7 Accumulating Text  Other ways of copying text.
9.8 Rectangles  Operating on the text inside a rectangle on the screen.
10. Registers  Saving a text string or a location in the buffer.
11. Controlling the Display  Controlling what text is displayed.
12. Searching and Replacement  Finding or replacing occurrences of a string.
13. Commands for Fixing Typos  Commands especially useful for fixing typos.
Larger Units of Text
14. File Handling  All about handling files.
15. Using Multiple Buffers  Multiple buffers; editing several files at once.
16. Multiple Windows  Viewing two pieces of text at once.
17. World Scripts Support  Multibyte characters; multiple scripts at once; Unicode.
Advanced Features
18. Major Modes  Text mode vs. Lisp mode vs. C mode ...
19. Indentation  Editing the white space at the beginnings of lines.
20. Commands for Human Languages  Commands and modes for editing English.
21. Editing Programs  Commands and modes for editing programs.
22. Compiling and Testing Programs  Compiling, running and debugging programs.
23. Abbrevs  How to define text abbreviations to reduce the number of characters you must type.
24. Editing Pictures  Editing pictures made up of characters using the quarter-plane screen model.
25. Sending Mail  Sending mail in XEmacs.
26. Reading Mail  Reading mail in XEmacs.
26.1 Calendar Mode and the Diary  A Calendar and diary facility in XEmacs.
26.6 Sorting Text  Sorting lines, paragraphs or pages within XEmacs.
26.7 Running Shell Commands from XEmacs  Executing shell commands from XEmacs.
26.8 Narrowing  Restricting display and editing to a portion of the buffer.
26.9 Hardcopy Output  Printing buffers or regions.
26.10 Recursive Editing Levels  A command can allow you to do editing
"within the command". This is called a
`recursive editing level'.
26.11 Dissociated Press  Dissociating text for fun.
26.12 CONX  A different kind of dissociation.
26.13 Other Amusements  Various games and hacks.
26.14 Emulation  Emulating some other editors with XEmacs.
27. Customization  Modifying the behavior of XEmacs.
Recovery from Problems.
27.13 Quitting and Aborting  Quitting and aborting.
27.14 Dealing With Emacs Trouble  What to do if XEmacs is hung or malfunctioning.
27.15 Reporting Bugs  How and when to report a bug.
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 Frame
1.1 Point  The place in the text where editing commands operate.
1.2 The Echo Area  Short messages appear at the bottom of the frame.
1.3 The Mode Line  Interpreting the mode line.
1.12 Using XEmacs Under the X Window System  Some information on using XEmacs under the X Window System.
2.1 Keystrokes as Building Blocks of Key Sequences  Keystrokes as building blocks of key sequences.
2.1.1 Representing Keystrokes  Using lists of modifiers and keysyms to represent keystrokes.
2.1.2 Representing Key Sequences  Combine key strokes into key sequences you can bind to commands.
2.1.3 String Key Sequences  Available for upward compatibility.
2.1.4 Assignment of the META Key  Using ESC to represent Meta
2.1.5 Assignment of the SUPER and HYPER Keys  Adding modifier keys on certain keyboards.
2.2 Representation of Characters  How characters appear in XEmacs buffers.
2.3 Keys and Commands  How commands are bound to key sequences.
Pull-down Menus
2.4.1 The File Menu  Items on the File menu.
2.4.2 The Edit Menu  Items on the Edit menu.
2.4.3 The Apps Menu  Items on the Apps menu.
2.4.4 The Options Menu  Items on the Options menu.
2.4.5 The Buffers Menu  Information about the Buffers menu.
2.4.6 The Tools Menu  Items on the Tools menu.
2.4.7 The Help Menu  Items on the Help menu.
2.4.8 Customizing XEmacs Menus  Adding and removing menu items and related operations.
22.8 Packages  Introduction to XEmacs Packages.
Package Terminology:  Understanding different kinds of packages.
Installing Packages:  How to install packages.
Building Packages:  Building packages from sources.
The Local.rules File:  An important part of building packages.
Available Packages:  A brief directory of packaged LISP.
Basic Editing Commands
4.6 Blank Lines  Commands to make or delete blank lines.
4.7 Continuation Lines  Lines too wide for the frame.
4.8 Cursor Position Information  What page, line, row, or column is point on?
4.9 Numeric Arguments  Numeric arguments for repeating a command.
The Minibuffer
6.1 Minibuffers for File Names  Entering file names with the minibuffer.
6.2 Editing in the Minibuffer  How to edit in the minibuffer.
6.3 Completion  An abbreviation facility for minibuffer input.
6.5 Repeating Minibuffer Commands  Re-executing commands that used the minibuffer.
The Mark and the Region
9.1.1 Setting the Mark  Commands to set the mark.
9.1.2 Operating on the Region  Summary of ways to operate on contents of the region.
9.1.3 Commands to Mark Textual Objects  Commands to put region around textual units.
9.1.4 The Mark Ring  Previous mark positions saved so you can go back there.
9.5.1 The Kill Ring  Where killed text is stored. Basic yanking.
9.5.2 Appending Kills  Several kills in a row all yank together.
9.5.3 Yanking Earlier Kills  Yanking something killed some time ago.
Using X Selections
9.6.1 The Clipboard Selection  Pasting to the X clipboard.
9.6.2 Miscellaneous X Selection Commands  Other operations on the selection.
9.6.3 X Cut Buffers  X cut buffers are available for compatibility.
9.6.4 Active Regions  Using zmacs-style highlighting of the selected region.
10.1 Saving Positions in Registers  Saving positions in registers.
10.2 Saving Text in Registers  Saving text in registers.
10.3 Saving Rectangles in Registers  Saving rectangles in registers.
10.4 Saving Window Configurations in Registers  Saving window configurations in registers.
10.6 Keeping File Names in Registers  File names in registers.
10.5 Keeping Numbers in Registers  Numbers in registers.
10.7 Bookmarks  Bookmarks are like registers, but persistent.
Controlling the Display
11.1 Scrolling  Moving text up and down in a window.
11.2 Horizontal Scrolling  Moving text left and right in a window.
11.3 Selective Display  Hiding lines with lots of indentation.
11.4 Variables Controlling Display  Information on variables for customizing display.
Searching and Replacement
12.1 Incremental Search  Search happens as you type the string.
12.2 Non-Incremental Search  Specify entire string and then search.
12.3 Word Search  Search for sequence of words.
12.4 Regular Expression Search  Search for match for a regexp.
12.5 Syntax of Regular Expressions  Syntax of regular expressions.
12.6 Searching and Case  To ignore case while searching, or not.
12.7 Replacement Commands  Search, and replace some or all matches.
12.8 Other Search-and-Loop Commands  Operating on all matches for some regexp.
Replacement Commands
12.7.1 Unconditional Replacement  Replacing all matches for a string.
12.7.2 Regexp Replacement  Replacing all matches for a regexp.
12.7.3 Replace Commands and Case  How replacements preserve case of letters.
12.7.4 Query Replace  How to use querying.
Commands for Fixing Typos
13.1 Killing Your Mistakes  Commands to kill a batch of recently entered text.
13.2 Transposing Text  Exchanging two characters, words, lines, lists...
13.3 Case Conversion  Correcting case of last word entered.
13.4 Checking and Correcting Spelling  Apply spelling checker to a word, or a whole file.
File Handling
14.1 File Names  How to type and edit file name arguments.
14.2 Visiting Files  Visiting a file prepares XEmacs to edit the file.
14.3 Saving Files  Saving makes your changes permanent.
14.4 Reverting a Buffer  Reverting cancels all the changes not saved.
14.5 Auto-Saving: Protection Against Disasters  Auto Save periodically protects against loss of data.
14.6 Version Control  Version control systems (RCS and SCCS).
14.7 Listing a File Directory  Listing the contents of a file directory.
14.8 Comparing Files  Finding where two files differ.
14.9 Dired, the Directory Editor  "Editing" a directory to delete, rename, etc. the files in it.
14.10 Miscellaneous File Operations  Other things you can do on files.
Saving Files
14.3.1 Backup Files  How XEmacs saves the old version of your file.
14.3.2 Protection Against Simultaneous Editing  How XEmacs protects against simultaneous editing of one file by two users.
Backup Files Single or Numbered Backups  How backup files are named; Choosing single or numbered backup files. Automatic Deletion of Backups  XEmacs deletes excess numbered backups. Copying vs. Renaming  Backups can be made by copying or renaming.
Auto-Saving: Protection Against Disasters
14.5.1 Auto-Save Files  
14.5.2 Controlling Auto-Saving  
14.5.3 Recovering Data from Auto-Saves  Recovering text from auto-save files.
Version Control
14.6.1 Concepts of Version Control  Basic version control information; checking files in and out.
14.6.2 Editing with Version Control  Commands for editing a file maintained with version control.
14.6.3 Variables Affecting Check-in and Check-out  Variables that affect the commands used to check files in or out.
14.6.4 Log Entries  Logging your changes.
14.6.5 Change Logs and VC  Generating a change log file from log entries.
14.6.6 Examining And Comparing Old Versions  Examining and comparing old versions.
14.6.7 VC Status Commands  Commands to view the VC status of files and look at log entries.
14.6.8 Renaming VC Work Files and Master Files  A command to rename both the source and master file correctly.
14.6.9 Snapshots  How to make and use snapshots, a set of file versions that can be treated as a unit.
14.6.10 Inserting Version Control Headers  Inserting version control headers into working files.
Snapshots Making and Using Snapshots  The snapshot facilities. Snapshot Caveats  Things to be careful of when using snapshots.
Dired, the Directory Editor
14.9.1 Entering Dired  How to invoke Dired.
14.9.2 Editing in Dired  Editing the Dired buffer.
14.9.3 Deleting Files With Dired  Deleting files with Dired.
14.9.4 Immediate File Operations in Dired  Other file operations through Dired.
Using Multiple Buffers
15.1 Creating and Selecting Buffers  Creating a new buffer or reselecting an old one.
15.2 Listing Existing Buffers  Getting a list of buffers that exist.
15.3 Miscellaneous Buffer Operations  Renaming; changing read-onliness; copying text.
15.4 Killing Buffers  Killing buffers you no longer need.
15.5 Operating on Several Buffers  How to go through the list of all buffers and operate variously on several of them.
Multiple Windows
16.1 Concepts of Emacs Windows  Introduction to XEmacs windows.
16.2 Splitting Windows  New windows are made by splitting existing windows.
16.3 Using Other Windows  Moving to another window or doing something to it.
16.4 Displaying in Another Window  Finding a file or buffer in another window.
16.5 Deleting and Rearranging Windows  Deleting windows and changing their sizes.
Multiple Scripts and Unicode
17.1 Introduction: The Wide Variety of Scripts and Codings in Use  Basic concepts of multilingual text.
17.2 Language Environments  Setting things up for the language you use.
17.3 Input Methods  Entering text characters not on your keyboard.
17.4 Selecting an Input Method  Specifying your choice of input methods.
17.5 Coding Systems  Character set conversion when you read and write files, and so on.
17.6 Recognizing Coding Systems  How XEmacs figures out which conversion to use.
17.7 Character Set Unification  Integrating overlapping character sets.
17.9 Charsets and Coding Systems  Tables and other reference material.
Major Modes
18.1 Choosing Major Modes  How major modes are specified or chosen.
19.1 Indentation Commands and Techniques  Various commands and techniques for indentation.
19.2 Tab Stops  You can set arbitrary "tab stops" and then indent to the next tab stop when you want to.
19.3 Tabs vs. Spaces  You can request indentation using just spaces.
Commands for Human Languages
20.1 Text Mode  The major modes for editing text files.
20.1.1 Nroff Mode  The major mode for editing input to the formatter nroff.
20.1.2 TeX Mode  The major modes for editing input to the formatter TeX.
20.1.3 Outline Mode  The major mode for editing outlines.
20.2 Words  Moving over and killing words.
20.3 Sentences  Moving over and killing sentences.
20.4 Paragraphs  Moving over paragraphs.
20.5 Pages  Moving over pages.
20.6 Filling Text  Filling or justifying text
20.7 Case Conversion Commands  Changing the case of text
TeX Mode TeX Editing Commands  Special commands for editing in TeX mode. TeX Printing Commands  Commands for printing part of a file with TeX.
Outline Mode Format of Outlines  What the text of an outline looks like. Outline Motion Commands  Special commands for moving through outlines. Outline Visibility Commands  Commands to control what is visible.
Filling Text
20.6.1 Auto Fill Mode  Auto Fill mode breaks long lines automatically.
20.6.2 Explicit Fill Commands  Commands to refill paragraphs and center lines.
20.6.3 The Fill Prefix  Filling when every line is indented or in a comment, etc.
Editing Programs
21.1 Major Modes for Programming Languages  Major modes for editing programs.
21.2 Lists and Sexps  Expressions with balanced parentheses. There are editing commands to operate on them.
21.3 Defuns  Each program is made up of separate functions. There are editing commands to operate on them.
21.4 Indentation for Programs  Adjusting indentation to show the nesting.
21.5 Automatic Display of Matching Parentheses  Insertion of a close-delimiter flashes matching open.
21.6 Manipulating Comments  Inserting, filling and aligning comments.
21.7 Editing Without Unbalanced Parentheses  Inserting two matching parentheses at once, etc.
21.8 Completion for Lisp Symbols  Completion on symbol names in Lisp code.
21.9 Documentation Commands  Getting documentation of functions you plan to call.
21.10 Change Logs  Maintaining a change history for your program.
21.11 Tags Tables  Go directly to any function in your program in one command. Tags remembers which file it is in.
21.12 Modes for C, C++, Java and similar languages  
21.13 Fortran Mode  Fortran mode and its special features.
21.14 Asm Mode  Asm mode and its special features.
Indentation for Programs
21.4.1 Basic Program Indentation Commands  
21.4.2 Indenting Several Lines  Commands to reindent many lines at once.
21.4.3 Customizing Lisp Indentation  Specifying how each Lisp function should be indented.
Tags Tables
21.11.1 Source File Tag Syntax  Tag syntax for various types of code and text files.
21.11.2 Creating Tags Tables  Creating a tags table with etags.
21.11.4 Selecting a Tags Table  How to visit a tags table.
21.11.5 Finding a Tag  Commands to find the definition of a specific tag.
21.11.6 Searching and Replacing with Tags Tables  Using a tags table for searching and replacing.
21.11.7 Tags Table Inquiries  Listing and finding tags defined in a file.
Fortran Mode
21.13.1 Motion Commands  Moving point by statements or subprograms.
21.13.2 Fortran Indentation  Indentation commands for Fortran.
21.13.3 Comments  Inserting and aligning comments.
21.13.4 Columns  Measuring columns for valid Fortran.
21.13.5 Fortran Keyword Abbrevs  Built-in abbrevs for Fortran keywords.
Fortran Indentation Fortran Indentation Commands  Commands for indenting Fortran. Line Numbers and Continuation  How line numbers auto-indent. Syntactic Conventions  Conventions you must obey to avoid trouble. Variables for Fortran Indentation  Variables controlling Fortran indent style.
Compiling and Testing Programs
22.1 Running "make", or Compilers Generally  Compiling programs in languages other than Lisp
(C, Pascal, etc.)
22.2 Major Modes for Lisp  Various modes for editing Lisp programs, with different facilities for running the Lisp programs.
22.3 Libraries of Lisp Code for Emacs  Creating Lisp programs to run in XEmacs.
22.4 Evaluating Emacs-Lisp Expressions  Executing a single Lisp expression in XEmacs.
22.5 The Emacs-Lisp Debugger  Debugging Lisp programs running in XEmacs.
22.6 Lisp Interaction Buffers  Executing Lisp in an XEmacs buffer.
22.7 Running an External Lisp  Communicating through XEmacs with a separate Lisp.
Lisp Libraries
22.3.1 Loading Libraries  Loading libraries of Lisp code into XEmacs for use.
22.3.2 Compiling Libraries  Compiling a library makes it load and run faster.
23.1 Defining Abbrevs  Defining an abbrev, so it will expand when typed.
23.2 Controlling Abbrev Expansion  Controlling expansion: prefixes, canceling expansion.
23.3 Examining and Editing Abbrevs  Viewing or editing the entire list of defined abbrevs.
23.4 Saving Abbrevs  Saving the entire list of abbrevs for another session.
23.5 Dynamic Abbrev Expansion  Abbreviations for words already in the buffer.
Editing Pictures
24.1 Basic Editing in Picture Mode  Basic concepts and simple commands of Picture Mode.
24.2 Controlling Motion After Insert  Controlling direction of cursor motion after "self-inserting" characters.
24.3 Picture Mode Tabs  Various features for tab stops and indentation.
24.4 Picture Mode Rectangle Commands  Clearing and superimposing rectangles.
Sending Mail
25.1 The Format of the Mail Buffer  Format of the mail being composed.
25.2 Mail Header Fields  Details of allowed mail header fields.
25.3 Mail Mode  Special commands for editing mail being composed.
Running Shell Commands from XEmacs
26.7.1 Single Shell Commands  How to run one shell command and return.
26.7.2 Interactive Inferior Shell  Permanent shell taking input via XEmacs.
26.7.3 Shell Mode  Special XEmacs commands used with permanent shell.
27.1 Minor Modes  Each minor mode is one feature you can turn on independently of any others.
27.3 Variables  Many XEmacs commands examine XEmacs variables to decide what to do; by setting variables, you can control their functioning.
27.4 Keyboard Macros  A keyboard macro records a sequence of keystrokes to be replayed with a single command.
27.5 Customizing Key Bindings  The keymaps say what command each key runs. By changing them, you can "redefine keys".
27.6 The Syntax Table  The syntax table controls how words and expressions are parsed.
27.7 The Init File  How to write common customizations in the init file.
27.8 Changing the Bell Sound  Changing how XEmacs sounds the bell.
27.9 Faces  Changing the fonts and colors of a region of text.
27.12 X Resources  X resources controlling various aspects of the behavior of XEmacs.
27.3.1 Examining and Setting Variables  Examining or setting one variable's value.
27.3.2 Easy Customization Interface  Convenient and easy customization of variables.
27.3.3 Editing Variable Values  Examining or editing list of all variables' values.
27.3.4 Local Variables  Per-buffer values of variables.
27.3.5 Local Variables in Files  How files can specify variable values.
Keyboard Macros
27.4.1 Basic Use  Defining and running keyboard macros.
27.4.2 Naming and Saving Keyboard Macros  Giving keyboard macros names; saving them in files.
27.4.3 Executing Macros With Variations  Keyboard macros that do different things each use.
Customizing Key Bindings
27.5.1 Keymaps  Definition of the keymap data structure. Names of XEmacs's standard keymaps.
27.5.2 Changing Key Bindings  How to redefine one key's meaning conveniently.
27.5.3 Disabling Commands  Disabling a command means confirmation is required before it can be executed. This is done to protect beginners from surprises.
The Syntax Table
27.6.1 Information About Each Character  What the syntax table records for each character.
27.6.2 Altering Syntax Information  How to change the information.
The Init File
27.7.1 Init File Syntax  Syntax of constants in Emacs Lisp.
27.7.2 Init File Examples  How to do some things with an init file.
27.7.3 Terminal-Specific Initialization  Each terminal type can have an init file.
27.10 Xft Font Customization  Configuring the next generation of fonts.
Dealing with XEmacs Trouble
27.14.1 Recursive Editing Levels  `[...]' in mode line around the parentheses.
27.14.2 Garbage on the Screen  Garbage on the screen.
27.14.3 Garbage in the Text  Garbage in the text.
27.14.4 Spontaneous Entry to Incremental Search  Spontaneous entry to incremental search.
27.14.5 Emergency Escape  Emergency escape--- What to do if XEmacs stops responding.
27.14.6 Help for Total Frustration  When you are at your wits' end.

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