faq.texi   [plain text]

\input texinfo   @c -*- mode: texinfo; -*-
@c %**start of header
@setfilename ../info/efaq
@settitle GNU Emacs FAQ
@c %**end of header

@setchapternewpage odd

@c This is used in many places
@set VER 22.1

@c This file is maintained by Romain Francoise <rfrancoise@gnu.org>.
@c Feel free to install changes without prior permission (but I'd
@c appreciate a notice if you do).

Copyright @copyright{} 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Free Software Foundation, Inc.@*
Copyright 1994,1995,1996,1997,1998,1999,2000 Reuven M. Lerner@*
Copyright 1992,1993 Steven Byrnes@*
Copyright 1990,1991,1992 Joseph Brian Wells@*

This list of frequently asked questions about GNU Emacs with answers
(``FAQ'') may be translated into other languages, transformed into other
formats (e.g. Texinfo, Info, WWW, WAIS), and updated with new information.

The same conditions apply to any derivative of the FAQ as apply to the FAQ
itself.  Every copy of the FAQ must include this notice or an approved
translation, information on who is currently maintaining the FAQ and how to
contact them (including their e-mail address), and information on where the
latest version of the FAQ is archived (including FTP information).

The FAQ may be copied and redistributed under these conditions, except that
the FAQ may not be embedded in a larger literary work unless that work
itself allows free copying and redistribution.

[This version has been heavily edited since it was included in the Emacs
@end quotation
@end copying

@dircategory Emacs
* Emacs FAQ: (efaq).	Frequently Asked Questions about Emacs.
@end direntry

@c The @titlepage stuff only appears in the printed version
@sp 10
@center @titlefont{GNU Emacs FAQ}

@c The following two commands start the copyright page.
@vskip 0pt plus 1filll
@end titlepage

@node    Top, FAQ notation, (dir), (dir)

This is the GNU Emacs FAQ, last updated on @today{}.

This FAQ is maintained as a part of GNU Emacs.  If you find any errors,
or have any suggestions, please use @kbd{M-x report-emacs-bug} to report

* FAQ notation::
* General questions::
* Getting help::
* Status of Emacs::
* Common requests::
* Bugs and problems::
* Compiling and installing Emacs::
* Finding Emacs and related packages::
* Major packages and programs::
* Key bindings::
* Alternate character sets::
* Mail and news::
* Concept index::
@end menu

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node FAQ notation, General questions, Top, Top
@chapter FAQ notation
@cindex FAQ notation

This chapter describes notation used in the GNU Emacs FAQ, as well as in
the Emacs documentation.  Consult this section if this is the first time
you are reading the FAQ, or if you are confused by notation or terms
used in the FAQ.

* Basic keys::
* Extended commands::
* On-line manual::
* File-name conventions::
* Common acronyms::
@end menu

@node Basic keys, Extended commands, FAQ notation, FAQ notation
@section What do these mean: @kbd{C-h}, @kbd{C-M-a}, @key{RET}, @kbd{@key{ESC} a}, etc.?
@cindex Basic keys
@cindex Control key, notation for
@cindex @key{Meta} key, notation for
@cindex Control-Meta characters, notation for
@cindex @kbd{C-h}, definition of
@cindex @kbd{C-M-h}, definition of
@cindex @key{DEL}, definition of
@cindex @key{ESC}, definition of
@cindex @key{LFD}, definition of
@cindex @key{RET}, definition of
@cindex @key{SPC}, definition of
@cindex @key{TAB}, definition of
@cindex Notation for keys

@itemize @bullet

@kbd{C-x}: press the @key{x} key while holding down the @key{Control} key

@kbd{M-x}: press the @key{x} key while holding down the @key{Meta} key
(if your computer doesn't have a @key{Meta} key, @pxref{No Meta key})

@kbd{M-C-x}: press the @key{x} key while holding down both @key{Control}
and @key{Meta}

@kbd{C-M-x}: a synonym for the above

@key{LFD}: Linefeed or Newline; same as @kbd{C-j}

@key{RET}: @key{Return}, sometimes marked @key{Enter}; same as @kbd{C-m}

@key{DEL}: @key{Delete}, usually @strong{not} the same as
@key{Backspace}; same as @kbd{C-?} (see @ref{Backspace invokes help}, if
deleting invokes Emacs help)

@key{ESC}: Escape; same as @kbd{C-[}

@key{TAB}: Tab; same as @kbd{C-i}

@key{SPC}: Space bar

@end itemize

Key sequences longer than one key (and some single-key sequences) are
written inside quotes or on lines by themselves, like this:

  @kbd{M-x frobnicate-while-foo RET}
@end display

Any real spaces in such a key sequence should be ignored; only @key{SPC}
really means press the space key.

The @acronym{ASCII} code sent by @kbd{C-x} (except for @kbd{C-?}) is the value
that would be sent by pressing just @key{x} minus 96 (or 64 for
upper-case @key{X}) and will be from 0 to 31.  On Unix and GNU/Linux
terminals, the @acronym{ASCII} code sent by @kbd{M-x} is the sum of 128 and the
@acronym{ASCII} code that would be sent by pressing just @key{x}.  Essentially,
@key{Control} turns off bits 5 and 6 and @key{Meta} turns on bit
DOS and Windows terminals don't set bit 7 when the @key{Meta} key is

@kbd{C-?} (aka @key{DEL}) is @acronym{ASCII} code 127.  It is a misnomer to call
@kbd{C-?}  a ``control'' key, since 127 has both bits 5 and 6 turned ON.
Also, on very few keyboards does @kbd{C-?} generate @acronym{ASCII} code 127.

@inforef{Text Characters, Text Characters, emacs}, and @inforef{Keys,
Keys, emacs}, for more information.  (@xref{On-line manual}, for more
information about Info.)

@node Extended commands, On-line manual, Basic keys, FAQ notation
@section What does @file{M-x @var{command}} mean?
@cindex Extended commands
@cindex Commands, extended
@cindex M-x, meaning of

@kbd{M-x @var{command}} means type @kbd{M-x}, then type the name of the
command, then type @key{RET}.  (@xref{Basic keys}, if you're not sure
what @kbd{M-x} and @key{RET} mean.)

@kbd{M-x} (by default) invokes the command
@code{execute-extended-command}.  This command allows you to run any
Emacs command if you can remember the command's name.  If you can't
remember the command's name, you can type @key{TAB} and @key{SPC} for
completion, @key{?} for a list of possibilities, and @kbd{M-p} and
@kbd{M-n} (or up-arrow and down-arrow on terminals that have these
editing keys) to see previous commands entered.  An Emacs @dfn{command}
is an @dfn{interactive} Emacs function.

@cindex @key{Do} key
Your system administrator may have bound other key sequences to invoke
@code{execute-extended-command}.  A function key labeled @kbd{Do} is a
good candidate for this, on keyboards that have such a key.

If you need to run non-interactive Emacs functions, see @ref{Evaluating
Emacs Lisp code}.

@node On-line manual, File-name conventions, Extended commands, FAQ notation
@section How do I read topic XXX in the on-line manual?
@cindex On-line manual, reading topics in
@cindex Reading topics in the on-line manual
@cindex Finding topics in the on-line manual
@cindex Info, finding topics in

When we refer you to some @var{topic} in the on-line manual, you can
read this manual node inside Emacs (assuming nothing is broken) by
typing @kbd{C-h i m emacs @key{RET} m @var{topic} @key{RET}}.

This invokes Info, the GNU hypertext documentation browser.  If you don't
already know how to use Info, type @key{?} from within Info.

If we refer to @var{topic}:@var{subtopic}, type @kbd{C-h i m emacs
@key{RET} m @var{topic} @key{RET} m @var{subtopic} @key{RET}}.

If these commands don't work as expected, your system administrator may
not have installed the Info files, or may have installed them
improperly.  In this case you should complain.

@xref{Getting a printed manual}, if you would like a paper copy of the
Emacs manual.

@node File-name conventions, Common acronyms, On-line manual, FAQ notation
@section What are @file{etc/SERVICE}, @file{src/config.h}, and @file{lisp/default.el}?
@cindex File-name conventions
@cindex Conventions for file names
@cindex Directories and files that come with Emacs

These are files that come with Emacs.  The Emacs distribution is divided
into subdirectories; the important ones are @file{etc}, @file{lisp}, and

If you use Emacs, but don't know where it is kept on your system, start
Emacs, then type @kbd{C-h v data-directory @key{RET}}.  The directory
name displayed by this will be the full pathname of the installed
@file{etc} directory.  (This full path is recorded in the Emacs variable
@code{data-directory}, and @kbd{C-h v} displays the value and the
documentation of a variable.)

The location of your Info directory (i.e., where on-line documentation
is stored) is kept in the variable @code{Info-default-directory-list}.  Use
@kbd{C-h v Info-default-directory-list @key{RET}} to see the value of
this variable, which will be a list of directory names.  The last
directory in that list is probably where most Info files are stored.  By
default, Info documentation is placed in @file{/usr/local/info}.

Some of these files are available individually via FTP or e-mail; see
@ref{Informational files for Emacs}.  They all are available in the
source distribution.  Many of the files in the @file{etc} directory are
also available via the Emacs @samp{Help} menu, or by typing @kbd{C-h ?}
(@kbd{M-x help-for-help}).

Your system administrator may have removed the @file{src} directory and
many files from the @file{etc} directory.

@node Common acronyms,  , File-name conventions, FAQ notation
@section What are FSF, LPF, OSF, GNU, RMS, FTP, and GPL?
@cindex FSF, definition of
@cindex LPF, definition of
@cindex OSF, definition of
@cindex GNU, definition of
@cindex RMS, definition of
@cindex Stallman, Richard, acronym for
@cindex Richard Stallman, acronym for
@cindex FTP, definition of
@cindex GPL, definition of
@cindex Acronyms, definitions for
@cindex Common acronyms, definitions for

@table @asis

@item FSF
Free Software Foundation

@item LPF
League for Programming Freedom

@item OSF
Open Software Foundation

@item GNU
GNU's Not Unix

@item RMS
Richard Matthew Stallman

@item FTP
File Transfer Protocol

@item GPL
GNU General Public License

@end table

Avoid confusing the FSF, the LPF, and the OSF.  The LPF opposes
look-and-feel copyrights and software patents.  The FSF aims to make
high quality free software available for everyone.  The OSF is a
consortium of computer vendors which develops commercial software for
Unix systems.

The word ``free'' in the title of the Free Software Foundation refers to
``freedom,'' not ``zero cost.''  Anyone can charge any price for
GPL-covered software that they want to.  However, in practice, the
freedom enforced by the GPL leads to low prices, because you can always
get the software for less money from someone else, since everyone has
the right to resell or give away GPL-covered software.

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node    General questions, Getting help, FAQ notation, Top
@chapter General questions
@cindex General questions

This chapter contains general questions having to do with Emacs, the
Free Software Foundation, and related organizations.

* The LPF::
* Real meaning of copyleft::
* Guidelines for newsgroup postings::
* Newsgroup archives::
* Reporting bugs::
* Unsubscribing from Emacs lists::
* Contacting the FSF::
@end menu

@node The LPF, Real meaning of copyleft, General questions, General questions
@section What is the LPF?
@cindex LPF, description of
@cindex League for Programming Freedom
@cindex Software patents, opposition to
@cindex Patents for software, opposition to

The LPF opposes the expanding danger of software patents and
look-and-feel copyrights.  To get more information, feel free to contact
the LPF via e-mail or otherwise.  You may also contact
@email{jbw@@cs.bu.edu, Joe Wells}; he will be happy to talk to you
about the LPF.

You can find more information about the LPF in the file @file{etc/LPF}.
More papers describing the LPF's views are available on the Internet and
also from @uref{http://lpf.ai.mit.edu/, the LPF home page}.

@node Real meaning of copyleft, Guidelines for newsgroup postings, The LPF, General questions
@section What is the real legal meaning of the GNU copyleft?
@cindex Copyleft, real meaning of
@cindex GPL, real meaning of
@cindex General Public License, real meaning of
@cindex Discussion of the GPL

The real legal meaning of the GNU General Public License (copyleft) will
only be known if and when a judge rules on its validity and scope.
There has never been a copyright infringement case involving the GPL to
set any precedents.  Please take any discussion regarding this issue to
the newsgroup @uref{news:gnu.misc.discuss}, which was created to hold the
extensive flame wars on the subject.

RMS writes:

The legal meaning of the GNU copyleft is less important than the spirit,
which is that Emacs is a free software project and that work pertaining
to Emacs should also be free software.  ``Free'' means that all users
have the freedom to study, share, change and improve Emacs.  To make
sure everyone has this freedom, pass along source code when you
distribute any version of Emacs or a related program, and give the
recipients the same freedom that you enjoyed.
@end quotation

@node Guidelines for newsgroup postings, Newsgroup archives, Real meaning of copyleft, General questions
@section  What are appropriate messages for @uref{news:gnu.emacs.help}, @uref{news:gnu.emacs.bug}, @uref{news:comp.emacs}, etc.?
@cindex Newsgroups, appropriate messages for
@cindex GNU newsgroups, appropriate messages for
@cindex Usenet groups, appropriate messages for
@cindex Mailing lists, appropriate messages for
@cindex Posting messages to newsgroups

@cindex GNU mailing lists
The file @file{etc/MAILINGLISTS} describes the purpose of each GNU
mailing list.  (@xref{Informational files for Emacs}, if you want a copy
of the file.)  For those lists which are gatewayed with newsgroups, it
lists both the newsgroup name and the mailing list address.

The newsgroup @uref{news:comp.emacs} is for discussion of Emacs programs
in general.  This includes Emacs along with various other
implementations, such as XEmacs, JOVE, MicroEmacs, Freemacs, MG,
Unipress, CCA, and Epsilon.

Many people post Emacs questions to @uref{news:comp.emacs} because they
don't receive any of the @code{gnu.*} newsgroups.  Arguments have been
made both for and against posting GNU-Emacs-specific material to
@uref{news:comp.emacs}.  You have to decide for yourself.

Messages advocating ``non-free'' software are considered unacceptable on
any of the @code{gnu.*} newsgroups except for @uref{news:gnu.misc.discuss},
which was created to hold the extensive flame-wars on the subject.
``Non-free'' software includes any software for which the end user can't
freely modify the source code and exchange enhancements.  Be careful to
remove the @code{gnu.*} groups from the @samp{Newsgroups:} line when
posting a followup that recommends such software.

@uref{news:gnu.emacs.bug} is a place where bug reports appear, but avoid
posting bug reports to this newsgroup directly (@pxref{Reporting bugs}).

@node Newsgroup archives, Reporting bugs, Guidelines for newsgroup postings, General questions
@section Where can I get old postings to @uref{news:gnu.emacs.help} and other GNU groups?
@cindex Archived postings from @code{gnu.emacs.help}
@cindex Usenet archives for GNU groups
@cindex Old Usenet postings for GNU groups

The FSF has maintained archives of all of the GNU mailing lists for many
years, although there may be some unintentional gaps in coverage.  The
archive is not particularly well organized or easy to retrieve
individual postings from, but pretty much everything is there.

The archive is at @uref{ftp://lists.gnu.org/}.

The archive can be browsed over the web at
@uref{http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/, the GNU mail archive}.

Web-based Usenet search services, such as
@uref{http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?sel=33592484, Google}, also
archive the @code{gnu.*} groups.

You can read the archives of the @code{gnu.*} groups and post new
messages at @uref{http://gmane.org/, Gmane}.

@node Reporting bugs, Unsubscribing from Emacs lists, Newsgroup archives, General questions
@section Where should I report bugs and other problems with Emacs?
@cindex Bug reporting
@cindex Good bug reports
@cindex How to submit a bug report
@cindex Reporting bugs

The correct way to report Emacs bugs is to use the command
@kbd{M-x report-emacs-bug}.  It sets up a mail buffer with the
essential information and the correct e-mail address which is
@email{bug-gnu-emacs@@gnu.org} for the released versions of Emacs.
Anything sent to @email{bug-gnu-emacs@@gnu.org} also appears in the
newsgroup @uref{news:gnu.emacs.bug}, but please use e-mail instead of
news to submit the bug report.  This ensures a reliable return address
so you can be contacted for further details.

Be sure to read the ``Bugs'' section of the Emacs manual before reporting
a bug!  The manual describes in detail how to submit a useful bug
report (@pxref{Bugs, , Reporting Bugs, emacs, The GNU Emacs Manual}).
(@xref{On-line manual}, if you don't know how to read the manual.)

RMS says:

Sending bug reports to @email{help-gnu-emacs@@gnu.org} (which has the
effect of posting on @uref{news:gnu.emacs.help}) is undesirable because
it takes the time of an unnecessarily large group of people, most of
whom are just users and have no idea how to fix these problem.
@email{bug-gnu-emacs@@gnu.org} reaches a much smaller group of people
who are more likely to know what to do and have expressed a wish to
receive more messages about Emacs than the others.
@end quotation

RMS says it is sometimes fine to post to @uref{news:gnu.emacs.help}:

If you have reported a bug and you don't hear about a possible fix,
then after a suitable delay (such as a week) it is okay to post on
@code{gnu.emacs.help} asking if anyone can help you.
@end quotation

If you are unsure whether you have found a bug, consider the following
non-exhaustive list, courtesy of RMS:

If Emacs crashes, that is a bug.  If Emacs gets compilation errors
while building, that is a bug.  If Emacs crashes while building, that
is a bug.  If Lisp code does not do what the documentation says it
does, that is a bug.
@end quotation

@node Unsubscribing from Emacs lists, Contacting the FSF, Reporting bugs, General questions
@section  How do I unsubscribe from this mailing list?
@cindex Unsubscribing from GNU mailing lists
@cindex Removing yourself from GNU mailing lists

If you are receiving a GNU mailing list named @var{list}, you might be
able to unsubscribe from it by sending a request to the address
@email{@var{list}-request@@gnu.org}.  However, this will not work if you are
not listed on the main mailing list, but instead receive the mail from a
distribution point.  In that case, you will have to track down at which
distribution point you are listed.  Inspecting the @samp{Received} headers
on the mail messages may help, along with liberal use of the @samp{EXPN} or
@samp{VRFY} sendmail commands through @samp{telnet @var{site-address}
smtp}.  Ask your postmaster for help, if you cannot figure out these

@node Contacting the FSF,  , Unsubscribing from Emacs lists, General questions
@section  What is the current address of the FSF?
@cindex Snail mail address of the FSF
@cindex Postal address of the FSF
@cindex Contracting the FSF
@cindex Free Software Foundation, contacting

@table @asis

@item E-mail

@item Telephone

@item Fax

@item World Wide Web

@item Postal address
Free Software Foundation@*
51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor@*
Boston, MA 02110-1301@*

@end table

@cindex Ordering GNU software
For details on how to order items directly from the FSF, see the
@uref{http://www.gnu.org/order/order.html, GNU Web site}.

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node Getting help, Status of Emacs, General questions, Top
@chapter Getting help
@cindex Getting help

This chapter tells you how to get help with Emacs

* Basic editing::
* Learning how to do something::
* Getting a printed manual::
* Emacs Lisp documentation::
* Installing Texinfo documentation::
* Printing a Texinfo file::
* Viewing Info files outside of Emacs::
* Informational files for Emacs::
* Help installing Emacs::
* Obtaining the FAQ::
@end menu

@node Basic editing, Learning how to do something, Getting help, Getting help
@section I'm just starting Emacs; how do I do basic editing?
@cindex Basic editing with Emacs
@cindex Beginning editing
@cindex Tutorial, invoking the
@cindex Self-paced tutorial, invoking the
@cindex Help system, entering the

Type @kbd{C-h t} to invoke the self-paced tutorial.  Just typing
@kbd{C-h} enters the help system.  Starting with Emacs 22, the tutorial
is available in many foreign languages such as French, German, Japanese,
Russian, etc.  Use @kbd{M-x help-with-tutorial-spec-language @key{RET}}
to choose your language and start the tutorial.

Your system administrator may have changed @kbd{C-h} to act like
@key{DEL} to deal with local keyboards.  You can use @kbd{M-x
help-for-help} instead to invoke help.  To discover what key (if any)
invokes help on your system, type @kbd{M-x where-is @key{RET}
help-for-help @key{RET}}.  This will print a comma-separated list of key
sequences in the echo area.  Ignore the last character in each key
sequence listed.  Each of the resulting key sequences invokes help.

Emacs help works best if it is invoked by a single key whose value
should be stored in the variable @code{help-char}.

@node Learning how to do something, Getting a printed manual, Basic editing, Getting help
@section How do I find out how to do something in Emacs?
@cindex Help for Emacs
@cindex Learning to do something in Emacs
@cindex Reference card for Emacs
@cindex Overview of help systems

There are several methods for finding out how to do things in Emacs.

@itemize @bullet

@cindex Reading the Emacs manual
The complete text of the Emacs manual is available on-line via the Info
hypertext reader.  Type @kbd{C-h r} to display the manual in Info mode.
Typing @key{h} immediately after entering Info will provide a short
tutorial on how to use it.

@cindex Lookup a subject in a manual
@cindex Index search in a manual
To quickly locate the section of the manual which discusses a certain
issue, or describes a command or a variable, type @kbd{C-h i m emacs
@key{RET} i @var{topic} @key{RET}}, where @var{topic} is the name of the
topic, the command, or the variable which you are looking for.  If this
does not land you on the right place in the manual, press @kbd{,}
(comma) repeatedly until you find what you need.  (The @kbd{i} and
@kbd{,} keys invoke the index-searching functions, which look for the
@var{topic} you type in all the indices of the Emacs manual.)

@cindex Apropos
You can list all of the commands whose names contain a certain word
(actually which match a regular expression) using @kbd{C-h a} (@kbd{M-x

@cindex Command description in the manual
The command @kbd{C-h F} (@code{Info-goto-emacs-command-node}) prompts
for the name of a command, and then attempts to find the section in the
Emacs manual where that command is described.

@cindex Finding commands and variables
You can list all of the functions and variables whose names contain a
certain word using @kbd{M-x apropos}.

You can list all of the functions and variables whose documentation
matches a regular expression or a string, using @kbd{M-x

You can order a hardcopy of the manual from the FSF.  @xref{Getting a
printed manual}.

@cindex Reference cards, in other languages
You can get a printed reference card listing commands and keys to
invoke them.  You can order one from the FSF for $1 (or 10 for $5),
or you can print your own from the @file{etc/refcard.tex} or
@file{etc/refcard.ps} files in the Emacs distribution.  Beginning with
version 21.1, the Emacs distribution comes with translations of the
reference card into several languages; look for files named
@file{etc/@var{lang}-refcard.*}, where @var{lang} is a two-letter code
of the language.  For example, the German version of the reference card
is in the files @file{etc/de-refcard.tex} and @file{etc/de-refcard.ps}.

There are many other commands in Emacs for getting help and
information.  To get a list of these commands, type @samp{?} after

@end itemize

@node Getting a printed manual, Emacs Lisp documentation, Learning how to do something, Getting help
@section How do I get a printed copy of the Emacs manual?
@cindex Printed Emacs manual, obtaining
@cindex Manual, obtaining a printed or HTML copy of
@cindex Emacs manual, obtaining a printed or HTML copy of

You can order a printed copy of the Emacs manual from the FSF.  For
details see the @uref{http://www.gnu.org/order/order.html, GNU Web site}.

@c The number 620 below is version-dependent!
The full Texinfo source for the manual also comes in the @file{man}
directory of the Emacs distribution, if you're daring enough to try to
print out this 620-page manual yourself (@pxref{Printing a Texinfo

If you absolutely have to print your own copy, and you don't have @TeX{},
you can get a PostScript version from


@cindex HTML version of Emacs manual, obtaining
An HTML version of the manual is at


The manual is available in other formats at


@xref{Learning how to do something}, for how to view the manual on-line.

@node Emacs Lisp documentation, Installing Texinfo documentation, Getting a printed manual, Getting help
@section Where can I get documentation on Emacs Lisp?
@cindex Documentation on Emacs Lisp
@cindex Function documentation
@cindex Variable documentation
@cindex Emacs Lisp Reference Manual
@cindex Reference manual for Emacs Lisp

Within Emacs, you can type @kbd{C-h f} to get the documentation for a
function, @kbd{C-h v} for a variable.

For more information, the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual is available
on-line, in Info format.  @xref{Top, Emacs Lisp,, elisp, The
Emacs Lisp Reference Manual}.

You can also order a hardcopy of the manual, details on ordering it from
FSF are on the @uref{http://www.gnu.org/order/order.html, GNU Web site}.

An HTML version of the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual is available at


@node Installing Texinfo documentation, Printing a Texinfo file, Emacs Lisp documentation, Getting help
@section How do I install a piece of Texinfo documentation?
@cindex Texinfo documentation, installing
@cindex Installing Texinfo documentation
@cindex New Texinfo files, installing
@cindex Documentation, installing new Texinfo files
@cindex Info files, how to install

First, you must turn the Texinfo files into Info files.  You may do this
using the stand-alone @file{makeinfo} program, available as part of the latest
Texinfo package at


and all mirrors of @samp{ftp.gnu.org} (for a list, @pxref{Current GNU

For information about the Texinfo format, read the Texinfo manual which
comes with the Texinfo package.  This manual also comes installed in
Info format, so you can read it on-line; type @kbd{C-h i m texinfo

Alternatively, you could use the Emacs command @kbd{M-x
texinfo-format-buffer}, after visiting the Texinfo source file of the
manual you want to convert.

Neither @code{texinfo-format-buffer} nor @file{makeinfo} installs the
resulting Info files in Emacs's Info tree.  To install Info files,
perform these steps:

Move the files to the @file{info} directory in the installed Emacs
distribution.  @xref{File-name conventions}, if you don't know where that

Run the @code{install-info} command, which is part of the Texinfo
distribution, to update the main Info directory menu, like this:

 install-info --info-dir=@var{dir-path} @var{dir-path}/@var{file}
@end example

where @var{dir-path} is the full path to the directory where you copied
the produced Info file(s), and @var{file} is the name of the Info file
you produced and want to install.

If you don't have the @code{install-info} command installed, you can
edit the file @file{info/dir} in the installed Emacs distribution, and
add a line for the top level node in the Info package that you are
installing.  Follow the examples already in this file.  The format is:

* Topic: (relative-pathname).  Short description of topic.
@end example

@end enumerate

If you want to install Info files and you don't have the necessary
privileges, you have several options:

@itemize @bullet
Info files don't actually need to be installed before being used.
You can use a prefix argument for the @code{info} command and specify
the name of the Info file in the minibuffer.  This goes to the node
named @samp{Top} in that file.  For example, to view a Info file named
@file{@var{info-file}} in your home directory, you can type this:

@kbd{C-u C-h i ~/@var{info-file} @key{RET}}
@end example

Alternatively, you can feed a file name to the @code{Info-goto-node}
command (invoked by pressing @key{g} in Info mode) by typing the name
of the file in parentheses, like this:

@kbd{C-h i g (~/@var{info-file}) @key{RET}}
@end example

You can create your own Info directory.  You can tell Emacs where that
Info directory is by adding its pathname to the value of the variable
@code{Info-default-directory-list}.  For example, to use a private Info
directory which is a subdirectory of your home directory named @file{Info},
you could put this in your @file{.emacs} file:

(setq Info-default-directory-list
      (cons "~/Info" Info-default-directory-list))
@end lisp

You will need a top-level Info file named @file{dir} in this directory
which has everything the system @file{dir} file has in it, except it should
list only entries for Info files in that directory.  You might not need
it if all files in this directory were referenced by other @file{dir}
files.  The node lists from all @file{dir} files in
@code{Info-default-directory-list} are merged by the Info system.

@end itemize

@node Printing a Texinfo file, Viewing Info files outside of Emacs, Installing Texinfo documentation, Getting help
@section How do I print a Texinfo file?
@cindex Printing a Texinfo file
@cindex Texinfo file, printing
@cindex Printing documentation

You can't get nicely printed output from Info files; you must still have
the original Texinfo source file for the manual you want to print.

Assuming you have @TeX{} installed on your system, follow these steps:


Make sure the first line of the Texinfo file looks like this:

\input texinfo
@end example

You may need to change @samp{texinfo} to the full pathname of the
@file{texinfo.tex} file, which comes with Emacs as
@file{man/texinfo.tex} (or copy or link it into the current directory).

Type @kbd{texi2dvi @var{texinfo-source}}, where @var{texinfo-source} is
the name of the Texinfo source file for which you want to produce a
printed copy.

The @samp{texi2dvi} script is part of the GNU Texinfo distribution
(@pxref{Installing Texinfo documentation}).

Print the DVI file @file{@var{texinfo-source}.dvi} in the normal way for
printing DVI files at your site.  For example, if you have a PostScript
printer, run the @code{dvips} program to print the DVI file on that

@end enumerate

To get more general instructions, retrieve the latest Texinfo package
(@pxref{Installing Texinfo documentation}).

@node Viewing Info files outside of Emacs, Informational files for Emacs, Printing a Texinfo file, Getting help
@section Can I view Info files without using Emacs?
@cindex Viewing Info files
@cindex Info file viewers
@cindex Alternative Info file viewers

Yes.  Here are some alternative programs:

@itemize @bullet

@code{info}, a stand-alone version of the Info program, comes as part of
the Texinfo package.  @xref{Installing Texinfo documentation}, for

Xinfo, a stand-alone version of the Info program that runs under X
Window system.  You can get it at
@uref{ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/xinfo/xinfo-1.01.01.tar.gz} and all
mirrors of @samp{ftp.gnu.org} (see @ref{Current GNU distributions}, for a
list of mirrors).

Tkinfo, an Info viewer that runs under X Window system and uses Tcl/Tk.
You can get Tkinfo at

@end itemize

@node Informational files for Emacs, Help installing Emacs, Viewing Info files outside of Emacs, Getting help
@section What informational files are available for Emacs?
@cindex Informational files included with Emacs
@cindex Files included with Emacs
@cindex @file{COPYING}, description of file
@cindex @file{DISTRIB}, description of file
@cindex @file{FTP}, description of file
@cindex @file{GNU}, description of file
@cindex @file{INTERVIEW}, description of file
@cindex @file{LPF}, description of file
@cindex @file{MACHINES}, description of file
@cindex @file{MAILINGLISTS}, description of file
@cindex @file{NEWS}, description of file
@cindex @file{SERVICE}, description of file
@cindex @file{SUN-SUPPORT}, description of file

This isn't a frequently asked question, but it should be!  A variety of
informational files about Emacs and relevant aspects of the GNU project
are available for you to read.

The following files are available in the @file{etc} directory of the
Emacs distribution (see @ref{File-name conventions}, if you're not sure
where that is).

@table @file

GNU General Public License

Emacs Availability Information, including the popular Free Software
Foundation Order Form

@item FTP
How to get GNU Software by Internet FTP or by UUCP

@item GNU
The GNU Manifesto

Richard Stallman discusses his public-domain UNIX-compatible software
system with BYTE editors

@item LPF
Why you should join the League for Programming Freedom

Status of Emacs on Various Machines and Systems

GNU Project Electronic Mailing Lists

@item NEWS
Emacs news, a history of recent user-visible changes

GNU Service Directory

including ``Using Emacstool with GNU Emacs''

@end table

More GNU information, including back issues of the @cite{GNU's
Bulletin}, are at

@uref{http://www.gnu.org/bulletins/bulletins.html} and


@node Help installing Emacs, Obtaining the FAQ, Informational files for Emacs, Getting help
@section Where can I get help in installing Emacs?
@cindex Installation help
@cindex Help installing Emacs

@xref{Installing Emacs}, for some basic installation hints, and see
@ref{Problems building Emacs}, or @ref{Linking with -lX11 fails}, if you
have problems with the installation.

The file @file{etc/SERVICE} (see @ref{File-name conventions}, if you're
not sure where that is) lists companies and individuals willing to sell
you help in installing or using Emacs.  An up-to-date version this file
is available on @samp{ftp.gnu.org} (@pxref{Informational files for

@node Obtaining the FAQ,  , Help installing Emacs, Getting help
@section Where can I get the latest version of this FAQ?
@cindex FAQ, obtaining the
@cindex Latest FAQ version, obtaining the
@cindex Retrieving the latest FAQ version
@cindex E-mail, retrieving the FAQ via
@cindex Web, reading the FAQ on the

The Emacs FAQ is available in several ways:

@itemize @bullet

Inside of Emacs itself.  You can get it from selecting the @samp{Emacs
FAQ} option from the @samp{Help} menu of the Emacs menu bar at the top
of any Emacs frame, or by typing @kbd{C-h C-f} (@kbd{M-x view-emacs-FAQ}).

Via USENET.  If you can read news, the FAQ should be available in your
news spool, in both the @uref{news:gnu.emacs.help} and
@uref{news:comp.emacs} newsgroups.  Every news reader should allow you
to read any news article that is still in the news spool, even if you
have read the article before.  You may need to read the instructions for
your news reader to discover how to do this.  In @file{rn}, this command
will do this for you at the article selection level:

?GNU Emacs Frequently Asked Questions?rc:m
@end example

In Gnus, you should type @kbd{C-u C-x C-s} from the @file{*Summary*}
buffer or @kbd{C-u @key{SPC}} from the @file{*Newsgroup*} buffer to view
all articles in a newsgroup.

If the FAQ articles have expired and have been deleted from your news
spool, it might (or might not) do some good to complain to your news
administrator, because the most recent FAQ should not expire for a

In the Emacs distribution.  Since Emacs 18.56, the FAQ at the time
of release has been part of the Emacs distribution as either
@file{etc/FAQ} or @file{man/faq.texi} (@pxref{File-name conventions}).

Via anonymous ftp and e-mail from @file{rtfm.mit.edu} (and its mirror in
Europe), the main repository for FAQs and other items posted to
news.answers.  The Emacs FAQs are available at

@uref{ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/comp.emacs/} and


If you do not have access to anonymous FTP, you can access the archives
using the @file{rtfm.mit.edu} mail server.  The Emacs FAQ can be
retrieved by sending mail to @email{mail-server@@rtfm.mit.edu} with a
blank subject and containing

send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/diffs
send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/part1
send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/part2
send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/part3
send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/part4
send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/part5
@end example

For more information, send email to @email{mail-server@@rtfm.mit.edu}
with @samp{help} and @samp{index} in the body on separate lines.
@end itemize

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node    Status of Emacs, Common requests, Getting help, Top
@chapter Status of Emacs
@cindex Status of Emacs

This chapter gives you basic information about Emacs, including its
latest version status.

* Origin of the term Emacs::
* Latest version of Emacs::
* New in Emacs 20::
* New in Emacs 21::
* New in Emacs 22::
@end menu

@node Origin of the term Emacs, Latest version of Emacs, Status of Emacs, Status of Emacs
@section Where does the name ``Emacs'' come from?
@cindex Origin of the term ``Emacs''
@cindex Emacs name origin
@cindex TECO
@cindex Original version of Emacs

Emacs originally was an acronym for Editor MACroS.  RMS says he ``picked
the name Emacs because @key{E} was not in use as an abbreviation on ITS at
the time.''  The first Emacs was a set of macros written in 1976 at MIT
by RMS for the editor TECO (Text Editor and COrrector, originally Tape
Editor and COrrector) under ITS on a PDP-10.  RMS had already extended
TECO with a ``real-time'' full-screen mode with reprogrammable keys.
Emacs was started by @email{gls@@east.sun.com, Guy Steele} as a project
to unify the many divergent TECO command sets and key bindings at MIT,
and completed by RMS.

Many people have said that TECO code looks a lot like line noise; you
can read more at @uref{news:alt.lang.teco}.  Someone has written a TECO
implementation in Emacs Lisp (to find it, see @ref{Packages that do not
come with Emacs}); it would be an interesting project to run the
original TECO Emacs inside of Emacs.

@cindex Why Emacs?
For some not-so-serious alternative reasons for Emacs to have that
name, check out the file @file{etc/JOKES} (@pxref{File-name

@node Latest version of Emacs, New in Emacs 20, Origin of the term Emacs, Status of Emacs
@section What is the latest version of Emacs?
@cindex Version, latest
@cindex Latest version of Emacs

Emacs @value{VER} is the current version as of this writing.

@node New in Emacs 20, New in Emacs 21, Latest version of Emacs, Status of Emacs
@section What is different about Emacs 20?
@cindex Differences between Emacs 19 and Emacs 20
@cindex Emacs 20, new features in

To find out what has changed in recent versions, type @kbd{C-h C-n}
(@kbd{M-x view-emacs-news}).  The oldest changes are at the bottom of
the file, so you might want to read it starting there, rather than at
the top.

The differences between Emacs versions 18 and 19 was rather dramatic;
the introduction of frames, faces, and colors on windowing systems was
obvious to even the most casual user.

There are differences between Emacs versions 19 and 20 as well, but many
are more subtle or harder to find.  Among the changes are the inclusion
of MULE code for languages that use non-Latin characters and for mixing
several languages in the same document; the ``Customize'' facility for
modifying variables without having to use Lisp; and automatic conversion
of files from Macintosh, Microsoft, and Unix platforms.

A number of older Lisp packages, such as Gnus, Supercite and the
calendar/diary, have been updated and enhanced to work with Emacs 20,
and are now included with the standard distribution.

@node New in Emacs 21, New in Emacs 22, New in Emacs 20, Status of Emacs
@section What is different about Emacs 21?
@cindex Differences between Emacs 20 and Emacs 21
@cindex Emacs 21, new features in
@cindex Recently introduced features

@cindex Variable-size fonts
@cindex Toolbar support
Emacs 21 features a thorough rewrite of the display engine.  The new
display engine supports variable-size fonts, images, and can play sounds
on platforms which support that.  As a result, the visual appearance of
Emacs, when it runs on a windowed display, is much more reminiscent of
modern GUI programs, and includes 3D widgets (used for the mode line and
the scroll bars), a configurable and extensible toolbar, tooltips
(a.k.a.@: balloon help), and other niceties.

@cindex Colors on text-only terminals
@cindex TTY colors
In addition, Emacs 21 supports faces on text-only terminals.  This means
that you can now have colors when you run Emacs on a GNU/Linux console
and on @code{xterm} with @kbd{emacs -nw}.

@node New in Emacs 22,  , New in Emacs 21, Status of Emacs
@section What is different about Emacs 22?
@cindex Differences between Emacs 21 and Emacs 22
@cindex Emacs 22, new features in
@cindex Recently introduced features
@cindex Default features

@cindex GTK+ Toolkit
@cindex Drag-and-drop
Emacs can be built with GTK+ widgets, and supports drag-and-drop
operation on X.

@cindex Supported systems
Emacs 22 features support for GNU/Linux systems on S390 and x86-64
machines, as well as support for the Mac OS X and Cygwin operating

The native MS-Windows, Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X builds include full support
for images, toolbar, and tooltips.

Font Lock mode, Auto Compression mode, and File Name Shadow Mode are
enabled by default.

The maximum size of buffers has been doubled and is 256M on 32-bit

Links can be followed with @kbd{mouse-1}, in addition to @kbd{mouse-2}.

@cindex Mouse wheel
Mouse wheel support is enabled by default.

Window fringes are customizable.

The mode line of the selected window is now highlighted.

The minibuffer prompt is displayed in a distinct face.

Abbrev definitions are read automatically at startup.

Grep mode is separate from Compilation mode and has many new options and
commands specific to grep.

The original Emacs macro system has been replaced by the new Kmacro
package, which provides many new commands and features and a simple
interface that uses the function keys F3 and F4.  Macros are stored in a
macro ring, and can be debugged and edited interactively.

The Grand Unified Debugger (GUD) can be used with a full graphical user
interface to GDB; this provides many features found in traditional
development environments, making it easy to manipulate breakpoints, add
watch points, display the call stack, etc.  Breakpoints are visually
indicated in the source buffer.

@cindex New modes
Many new modes and packages have been included in Emacs, such as Calc,
TRAMP, URL, IDO, CUA, ERC, rcirc, Table, Image-Dired, SES, Ruler, Org,
PGG, Flymake, Password, Printing, Reveal, wdired, t-mouse, longlines,
savehist, Conf mode, Python mode, DNS mode, etc.

@cindex Multilingual Environment
Leim is now part of Emacs.  Unicode support has been much improved, and
the following input methods have been added: belarusian, bulgarian-bds,
bulgarian-phonetic, chinese-sisheng, croatian, dutch, georgian,
latin-alt-postfix, latin-postfix, latin-prefix, latvian-keyboard,
lithuanian-numeric, lithuanian-keyboard, malayalam-inscript, rfc1345,
russian-computer, sgml, slovenian, tamil-inscript, ucs,
ukrainian-computer, vietnamese-telex, and welsh.

The following language environments have also been added: Belarusian,
Bulgarian, Chinese-EUC-TW, Croatian, French, Georgian, Italian, Latin-6,
Latin-7, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Russian, Slovenian, Swedish,
Tajik, Tamil, UTF-8, Ukrainian, Welsh, and Windows-1255.

@cindex Documentation
@cindex Emacs Lisp Manual
In addition, Emacs 22 now includes the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual
(@pxref{Emacs Lisp documentation}) and the Emacs Lisp Intro.
@end itemize

Many other changes have been made in Emacs 22, use @kbd{C-h n} to get a
full list.

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node    Common requests, Bugs and problems, Status of Emacs, Top
@chapter Common requests
@cindex Common requests

* Setting up a customization file::
* Using Customize::
* Colors on a TTY::
* Debugging a customization file::
* Displaying the current line or column::
* Displaying the current file name in the titlebar::
* Turning on abbrevs by default::
* Associating modes with files::
* Highlighting a region::
* Replacing highlighted text::
* Controlling case sensitivity::
* Working with unprintable characters::
* Searching for/replacing newlines::
* Yanking text in isearch::
* Wrapping words automatically::
* Turning on auto-fill by default::
* Spell-checkers::
* Checking TeX and *roff documents::
* Changing load-path::
* Using an already running Emacs process::
* Compiler error messages::
* Indenting switch statements::
* Customizing C and C++ indentation::
* Horizontal scrolling::
* Overwrite mode::
* Turning off beeping::
* Turning the volume down::
* Automatic indentation::
* Matching parentheses::
* Hiding #ifdef lines::
* Repeating commands::
* Valid X resources::
* Evaluating Emacs Lisp code::
* Changing the length of a Tab::
* Inserting text at the beginning of each line::
* Underlining paragraphs::
* Forcing the cursor to remain in the same column::
* Forcing Emacs to iconify itself::
* Using regular expressions::
* Replacing text across multiple files::
* Documentation for etags::
* Disabling backups::
* Disabling auto-save-mode::
* Going to a line by number::
* Modifying pull-down menus::
* Deleting menus and menu options::
* Turning on syntax highlighting::
* Scrolling only one line::
* Editing MS-DOS files::
* Filling paragraphs with a single space::
* Escape sequences in shell output::
* Fullscreen mode on MS-Windows::
@end menu

@node Setting up a customization file, Using Customize, Common requests, Common requests
@section How do I set up a @file{.emacs} file properly?
@cindex @file{.emacs} file, setting up
@cindex @file{.emacs} file, locating
@cindex Init file, setting up
@cindex Customization file, setting up

@inforef{Init File, Init File, emacs}.

In general, new Emacs users should not have @file{.emacs} files, because
it causes confusing non-standard behavior.  Then they send questions to
@email{help-gnu-emacs@@gnu.org} asking why Emacs isn't behaving as

Beginning with version 20.1, Emacs includes the new Customize facility
(@pxref{Using Customize}).  This allows users who are unfamiliar with
Emacs Lisp to modify their @file{.emacs} files in a relatively
straightforward way, using menus rather than Lisp code.  Most packages
support Customize as of this writing.

While Customize might indeed make it easier to configure Emacs,
consider taking a bit of time to learn Emacs Lisp and modifying your
@file{.emacs} directly.  Simple configuration options are described
rather completely in @inforef{Init File, Init File, emacs}, for users
interested in performing frequently requested, basic tasks.

Sometimes users are unsure as to where their @file{.emacs} file should
be found.  Visiting the file as @file{~/.emacs} from Emacs will find
the correct file.

@node Using Customize, Colors on a TTY, Setting up a customization file, Common requests
@section How do I start using Customize?
@cindex Customize groups
@cindex Customizing variables
@cindex Customizing faces

The main Customize entry point is @kbd{M-x customize @key{RET}}.  This
command takes you to a buffer listing all the available Customize
groups.  From there, you can access all customizable options and faces,
change their values, and save your changes to your init file.
@inforef{Easy Customization, Easy Customization, emacs}.

If you know the name of the group in advance (e.g. ``shell''), use
@kbd{M-x customize-group @key{RET}}.

If you wish to customize a single option, use @kbd{M-x customize-option
@key{RET}}.  This command prompts you for the name of the option to
customize, with completion.

@node Colors on a TTY, Debugging a customization file, Using Customize, Common requests
@section How do I get colors and syntax highlighting on a TTY?
@cindex Colors on a TTY
@cindex Syntax highlighting on a TTY
@cindex Console, colors

In Emacs 21.1 and later, colors and faces are supported in non-windowed mode,
i.e.@: on Unix and GNU/Linux text-only terminals and consoles, and when
invoked as @samp{emacs -nw} on X, MS-Windows, and Mac.  (Colors and faces were
supported in the MS-DOS port since Emacs 19.29.)  Emacs automatically
detects color support at startup and uses it if available.  If you think
that your terminal supports colors, but Emacs won't use them, check the
@code{termcap} entry for your display type for color-related

The command @kbd{M-x list-colors-display} pops up a window which
exhibits all the colors Emacs knows about on the current display.

Syntax highlighting is on by default since version 22.1.

@node Debugging a customization file, Displaying the current line or column, Colors on a TTY, Common requests
@section How do I debug a @file{.emacs} file?
@cindex Debugging @file{.emacs} file
@cindex @file{.emacs} debugging
@cindex Init file debugging
@cindex @samp{-debug-init} option

Start Emacs with the @samp{-debug-init} command-line option.  This
enables the Emacs Lisp debugger before evaluating your @file{.emacs}
file, and places you in the debugger if something goes wrong.  The top
line in the @file{trace-back} buffer will be the error message, and the
second or third line of that buffer will display the Lisp code from your
@file{.emacs} file that caused the problem.

You can also evaluate an individual function or argument to a function
in your @file{.emacs} file by moving the cursor to the end of the
function or argument and typing @kbd{C-x C-e} (@kbd{M-x

Use @kbd{C-h v} (@kbd{M-x describe-variable}) to check the value of
variables which you are trying to set or use.

@node Displaying the current line or column, Displaying the current file name in the titlebar, Debugging a customization file, Common requests
@section How do I make Emacs display the current line (or column) number?
@cindex @code{line-number-mode}
@cindex Displaying the current line or column
@cindex Line number, displaying the current
@cindex Column, displaying the current
@cindex @code{mode-line-format}

To have Emacs automatically display the current line number of the point
in the mode line, do @kbd{M-x line-number-mode}.  You can also put the

(setq line-number-mode t)
@end lisp

in your @file{.emacs} file to achieve this whenever you start Emacs.
(Line number display is on by default, unless your site-specific
initialization disables it.) Note that Emacs will not display the line
number if the buffer's size in bytes is larger than the value of the
variable @code{line-number-display-limit}.

You can similarly display the current column with
@kbd{M-x column-number-mode}, or by putting the form

(setq column-number-mode t)
@end lisp

in your @file{.emacs} file.

The @code{"%c"} format specifier in the variable @code{mode-line-format}
will insert the current column's value into the mode line.  See the
documentation for @code{mode-line-format} (using @kbd{C-h v
mode-line-format @key{RET}}) for more information on how to set and use
this variable.

Users of all Emacs versions can display the current column using the
@samp{column} package written by @email{abraham@@dina.kvl.dk, Per
Abrahamsen}.  @xref{Packages that do not come with Emacs}, for
instructions on how to get it.

@cindex Set number capability in @code{vi} emulators
None of the @code{vi} emulation modes provide the ``set number''
capability of @code{vi} (as far as we know).  The @samp{setnu} package
written by @email{kyle@@wonderworks.com, Kyle Jones} provides this
feature.  So too does @samp{wb-line-number}, written by
@email{naoki.y.nakamura@@nifty.com, Naoki Nakamura}.

@node Displaying the current file name in the titlebar, Turning on abbrevs by default, Displaying the current line or column, Common requests
@section How can I modify the titlebar to contain the current file name?
@cindex Titlebar, displaying the current file name in
@cindex File name, displaying in the titlebar
@cindex @code{frame-title-format}

The contents of an Emacs frame's titlebar is controlled by the variable
@code{frame-title-format}, which has the same structure as the variable
@code{mode-line-format}.  (Use @kbd{C-h v} or @kbd{M-x
describe-variable} to get information about one or both of these

By default, the titlebar for a frame does contain the name of the buffer
currently being visited, except if there is a single frame.  In such a
case, the titlebar contains Emacs invocation name and the name of the
machine at which Emacs was invoked.  This is done by setting
@code{frame-title-format} to the default value of

(multiple-frames "%b" ("" invocation-name "@@" system-name))
@end lisp

To modify the behavior such that frame titlebars contain the buffer's
name regardless of the number of existing frames, include the following
in your @file{.emacs}:

(setq frame-title-format "%b")
@end lisp

@node Turning on abbrevs by default, Associating modes with files, Displaying the current file name in the titlebar, Common requests
@section How do I turn on abbrevs by default just in mode @var{mymode}?
@cindex Abbrevs, turning on by default

Put this in your @file{.emacs} file:

(condition-case ()
  (file-error nil))

(add-hook '@var{mymode}-mode-hook
          (lambda ()
           (setq abbrev-mode t)))
@end lisp

Starting with Emacs 22, the standard abbrevs file is read automatically
at startup, so the first of these two forms becomes unnecessary.

@node Associating modes with files, Highlighting a region, Turning on abbrevs by default, Common requests
@section How do I make Emacs use a certain major mode for certain files?
@cindex Associating modes with files
@cindex File extensions and modes
@cindex @code{auto-mode-alist}, modifying
@cindex Modes, associating with file extensions

If you want to use a certain mode @var{foo} for all files whose names end
with the extension @file{.@var{bar}}, this will do it for you:

(setq auto-mode-alist (cons '("\\.@var{bar}\\'" . @var{foo}-mode) auto-mode-alist))
@end lisp

Otherwise put this somewhere in the first line of any file you want to
edit in the mode @var{foo} (in the second line, if the first line begins
with @samp{#!}):

-*- @var{foo} -*-
@end example

@cindex Major mode for shell scripts
Beginning with Emacs 19, the variable @code{interpreter-mode-alist}
specifies which mode to use when loading a shell script.  (Emacs
determines which interpreter you're using by examining the first line of
the script.)  This feature only applies when the file name doesn't
indicate which mode to use.  Use @kbd{C-h v} (or @kbd{M-x
describe-variable}) on @code{interpreter-mode-alist} to learn more.

@node Highlighting a region, Replacing highlighted text, Associating modes with files, Common requests
@section How can I highlight a region of text in Emacs?
@cindex Highlighting text
@cindex Text, highlighting
@cindex @code{transient-mark-mode}
@cindex Region, highlighting a

You can cause the region to be highlighted when the mark is active by

(transient-mark-mode t)
@end lisp

in your @file{.emacs} file.

@node Replacing highlighted text, Controlling case sensitivity, Highlighting a region, Common requests
@section How can I replace highlighted text with what I type?
@cindex @code{delete-selection-mode}
@cindex Replacing highlighted text
@cindex Highlighting and replacing text

Use @code{delete-selection-mode}, which you can start automatically by
placing the following Lisp form in your @file{.emacs} file:

(delete-selection-mode 1)
@end lisp

According to the documentation string for @code{delete-selection-mode}
(which you can read using @kbd{M-x describe-function @key{RET}
delete-selection-mode @key{RET}}):

When ON, typed text replaces the selection if the selection is active.
When OFF, typed text is just inserted at point.
@end quotation

This mode also allows you to delete (not kill) the highlighted region by
pressing @key{DEL}.

@node Controlling case sensitivity, Working with unprintable characters, Replacing highlighted text, Common requests
@section How do I control Emacs's case-sensitivity when searching/replacing?
@cindex @code{case-fold-search}
@cindex Case sensitivity of searches
@cindex Searching without case sensitivity
@cindex Ignoring case in searches

For searching, the value of the variable @code{case-fold-search}
determines whether they are case sensitive:

(setq case-fold-search nil) ; make searches case sensitive
(setq case-fold-search t)   ; make searches case insensitive
@end lisp

@cindex Case sensitivity in replacements
@cindex Replacing, and case sensitivity
@cindex @code{case-replace}
Similarly, for replacing, the variable @code{case-replace} determines
whether replacements preserve case.

You can also toggle case sensitivity at will in isearch with @kbd{M-c}.

To change the case sensitivity just for one major mode, use the major
mode's hook.  For example:

(add-hook '@var{foo}-mode-hook
          (lambda ()
           (setq case-fold-search nil)))
@end lisp

@node Working with unprintable characters, Searching for/replacing newlines, Controlling case sensitivity, Common requests
@section How do I search for, delete, or replace unprintable (eight-bit or control) characters?
@cindex Unprintable characters, working with
@cindex Working with unprintable characters
@cindex Control characters, working with
@cindex Eight-bit characters, working with
@cindex Searching for unprintable characters
@cindex Regexps and unprintable characters

To search for a single character that appears in the buffer as, for
example, @samp{\237}, you can type @kbd{C-s C-q 2 3 7}.  (This assumes
the value of @code{search-quote-char} is 17 (i.e., @kbd{C-q}).)
Searching for @strong{all} unprintable characters is best done with a
regular expression (@dfn{regexp}) search.  The easiest regexp to use for
the unprintable chars is the complement of the regexp for the printable

@itemize @bullet

Regexp for the printable chars: @samp{[\t\n\r\f -~]}

Regexp for the unprintable chars: @samp{[^\t\n\r\f -~]}

@end itemize

To type these special characters in an interactive argument to
@code{isearch-forward-regexp} or @code{re-search-forward}, you need to
use @kbd{C-q}.  (@samp{\t}, @samp{\n}, @samp{\r}, and @samp{\f} stand
respectively for @key{TAB}, @key{LFD}, @key{RET}, and @kbd{C-l}.)  So,
to search for unprintable characters using @code{re-search-forward}:

@kbd{M-x re-search-forward @key{RET} [^ @key{TAB} C-q @key{LFD} C-q @key{RET} C-q C-l @key{SPC} -~] @key{RET}}

Using @code{isearch-forward-regexp}:

@kbd{C-M-s [^ @key{TAB} @key{LFD} C-q @key{RET} C-q C-l @key{SPC} -~]}

To delete all unprintable characters, simply use replace-regexp:

@kbd{M-x replace-regexp @key{RET} [^ @key{TAB} C-q @key{LFD} C-q @key{RET} C-q C-l @key{SPC} -~] @key{RET} @key{RET}}

Replacing is similar to the above.  To replace all unprintable
characters with a colon, use:

M-x replace-regexp @key{RET} [^ @key{TAB} C-q @key{LFD} C-q @key{RET} C-q C-l @key{SPC} -~] @key{RET} : @key{RET}

@node Searching for/replacing newlines, Yanking text in isearch, Working with unprintable characters, Common requests
@section How do I input a newline character in isearch or query-replace?
@cindex Searching for newlines
@cindex Replacing newlines

Use @kbd{C-q C-j}.  For more information, see @inforef{Special Isearch,
Special Input for Incremental Search, emacs}.

@node Yanking text in isearch, Wrapping words automatically, Searching for/replacing newlines, Common requests
@section How do I copy text from the kill ring into the search string?
@cindex Yanking text into the search string
@cindex isearch yanking

Use @kbd{M-y}.  @inforef{Isearch Yank, Isearch Yanking, emacs}.

@node Wrapping words automatically, Turning on auto-fill by default, Yanking text in isearch, Common requests
@section How do I make Emacs wrap words for me?
@cindex Wrapping word automatically
@cindex Wrapping lines
@cindex Line wrap
@cindex @code{auto-fill-mode}, introduction to
@cindex Maximum line width, default value
@cindex @code{fill-column}, default value

Use @code{auto-fill-mode}, activated by typing @kbd{M-x auto-fill-mode}.
The default maximum line width is 70, determined by the variable
@code{fill-column}.  To learn how to turn this on automatically, see
@ref{Turning on auto-fill by default}.

@node Turning on auto-fill by default, Spell-checkers, Wrapping words automatically, Common requests
@section How do I turn on @code{auto-fill-mode} by default?
@cindex @code{auto-fill-mode}, activating automatically
@cindex Filling automatically
@cindex Automatic entry to @code{auto-fill-mode}

To turn on @code{auto-fill-mode} just once for one buffer, use @kbd{M-x

To turn it on for every buffer in a certain mode, you must use the hook
for that mode.  For example, to turn on @code{auto-fill} mode for all
text buffers, including the following in your @file{.emacs} file:

(add-hook 'text-mode-hook 'turn-on-auto-fill)
@end lisp

If you want @code{auto-fill} mode on in all major modes, do this:

(setq-default auto-fill-function 'do-auto-fill)
@end lisp

@node Spell-checkers, Checking TeX and *roff documents, Turning on auto-fill by default, Common requests
@section Where can I get a better spelling checker for Emacs?
@cindex Checking spelling
@cindex Spelling, checking text documents

Use Ispell.  @xref{Ispell}.

@node Checking TeX and *roff documents, Changing load-path, Spell-checkers, Common requests
@section How can I spell-check @TeX{} or *roff documents?
@cindex Spelling, checking @TeX{} documents
@cindex @TeX{} documents, checking spelling in

Use Ispell.  Ispell can handle @TeX{} and *roff documents.

@node Changing load-path, Using an already running Emacs process, Checking TeX and *roff documents, Common requests
@section How do I change @code{load-path}?
@cindex @code{load-path}, modifying
@cindex Modifying @code{load-path}
@cindex Adding to @code{load-path}

In general, you should only add to the @code{load-path}.  You can add
directory @var{/dir/subdir} to the load path like this:

(setq load-path (cons "/dir/subdir/" load-path))
@end lisp

To do this relative to your home directory:

(setq load-path (cons "~/mysubdir/" load-path))
@end lisp

@node Using an already running Emacs process, Compiler error messages, Changing load-path, Common requests
@section How do I use an already running Emacs from another window?
@cindex @code{emacsclient}
@cindex Emacs server functions
@cindex Using an existing Emacs process

@code{emacsclient}, which comes with Emacs, is for editing a file using
an already running Emacs rather than starting up a new Emacs.  It does
this by sending a request to the already running Emacs, which must be
expecting the request.

@itemize @bullet


Emacs must have executed the @code{server-start} function for
@samp{emacsclient} to work.  This can be done either by a command line

emacs -f server-start
@end example

or by invoking @code{server-start} from @file{.emacs}:

(if (@var{some conditions are met}) (server-start))
@end lisp

When this is done, Emacs creates a Unix domain socket named
@file{server} in @file{/tmp/emacs@var{userid}}. See

To get your news reader, mail reader, etc., to invoke
@samp{emacsclient}, try setting the environment variable @code{EDITOR}
(or sometimes @code{VISUAL}) to the value @samp{emacsclient}.  You may
have to specify the full pathname of the @samp{emacsclient} program
instead.  Examples:

# csh commands:
setenv EDITOR emacsclient

# using full pathname
setenv EDITOR /usr/local/emacs/etc/emacsclient

# sh command:
EDITOR=emacsclient ; export EDITOR
@end example

Normal use:

When @samp{emacsclient} is run, it connects to the socket and passes its
command line options to Emacs, which at the next opportunity will visit
the files specified.  (Line numbers can be specified just like with
Emacs.)  The user will have to switch to the Emacs window by hand.  When
the user is done editing a file, the user can type @kbd{C-x #} (or
@kbd{M-x server-edit}) to indicate this.  If there is another buffer
requested by @code{emacsclient}, Emacs will switch to it; otherwise
@code{emacsclient} will exit, signaling the calling program to continue.

@cindex @code{gnuserv}
There is an enhanced version of @samp{emacsclient} called
@samp{gnuserv}, written by @email{ange@@hplb.hpl.hp.com, Andy Norman}
(@pxref{Packages that do not come with Emacs}).  @samp{gnuserv} uses
Internet domain sockets, so it can work across most network connections.

The most recent @samp{gnuserv} package is available at


@end itemize

@node Compiler error messages, Indenting switch statements, Using an already running Emacs process, Common requests
@section How do I make Emacs recognize my compiler's funny error messages?
@cindex Compiler error messages, recognizing
@cindex Recognizing non-standard compiler errors
@cindex Regexps for recognizing compiler errors
@cindex Errors, recognizing compiler

Customize the @code{compilation-error-regexp-alist} variable.

@node Indenting switch statements, Customizing C and C++ indentation, Compiler error messages, Common requests
@section How do I change the indentation for @code{switch}?
@cindex @code{switch}, indenting
@cindex Indenting of @code{switch}

Many people want to indent their @code{switch} statements like this:

  switch(x) @{
    case A:
    case B:
@end example

The solution at first appears to be: set @code{c-indent-level} to 4 and
@code{c-label-offset} to -2.  However, this will give you an indentation
spacing of four instead of two.

The @emph{real} solution is to use @code{cc-mode} (the default mode for
C programming in Emacs 20 and later) and add the following line to your

(c-set-offset 'case-label '+)
@end lisp

There appears to be no way to do this with the old @code{c-mode}.

@node Customizing C and C++ indentation, Horizontal scrolling, Indenting switch statements, Common requests
@section How to customize indentation in C, C@t{++}, and Java buffers?
@cindex Indentation, how to customize
@cindex Customize indentation

The Emacs @code{cc-mode} features an interactive procedure for
customizing the indentation style, which is fully explained in the
@cite{CC Mode} manual that is part of the Emacs distribution, see
@ref{Customizing Indentation, , Customization Indentation, ccmode,
The CC Mode Manual}.  Here's a short summary of the procedure:

Go to the beginning of the first line where you don't like the
indentation and type @kbd{C-c C-o}.  Emacs will prompt you for the
syntactic symbol; type @key{RET} to accept the default it suggests.

Emacs now prompts for the offset of this syntactic symbol, showing the
default (the current definition) inside parentheses.  You can choose
one of these:

@table @code
@item 0
No extra indentation.
@item +
Indent one basic offset.
@item -
Outdent one basic offset.
@item ++
Indent two basic offsets
@item --
Outdent two basic offsets.
@item *
Indent half basic offset.
@item /
Outdent half basic offset.
@end table

After choosing one of these symbols, type @kbd{C-c C-q} to reindent
the line or the block according to what you just specified.

If you don't like the result, go back to step 1.  Otherwise, add the
following line to your @file{.emacs}:

(c-set-offset '@var{syntactic-symbol} @var{offset})
@end lisp

where @var{syntactic-symbol} is the name Emacs shows in the minibuffer
when you type @kbd{C-c C-o} at the beginning of the line, and
@var{offset} is one of the indentation symbols listed above (@code{+},
@code{/}, @code{0}, etc.) that you've chosen during the interactive

Go to the next line whose indentation is not to your liking and repeat
the process there.
@end enumerate

It is recommended to put all the resulting @code{(c-set-offset ...)}
customizations inside a C mode hook, like this:

(defun my-c-mode-hook ()
  (c-set-offset ...)
  (c-set-offset ...))
(add-hook 'c-mode-hook 'my-c-mode-hook)
@end lisp

Using @code{c-mode-hook} avoids the need to put a @w{@code{(require
'cc-mode)}} into your @file{.emacs} file, because @code{c-set-offset}
might be unavailable when @code{cc-mode} is not loaded.

Note that @code{c-mode-hook} runs for C source files only; use
@code{c++-mode-hook} for C@t{++} sources, @code{java-mode-hook} for
Java sources, etc.  If you want the same customizations to be in
effect in @emph{all} languages supported by @code{cc-mode}, use

@node Horizontal scrolling, Overwrite mode, Customizing C and C++ indentation, Common requests
@section How can I make Emacs automatically scroll horizontally?
@cindex @code{hscroll-mode}
@cindex Horizontal scrolling
@cindex Scrolling horizontally

In Emacs 21 and later, this is on by default: if the variable
@code{truncate-lines} is non-@code{nil} in the current buffer, Emacs
automatically scrolls the display horizontally when point moves off the
left or right edge of the window.

Note that this is overridden by the variable
@code{truncate-partial-width-windows} if that variable is non-nil
and the current buffer is not full-frame width.

In Emacs 20, use the @code{hscroll-mode}.  Here is some information from
the documentation, available by typing @kbd{C-h f hscroll-mode @key{RET}}:

Automatically scroll horizontally when the point moves off the
left or right edge of the window.

@itemize @minus
Type @kbd{M-x hscroll-mode} to enable it in the current buffer.

Type @kbd{M-x hscroll-global-mode} to enable it in every buffer.

@code{turn-on-hscroll} is useful in mode hooks as in:

(add-hook 'text-mode-hook 'turn-on-hscroll)
@end lisp

@code{hscroll-margin} controls how close the cursor can get to the
edge of the window.

@code{hscroll-step-percent} controls how far to jump once we decide to do so.
@end itemize

@node Overwrite mode, Turning off beeping, Horizontal scrolling, Common requests
@section How do I make Emacs ``typeover'' or ``overwrite'' instead of inserting?
@cindex @key{Insert}
@cindex @code{overwrite-mode}
@cindex Overwriting existing text
@cindex Toggling @code{overwrite-mode}

@kbd{M-x overwrite-mode} (a minor mode).  This toggles
@code{overwrite-mode} on and off, so exiting from @code{overwrite-mode}
is as easy as another @kbd{M-x overwrite-mode}.

On some systems, @key{Insert} toggles @code{overwrite-mode} on and off.

@node Turning off beeping, Turning the volume down, Overwrite mode, Common requests
@section How do I stop Emacs from beeping on a terminal?
@cindex Beeping, turning off
@cindex Visible bell
@cindex Bell, visible

@email{martin@@cc.gatech.edu, Martin R. Frank} writes:

Tell Emacs to use the @dfn{visible bell} instead of the audible bell,
and set the visible bell to nothing.

That is, put the following in your @code{TERMCAP} environment variable
(assuming you have one):

... :vb=: ...
@end example

And evaluate the following Lisp form:

(setq visible-bell t)
@end example

@node Turning the volume down, Automatic indentation, Turning off beeping, Common requests
@section How do I turn down the bell volume in Emacs running under X?
@cindex Bell, volume of
@cindex Volume of bell

On X Window system, you can adjust the bell volume and duration for all
programs with the shell command @code{xset}.

Invoking @code{xset} without any arguments produces some basic
information, including the following:

usage:  xset [-display host:dpy] option ...
  To turn bell off:
      -b                b off               b 0
  To set bell volume, pitch and duration:
       b [vol [pitch [dur]]]          b on
@end example

@node Automatic indentation, Matching parentheses, Turning the volume down, Common requests
@section How do I tell Emacs to automatically indent a new line to the indentation of the previous line?
@cindex Indenting new lines
@cindex New lines, indenting of
@cindex Previous line, indenting according to
@cindex Text indentation

Such behavior is automatic in Emacs 20 and later.  From the
@file{etc/NEWS} file for Emacs 20.2:

** In Text mode, now only blank lines separate paragraphs.  This makes
it possible to get the full benefit of Adaptive Fill mode in Text mode,
and other modes derived from it (such as Mail mode).  @key{TAB} in Text
mode now runs the command @code{indent-relative}; this makes a practical
difference only when you use indented paragraphs.

As a result, the old Indented Text mode is now identical to Text mode,
and is an alias for it.

If you want spaces at the beginning of a line to start a paragraph, use
the new mode, Paragraph Indent Text mode.
@end example

@cindex Prefixing lines
@cindex Fill prefix
If you have @code{auto-fill-mode} turned on (@pxref{Turning on auto-fill
by default}), you can tell Emacs to prefix every line with a certain
character sequence, the @dfn{fill prefix}.  Type the prefix at the
beginning of a line, position point after it, and then type @kbd{C-x .}
(@code{set-fill-prefix}) to set the fill prefix.  Thereafter,
auto-filling will automatically put the fill prefix at the beginning of
new lines, and @kbd{M-q} (@code{fill-paragraph}) will maintain any fill
prefix when refilling the paragraph.

If you have paragraphs with different levels of indentation, you will
have to set the fill prefix to the correct value each time you move to a
new paragraph.  There are many packages available to deal with this
(@pxref{Packages that do not come with Emacs}).  Look for ``fill'' and
``indent'' keywords for guidance.

@node Matching parentheses, Hiding #ifdef lines, Automatic indentation, Common requests
@section How do I show which parenthesis matches the one I'm looking at?
@cindex Parentheses, matching
@cindex @file{paren.el}
@cindex Highlighting matching parentheses
@cindex Pairs of parentheses, highlighting
@cindex Matching parentheses

Call @code{show-paren-mode} in your @file{.emacs} file:

(show-paren-mode 1)
@end lisp

You can also enable this mode by selecting the @samp{Paren Match
Highlighting} option from the @samp{Options} menu of the Emacs menu bar
at the top of any Emacs frame.

Alternatives to this mode include:

@itemize @bullet

If you're looking at a right parenthesis (or brace or bracket) you can
delete it and reinsert it.  Emacs will momentarily move the cursor to
the matching parenthesis.

@kbd{C-M-f} (@code{forward-sexp}) and @kbd{C-M-b} (@code{backward-sexp})
will skip over one set of balanced parentheses, so you can see which
parentheses match.  (You can train it to skip over balanced brackets
and braces at the same time by modifying the syntax table.)

@cindex Show matching paren as in @code{vi}
Here is some Emacs Lisp that will make the @key{%} key show the matching
parenthesis, like in @code{vi}.  In addition, if the cursor isn't over a
parenthesis, it simply inserts a % like normal.

;; By an unknown contributor

(global-set-key "%" 'match-paren)

(defun match-paren (arg)
  "Go to the matching paren if on a paren; otherwise insert %."
  (interactive "p")
  (cond ((looking-at "\\s\(") (forward-list 1) (backward-char 1))
        ((looking-at "\\s\)") (forward-char 1) (backward-list 1))
        (t (self-insert-command (or arg 1)))))
@end lisp

@end itemize

@node Hiding #ifdef lines, Repeating commands, Matching parentheses, Common requests
@section In C mode, can I show just the lines that will be left after @code{#ifdef} commands are handled by the compiler?
@cindex @code{#ifdef}, selective display of
@cindex @code{hide-ifdef-mode}
@cindex Hiding @code{#ifdef} text
@cindex Selectively displaying @code{#ifdef} code

@kbd{M-x hide-ifdef-mode}.  (This is a minor mode.)  You might also want
to investigate @file{cpp.el}, which is distributed with Emacs.

@node Repeating commands, Valid X resources, Hiding #ifdef lines, Common requests
@section How do I repeat a command as many times as possible?
@cindex Repeating commands many times
@cindex Commands, repeating many times
@cindex @code{.}, equivalent to @code{vi} command

As of Emacs 20.3, there is indeed a @code{repeat} command (@kbd{C-x z})
that repeats the last command.  If you preface it with a prefix
argument, the prefix arg is applied to the command.

You can also type @kbd{C-x @key{ESC} @key{ESC}}
(@code{repeat-complex-command}) to reinvoke commands that used the
minibuffer to get arguments.  In @code{repeat-complex-command} you can
type @kbd{M-p} and @kbd{M-n} (and also up-arrow and down-arrow, if your
keyboard has these keys) to scan through all the different complex
commands you've typed.

To repeat a set of commands, use keyboard macros.  Use @kbd{C-x (} and
@kbd{C-x )} to make a keyboard macro that invokes the command and then
type @kbd{C-x e}.  (@inforef{Keyboard Macros, Keyboard Macros, emacs}.)

If you're really desperate for the @code{.} command in @code{vi} that
redoes the last insertion/deletion, use VIPER, a @code{vi} emulation
mode which comes with Emacs, and which appears to support it.

@node Valid X resources, Evaluating Emacs Lisp code, Repeating commands, Common requests
@section What are the valid X resource settings (i.e., stuff in .Xdefaults)?
@cindex Resources, X
@cindex X resources
@cindex Setting X resources

@inforef{X Resources, X Resources, emacs}.

You can also use a resource editor, such as editres (for X11R5 and
onwards), to look at the resource names for the menu bar, assuming Emacs
was compiled with the X toolkit.

@node Evaluating Emacs Lisp code, Changing the length of a Tab, Valid X resources, Common requests
@section How do I execute (``evaluate'') a piece of Emacs Lisp code?
@cindex Evaluating Lisp code
@cindex Lisp forms, evaluating

There are a number of ways to execute (@dfn{evaluate}, in Lisp lingo) an
Emacs Lisp @dfn{form}:

@itemize @bullet

If you want it evaluated every time you run Emacs, put it in a file
named @file{.emacs} in your home directory.  This is known as ``your
@file{.emacs} file,'' and contains all of your personal customizations.

You can type the form in the @file{*scratch*} buffer, and then type
@key{LFD} (or @kbd{C-j}) after it.  The result of evaluating the form
will be inserted in the buffer.

In @code{emacs-lisp-mode}, typing @kbd{C-M-x} evaluates a top-level form
before or around point.

Typing @kbd{C-x C-e} in any buffer evaluates the Lisp form immediately
before point and prints its value in the echo area.

Typing @kbd{M-:} or @kbd{M-x eval-expression} allows you to type a Lisp
form in the minibuffer which will be evaluated once you press @key{RET}.

You can use @kbd{M-x load-file} to have Emacs evaluate all the Lisp
forms in a file.  (To do this from Lisp use the function @code{load}

The functions @code{load-library}, @code{eval-region},
@code{eval-buffer}, @code{require}, and @code{autoload} are also
useful; see @ref{Emacs Lisp documentation}, if you want to learn more
about them.

@end itemize

@node Changing the length of a Tab, Inserting text at the beginning of each line, Evaluating Emacs Lisp code, Common requests
@section How do I change Emacs's idea of the @key{TAB} character's length?
@cindex Tab length
@cindex Length of tab character
@cindex @code{default-tab-width}

Set the variable @code{default-tab-width}.  For example, to set
@key{TAB} stops every 10 characters, insert the following in your
@file{.emacs} file:

(setq default-tab-width 10)
@end lisp

Do not confuse variable @code{tab-width} with variable
@code{tab-stop-list}.  The former is used for the display of literal
@key{TAB} characters.  The latter controls what characters are inserted
when you press the @key{TAB} character in certain modes.

@node Inserting text at the beginning of each line, Underlining paragraphs, Changing the length of a Tab, Common requests
@section How do I insert <some text> at the beginning of every line?
@cindex Prefixing a region with some text
@cindex Prefix character, inserting in mail/news replies
@cindex Replies to mail/news, inserting a prefix character
@cindex @code{mail-yank-prefix}
@cindex Mail replies, inserting a prefix character
@cindex News replies, inserting a prefix character

To do this to an entire buffer, type @kbd{M-< M-x replace-regexp
@key{RET} ^ @key{RET} your text @key{RET}}.

To do this to a region, use @code{string-insert-rectangle}.
Set the mark (@kbd{C-@key{SPC}}) at the beginning of the first line you
want to prefix, move the cursor to last line to be prefixed, and type
@kbd{M-x string-insert-rectangle @key{RET}}.  To do this for the whole
buffer, type @kbd{C-x h M-x string-insert-rectangle @key{RET}}.

If you are trying to prefix a yanked mail message with @samp{>}, you
might want to set the variable @code{mail-yank-prefix}.  In Message
buffers, you can even use @kbd{M-;} to cite yanked messages (@kbd{M-;}
runs the function @code{comment-region}, it is a general-purpose
mechanism to comment regions) (@pxref{Changing the included text prefix}).

@node Underlining paragraphs, Forcing the cursor to remain in the same column, Inserting text at the beginning of each line, Common requests
@section How do I insert @samp{_^H} before each character in a region to get an underlined paragraph?
@cindex Underlining a region of text
@cindex @code{underline-region}

Mark the region and then type @kbd{M-x underline-region @key{RET}}.

@node Forcing the cursor to remain in the same column, Forcing Emacs to iconify itself, Underlining paragraphs, Common requests
@section How do I make Emacs behave like this: when I go up or down, the cursor should stay in the same column even if the line is too short?
@cindex @code{picture-mode}
@cindex Remaining in the same column, regardless of contents
@cindex Vertical movement in empty documents

Use @kbd{M-x picture-mode}.

See also the variable @code{track-eol} and the command
@code{set-goal-column} bound to @kbd{C-x C-n}
(@pxref{Moving Point, , , emacs, The GNU Emacs Manual}).

@node Forcing Emacs to iconify itself, Using regular expressions, Forcing the cursor to remain in the same column, Common requests
@section How do I tell Emacs to iconify itself?
@cindex Iconification under the X Window System
@cindex X Window System and iconification
@cindex Suspending Emacs

@kbd{C-z} iconifies Emacs when running under X and suspends Emacs
otherwise.  @inforef{Frame Commands, Frame Commands, emacs}.

@node Using regular expressions, Replacing text across multiple files, Forcing Emacs to iconify itself, Common requests
@section How do I use regexps (regular expressions) in Emacs?
@cindex Regexps
@cindex Regular expressions
@cindex Differences between Unix and Emacs regexps
@cindex Unix regexps, differences from Emacs
@cindex Text strings, putting regexps in

@inforef{Regexp Backslash, Regexp Backslash, emacs}.

The @code{or} operator is @samp{\|}, not @samp{|}, and the grouping operators
are @samp{\(} and @samp{\)}.  Also, the string syntax for a backslash is
@samp{\\}.  To specify a regular expression like @samp{xxx\(foo\|bar\)}
in a Lisp string, use @samp{xxx\\(foo\\|bar\\)}.

Note the doubled backslashes!

@itemize @bullet

Unlike in Unix @file{grep}, @file{sed}, etc., a complement character set
(@samp{[^...]})  can match a newline character (@key{LFD} a.k.a.@:
@kbd{C-j} a.k.a.@: @samp{\n}), unless newline is mentioned as one of the
characters not to match.

The character syntax regexps (e.g., @samp{\sw}) are not
meaningful inside character set regexps (e.g., @samp{[aeiou]}).  (This
is actually typical for regexp syntax.)

@end itemize

@node Replacing text across multiple files, Documentation for etags, Using regular expressions, Common requests
@section How do I perform a replace operation across more than one file?
@cindex Replacing strings across files
@cindex Multiple files, replacing across
@cindex Files, replacing strings across multiple
@cindex Recursive search/replace operations

As of Emacs 19.29, Dired mode (@kbd{M-x dired @key{RET}}, or @kbd{C-x
d}) supports the command @code{dired-do-query-replace} (@kbd{Q}), which
allows users to replace regular expressions in multiple files.

You can use this command to perform search/replace operations on
multiple files by following the following steps:

@itemize @bullet
Assemble a list of files you want to operate on with either
@code{find-dired}, @code{find-name-dired} or @code{find-grep-dired}.

Mark all files in the resulting Dired buffer using @kbd{t}.

Use @kbd{Q} to start a @code{query-replace-regexp} session on the marked

To accept all replacements in each file, hit @kbd{!}.
@end itemize

Another way to do the same thing is to use the ``tags'' feature of
Emacs: it includes the command @code{tags-query-replace} which performs
a query-replace across all the files mentioned in the @file{TAGS} file.
@inforef{Tags Search, Tags Search, emacs}.

@node Documentation for etags, Disabling backups, Replacing text across multiple files, Common requests
@section Where is the documentation for @code{etags}?
@cindex Documentation for @code{etags}
@cindex @code{etags}, documentation for

The @code{etags} man page should be in the same place as the
@code{emacs} man page.

Quick command-line switch descriptions are also available.  For example,
@samp{etags -H}.

@node Disabling backups, Disabling auto-save-mode, Documentation for etags, Common requests
@section How do I disable backup files?
@cindex Backups, disabling
@cindex Disabling backups

You probably don't want to do this, since backups are useful, especially
when something goes wrong.

To avoid seeing backup files (and other ``uninteresting'' files) in Dired,
load @code{dired-x} by adding the following to your @file{.emacs} file:

(add-hook 'dired-load-hook
          (lambda ()
           (load "dired-x")))
@end lisp

With @code{dired-x} loaded, @kbd{M-o} toggles omitting in each dired buffer.
You can make omitting the default for new dired buffers by putting the
following in your @file{.emacs}:

(add-hook 'dired-mode-hook 'dired-omit-toggle)
@end lisp

If you're tired of seeing backup files whenever you do an @samp{ls} at
the Unix shell, try GNU @code{ls} with the @samp{-B} option.  GNU
@code{ls} is part of the GNU Fileutils package, available from
@samp{ftp.gnu.org} and its mirrors (@pxref{Current GNU distributions}).

To disable or change the way backups are made, @inforef{Backup Names, ,

@cindex Backup files in a single directory
Beginning with Emacs 21.1, you can control where Emacs puts backup files
by customizing the variable @code{backup-directory-alist}.  This
variable's value specifies that files whose names match specific patters
should have their backups put in certain directories.  A typical use is
to add the element @code{("." . @var{dir})} to force Emacs to put
@strong{all} backup files in the directory @file{dir}.

@node Disabling auto-save-mode, Going to a line by number, Disabling backups, Common requests
@section How do I disable @code{auto-save-mode}?
@cindex Disabling @code{auto-save-mode}
@cindex Auto-saving
@cindex Saving at frequent intervals

You probably don't want to do this, since auto-saving is useful,
especially when Emacs or your computer crashes while you are editing a

Instead, you might want to change the variable
@code{auto-save-interval}, which specifies how many keystrokes Emacs
waits before auto-saving.  Increasing this value forces Emacs to wait
longer between auto-saves, which might annoy you less.

You might also want to look into Sebastian Kremer's @code{auto-save}
package (@pxref{Packages that do not come with Emacs}).  This
package also allows you to place all auto-save files in one directory,
such as @file{/tmp}.

To disable or change how @code{auto-save-mode} works, @inforef{Auto
Save, , emacs}.

@node Going to a line by number, Modifying pull-down menus, Disabling auto-save-mode, Common requests
@section How can I go to a certain line given its number?
@cindex Going to a line by number
@cindex Compilation error messages
@cindex Recompilation

Are you sure you indeed need to go to a line by its number?  Perhaps all
you want is to display a line in your source file for which a compiler
printed an error message?  If so, compiling from within Emacs using the
@kbd{M-x compile} and @kbd{M-x recompile} commands is a much more
effective way of doing that.  Emacs automatically intercepts the compile
error messages, inserts them into a special buffer called
@code{*compilation*}, and lets you visit the locus of each message in
the source.  Type @kbd{C-x `} to step through the offending lines one by
one (starting with Emacs 22, you can also use @kbd{M-g M-p} and
@kbd{M-g M-n} to go to the previous and next matches directly).  Click
@kbd{Mouse-2} or press @key{RET} on a message text in the
@code{*compilation*} buffer to go to the line whose number is mentioned
in that message.

But if you indeed need to go to a certain text line, type @kbd{M-g M-g}
(which is the default binding of the @code{goto-line} function starting
with Emacs 22).  Emacs will prompt you for the number of the line and go
to that line.

You can do this faster by invoking @code{goto-line} with a numeric
argument that is the line's number.  For example, @kbd{C-u 286 M-g M-g}
will jump to line number 286 in the current buffer.

@node Modifying pull-down menus, Deleting menus and menu options, Going to a line by number, Common requests
@section How can I create or modify new pull-down menu options?
@cindex Pull-down menus, creating or modifying
@cindex Menus, creating or modifying
@cindex Creating new menu options
@cindex Modifying pull-down menus
@cindex Menus and keymaps
@cindex Keymaps and menus

Each menu title (e.g., @samp{File}, @samp{Edit}, @samp{Buffers})
represents a local or global keymap.  Selecting a menu title with the
mouse displays that keymap's non-@code{nil} contents in the form of a menu.

So to add a menu option to an existing menu, all you have to do is add a
new definition to the appropriate keymap.  Adding a @samp{Forward Word}
item to the @samp{Edit} menu thus requires the following Lisp code:

(define-key global-map
  [menu-bar edit forward]
  '("Forward word" . forward-word))
@end lisp

The first line adds the entry to the global keymap, which includes
global menu bar entries.  Replacing the reference to @code{global-map}
with a local keymap would add this menu option only within a particular

The second line describes the path from the menu-bar to the new entry.
Placing this menu entry underneath the @samp{File} menu would mean
changing the word @code{edit} in the second line to @code{file}.

The third line is a cons cell whose first element is the title that will
be displayed, and whose second element is the function that will be
called when that menu option is invoked.

To add a new menu, rather than a new option to an existing menu, we must
define an entirely new keymap:

(define-key global-map [menu-bar words]
  (cons "Words" (make-sparse-keymap "Words")))
@end lisp

The above code creates a new sparse keymap, gives it the name
@samp{Words}, and attaches it to the global menu bar.  Adding the
@samp{Forward Word} item to this new menu would thus require the
following code:

(define-key global-map
  [menu-bar words forward]
  '("Forward word" . forward-word))
@end lisp

Note that because of the way keymaps work, menu options are displayed
with the more recently defined items at the top.  Thus if you were to
define menu options @samp{foo}, @samp{bar}, and @samp{baz} (in that
order), the menu option @samp{baz} would appear at the top, and
@samp{foo} would be at the bottom.

One way to avoid this problem is to use the function @code{define-key-after},
which works the same as @code{define-key}, but lets you modify where items
appear.  The following Lisp code would insert the @samp{Forward Word}
item in the @samp{Edit} menu immediately following the @samp{Undo} item:

  (lookup-key global-map [menu-bar edit])
  '("Forward word" . forward-word)
@end lisp

Note how the second and third arguments to @code{define-key-after} are
different from those of @code{define-key}, and that we have added a new
(final) argument, the function after which our new key should be

To move a menu option from one position to another, simply evaluate
@code{define-key-after} with the appropriate final argument.

More detailed information---and more examples of how to create and
modify menu options---are in the @cite{Emacs Lisp Reference Manual}, under
``Menu Keymaps.''  (@xref{Emacs Lisp documentation}, for information on
this manual.)

@node Deleting menus and menu options, Turning on syntax highlighting, Modifying pull-down menus, Common requests
@section How do I delete menus and menu options?
@cindex Deleting menus and menu options
@cindex Menus, deleting

The simplest way to remove a menu is to set its keymap to @samp{nil}.
For example, to delete the @samp{Words} menu (@pxref{Modifying pull-down
menus}), use:

(define-key global-map [menu-bar words] nil)
@end lisp

Similarly, removing a menu option requires redefining a keymap entry to
@code{nil}.  For example, to delete the @samp{Forward word} menu option
from the @samp{Edit} menu (we added it in @ref{Modifying pull-down
menus}), use:

(define-key global-map [menu-bar edit forward] nil)
@end lisp

@node Turning on syntax highlighting, Scrolling only one line, Deleting menus and menu options, Common requests
@section How do I turn on syntax highlighting?
@cindex Syntax highlighting
@cindex @code{font-lock-mode}
@cindex Highlighting based on syntax
@cindex Colorizing text
@cindex FAQ, @code{font-lock-mode}

@code{font-lock-mode} is the standard way to have Emacs perform syntax
highlighting in the current buffer.  It is enabled by default in Emacs
22.1 and later.

With @code{font-lock-mode} turned on, different types of text will
appear in different colors.  For instance, in a programming mode,
variables will appear in one face, keywords in a second, and comments in
a third.

@cindex hilit19 is deprecated
Earlier versions of Emacs supported hilit19, a similar package.  Use of
hilit19 is now considered non-standard, although @file{hilit19.el} comes
with the stock Emacs distribution.  It is no longer maintained.

To turn @code{font-lock-mode} off within an existing buffer, use
@kbd{M-x font-lock-mode @key{RET}}.

In Emacs 21 and earlier versions, you could use the following code in
your @file{.emacs} file to turn on @code{font-lock-mode} globally:

(global-font-lock-mode 1)
@end lisp

Highlighting a buffer with @code{font-lock-mode} can take quite a while,
and cause an annoying delay in display, so several features exist to
work around this.

@cindex Just-In-Time syntax highlighting
In Emacs 21 and later, turning on @code{font-lock-mode} automatically
activates the new @dfn{Just-In-Time fontification} provided by
@code{jit-lock-mode}.  @code{jit-lock-mode} defers the fontification of
portions of buffer until you actually need to see them, and can also
fontify while Emacs is idle.  This makes display of the visible portion
of a buffer almost instantaneous.  For details about customizing
@code{jit-lock-mode}, type @kbd{C-h f jit-lock-mode @key{RET}}.

@cindex Levels of syntax highlighting
@cindex Decoration level, in @code{font-lock-mode}
In versions of Emacs before 21, different levels of decoration are
available, from slight to gaudy.  More decoration means you need to wait
more time for a buffer to be fontified (or a faster machine).  To
control how decorated your buffers should become, set the value of
@code{font-lock-maximum-decoration} in your @file{.emacs} file, with a
@code{nil} value indicating default (usually minimum) decoration, and a
@code{t} value indicating the maximum decoration.  For the gaudiest
possible look, then, include the line

(setq font-lock-maximum-decoration t)
@end lisp

in your @file{.emacs} file.  You can also set this variable such that
different modes are highlighted in a different ways; for more
information, see the documentation for
@code{font-lock-maximum-decoration} with @kbd{C-h v} (or @kbd{M-x
describe-variable @key{RET}}).

Also see the documentation for the function @code{font-lock-mode},
available by typing @kbd{C-h f font-lock-mode} (@kbd{M-x
describe-function @key{RET} font-lock-mode @key{RET}}).

To print buffers with the faces (i.e., colors and fonts) intact, use
@kbd{M-x ps-print-buffer-with-faces} or @kbd{M-x
ps-print-region-with-faces}.  You will need a way to send text to a
PostScript printer, or a PostScript interpreter such as Ghostscript;
consult the documentation of the variables @code{ps-printer-name},
@code{ps-lpr-command}, and @code{ps-lpr-switches} for more details.

@node Scrolling only one line, Editing MS-DOS files, Turning on syntax highlighting, Common requests
@section How can I force Emacs to scroll only one line when I move past the bottom of the screen?
@cindex Scrolling only one line
@cindex Reducing the increment when scrolling

Customize the @code{scroll-conservatively} variable with @kbd{M-x
customize-variable @key{RET} scroll-conservatively @key{RET}} and set it
to a large value like, say, 10000.  For an explanation of what this
means, @inforef{Auto Scrolling, Auto Scrolling, emacs}.

Alternatively, use the following Lisp form in your @file{.emacs}:

(setq scroll-conservatively most-positive-fixnum)
@end lisp

@node Editing MS-DOS files, Filling paragraphs with a single space, Scrolling only one line, Common requests
@section How can I edit MS-DOS files using Emacs?
@cindex Editing MS-DOS files
@cindex MS-DOS files, editing
@cindex Microsoft files, editing
@cindex Windows files, editing

As of Emacs 20, detection and handling of MS-DOS (and Windows) files is
performed transparently.  You can open MS-DOS files on a Unix system,
edit it, and save it without having to worry about the file format.

When editing an MS-DOS style file, the mode line will indicate that it
is a DOS file.  On Unix and GNU/Linux systems, and also on a Macintosh,
the string @samp{(DOS)} will appear near the left edge of the mode line;
on DOS and Windows, where the DOS end-of-line (EOL) format is the
default, a backslash (@samp{\}) will appear in the mode line.

If you are running a version of Emacs before 20.1, get @code{crypt++}
(@pxref{Packages that do not come with Emacs}).  Among other things,
@code{crypt++} transparently modifies MS-DOS files as they are loaded
and saved, allowing you to ignore the different conventions that Unix
and MS-DOS have for delineating the end of a line.

@node Filling paragraphs with a single space, Escape sequences in shell output, Editing MS-DOS files, Common requests
@section How can I tell Emacs to fill paragraphs with a single space after each period?
@cindex One space following periods
@cindex Single space following periods
@cindex Periods, one space following

Add the following line to your @file{.emacs} file:

(setq sentence-end-double-space nil)
@end lisp

@node Escape sequences in shell output, Fullscreen mode on MS-Windows, Filling paragraphs with a single space, Common requests
@section Why these strange escape sequences from @code{ls} from the Shell mode?
@cindex Escape sequences in @code{ls} output
@cindex @code{ls} in Shell mode

This happens because @code{ls} is aliased to @samp{ls --color} in your
shell init file.  You have two alternatives to solve this:

@itemize @bullet
Make the alias conditioned on the @code{EMACS} variable in the
environment.  When Emacs runs a subsidiary shell, it exports the
@code{EMACS} variable to that shell, with value equal to the absolute
file name of Emacs.  You can
unalias @code{ls} when that happens, thus limiting the alias to your
interactive sessions.

Install the @code{ansi-color} package (bundled with Emacs 21.1 and
later), which converts these ANSI escape sequences into colors.
@end itemize

@node Fullscreen mode on MS-Windows,  , Escape sequences in shell output, Common requests
@section How can I start Emacs in fullscreen mode on MS-Windows?
@cindex Maximize frame
@cindex Fullscreen mode

Use the function @code{w32-send-sys-command}.  For example, you can
put the following in your @file{.emacs} file:

(add-hook 'term-setup-hook
          #'(lambda () (w32-send-sys-command ?\xF030)))
@end lisp

To avoid the slightly distracting visual effect of Emacs starting with
its default frame size and then growing to fullscreen, you can add an
@samp{Emacs.Geometry} entry to the Windows registry settings (see
@pxref{(emacs)X Resources}).

To compute the correct values for width and height, first maximize the
Emacs frame and then evaluate @code{(frame-height)} and
@code{(frame-width)} with @kbd{M-:}.

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node    Bugs and problems, Compiling and installing Emacs, Common requests, Top
@chapter Bugs and problems
@cindex Bugs and problems

The Emacs manual lists some common kinds of trouble users could get
into, see @ref{Lossage, , Dealing with Emacs Trouble, emacs, The GNU
Emacs Manual}, so you might look there if the problem you encounter
isn't described in this chapter.  If you decide you've discovered a bug,
see @ref{Bugs, , Reporting Bugs, emacs, The GNU Emacs Manual}, for
instructions how to do that.

The file @file{etc/PROBLEMS} in the Emacs distribution lists various
known problems with building and using Emacs on specific platforms;
type @kbd{C-h C-e} to read it.

* Problems with very large files::
* ^M in the shell buffer::
* Shell process exits abnormally::
* Problems with Shell Mode on MS-Windows::
* Termcap/Terminfo entries for Emacs::
* Spontaneous entry into isearch-mode::
* Problems talking to certain hosts::
* Errors with init files::
* Emacs ignores X resources::
* Emacs ignores frame parameters::
* Emacs takes a long time to visit files::
* Editing files with $ in the name::
* Shell mode loses the current directory::
* Security risks with Emacs::
* Dired claims that no file is on this line::
@end menu

@node Problems with very large files, ^M in the shell buffer, Bugs and problems, Bugs and problems
@section Does Emacs have problems with files larger than 8 megabytes?
@cindex Very large files, opening
@cindex Large files, opening
@cindex Opening very large files
@cindex Maximum file size
@cindex Files, maximum size

Old versions (i.e., anything before 19.29) of Emacs had problems editing
files larger than 8 megabytes.  In versions 19.29 and later, the maximum
buffer size is at least 2^27-1, or 134,217,727 bytes, or 132 MBytes.
And in Emacs 22, the maximum buffer size has been increased to
268,435,455 bytes (or 256 MBytes) on 32-bit machines.

@node ^M in the shell buffer, Shell process exits abnormally, Problems with very large files, Bugs and problems
@section How do I get rid of @samp{^M} or echoed commands in my shell buffer?
@cindex Shell buffer, echoed commands and @samp{^M} in
@cindex Echoed commands in @code{shell-mode}

Try typing @kbd{M-x shell-strip-ctrl-m @key{RET}} while in @code{shell-mode} to
make them go away.  If that doesn't work, you have several options:

For @code{tcsh}, put this in your @file{.cshrc} (or @file{.tcshrc})

if ($?EMACS) then
    if ("$EMACS" =~ /*) then
        if ($?tcsh) unset edit
        stty nl
@end example

Or put this in your @file{.emacs_tcsh} or @file{~/.emacs.d/init_tcsh.sh} file:

unset edit
stty nl
@end example

Alternatively, use @code{csh} in your shell buffers instead of
@code{tcsh}.  One way is:

(setq explicit-shell-file-name "/bin/csh")
@end lisp

and another is to do this in your @file{.cshrc} (or @file{.tcshrc})

setenv ESHELL /bin/csh
@end example

(You must start Emacs over again with the environment variable properly
set for this to take effect.)

You can also set the @code{ESHELL} environment variable in Emacs Lisp
with the following Lisp form,

(setenv "ESHELL" "/bin/csh")
@end lisp

The above solutions try to prevent the shell from producing the
@samp{^M} characters in the first place.  If this is not possible
(e.g., if you use a Windows shell), you can get Emacs to remove these
characters from the buffer by adding this to your @file{.emacs} init

(add-hook 'comint-output-filter-functions 'shell-strip-ctrl-m)
@end smalllisp

On a related note: if your shell is echoing your input line in the shell
buffer, you might want to customize the @code{comint-process-echoes}
variable in your shell buffers, or try the following command in your
shell start-up file:

stty -icrnl -onlcr -echo susp ^Z
@end example

@node Shell process exits abnormally, Problems with Shell Mode on MS-Windows, ^M in the shell buffer, Bugs and problems
@section Why do I get ``Process shell exited abnormally with code 1''?
@cindex Abnormal exits from @code{shell-mode}
@cindex @code{shell-mode} exits
@cindex Process shell exited

The most likely reason for this message is that the @samp{env} program
is not properly installed.  Compile this program for your architecture,
and install it with @samp{a+x} permission in the architecture-dependent
Emacs program directory.  (You can find what this directory is at your
site by inspecting the value of the variable @code{exec-directory} by
typing @kbd{C-h v exec-directory @key{RET}}.)

You should also check for other programs named @samp{env} in your path
(e.g., SunOS has a program named @file{/usr/bin/env}).  We don't
understand why this can cause a failure and don't know a general
solution for working around the problem in this case.

The @samp{make clean} command will remove @samp{env} and other vital
programs, so be careful when using it.

It has been reported that this sometimes happened when Emacs was started
as an X client from an xterm window (i.e., had a controlling tty) but the
xterm was later terminated.

See also @samp{PROBLEMS} (in the @file{etc} subdirectory of the
top-level directory when you unpack the Emacs source) for other
possible causes of this message.

@node Problems with Shell Mode on MS-Windows, Termcap/Terminfo entries for Emacs, Shell process exits abnormally, Bugs and problems
@section Why do I get an error message when I try to run @kbd{M-x shell}?

@cindex Shell Mode, and MS-Windows
@cindex @code{explicit-shell-file-name}
On MS-Windows, this might happen because Emacs tries to look for the
shell in a wrong place.  The default file name @file{/bin/sh} is
usually incorrect for non-Unix systems.  If you know where your shell
executable is, set the variable @code{explicit-shell-file-name} in
your @file{.emacs} file to point to its full file name, like this:

(setq explicit-shell-file-name "d:/shells/bash.exe")
@end lisp

If you don't know what shell does Emacs use, try the @kbd{M-!}
command; if that works, put the following line into your

(setq explicit-shell-file-name shell-file-name)
@end lisp

@cindex Antivirus programs, and Shell Mode
Some people have trouble with Shell Mode because of intrusive
antivirus software; disabling the resident antivirus program solves
the problems in those cases.

@node Termcap/Terminfo entries for Emacs, Spontaneous entry into isearch-mode, Problems with Shell Mode on MS-Windows, Bugs and problems
@section Where is the termcap/terminfo entry for terminal type @samp{emacs}?
@cindex Termcap
@cindex Terminfo
@cindex Emacs entries for termcap/terminfo

The termcap entry for terminal type @samp{emacs} is ordinarily put in
the @samp{TERMCAP} environment variable of subshells.  It may help in
certain situations (e.g., using rlogin from shell buffer) to add an
entry for @samp{emacs} to the system-wide termcap file.  Here is a
correct termcap entry for @samp{emacs}:

@end example

To make a terminfo entry for @samp{emacs}, use @code{tic} or
@code{captoinfo}.  You need to generate
@file{/usr/lib/terminfo/e/emacs}.  It may work to simply copy
@file{/usr/lib/terminfo/d/dumb} to @file{/usr/lib/terminfo/e/emacs}.

Having a termcap/terminfo entry will not enable the use of full screen
programs in shell buffers.  Use @kbd{M-x terminal-emulator} for that

A workaround to the problem of missing termcap/terminfo entries is to
change terminal type @samp{emacs} to type @samp{dumb} or @samp{unknown}
in your shell start up file.  @code{csh} users could put this in their
@file{.cshrc} files:

if ("$term" == emacs) set term=dumb
@end example

@node Spontaneous entry into isearch-mode, Problems talking to certain hosts, Termcap/Terminfo entries for Emacs, Bugs and problems
@section Why does Emacs spontaneously start displaying @samp{I-search:} and beeping?
@cindex Spontaneous entry into isearch-mode
@cindex isearch-mode, spontaneous entry into
@cindex Beeping without obvious reason

Your terminal (or something between your terminal and the computer) is
sending @kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q} for flow control, and Emacs is receiving
these characters and interpreting them as commands.  (The @kbd{C-s}
character normally invokes the @code{isearch-forward} command.)  For
possible solutions, see @ref{Handling C-s and C-q with flow control}.

@node Problems talking to certain hosts, Errors with init files, Spontaneous entry into isearch-mode, Bugs and problems
@section Why can't Emacs talk to certain hosts (or certain hostnames)?
@cindex Hosts, Emacs cannot talk to
@cindex @code{gethostbyname}, problematic version

The problem may be that Emacs is linked with a wimpier version of
@code{gethostbyname} than the rest of the programs on the machine.  This
is often manifested as a message on startup of ``X server not responding.
Check your @samp{DISPLAY} environment variable.'' or a message of
``Unknown host'' from @code{open-network-stream}.

On a Sun, this may be because Emacs had to be linked with the static C
library.  The version of @code{gethostbyname} in the static C library
may only look in @file{/etc/hosts} and the NIS (YP) maps, while the
version in the dynamic C library may be smart enough to check DNS in
addition to or instead of NIS.  On a Motorola Delta running System V
R3.6, the version of @code{gethostbyname} in the standard library works,
but the one that works with NIS doesn't (the one you get with -linet).
Other operating systems have similar problems.

Try these options:

@itemize @bullet

Explicitly add the host you want to communicate with to @file{/etc/hosts}.

Relink Emacs with this line in @file{src/config.h}:

#define LIBS_SYSTEM -lresolv
@end example

Replace @code{gethostbyname} and friends in @file{libc.a} with more
useful versions such as the ones in @file{libresolv.a}.  Then relink

If you are actually running NIS, make sure that @code{ypbind} is
properly told to do DNS lookups with the correct command line switch.

@end itemize

@node Errors with init files, Emacs ignores X resources, Problems talking to certain hosts, Bugs and problems
@section Why does Emacs say @samp{Error in init file}?
@cindex Error in @file{.emacs}
@cindex Error in init file
@cindex Init file, errors in
@cindex @file{.emacs} file, errors in
@cindex Debugging @file{.emacs} file

An error occurred while loading either your @file{.emacs} file or the
system-wide file @file{lisp/default.el}.  Emacs 21.1 and later pops the
@file{*Messages*} buffer, and puts there some additional information
about the error, to provide some hints for debugging.

For information on how to debug your @file{.emacs} file, see
@ref{Debugging a customization file}.

It may be the case that you need to load some package first, or use a
hook that will be evaluated after the package is loaded.  A common case
of this is explained in @ref{Terminal setup code works after Emacs has

@node Emacs ignores X resources, Emacs ignores frame parameters, Errors with init files, Bugs and problems
@section Why does Emacs ignore my X resources (my .Xdefaults file)?
@cindex X resources being ignored
@cindex Ignored X resources
@cindex @file{.Xdefaults}

As of version 19, Emacs searches for X resources in the files specified
by the following environment variables:

@itemize @bullet

@item @code{XAPPLRESDIR}

@end itemize

This emulates the functionality provided by programs written using the
Xt toolkit.

@code{XFILESEARCHPATH} and @code{XUSERFILESEARCHPATH} should be a list
of file names separated by colons.  @code{XAPPLRESDIR} should be a list
of directory names separated by colons.

Emacs searches for X resources:


specified on the command line, with the @samp{-xrm RESOURCESTRING} option,

then in the value of the @samp{XENVIRONMENT} environment variable,

@itemize @minus

or if that is unset, in the file named
@file{~/.Xdefaults-@var{hostname}} if it exists (where @var{hostname} is
the name of the machine Emacs is running on),

@end itemize

then in the screen-specific and server-wide resource properties provided
by the server,

@itemize @minus

or if those properties are unset, in the file named @file{~/.Xdefaults}
if it exists,

@end itemize

then in the files listed in @samp{XUSERFILESEARCHPATH},

@itemize @minus

or in files named @file{@var{lang}/Emacs} in directories listed in
@samp{XAPPLRESDIR} (where @var{lang} is the value of the @code{LANG}
environment variable), if the @samp{LANG} environment variable is set,
or in files named Emacs in the directories listed in @samp{XAPPLRESDIR}
or in @file{~/@var{lang}/Emacs} (if the @code{LANG} environment variable
is set),
or in @file{~/Emacs},

@end itemize

then in the files listed in  @code{XFILESEARCHPATH}.

@end enumerate

@node Emacs ignores frame parameters, Emacs takes a long time to visit files, Emacs ignores X resources, Bugs and problems
@section Why don't my customizations of the frame parameters work?
@cindex Frame parameters

This probably happens because you have set the frame parameters in the
variable @code{initial-frame-alist}.  That variable holds parameters
used only for the first frame created when Emacs starts.  To customize
the parameters of all frames, change the variable
@code{default-frame-alist} instead.

These two variables exist because many users customize the initial frame
in a special way.  For example, you could determine the position and
size of the initial frame, but would like to control the geometry of the
other frames by individually positioning each one of them.

@node Emacs takes a long time to visit files, Editing files with $ in the name, Emacs ignores frame parameters, Bugs and problems
@section Why does Emacs take 20 seconds to visit a file?
@cindex Visiting files takes a long time
@cindex Delay when visiting files
@cindex Files, take a long time to visit

Old versions of Emacs (i.e., versions before Emacs 20.x) often
encountered this when the master lock file, @file{!!!SuperLock!!!}, has
been left in the lock directory somehow.  Delete it.

@email{meuer@@geom.umn.edu, Mark Meuer} says that NeXT NFS has a bug
where an exclusive create succeeds but returns an error status.  This
can cause the same problem.  Since Emacs's file locking doesn't work
over NFS anyway, the best solution is to recompile Emacs with
@code{CLASH_DETECTION} undefined.

@node Editing files with $ in the name, Shell mode loses the current directory, Emacs takes a long time to visit files, Bugs and problems
@section How do I edit a file with a @samp{$} in its name?
@cindex Editing files with @samp{$} in the name
@cindex @samp{$} in file names
@cindex File names containing @samp{$}, editing

When entering a file name in the minibuffer, Emacs will attempt to expand
a @samp{$} followed by a word as an environment variable.  To suppress
this behavior, type @kbd{$$} instead.

@node Shell mode loses the current directory, Security risks with Emacs, Editing files with $ in the name, Bugs and problems
@section Why does shell mode lose track of the shell's current directory?
@cindex Current directory and @code{shell-mode}
@cindex @code{shell-mode} and current directory
@cindex Directory, current in @code{shell-mode}

Emacs has no way of knowing when the shell actually changes its
directory.  This is an intrinsic limitation of Unix.  So it tries to
guess by recognizing @samp{cd} commands.  If you type @kbd{cd} followed
by a directory name with a variable reference (@kbd{cd $HOME/bin}) or
with a shell metacharacter (@kbd{cd ../lib*}), Emacs will fail to
correctly guess the shell's new current directory.  A huge variety of
fixes and enhancements to shell mode for this problem have been written
to handle this problem (@pxref{Finding a package with particular

You can tell Emacs the shell's current directory with the command
@kbd{M-x dirs}.

@node Security risks with Emacs, Dired claims that no file is on this line, Shell mode loses the current directory, Bugs and problems
@section Are there any security risks in Emacs?
@cindex Security with Emacs
@cindex @samp{movemail} and security
@cindex @code{file-local-variable} and security
@cindex Synthetic X events and security
@cindex X events and security

@itemize @bullet

The @file{movemail} incident.  (No, this is not a risk.)

In his book @cite{The Cuckoo's Egg}, Cliff Stoll describes this in
chapter 4.  The site at LBL had installed the @file{/etc/movemail}
program setuid root.  (As of version 19, @file{movemail} is in your
architecture-specific directory; type @kbd{C-h v exec-directory
@key{RET}} to see what it is.)  Since @code{movemail} had not been
designed for this situation, a security hole was created and users could
get root privileges.

@code{movemail} has since been changed so that this security hole will
not exist, even if it is installed setuid root.  However,
@code{movemail} no longer needs to be installed setuid root, which
should eliminate this particular risk.

We have heard unverified reports that the 1988 Internet worm took
advantage of this configuration problem.

The @code{file-local-variable} feature.  (Yes, a risk, but easy to

There is an Emacs feature that allows the setting of local values for
variables when editing a file by including specially formatted text near
the end of the file.  This feature also includes the ability to have
arbitrary Emacs Lisp code evaluated when the file is visited.
Obviously, there is a potential for Trojan horses to exploit this

As of Emacs 22, Emacs has a list of local variables that are known to
be safe to set.  If a file tries to set any variable outside this
list, it asks the user to confirm whether the variables should be set.
You can also tell Emacs whether to allow the evaluation of Emacs Lisp
code found at the bottom of files by setting the variable

For more information, @inforef{File Variables, File Variables, emacs}.

Synthetic X events.  (Yes, a risk; use @samp{MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1} or

Emacs accepts synthetic X events generated by the @code{SendEvent}
request as though they were regular events.  As a result, if you are
using the trivial host-based authentication, other users who can open X
connections to your X workstation can make your Emacs process do
anything, including run other processes with your privileges.

The only fix for this is to prevent other users from being able to open
X connections.  The standard way to prevent this is to use a real
authentication mechanism, such as @samp{MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1}.  If using
the @code{xauth} program has any effect, then you are probably using
@samp{MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1}.  Your site may be using a superior
authentication method; ask your system administrator.

If real authentication is not a possibility, you may be satisfied by
just allowing hosts access for brief intervals while you start your X
programs, then removing the access.  This reduces the risk somewhat by
narrowing the time window when hostile users would have access, but
@emph{does not eliminate the risk}.

On most computers running Unix and X, you enable and disable
access using the @code{xhost} command.  To allow all hosts access to
your X server, use

xhost +
@end example

at the shell prompt, which (on an HP machine, at least) produces the
following message:

access control disabled, clients can connect from any host
@end example

To deny all hosts access to your X server (except those explicitly
allowed by name), use

xhost -
@end example

On the test HP computer, this command generated the following message:

access control enabled, only authorized clients can connect
@end example

@end itemize

@node Dired claims that no file is on this line,  , Security risks with Emacs, Bugs and problems
@section Dired says, @samp{no file on this line} when I try to do something.
@cindex Dired does not see a file

@c FIXME: I think this is fixed in Emacs 21, but I didn't have time to
@c check.
Chances are you're using a localized version of Unix that doesn't use US
date format in dired listings.  You can check this by looking at dired
listings or by typing @kbd{ls -l} to a shell and looking at the dates that
come out.

Dired uses a regular expression to find the beginning of a file name.
In a long Unix-style directory listing (@samp{ls -l}), the file name
starts after the date.  The regexp has thus been written to look for the
date, the format of which can vary on non-US systems.

There are two approaches to solving this.  The first one involves
setting things up so that @samp{ls -l} outputs US date format.  This can
be done by setting the locale.  See your OS manual for more information.

The second approach involves changing the regular expression used by
dired, @code{directory-listing-before-filename-regexp}.

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node Compiling and installing Emacs, Finding Emacs and related packages, Bugs and problems, Top
@chapter    Compiling and installing Emacs
@cindex    Compiling and installing Emacs

* Installing Emacs::
* Updating Emacs::
* Problems building Emacs::
* Linking with -lX11 fails::
@end menu

@node Installing Emacs, Updating Emacs, Compiling and installing Emacs, Compiling and installing Emacs
@section How do I install Emacs?
@cindex Installing Emacs
@cindex Unix systems, installing Emacs on
@cindex Downloading and installing Emacs
@cindex Retrieving and installing Emacs
@cindex Building Emacs from source
@cindex Source code, building Emacs from
@cindex Unpacking and installing Emacs

This answer is meant for users of Unix and Unix-like systems.  Users of
other operating systems should see the series of questions beginning
with @ref{Emacs for MS-DOS}, which describe where to get non-Unix source
and binaries, and how to install Emacs on those systems.

For Unix and Unix-like systems, the easiest way is often to compile it
from scratch.  You will need:

@itemize @bullet

Emacs sources.  @xref{Current GNU distributions}, for a list of ftp sites
that make them available.  On @file{ftp.gnu.org}, the main GNU
distribution site, sources are available as


The above will obviously change as new versions of Emacs come out.  For
instance, when Emacs 22.42 is released, it will most probably be
available as


Again, you should use one of the GNU mirror sites (see @ref{Current GNU
distributions}, and adjust the URL accordingly) so as to reduce load on

@code{gzip}, the GNU compression utility.  You can get @code{gzip} via
anonymous ftp at mirrors of @file{ftp.gnu.org} sites; it should compile
and install without much trouble on most systems.  Once you have
retrieved the Emacs sources, you will probably be able to uncompress
them with the command

gunzip --verbose emacs-@value{VER}.tar.gz
@end example

changing the Emacs version (@value{VER}), as necessary.  Once
@code{gunzip} has finished doing its job, a file by the name of
@file{emacs-@value{VER}.tar} should be in your build directory.

@code{tar}, the @dfn{tape archiving} program, which moves multiple files
into and out of archive files, or @dfn{tarfiles}.  All of the files
comprising the Emacs source come in a single tarfile, and must be
extracted using @code{tar} before you can build Emacs.  Typically, the
extraction command would look like

tar -xvvf emacs-@value{VER}.tar
@end example

The @samp{x} indicates that we want to extract files from this tarfile,
the two @samp{v}s force verbose output, and the @samp{f} tells
@code{tar} to use a disk file, rather than one on the tape drive.

If you're using GNU @code{tar} (available at mirrors of
@file{ftp.gnu.org}), you can combine this step and the previous one by
using the command

tar -zxvvf emacs-@value{VER}.tar.gz
@end example

The additional @samp{z} at the beginning of the options list tells GNU
@code{tar} to uncompress the file with @code{gunzip} before extracting
the tarfile's components.

@end itemize

At this point, the Emacs sources (all 70+ megabytes of them) should be
sitting in a directory called @file{emacs-@value{VER}}.  On most common
Unix and Unix-like systems, you should be able to compile Emacs (with X
Window system support) with the following commands:

cd emacs-@value{VER}       # change directory to emacs-@value{VER}
./configure         # configure Emacs for your particular system
make                # use Makefile to build components, then Emacs
@end example

If the @code{make} completes successfully, the odds are fairly good that
the build has gone well.  (@xref{Problems building Emacs}, if you weren't

By default, Emacs is installed in the following directories:

@table @file
@item /usr/local/bin

@item /usr/local/share/emacs/@value{VER}
Lisp code and support files.

@item /usr/local/info
Info documentation.
@end table

To install files in those default directories, become the superuser and

make install
@end example

Note that @samp{make install} will overwrite @file{/usr/local/bin/emacs}
and any Emacs Info files that might be in @file{/usr/local/info}.

Much more verbose instructions (with many more hints and suggestions)
come with the Emacs sources, in the file @file{INSTALL}.

@node Updating Emacs, Problems building Emacs, Installing Emacs, Compiling and installing Emacs
@section How do I update Emacs to the latest version?
@cindex Updating Emacs

@xref{Installing Emacs}, and follow the instructions there for

Most files are placed in version-specific directories.  Emacs
@value{VER}, for instance, places files in

Upgrading should overwrite only, @file{/usr/local/bin/emacs} (the Emacs
binary) and documentation in @file{/usr/local/info}.  Back up these
files before you upgrade, and you shouldn't have too much trouble.

@node Problems building Emacs, Linking with -lX11 fails, Updating Emacs, Compiling and installing Emacs
@section What should I do if I have trouble building Emacs?
@cindex Problems building Emacs
@cindex Errors when building Emacs

First look in the file @file{etc/PROBLEMS} (where you unpack the Emacs
source) to see if there is already a solution for your problem.  Next,
look for other questions in this FAQ that have to do with Emacs
installation and compilation problems.

If you'd like to have someone look at your problem and help solve it,
see @ref{Help installing Emacs}.

If you cannot find a solution in the documentation, send a message to

Please don't post it to @uref{news:gnu.emacs.help} or send e-mail to
@email{help-gnu-emacs@@gnu.org}.  For further guidelines, see
@ref{Guidelines for newsgroup postings} and @ref{Reporting bugs}.

@node Linking with -lX11 fails,  , Problems building Emacs, Compiling and installing Emacs
@section Why does linking Emacs with -lX11 fail?
@cindex Linking with -lX11 fails
@cindex lX11, linking fails with

Emacs needs to be linked with the static version of the X11 library,
@file{libX11.a}.  This may be missing.

On OpenWindows, you may need to use @code{add_services} to add the
``OpenWindows Programmers'' optional software category from the CD-ROM.

On HP-UX 8.0, you may need to run @code{update} again to load the
X11-PRG ``fileset.''  This may be missing even if you specified ``all
filesets'' the first time.  If @file{libcurses.a} is missing, you may
need to load the ``Berkeley Development Option.''

@email{zoo@@armadillo.com, David Zuhn} says that MIT X builds shared
libraries by default, and only shared libraries, on those platforms that
support them.  These shared libraries can't be used when undumping
@code{temacs} (the last stage of the Emacs build process).  To get
regular libraries in addition to shared libraries, add this to

#define ForceNormalLib YES
@end example

Other systems may have similar problems.  You can always define
@code{CANNOT_DUMP} and link with the shared libraries instead.

@cindex X Menus don't work
To get the Xmenu stuff to work, you need to find a copy of MIT's

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node Finding Emacs and related packages, Major packages and programs, Compiling and installing Emacs, Top
@chapter Finding Emacs and related packages
@cindex Finding Emacs and related packages

* Finding Emacs on the Internet::
* Finding a package with particular functionality::
* Packages that do not come with Emacs::
* Current GNU distributions::
* Difference between Emacs and XEmacs::
* Emacs for MS-DOS::
* Emacs for Windows::
* Emacs for OS/2::
* Emacs for Atari ST::
* Emacs for the Amiga ::
* Emacs for NeXTSTEP::
* Emacs for Apple computers::
* Emacs for VMS and DECwindows::
* Modes for various languages::
@end menu

@node Finding Emacs on the Internet, Finding a package with particular functionality, Finding Emacs and related packages, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where can I get Emacs on the net (or by snail mail)?
@cindex Finding Emacs on the Internet
@cindex Snail mail, ordering Emacs via
@cindex Postal service, ordering Emacs via
@cindex Distribution, retrieving Emacs
@cindex Internet, retrieving from

Look in the files @file{etc/DISTRIB} and @file{etc/FTP} for
information on nearby archive sites.  If you don't already have Emacs,
see @ref{Informational files for Emacs}, for how to get these files.

@xref{Installing Emacs}, for information on how to obtain and build the latest
version of Emacs, and see @ref{Current GNU distributions}, for a list of
archive sites that make GNU software available.

@node Finding a package with particular functionality, Packages that do not come with Emacs, Finding Emacs on the Internet, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section How do I find a Emacs Lisp package that does XXX?
@cindex Package, finding
@cindex Finding an Emacs Lisp package
@cindex Functionality, finding a particular package

First of all, you should check to make sure that the package isn't
already available.  For example, typing @kbd{M-x apropos @key{RET}
wordstar @key{RET}} lists all functions and variables containing the
string @samp{wordstar}.

It is also possible that the package is on your system, but has not been
loaded.  To see which packages are available for loading, look through
your computer's lisp directory (@pxref{File-name conventions}).  The Lisp
source to most packages contains a short description of how they
should be loaded, invoked, and configured---so before you use or
modify a Lisp package, see if the author has provided any hints in the
source code.

The command @kbd{C-h p} (@code{finder-by-keyword}) allows you to browse
the constituent Emacs packages.

For advice on how to find extra packages that are not part of Emacs,
see @ref{Packages that do not come with Emacs}.

@node Packages that do not come with Emacs, Current GNU distributions, Finding a package with particular functionality, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where can I get Emacs Lisp packages that don't come with Emacs?
@cindex Unbundled packages
@cindex Finding other packages
@cindex Lisp packages that do not come with Emacs
@cindex Packages, those that do not come with Emacs
@cindex Emacs Lisp List
@cindex Emacs Lisp Archive

@uref{http://www.anc.ed.ac.uk/~stephen/emacs/ell.html, The Emacs Lisp
List (ELL)}, maintained by @email{stephen@@anc.ed.ac.uk, Stephen Eglen},
aims to provide one compact list with links to all of the current Emacs
Lisp files on the Internet.  The ELL can be browsed over the web, or
from Emacs with @uref{http://www.anc.ed.ac.uk/~stephen/emacs/ell.el,
the @file{ell} package}.

Many authors post their packages to the @uref{news:gnu.emacs.sources,
Emacs sources newsgroup}.  You can search the archives of this
group with @uref{http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.sources, Google},
or @uref{http://dir.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.sources, Gmane}, for example.

Several packages are stored in
@uref{http://emacswiki.org/elisp/, the Lisp area of the Emacs Wiki}.

For a long time, the Emacs Lisp Archive provided a central repository
for Emacs packages.  Sadly, it has not been active for some time,
although you can still access the old files at


Read the file @file{etc/MORE.STUFF} for more information about
external packages.

@node Current GNU distributions, Difference between Emacs and XEmacs, Packages that do not come with Emacs, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where can I get other up-to-date GNU stuff?
@cindex Current GNU distributions
@cindex Sources for current GNU distributions
@cindex Stuff, current GNU
@cindex Up-to-date GNU stuff
@cindex Finding current GNU software
@cindex Official GNU software sites

The most up-to-date official GNU software is normally kept at


Read the files @file{etc/DISTRIB} and @file{etc/FTP} for more

A list of sites mirroring @samp{ftp.gnu.org} can be found at


@node Difference between Emacs and XEmacs, Emacs for MS-DOS, Current GNU distributions, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section What is the difference between Emacs and XEmacs (formerly Lucid Emacs)?
@cindex XEmacs
@cindex Difference Emacs and XEmacs
@cindex Lucid Emacs
@cindex Epoch

XEmacs is a branch version of Emacs.  It was first called Lucid Emacs,
and was initially derived from a prerelease version of Emacs 19.  In
this FAQ, we use the name ``Emacs'' only for the official version.

Emacs and XEmacs each come with Lisp packages that are lacking in the
other.  The two versions have some significant differences at the Lisp
programming level.  Their current features are roughly comparable,
though the support for some operating systems, character sets and
specific packages might be quite different.

Some XEmacs code has been contributed to Emacs, and we would like to
use other parts, but the earlier XEmacs maintainers did not always
keep track of the authors of contributed code, which makes it
impossible for the FSF to get copyright papers signed for that code.
(The FSF requires these papers for all the code included in the Emacs
release, aside from generic C support packages that retain their
separate identity and are not integrated into the code of Emacs

If you want to talk about these two versions and distinguish them,
please call them ``Emacs'' and ``XEmacs.''  To contrast ``XEmacs''
with ``GNU Emacs'' would be misleading, since XEmacs too has its
origin in the work of the GNU Project.  Terms such as ``Emacsen'' and
``(X)Emacs'' are not wrong, but they are not very clear, so it
is better to write ``Emacs and XEmacs.''

@node Emacs for MS-DOS, Emacs for Windows, Difference between Emacs and XEmacs, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where can I get Emacs for my PC running MS-DOS?
@cindex MS-DOS, Emacs for
@cindex DOS, Emacs for
@cindex Compiling Emacs for DOS
@cindex Emacs for MS-DOS
@cindex Tools needed to compile Emacs under DOS

A pre-built binary distribution of Emacs is available from the
SimTel.NET archives.  This version apparently works under MS-DOS and
Windows (3.X, 9X, ME, NT, and 2000) and supports long file names under
Windows 9X, Windows ME, and Windows 2000.  More information is available


The binary itself is available in the files @file{em*.zip} in the


If you prefer to compile Emacs for yourself, you can do so with the
current distribution directly.  You will need a 386 (or
better) processor, and to be running MS-DOS 3.0 or later.  According to
@email{eliz@@gnu.org, Eli Zaretskii} and
@email{hankedr@@dms.auburn.edu, Darrel Hankerson}, you will need the

@table @emph

@item Compiler
DJGPP version 1.12 maint 1 or later.  Djgpp 2.0 or later is
recommended, since 1.x is very old an unmaintained.  Djgpp 2 supports
long file names on Windows 9X/ME/2K.

You can get the latest release of DJGPP by retrieving all of
the files in


@item Unpacking program
The easiest way is to use @code{djtar} which comes with DJGPP v2.x,
because it can open gzip'ed tarfiles (i.e., those ending with
@file{.tar.gz}) in one step.  @code{Djtar} comes in
@file{djdev@var{nnn}.zip} archive (where @var{nnn} is the DJGPP version
number), from the URL mentioned above.

@strong{Warning!}  Do @strong{not} use the popular WinZip program to
unpack the Emacs distribution!  WinZip is known to corrupt some of the
files by converting them to the DOS CR-LF format, it doesn't always
preserve the directory structure recorded in the compressed Emacs
archive, and commits other atrocities.  Some of these problems could
actually prevent Emacs from building successfully!

@item make, mv, sed, and rm
All of these utilities are available at


16-bit utilities can be found in GNUish, at


(@code{mv} and @code{rm} are in the Fileutils package, @code{sed} and
@code{make} are each one in a separate package named after them.)

@end table

The files @file{INSTALL} (near its end) and @file{etc/PROBLEMS} in the
directory of the Emacs sources contains some additional information
regarding Emacs under MS-DOS.

For a list of other MS-DOS implementations of Emacs (and Emacs
look-alikes), consult the list of ``Emacs implementations and literature,''
available at


Note that while many of these programs look similar to Emacs, they often
lack certain features, such as the Emacs Lisp extension language.

@node Emacs for Windows, Emacs for OS/2, Emacs for MS-DOS, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where can I get Emacs for Microsoft Windows?
@cindex FAQ for NT Emacs
@cindex Emacs for MS-Windows
@cindex Microsoft Windows, Emacs for
@cindex Windows 9X, ME, NT, 2K, and CE, Emacs for

For information on Emacs for Windows 95 and NT, read the FAQ produced by
@email{voelker@@cs.washington.edu, Geoff Voelker} and currently maintained
by @email{ramprasad@@gnu.org, Ramprasad B}, available at


@xref{Emacs for MS-DOS}, for Windows 3.1.

A port of Emacs 20.7 for Windows CE, based on NTEmacs, is available at


This port was done by @email{coyxc@@rainer-keuchel.de, Rainer Keuchel},
and supports all Emacs features except async subprocesses and menus.
You will need MSVC 6.0 and a Windows CE SDK to build this port.

@node Emacs for OS/2, Emacs for Atari ST, Emacs for Windows, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where can I get Emacs for my PC running OS/2?
@cindex OS/2, Emacs for

Emacs 20.6 is ported for emx on OS/2 2.0 or 2.1, and is available at


and also at


Instructions for installation, basic setup, and other useful information
for OS/2 users of Emacs can be found at


@node Emacs for Atari ST, Emacs for the Amiga , Emacs for OS/2, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where can I get Emacs for my Atari ST?
@cindex Atari ST, Emacs for
@cindex TOS, Emacs for

Roland Sch@"auble reports that Emacs 18.58 running on plain TOS and MiNT
is available at

@node Emacs for the Amiga , Emacs for NeXTSTEP, Emacs for Atari ST, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where can I get Emacs for my Amiga?
@cindex Amiga, Emacs for

The files you need are available at


@email{dgilbert@@gamiga.guelphnet.dweomer.org, David Gilbert} has released a
beta version of Emacs 19.25 for the Amiga.  You can get the binary at


@node Emacs for NeXTSTEP, Emacs for Apple computers, Emacs for the Amiga , Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where can I get Emacs for NeXTSTEP?
@cindex NeXTSTEP, Emacs for

Emacs.app is a NeXTSTEP version of Emacs 19.34 which supports colors,
menus, and multiple frames.  You can get it from


@node Emacs for Apple computers, Emacs for VMS and DECwindows, Emacs for NeXTSTEP, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where can I get Emacs for my Apple computer?
@cindex Apple computers, Emacs for
@cindex Macintosh, Emacs for

Beginning with version 21.1, the Macintosh is supported in the official
Emacs distribution; see the files @file{mac/README} and
@file{mac/INSTALL} in the Emacs distribution for build instructions.

Beginning with version 22.1, Emacs supports Mac OS X natively.

@node Emacs for VMS and DECwindows, Modes for various languages, Emacs for Apple computers, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where do I get Emacs that runs on VMS under DECwindows?
@cindex DECwindows, Emacs for
@cindex VMS, Emacs for

Up-to-date information about GNU software (including Emacs) for VMS is
available at @uref{http://www.lp.se/gnu-vms/}.

@node Modes for various languages,  , Emacs for VMS and DECwindows, Finding Emacs and related packages
@section Where can I get modes for Lex, Yacc/Bison, Bourne shell, csh, C@t{++}, Objective-C, Pascal, Java, and Awk?
@cindex Awk, mode for
@cindex @code{awk-mode}
@cindex Bison, mode for
@cindex Bourne Shell, mode for
@cindex C@t{++}, mode for
@cindex Java, mode for
@cindex Lex mode
@cindex Objective-C, mode for
@cindex @code{pascal-mode}
@cindex Shell mode
@cindex Yacc mode
@cindex @file{csh} mode
@cindex @code{sh-mode}
@cindex @code{cc-mode}

Most of these modes are now available in standard Emacs distribution.
To get additional modes, see @ref{Finding a package with particular

Barry Warsaw's @code{cc-mode} now works for C, C@t{++}, Objective-C, and
Java code.  It is distributed with Emacs, but has
@uref{http://cc-mode.sourceforge.net/, its own homepage}.

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node Major packages and programs, Key bindings, Finding Emacs and related packages, Top
@chapter Major packages and programs
@cindex Major packages and programs

* VM::
* Supercite::
* Calc::
* AUCTeX::
* BBDB::
* Ispell::
* Emacs/W3::
* EDB::
* Mailcrypt::
* JDE::
* Patch::
@end menu

@node VM, Supercite, Major packages and programs, Major packages and programs
@section VM (View Mail) --- another mail reader within Emacs, with MIME support
@cindex VM
@cindex Alternative mail software
@cindex View Mail
@cindex E-mail reader, VM

@table @b

@item Author
@email{kyle_jones@@wonderworks.com, Kyle Jones}

@item Latest version

@item Distribution

@item Informational newsgroup

@item Bug reports newsgroup
Or send reports to @email{bug-vm@@wonderworks.com}
@end table

VM 7 works well with Emacs 21 and Emacs 22. Older versions of VM
suitable for use with older versions of Emacs are available from
@uref{ftp://ftp.wonderworks.com/pub/vm/, the same FTP site}.

@node Supercite, Calc, VM, Major packages and programs
@section Supercite --- mail and news citation package within Emacs
@cindex Supercite
@cindex Superyank
@cindex Mail and news citations
@cindex News and mail citations
@cindex Citations in mail and news

@table @b

@item Author
@email{barry@@python.org, Barry Warsaw}

@item Latest version
3.54 (comes bundled with Emacs since version 20)

@item Distribution

@item Mailing list
Subscription requests to @email{supercite-request@@python.org}@*
Submissions @email{supercite@@python.org}

@end table

Superyank is an old version of Supercite.

@node Calc, VIPER, Supercite, Major packages and programs
@section Calc --- poor man's Mathematica within Emacs
@cindex Programmable calculator
@cindex Calc
@cindex Mathematical package

@table @b

@item Author
@email{daveg@@csvax.cs.caltech.edu, Dave Gillespie}

@item Latest version
2.1 (part of Emacs since version 22.1)

@item Distribution
No separate distribution outside of Emacs.  Older versions
are available at @uref{ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/calc/}.

@end table

Note that Calc 2.02f needs patching to work with Emacs 21 and later.

@cindex @code{calculator}, a package
Emacs 21.1 and later comes with a package called @file{calculator.el}.
It doesn't support all the mathematical wizardry offered by Calc, such
as matrices, special functions, and statistics, but is more than
adequate as a replacement for @code{xcalc} and similar programs.

@node VIPER, AUCTeX, Calc, Major packages and programs
@section VIPER --- @code{vi} emulation for Emacs
@cindex @code{vi} emulation
@cindex VIPER
@cindex Emulation of @code{vi}

Since Emacs 19.29, the preferred @code{vi} emulation in Emacs is VIPER
(@kbd{M-x viper-mode @key{RET}}), which comes with Emacs.  It extends
and supersedes VIP (including VIP 4.3) and provides @code{vi} emulation
at several levels, from one that closely follows @code{vi} to one that
departs from @code{vi} in several significant ways.

For Emacs 19.28 and earlier, the following version of VIP is generally
better than the one distributed with Emacs:

@table @b
@item Author
@email{sane@@cs.uiuc.edu, Aamod Sane}

@item Latest version

@item Distribution

@end table

@node AUCTeX, BBDB, VIPER, Major packages and programs
@section AUC@TeX{} --- enhanced @TeX{} modes with debugging facilities
@cindex Mode for @TeX{}
@cindex @TeX{} mode
@cindex AUC@TeX{} mode for editing @TeX{}
@cindex Writing and debugging @TeX{}

AUC@TeX{} is a set of sophisticated major modes for @TeX{}, LaTeX,
ConTeXt, and Texinfo offering context-sensitive syntax highlighting,
indentation, formatting and folding, macro completion, @TeX{} shell
functionality, and debugging.  Be also sure to check out
@ref{Introduction, RefTeX, Introduction, reftex, Ref@TeX{} User Manual}.
Current versions of AUC@TeX{} include the
package for WYSIWYG previews of various LaTeX constructs in the Emacs
source buffer.

@table @b

@item Authors
@email{krab@@iesd.auc.dk, Kresten Krab Thorup}, @*
@email{abraham@@dina.kvl.dk, Per Abrahamsen}, @* and others.

@item Maintainer
@email{dak@@gnu.org, David Kastrup}

@item Latest version

@item Distribution

@item Web site

@item Mailing list:
Subscription requests to @email{auctex-request@@gnu.org}@*
Submissions to @email{auctex@@gnu.org}

@end table

@node BBDB, Ispell, AUCTeX, Major packages and programs
@section BBDB --- personal Info Rolodex integrated with mail/news readers
@cindex BBDB
@cindex Rolodex-like functionality
@cindex Integrated contact database
@cindex Contact database
@cindex Big Brother Database
@cindex Address book

@table @b

@item Maintainer
@email{waider@@waider.ie, Ronan Waide}

@item Latest version

@item Distribution

@item Mailing lists
Subscription requests to @email{bbdb-info-request@@lists.sourceforge.net}@*
Submissions to @email{bbdb-info@@lists.sourceforge.net}@*
Release announcements: @email{bbdb-announce-request@@lists.sourceforge.net}

@end table

@node Ispell, Emacs/W3, BBDB, Major packages and programs
@section Ispell --- spell checker in C with interface for Emacs
@cindex Spell-checker
@cindex Checking spelling
@cindex Ispell

@table @b

@item Author
@email{geoff@@cs.hmc.edu, Geoff Kuenning}

@item Latest version

@item Distribution

@item Web site

@end table

This Ispell program is distinct from GNU Ispell 4.0. GNU Ispell 4.0 is
no longer a supported product.

@node Emacs/W3, EDB, Ispell, Major packages and programs
@section Emacs/W3 --- A World Wide Web browser inside of Emacs
@cindex WWW browser
@cindex Web browser
@cindex HTML browser in Emacs
@cindex @code{w3-mode}

@table @b

@item Author
@email{wmperry@@gnu.org, Bill Perry}

@item Maintainer
Emacs/W3 needs a maintainer. It has lain dormant for several years. If
you would like to take over the project, please contact

@item Latest version

@item Distribution

@item Mailing lists
Receive announcements from @email{w3-announce@@gnu.org}@*
Help to develop Emacs/W3 at @email{w3-dev@@gnu.org}

@end table

@node EDB, Mailcrypt, Emacs/W3, Major packages and programs
@section EDB --- Database program for Emacs; replaces forms editing modes
@cindex EDB
@cindex Database
@cindex Forms mode

@table @b
@item Author
@email{mernst@@theory.lcs.mit.edu, Michael Ernst}

@item Latest version

@item Distribution

@end table

@node Mailcrypt, JDE, EDB, Major packages and programs
@section Mailcrypt --- PGP interface within Emacs mail and news
@cindex PGP
@cindex GPG
@cindex Interface to PGP from Emacs mail and news
@cindex News, interface to PGP from
@cindex Mail, interface to PGP from
@cindex Encryption software, interface to

@table @b

@item Authors
@email{patl@@lcs.mit.edu, Patrick J. LoPresti} and
@email{jin@@atype.com, Jin S. Choi}

@item Maintainer
@email{warner-mailcrypt@@lothar.com, Brian Warner}

@item Latest version

@item Distribution

@item Web site

@end table

Note that a new package called PGG is bundled with Emacs starting with
version 22.1.  It is a modern interface to various PGP implementations,
including @uref{http://www.gnupg.org/, The GNU Privacy Guard} and
supports symmetric encryption.

@node JDE, Patch, Mailcrypt, Major packages and programs
@section JDE --- Integrated development environment for Java
@cindex Java development environment
@cindex Integrated Java development environment
@cindex JDE

@table @b

@item Author
@email{paulk@@mathworks.com, Paul Kinnucan}

@item Latest version

@item Web site

@item Mailing lists
Subscription requests to @email{jde-subscribe@@sunsite.dk}@*
Receive announcements from @email{jde-announce-subscribe@@sunsite.dk}

@end table

@node Patch,  , JDE, Major packages and programs
@section Patch --- program to apply ``diffs'' for updating files
@cindex Updating files with diffs
@cindex Patching source files with diffs
@cindex Diffs and patching
@cindex @file{patch}

@table @b

@item Author
@email{lwall@@wall.org, Larry Wall} (with GNU modifications)

@item Latest version

@item Distribution
@xref{Current GNU distributions}.

@end table

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node Key bindings, Alternate character sets, Major packages and programs, Top
@chapter Key bindings
@cindex Key bindings

* Binding keys to commands::
* Invalid prefix characters::
* Terminal setup code works after Emacs has begun::
* Using function keys under X::
* Working with function and arrow keys::
* X key translations for Emacs::
* Handling C-s and C-q with flow control::
* Binding C-s and C-q::
* Backspace invokes help::
* stty and Backspace key::
* Swapping keys::
* Producing C-XXX with the keyboard::
* No Meta key::
* No Escape key::
* Compose Character::
* Binding combinations of modifiers and function keys::
* Meta key does not work in xterm::
* ExtendChar key does not work as Meta::
* SPC no longer completes file names::
@end menu

@node Binding keys to commands, Invalid prefix characters, Key bindings, Key bindings
@section How do I bind keys (including function keys) to commands?
@cindex Binding keys to commands
@cindex Keys, binding to commands
@cindex Commands, binding keys to

Keys can be bound to commands either interactively or in your
@file{.emacs} file.  To interactively bind keys for all modes, type
@kbd{M-x global-set-key @key{RET} @var{key} @var{cmd} @key{RET}}.

To bind a key just in the current major mode, type @kbd{M-x
local-set-key @key{RET} @var{key} @var{cmd} @key{RET}}.

@inforef{Key Bindings, Key Bindings, emacs}, for further details.

To make the process of binding keys interactively easier, use the
following ``trick'': First bind the key interactively, then immediately
type @kbd{C-x @key{ESC} @key{ESC} C-a C-k C-g}.  Now, the command needed
to bind the key is in the kill ring, and can be yanked into your
@file{.emacs} file.  If the key binding is global, no changes to the
command are required.  For example,

(global-set-key (quote [f1]) (quote help-for-help))
@end lisp

can be placed directly into the @file{.emacs} file.  If the key binding is
local, the command is used in conjunction with the @samp{add-hook} function.
For example, in TeX mode, a local binding might be

(add-hook 'tex-mode-hook
  (lambda ()
   (local-set-key (quote [f1]) (quote help-for-help))))
@end lisp

@itemize @bullet

Control characters in key sequences, in the form yanked from the kill
ring are given in their graphic form---i.e., @key{CTRL} is shown as
@samp{^}, @key{TAB} as a set of spaces (usually 8), etc.  You may want
to convert these into their vector or string forms.

If a prefix key of the character sequence to be bound is already
bound as a complete key, then you must unbind it before the new
binding.  For example, if @kbd{ESC @{} is previously bound:

(global-unset-key [?\e ?@{])   ;;   or
(local-unset-key [?\e ?@{])
@end lisp

Aside from commands and ``lambda lists,'' a vector or string also
can be bound to a key and thus treated as a macro.  For example:

(global-set-key [f10] [?\C-x?\e?\e?\C-a?\C-k?\C-g])  ;;  or
(global-set-key [f10] "\C-x\e\e\C-a\C-k\C-g")
@end lisp

@end itemize

@node Invalid prefix characters, Terminal setup code works after Emacs has begun, Binding keys to commands, Key bindings
@section Why does Emacs say @samp{Key sequence XXX uses invalid prefix characters}?
@cindex Prefix characters, invalid
@cindex Invalid prefix characters
@cindex Misspecified key sequences

Usually, one of two things has happened.  In one case, the control
character in the key sequence has been misspecified (e.g. @samp{C-f}
used instead of @samp{\C-f} within a Lisp expression).  In the other
case, a @dfn{prefix key} in the keystroke sequence you were trying to bind
was already bound as a @dfn{complete key}.  Historically, the @samp{ESC [}
prefix was usually the problem, in which case you should evaluate either
of these forms before attempting to bind the key sequence:

(global-unset-key [?\e ?[])  ;;  or
(global-unset-key "\e[")
@end lisp

@node Terminal setup code works after Emacs has begun, Using function keys under X, Invalid prefix characters, Key bindings
@section Why doesn't this [terminal or window-system setup] code work in my @file{.emacs} file, but it works just fine after Emacs starts up?
@cindex Terminal setup code in @file{.emacs}

During startup, Emacs initializes itself according to a given code/file
order.  If some of the code executed in your @file{.emacs} file needs to
be postponed until the initial terminal or window-system setup code has
been executed but is not, then you will experience this problem (this
code/file execution order is not enforced after startup).

To postpone the execution of Emacs Lisp code until after terminal or
window-system setup, treat the code as a @dfn{lambda list} and set the
value of either the @code{term-setup-hook} or @code{window-setup-hook}
variable to this lambda function.  For example,

(add-hook 'term-setup-hook
          (lambda ()
           (when (string-match "\\`vt220" (or (getenv "TERM") ""))
             ;; Make vt220's "Do" key behave like M-x:
             (global-set-key [do] 'execute-extended-command))))
@end lisp

For information on what Emacs does every time it is started, see the
@file{lisp/startup.el} file.

@node Using function keys under X, Working with function and arrow keys, Terminal setup code works after Emacs has begun, Key bindings
@section How do I use function keys under X?
@cindex Function keys
@cindex X Window System and function keys
@cindex Binding function keys

With Emacs 19, functions keys under X are bound like any other key.  @xref{Binding keys to commands}, for details.

@node Working with function and arrow keys, X key translations for Emacs, Using function keys under X, Key bindings
@section How do I tell what characters or symbols my function or arrow keys emit?
@cindex Working with arrow keys
@cindex Arrow keys, symbols generated by
@cindex Working with function keys
@cindex Function keys, symbols generated by
@cindex Symbols generated by function keys

Type @kbd{C-h c} then the function or arrow keys.  The command will
return either a function key symbol or character sequence (see the
Emacs on-line documentation for an explanation).  This works for other
keys as well.

@node X key translations for Emacs, Handling C-s and C-q with flow control, Working with function and arrow keys, Key bindings
@section How do I set the X key ``translations'' for Emacs?
@cindex X key translations
@cindex Key translations under X
@cindex Translations for keys under X

Emacs is not written using the Xt library by default, so there are no
``translations'' to be set.  (We aren't sure how to set such translations
if you do build Emacs with Xt; please let us know if you've done this!)

The only way to affect the behavior of keys within Emacs is through
@code{xmodmap} (outside Emacs) or @code{define-key} (inside Emacs).  The
@code{define-key} command should be used in conjunction with the
@code{function-key-map} map.  For instance,

(define-key function-key-map [M-@key{TAB}] [?\M-\t])
@end lisp

defines the @kbd{M-@key{TAB}} key sequence.

@node Handling C-s and C-q with flow control, Binding C-s and C-q, X key translations for Emacs, Key bindings
@section How do I handle @kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q} being used for flow control?
@cindex Flow control, @kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q} with
@cindex @kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q} with flow control

@kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q} are used in the XON/XOFF flow control protocol.
This messes things up when you're using Emacs over a serial line,
because Emacs binds these keys to commands by default.  Because Emacs
won't honor them as flow control characters, too many of these
characters are not passed on and overwhelm output buffers.  Sometimes,
intermediate software using XON/XOFF flow control will prevent Emacs
from ever seeing @kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q}.

Possible solutions:

@itemize @bullet

Disable the use of @kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q} for flow control.

You need to determine the cause of the flow control.

@itemize @minus

your terminal

Your terminal may use XON/XOFF flow control to have time to display
all the characters it receives.  For example, VT series terminals do
this.  It may be possible to turn this off from a setup menu.  For
example, on a VT220 you may select ``No XOFF'' in the setup menu.  This
is also true for some terminal emulation programs on PCs.

When you turn off flow control at the terminal, you will also need to
turn it off at the other end, which might be at the computer you are
logged in to or at some terminal server in between.

If you turn off flow control, characters may be lost; using a printer
connected to the terminal may fail.  You may be able to get around
this problem by modifying the @samp{termcap} entry for your terminal to
include extra NUL padding characters.

a modem

If you are using a dialup connection, the modems may be using
XON/XOFF flow control.  It's not clear how to get around this.

a router or terminal server

Some network box between the terminal and your computer may be using
XON/XOFF flow control.  It may be possible to make it use some other
kind of flow control.  You will probably have to ask your local
network experts for help with this.

@code{tty} and/or @code{pty} devices

If your connection to Emacs goes through multiple @code{tty} and/or
@code{pty} devices, they may be using XON/XOFF flow control even when it
is not necessary.

@email{eirik@@theory.tn.cornell.edu, Eirik Fuller} writes:

Some versions of @code{rlogin} (and possibly @code{telnet}) do not pass
flow control characters to the remote system to which they connect.  On
such systems, Emacs on the remote system cannot disable flow control on
the local system.  Sometimes @samp{rlogin -8} will avoid this problem.

One way to cure this is to disable flow control on the local host (the
one running @code{rlogin}, not the one running @code{rlogind}) using the
@code{stty} command, before starting the @code{rlogin} process.  On many
systems, @samp{stty start u stop u} will do this.

Some versions of @samp{tcsh} will prevent even this from working.  One
way around this is to start another shell before starting rlogin,
and issue the @samp{stty} command to disable flow control from that shell.
@end quotation

Use @samp{stty -ixon} instead of @samp{stty start u stop u} on some systems.

@end itemize

Make Emacs speak the XON/XOFF flow control protocol.

You can make Emacs treat @kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q} as flow control characters by
evaluating the form

@end lisp

to unconditionally enable flow control or

(enable-flow-control-on "vt100" "h19")
@end lisp

(using your terminal names instead of @samp{vt100} or @samp{h19}) to
enable selectively.  These commands will automatically swap @kbd{C-s}
and @kbd{C-q} to @kbd{C-\} and @kbd{C-^}.  Variables can be used to
change the default swap keys (@code{flow-control-c-s-replacement} and

If you are fixing this for yourself, simply put the form in your
@file{.emacs} file.  If you are fixing this for your entire site, the
best place to put it is in the @file{site-lisp/site-start.el} file.
(Here @file{site-lisp} is actually a subdirectory of your Emacs
installation directory, typically @file{/usr/local/share/emacs}.)
Putting this form in @file{site-lisp/default.el} has the problem that
if the user's @file{.emacs} file has an error, this will prevent
@file{default.el} from being loaded and Emacs may be unusable for the
user, even for correcting their @file{.emacs} file (unless they're
smart enough to move it to another name).

@code{enable-flow-control} can be invoked interactively as well:
@kbd{M-x enable-flow-control @key{RET}}.

@end itemize

For further discussion of this issue, read the file @file{etc/PROBLEMS}
(in the Emacs source directory when you unpack the Emacs distribution).

@node Binding C-s and C-q, Backspace invokes help, Handling C-s and C-q with flow control, Key bindings
@section How do I bind @kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q} (or any key) if these keys are filtered out?
@cindex Binding @kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q}
@cindex @kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q}, binding

To bind @kbd{C-s} and @kbd{C-q}, use either @code{enable-flow-control}
or @code{enable-flow-control-on}.  @xref{Handling C-s and C-q with flow
control}, for usage and implementation details.

To bind other keys, use @code{keyboard-translate}.  @xref{Swapping
keys}, for usage details.  To do this for an entire site, you should
swap the keys in @file{site-lisp/site-start.el}.  @xref{Handling C-s
and C-q with flow control}, for an explanation of why
@file{site-lisp/default.el} should not be used.

@itemize @bullet

If you do this for an entire site, the users will be confused by
the disparity between what the documentation says and how Emacs
actually behaves.

@end itemize

@node Backspace invokes help, stty and Backspace key, Binding C-s and C-q, Key bindings
@section Why does the @key{Backspace} key invoke help?
@cindex Backspace key invokes help
@cindex Help invoked by Backspace
@cindex DEL key does not delete

The @key{Backspace} key (on most keyboards) generates @acronym{ASCII} code 8.
@kbd{C-h} sends the same code.  In Emacs by default @kbd{C-h} invokes
help-command.  This is intended to be easy to remember since the first
letter of @samp{help} is @samp{h}.  The easiest solution to this problem
is to use @kbd{C-h} (and @key{Backspace}) for help and @key{DEL} (the
@key{Delete} key) for deleting the previous character.

For many people this solution may be problematic:

@itemize @bullet

They normally use @key{Backspace} outside of Emacs for deleting the
previous character.  This can be solved by making @key{DEL} the command
for deleting the previous character outside of Emacs.  On many Unix
systems, this command will remap @key{DEL}:

stty erase `^?'
@end example

The user may prefer the @key{Backspace} key for deleting the
previous character because it is more conveniently located on their
keyboard or because they don't even have a separate @key{Delete} key.
In this case, the @key{Backspace} key should be made to behave like
@key{Delete}.  There are several methods.

@itemize @minus
Some terminals (e.g., VT3## terminals) and terminal emulators (e.g.,
TeraTerm) allow the character generated by the @key{Backspace} key to be
changed from a setup menu.

You may be able to get a keyboard that is completely programmable, or a
terminal emulator that supports remapping of any key to any other key.

With Emacs 21.1 and later, you can control the effect of the
@key{Backspace} and @key{Delete} keys, on both dumb terminals and a
windowed displays, by customizing the option
@code{normal-erase-is-backspace-mode}, or by invoking @kbd{M-x
normal-erase-is-backspace}.  See the documentation of these symbols
(@pxref{Emacs Lisp documentation}) for more info.

It is possible to swap the @key{Backspace} and @key{DEL} keys inside

(keyboard-translate ?\C-h ?\C-?)
@end lisp

This is the recommended method of forcing @key{Backspace} to act as
@key{DEL}, because it works even in modes which bind @key{DEL} to
something other than @code{delete-backward-char}.

Similarly, you could remap @key{DEL} to act as @kbd{C-d}, which by
default deletes forward:

(keyboard-translate ?\C-? ?\C-d)
@end lisp

@xref{Swapping keys}, for further details about @code{keyboard-translate}.

Another approach is to switch key bindings and put help on @kbd{C-x h}

(global-set-key "\C-h" 'delete-backward-char)

;; overrides mark-whole-buffer
(global-set-key "\C-xh" 'help-command)
@end lisp

This method is not recommended, though: it only solves the problem for
those modes which bind @key{DEL} to @code{delete-backward-char}.  Modes
which bind @key{DEL} to something else, such as @code{view-mode}, will
not work as you expect when you press the @key{Backspace} key.  For this
reason, we recommend the @code{keyboard-translate} method, shown

Other popular key bindings for help are @kbd{M-?} and @kbd{C-x ?}.
@end itemize

Don't try to bind @key{DEL} to @code{help-command}, because there are
many modes that have local bindings of @key{DEL} that will interfere.

@end itemize

When Emacs 21 or later runs on a windowed display, it binds the
@key{Delete} key to a command which deletes the character at point, to
make Emacs more consistent with keyboard operation on these systems.

For more information about troubleshooting this problem, see @ref{DEL
Does Not Delete, , If @key{DEL} Fails to Delete, emacs, The GNU Emacs

@node stty and Backspace key, Swapping keys, Backspace invokes help, Key bindings
@section Why doesn't Emacs look at the @file{stty} settings for @key{Backspace} vs. @key{Delete}?
@cindex @file{stty} and Emacs
@cindex Backspace and @file{stty}
@cindex Delete and @file{stty}

Good question!

@c FIXME: RMS explained the reasons for this on emacs-hackers.  It's
@c probably worth putting that explanation here.

@node Swapping keys, Producing C-XXX with the keyboard, stty and Backspace key, Key bindings
@section How do I swap two keys?
@cindex Swapping keys
@cindex Keys, swapping
@cindex @code{keyboard-translate}

You can swap two keys (or key sequences) by using the
@code{keyboard-translate} function.  For example, to turn @kbd{C-h}
into @key{DEL} and @key{DEL} to @kbd{C-h}, use

(keyboard-translate ?\C-h ?\C-?)  ; translate `C-h' to DEL
(keyboard-translate ?\C-? ?\C-h)  ; translate DEL to `C-h'.
@end lisp

The first key sequence of the pair after the function identifies what is
produced by the keyboard; the second, what is matched for in the

However, in the specific case of @kbd{C-h} and @key{DEL}, you should
toggle @code{normal-erase-is-backspace-mode} instead of calling
@code{keyboard-translate}.  @inforef{DEL Does Not Delete, DEL Does Not Delete,

Keyboard translations are not the same as key bindings in keymaps.
Emacs contains numerous keymaps that apply in different situations, but
there is only one set of keyboard translations, and it applies to every
character that Emacs reads from the terminal.  Keyboard translations
take place at the lowest level of input processing; the keys that are
looked up in keymaps contain the characters that result from keyboard

@node Producing C-XXX with the keyboard, No Meta key, Swapping keys, Key bindings
@section How do I produce C-XXX with my keyboard?
@cindex Producing control characters
@cindex Generating control characters
@cindex Control characters, generating

On terminals (but not under X), some common ``aliases'' are:

@table @asis

@item @kbd{C-2}  or  @kbd{C-@key{SPC}}

@item @kbd{C-6}

@item @kbd{C-7}  or  @kbd{C-S--}

@item @kbd{C-4}

@item @kbd{C-5}

@item @kbd{C-/}

@end table

Often other aliases exist; use the @kbd{C-h c} command and try
@key{CTRL} with all of the digits on your keyboard to see what gets
generated.  You can also try the @kbd{C-h w} command if you know the
name of the command.

@node No Meta key, No Escape key, Producing C-XXX with the keyboard, Key bindings
@section What if I don't have a @key{Meta} key?
@cindex No @key{Meta} key
@cindex @key{Meta} key, what to do if you lack it

On many keyboards, the @key{Alt} key acts as @key{Meta}, so try it.

Instead of typing @kbd{M-a}, you can type @kbd{@key{ESC} a}.  In fact,
Emacs converts @kbd{M-a} internally into @kbd{@key{ESC} a} anyway
(depending on the value of @code{meta-prefix-char}).  Note that you
press @key{Meta} and @key{a} together, but with @key{ESC}, you press
@key{ESC}, release it, and then press @key{a}.

@node No Escape key, Compose Character, No Meta key, Key bindings
@section What if I don't have an @key{Escape} key?
@cindex No Escape key
@cindex Lacking an Escape key
@cindex Escape key, lacking

Type @kbd{C-[} instead.  This should send @acronym{ASCII} code 27 just like an
Escape key would.  @kbd{C-3} may also work on some terminal (but not
under X).  For many terminals (notably DEC terminals) @key{F11}
generates @key{ESC}.  If not, the following form can be used to bind it:

;; F11 is the documented ESC replacement on DEC terminals.
(define-key function-key-map [f11] [?\e])
@end lisp

@node Compose Character, Binding combinations of modifiers and function keys, No Escape key, Key bindings
@section Can I make my @key{Compose Character} key behave like a @key{Meta} key?
@cindex @key{Compose Character} key, using as @key{Meta}
@cindex @key{Meta}, using @key{Compose Character} for

On a dumb terminal such as a VT220, no.  It is rumored that certain
VT220 clones could have their @key{Compose} key configured this way.  If
you're using X, you might be able to do this with the @code{xmodmap}

@node Binding combinations of modifiers and function keys, Meta key does not work in xterm, Compose Character, Key bindings
@section How do I bind a combination of modifier key and function key?
@cindex Modifiers and function keys
@cindex Function keys and modifiers
@cindex Binding modifiers and function keys

With Emacs 19 and later, you can represent modified function keys in
vector format by adding prefixes to the function key symbol.  For
example (from the on-line documentation):

(global-set-key [?\C-x right] 'forward-page)
@end lisp

where @samp{?\C-x} is the Lisp character constant for the character @kbd{C-x}.

You can use the modifier keys @key{Control}, @key{Meta}, @key{Hyper},
@key{Super}, @key{Alt}, and @key{Shift} with function keys.  To
represent these modifiers, prepend the strings @samp{C-}, @samp{M-},
@samp{H-}, @samp{s-}, @samp{A-}, and @samp{S-} to the symbol name.  Here
is how to make @kbd{H-M-RIGHT} move forward a word:

(global-set-key [H-M-right] 'forward-word)
@end lisp

@itemize @bullet

Not all modifiers are permitted in all situations.  @key{Hyper},
@key{Super}, and @key{Alt} are not available on Unix character
terminals.  Non-@acronym{ASCII} keys and mouse events (e.g. @kbd{C-=} and
@kbd{Mouse-1}) also fall under this category.

@end itemize

@xref{Binding keys to commands}, for general key binding instructions.

@node Meta key does not work in xterm, ExtendChar key does not work as Meta, Binding combinations of modifiers and function keys, Key bindings
@section Why doesn't my @key{Meta} key work in an @code{xterm} window?
@cindex @key{Meta} key and @code{xterm}
@cindex Xterm and @key{Meta} key

@inforef{Unibyte Mode, Single-Byte Character Set Support, emacs}.

If the advice in the Emacs manual fails, try all of these methods before
asking for further help:

@itemize @bullet

You may have big problems using @code{mwm} as your window manager.
(Does anyone know a good generic solution to allow the use of the
@key{Meta} key in Emacs with @file{mwm}?)

For X11: Make sure it really is a @key{Meta} key.  Use @code{xev} to
find out what keysym your @key{Meta} key generates.  It should be either
@code{Meta_L} or @code{Meta_R}.  If it isn't, use @file{xmodmap} to fix
the situation.  If @key{Meta} does generate @code{Meta_L} or
@code{Meta_R}, but @kbd{M-x} produces a non-@acronym{ASCII} character, put this in
your @file{~/.Xdefaults} file:

 XTerm*eightBitInput:   false
 XTerm*eightBitOutput:  true
@end example

Make sure the @code{pty} the @code{xterm} is using is passing 8 bit
characters.  @samp{stty -a} (or @samp{stty everything}) should show
@samp{cs8} somewhere.  If it shows @samp{cs7} instead, use @samp{stty
cs8 -istrip} (or @samp{stty pass8}) to fix it.

If there is an @code{rlogin} connection between @code{xterm} and Emacs, the
@samp{-8} argument may need to be given to rlogin to make it pass all 8 bits
of every character.

If Emacs is running on Ultrix, it is reported that evaluating
@code{(set-input-mode t nil)} helps.

If all else fails, you can make @code{xterm} generate @kbd{@key{ESC} W} when
you type @kbd{M-W}, which is the same conversion Emacs would make if it
got the @kbd{M-W} anyway.  In X11R4, the following resource
specification will do this:

XTerm.VT100.EightBitInput: false
@end example

(This changes the behavior of the @code{insert-eight-bit} action.)

With older @code{xterm}s, you can specify this behavior with a translation:

XTerm.VT100.Translations: #override \
  Meta<KeyPress>: string(0x1b) insert()
@end example

You might have to replace @samp{Meta} with @samp{Alt}.

@end itemize

@node ExtendChar key does not work as Meta, SPC no longer completes file names, Meta key does not work in xterm, Key bindings
@section Why doesn't my @key{ExtendChar} key work as a @key{Meta} key under HP-UX 8.0 and 9.x?
@cindex @key{ExtendChar} key as @key{Meta}
@cindex @key{Meta}, using @key{ExtendChar} for
@cindex HP-UX, the @key{ExtendChar} key

This is a result of an internationalization extension in X11R4 and the
fact that HP is now using this extension.  Emacs assumes that the
@code{XLookupString} function returns the same result regardless of the
@key{Meta} key state which is no longer necessarily true.  Until Emacs
is fixed, the temporary kludge is to run this command after each time
the X server is started but preferably before any xterm clients are:

xmodmap -e 'remove mod1 = Mode_switch'
@end example

@c FIXME: Emacs 21 supports I18N in X11; does that mean that this bug is
@c solved?

This will disable the use of the extra keysyms systemwide, which may be
undesirable if you actually intend to use them.

@node SPC no longer completes file names,  , ExtendChar key does not work as Meta, Key bindings
@section Why doesn't SPC complete file names anymore?
@cindex @kbd{SPC} file name completion

Starting with Emacs 22.1, @kbd{SPC} no longer completes file names in
the minibuffer, so that file names with embedded spaces could be typed
without the need to quote the spaces.

You can get the old behavior by binding @kbd{SPC} to
@code{minibuffer-complete-word} in the minibuffer, as follows:

(define-key minibuffer-local-filename-completion-map (kbd "SPC")

(define-key minibuffer-local-must-match-filename-map (kbd "SPC")
@end lisp

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node Alternate character sets, Mail and news, Key bindings, Top
@chapter Alternate character sets
@cindex Alternate character sets

* Emacs does not display 8-bit characters::
* Inputting eight-bit characters::
* Kanji and Chinese characters::
* Right-to-left alphabets::
* How to add fonts::
@end menu

@node Emacs does not display 8-bit characters, Inputting eight-bit characters, Alternate character sets, Alternate character sets
@section How do I make Emacs display 8-bit characters?
@cindex Displaying eight-bit characters
@cindex Eight-bit characters, displaying

@inforef{Unibyte Mode, Single-byte Character Set
Support, emacs}.  On a Unix, when Emacs runs on a text-only terminal
display or is invoked with @samp{emacs -nw}, you typically need to use
@code{set-terminal-coding-system} to tell Emacs what the terminal can
display, even after setting the language environment; otherwise
non-@acronym{ASCII} characters will display as @samp{?}.  On other operating
systems, such as MS-DOS and MS-Windows, Emacs queries the OS about the
character set supported by the display, and sets up the required
terminal coding system automatically.

@node Inputting eight-bit characters, Kanji and Chinese characters, Emacs does not display 8-bit characters, Alternate character sets
@section How do I input eight-bit characters?
@cindex Entering eight-bit characters
@cindex Eight-bit characters, entering
@cindex Input, 8-bit characters

Various methods are available for input of eight-bit characters.  See
@inforef{Unibyte Mode, Single-byte Character Set
Support, emacs}.  For more sophisticated methods, @inforef{Input
Methods, Input Methods, emacs}.

@node Kanji and Chinese characters, Right-to-left alphabets, Inputting eight-bit characters, Alternate character sets
@section Where can I get an Emacs that handles kanji, Chinese, or other Far-Eastern character sets?
@cindex Kanji, handling with Emacs
@cindex Chinese, handling with Emacs
@cindex Japanese, handling with Emacs
@cindex Korean, handling with Emacs

Emacs 20 and later includes many of the features of MULE, the MULtilingual
Enhancement to Emacs.  @xref{Installing Emacs}, for information on where
to find and download the latest version of Emacs.

@node Right-to-left alphabets, How to add fonts, Kanji and Chinese characters, Alternate character sets
@section Where is an Emacs that can handle Semitic (right-to-left) alphabets?
@cindex Right-to-left alphabets
@cindex Hebrew, handling with Emacs
@cindex Semitic alphabets
@cindex Arabic alphabets

Emacs 20 and later supports Hebrew characters (ISO 8859-8), but does not
yet support right-to-left character entry and display.

@email{joel@@exc.com, Joel M. Hoffman} has written a Lisp package called
@file{hebrew.el} that allows right-to-left editing of Hebrew.  It
reportedly works out of the box with Emacs 19, but requires patches for
Emacs 18.  Write to Joel if you want the patches or package.

@c FIXME: Should we mention Ehud Karni's package?

@file{hebrew.el} requires a Hebrew screen font, but no other hardware support.
Joel has a screen font for PCs running MS-DOS or GNU/Linux.

You might also try querying @code{archie} for files named with
@file{hebrew}; several ftp sites in Israel may also have the necessary

@node How to add fonts,  , Right-to-left alphabets, Alternate character sets
@section How do I add fonts for use with Emacs?
@cindex add fonts for use with Emacs
@cindex intlfonts

First, download and install the BDF font files and any auxiliary
packages they need.  The GNU Intlfonts distribution can be found on
@uref{http://directory.fsf.org/localization/intlfonts.html, the GNU
Software Directory Web site}.

Next, if you are on X Window system, issue the following two commands
from the shell's prompt:

  xset +fp /usr/local/share/emacs/fonts
  xset fp rehash
@end example

(Modify the first command if you installed the fonts in a directory
that is not @file{/usr/local/share/emacs/fonts}.)  You also need to
arrange for these two commands to run whenever you log in, e.g., by
adding them to your window-system startup file, such as
@file{~/.xsessionrc} or @file{~/.gnomerc}.

Now, add the following line to your @file{~/.emacs} init file:

  (add-to-list 'bdf-directory-list "/usr/share/emacs/fonts/bdf")
@end lisp

(Again, modify the file name if you installed the fonts elsewhere.)

Finally, if you wish to use the installed fonts with @code{ps-print},
add the following line to your @file{~/.emacs}:

  (setq ps-multibyte-buffer 'bdf-font-except-latin)
@end lisp

A few additional steps are necessary for MS-Windows; they are listed

First, make sure @emph{all} the directories with BDF font files are
mentioned in @code{bdf-directory-list}.  On Unix and GNU/Linux
systems, one normally runs @kbd{make install} to install the BDF fonts
in the same directory.  By contrast, Windows users typically don't run
the Intlfonts installation command, but unpack the distribution in
some directory, which leaves the BDF fonts in its subdirectories.  For
example, assume that you unpacked Intlfonts in @file{C:/Intlfonts};
then you should set @code{bdf-directory-list} as follows:

  (setq bdf-directory-list
      "C:/Intlfonts/Chinese" "C:/Intlfonts/Chinese.X"
      "C:/Intlfonts/Chinese.BIG" "C:/Intlfonts/Ethiopic"
      "C:/Intlfonts/European" "C:/Intlfonts/European.BIG"
      "C:/Intlfonts/Japanese" "C:/Intlfonts/Japanese.X"
      "C:/Intlfonts/Japanese.BIG" "C:/Intlfonts/Korean.X"
@end lisp

@cindex @code{w32-bdf-filename-alist}
@cindex @code{w32-find-bdf-fonts}
Next, you need to set up the variable @code{w32-bdf-filename-alist} to
an alist of the BDF fonts and their corresponding file names.
Assuming you have set @code{bdf-directory-list} to name all the
directories with the BDF font files, the following Lisp snippet will
set up @code{w32-bdf-filename-alist}:

  (setq w32-bdf-filename-alist
     (w32-find-bdf-fonts bdf-directory-list))
@end lisp

Now, create fontsets for the BDF fonts:

@end lisp

Many of the international bdf fonts from Intlfonts are type 0, and
therefore need to be added to font-encoding-alist:

  (setq font-encoding-alist
        (append '(("MuleTibetan-0" (tibetan . 0))
                  ("GB2312"        (chinese-gb2312 . 0))
                  ("JISX0208"      (japanese-jisx0208 . 0))
                  ("JISX0212"      (japanese-jisx0212 . 0))
                  ("VISCII"        (vietnamese-viscii-lower . 0))
                  ("KSC5601"       (korean-ksc5601 . 0))
                  ("MuleArabic-0"  (arabic-digit . 0))
                  ("MuleArabic-1"  (arabic-1-column . 0))
                  ("MuleArabic-2"  (arabic-2-column . 0)))
@end lisp

You can now use the Emacs font menu to select the @samp{bdf: 16-dot medium}
fontset, or you can select it by setting the default font in your

  (set-default-font "fontset-bdf")
@end lisp

@c ------------------------------------------------------------
@node Mail and news, Concept index, Alternate character sets, Top
@chapter Mail and news
@cindex Mail and news

* Changing the included text prefix::
* Saving a copy of outgoing mail::
* Expanding aliases when sending mail::
* Rmail thinks all messages are one big one::
* Sorting the messages in an Rmail folder::
* Rmail writes to /usr/spool/mail::
* Recovering mail files when Rmail munges them::
* Replying to the sender of a message::
* MIME with Emacs mail packages::
* Automatically starting a mail or news reader::
* Reading news with Emacs::
* Gnus does not work with NNTP::
* Viewing articles with embedded underlining::
* Saving a multi-part Gnus posting::
* Starting Gnus faster::
* Catching up in all newsgroups::
* Killing based on nonstandard headers::
* Removing flashing messages::
* Catch-up is slow in Gnus::
* Gnus hangs for a long time::
* Learning more about Gnus::
@end menu

@node Changing the included text prefix, Saving a copy of outgoing mail, Mail and news, Mail and news
@section How do I change the included text prefix in mail/news followups?
@cindex Prefix in mail/news followups, changing
@cindex Included text prefix, changing
@cindex Setting the included text character
@cindex Quoting in mail messages

If you read mail with Rmail or news with Gnus, set the variable
@code{mail-yank-prefix}.  For VM, set @code{vm-included-text-prefix}.
For mh-e, set @code{mh-ins-buf-prefix}.

For fancier control of citations, use Supercite.  @xref{Supercite}.

To prevent Emacs from including various headers of the replied-to
message, set the value of @code{mail-yank-ignored-headers} to an
appropriate regexp.

@node Saving a copy of outgoing mail, Expanding aliases when sending mail, Changing the included text prefix, Mail and news
@section How do I save a copy of outgoing mail?
@cindex Saving a copy of outgoing mail
@cindex Copying outgoing mail to a file
@cindex Filing outgoing mail
@cindex Automatic filing of outgoing mail
@cindex Mail, saving outgoing automatically

You can either mail yourself a copy by including a @samp{BCC} header in the
mail message, or store a copy of the message directly to a file by
including an @samp{FCC} header.

If you use standard mail, you can automatically create a @samp{BCC} to
yourself by putting

(setq mail-self-blind t)
@end lisp

in your @file{.emacs} file.  You can automatically include an @samp{FCC}
field by putting something like the following in your @file{.emacs}

(setq mail-archive-file-name (expand-file-name "~/outgoing"))
@end lisp

The output file will be in Unix mail format, which can be read directly
by VM, but not always by Rmail.  @xref{Learning how to do something}.

If you use @code{mh-e}, add an @samp{FCC} or @samp{BCC} field to your
components file.

It does not work to put @samp{set record filename} in the @file{.mailrc}

@node Expanding aliases when sending mail, Rmail thinks all messages are one big one, Saving a copy of outgoing mail, Mail and news
@section Why doesn't Emacs expand my aliases when sending mail?
@cindex Expanding aliases when sending mail
@cindex Mail alias expansion
@cindex Sending mail with aliases

@itemize @bullet

You must separate multiple addresses in the headers of the mail buffer
with commas.  This is because Emacs supports RFC822 standard addresses
like this one:

To: Willy Smith <wks@@xpnsv.lwyrs.com>
@end example

However, you do not need to---and probably should not, unless your
system's version of @file{/usr/ucb/mail} (a.k.a.@: @code{mailx})
supports RFC822---separate addresses with commas in your
@file{~/.mailrc} file.

Emacs normally only reads the @file{.mailrc} file once per session,
when you start to compose your first mail message.  If you edit
@file{.mailrc}, you can type @kbd{M-x rebuild-mail-abbrevs @key{RET}} to
make Emacs reread @file{~/.mailrc}.

If you like, you can expand mail aliases as abbrevs, as soon as you
type them in.  To enable this feature, execute the following:

(add-hook 'mail-mode-hook 'mail-abbrevs-setup)
@end lisp

Note that the aliases are expanded automatically only after you type
@key{RET} or a punctuation character (e.g. @kbd{,}).  You can force their
expansion by moving point to the end of the alias and typing @kbd{C-x a e}
(@kbd{M-x expand-abbrev}).
@end itemize

@node Rmail thinks all messages are one big one, Sorting the messages in an Rmail folder, Expanding aliases when sending mail, Mail and news
@section Why does Rmail think all my saved messages are one big message?
@cindex Rmail thinks all messages are one large message

A file created through the @samp{FCC} field in a message is in Unix mail
format, not the format that Rmail uses (BABYL format).  Rmail will try
to convert a Unix mail file into BABYL format on input, but sometimes it
makes errors.  For guaranteed safety, you can make the
@file{saved-messages} file be an inbox for your Rmail file by using the
function @code{set-rmail-inbox-list}.

@node Sorting the messages in an Rmail folder, Rmail writes to /usr/spool/mail, Rmail thinks all messages are one big one, Mail and news
@section How can I sort the messages in my Rmail folder?
@cindex Rmail, sorting messages in
@cindex Folder, sorting messages in an Rmail
@cindex Sorting messages in an Rmail folder

In Rmail, type @kbd{C-c C-s C-h} to get a list of sorting functions
and their key bindings.

@node Rmail writes to /usr/spool/mail, Recovering mail files when Rmail munges them, Sorting the messages in an Rmail folder, Mail and news
@section Why does Rmail need to write to @file{/usr/spool/mail}?
@cindex Rmail and @file{/usr/spool/mail}
@cindex @file{/usr/spool/mail} and Rmail

This is the behavior of the @code{movemail} program which Rmail uses.
This indicates that @code{movemail} is configured to use lock files.

RMS writes:

Certain systems require lock files to interlock access to mail files.
On these systems, @code{movemail} must write lock files, or you risk losing
mail.  You simply must arrange to let @code{movemail} write them.

Other systems use the @code{flock} system call to interlock access.  On
these systems, you should configure @code{movemail} to use @code{flock}.
@end quotation

@node Recovering mail files when Rmail munges them, Replying to the sender of a message, Rmail writes to /usr/spool/mail, Mail and news
@section How do I recover my mail files after Rmail munges their format?
@cindex Recovering munged mail files
@cindex Rmail munged my files
@cindex Mail files, recovering those munged by Rmail

If you have just done @kbd{M-x rmail-input} on a file and you don't want
to save it in Rmail's format (called BABYL), just kill the buffer (with
@kbd{C-x k}).

@cindex Exporting messages as Unix mail files
If you typed @kbd{M-x rmail} and it read some messages out of your inbox
and you want to put them in a Unix mail file, use @kbd{C-o} on each

@cindex Converting from BABYL to Unix mail format
@cindex @code{unrmail} command
If you want to convert an existing file from BABYL format to Unix mail
format, use the command @kbd{M-x unrmail}: it will prompt you for the
input and output file names.

@pindex b2m
Alternatively, you could use the @code{b2m} program supplied with
Emacs.  @code{b2m} is a filter, and is used like this:

 b2m < @var{babyl-file} > @var{mbox-file}
@end example

where @var{babyl-file} is the name of the BABYL file, and
@var{mbox-file} is the name of the file where the converted mail will
be written.

@node Replying to the sender of a message, MIME with Emacs mail packages, Recovering mail files when Rmail munges them, Mail and news
@section How can I force Rmail to reply to the sender of a message, but not the other recipients?
@cindex Replying only to the sender of a message
@cindex Sender, replying only to
@cindex Rmail, replying to the sender of a message in

@email{isaacson@@seas.upenn.edu, Ron Isaacson} says: When you hit
@key{r} to reply in Rmail, by default it CCs all of the original
recipients (everyone on the original @samp{To} and @samp{CC}
lists). With a prefix argument (i.e., typing @kbd{C-u} before @key{r}),
it replies only to the sender.  However, going through the whole
@kbd{C-u} business every time you want to reply is a pain.  This is the
best fix I've been able to come up with:

(defun rmail-reply-t ()
  "Reply only to the sender of the current message. (See rmail-reply.)"
  (rmail-reply t))

(add-hook 'rmail-mode-hook
  (lambda ()
    (define-key rmail-mode-map "r" 'rmail-reply-t)
    (define-key rmail-mode-map "R" 'rmail-reply)))
@end lisp

@node MIME with Emacs mail packages, Automatically starting a mail or news reader, Replying to the sender of a message, Mail and news
@section How can I get my favorite Emacs mail package to support MIME?
@cindex MIME and Emacs mail packages
@cindex Mail packages and MIME
@cindex FAQ for MIME and Emacs

Version 6.x of VM supports MIME.  @xref{VM}.  Gnus supports MIME in mail
and news messages as of version 5.8.1 (Pterodactyl).  Rmail has limited
support for single-part MIME messages beginning with Emacs 20.3.

@node Automatically starting a mail or news reader, Reading news with Emacs, MIME with Emacs mail packages, Mail and news
@section How do I make Emacs automatically start my mail/news reader?
@cindex Mail reader, starting automatically
@cindex News reader, starting automatically
@cindex Starting mail/news reader automatically

To start Emacs in Gnus:

emacs -f gnus
@end example

in Rmail:

emacs -f rmail
@end example

A more convenient way to start with Gnus:

alias gnus 'emacs -f gnus'
@end example

It is probably unwise to automatically start your mail or news reader
from your @file{.emacs} file.  This would cause problems if you needed to run
two copies of Emacs at the same time.  Also, this would make it difficult for
you to start Emacs quickly when you needed to.

@node Reading news with Emacs, Gnus does not work with NNTP, Automatically starting a mail or news reader, Mail and news
@section How do I read news under Emacs?
@cindex Reading news under Emacs
@cindex Usenet reader in Emacs
@cindex Gnus newsreader

Use @kbd{M-x gnus}.  It is documented in Info (@pxref{Learning how to do

@node Gnus does not work with NNTP, Viewing articles with embedded underlining, Reading news with Emacs, Mail and news
@section Why doesn't Gnus work via NNTP?
@cindex Gnus and NNTP
@cindex NNTP, Gnus fails to work with

There is a bug in NNTP version 1.5.10, such that when multiple requests
are sent to the NNTP server, the server only handles the first one
before blocking waiting for more input which never comes.  NNTP version
1.5.11 claims to fix this.

You can work around the bug inside Emacs like this:

(setq nntp-maximum-request 1)
@end lisp

You can find out what version of NNTP your news server is running by
telnetting to the NNTP port (usually 119) on the news server machine
(i.e., @kbd{telnet server-machine 119}).  The server should give its
version number in the welcome message.  Type @kbd{quit} to get out.

@xref{Spontaneous entry into isearch-mode}, for some additional ideas.

@node Viewing articles with embedded underlining, Saving a multi-part Gnus posting, Gnus does not work with NNTP, Mail and news
@section How do I view news articles with embedded underlining (e.g., ClariNews)?
@cindex Underlining, embedded in news articles
@cindex News articles with embedded underlining
@cindex Embedded underlining in news articles

Underlining appears like this:

@end example

@email{abraham@@dina.kvl.dk, Per Abrahamsen} suggests using the following
code, which uses the underline face to turn such text into true
underlining, inconjunction with Gnus:

(defun gnus-article-prepare-overstrike ()
  ;; Prepare article for overstrike commands.
    (set-buffer gnus-article-buffer)
    (let ((buffer-read-only nil))
    (goto-char (point-min))
      (while (search-forward "\b" nil t)
        (let ((next (following-char))
              (previous (char-after (- (point) 2))))
          (cond ((eq next previous)
                 (delete-region (- (point) 2) (point))
                 (put-text-property (point) (1+ (point))
                                    'face 'bold))
                ((eq next ?_)
                 (delete-region (1- (point)) (1+ (point)))
                 (put-text-property (1- (point)) (point)
                                    'face 'underline))
                ((eq previous ?_)
                 (delete-region (- (point) 2) (point))
                 (put-text-property (point) (1+ (point))
                                    'face 'underline))))))))

(add-hook 'gnus-article-prepare-hook 'gnus-article-prepare-overstrike)
@end lisp

Latest versions of Gnus do such a conversion automatically.

If you prefer to do away with underlining altogether, you can
destructively remove it with @kbd{M-x ununderline-region}; do this
automatically via

(add-hook 'gnus-article-prepare-hook
  (lambda () (ununderline-region (point-min) (point-max))))
@end lisp

@node Saving a multi-part Gnus posting, Starting Gnus faster, Viewing articles with embedded underlining, Mail and news
@section How do I save all the items of a multi-part posting in Gnus?
@cindex Multi-part postings in Gnus, saving
@cindex Saving multi-part postings in Gnus
@cindex Gnus, saving multi-part postings in

Use @code{gnus-uu}.  Type @kbd{C-c C-v C-h} in the Gnus summary buffer
to see a list of available commands.

@node Starting Gnus faster, Catching up in all newsgroups, Saving a multi-part Gnus posting, Mail and news
@section How do I make Gnus start up faster?
@cindex Faster, starting Gnus
@cindex Starting Gnus faster
@cindex Gnus, starting faster

From the Gnus FAQ (@pxref{Learning more about Gnus}):

@email{pktiwari@@eos.ncsu.edu, Pranav Kumar Tiwari} writes: I posted
the same query recently and I got an answer to it. I am going to
repeat the answer. What you need is a newer version of gnus, version
5.0.4+. I am using 5.0.12 and it works fine with me with the
following settings:

(setq gnus-check-new-newsgroups nil
      gnus-read-active-file 'some
      gnus-nov-is-evil nil
      gnus-select-method '(nntp gnus-nntp-server))
@end lisp
@end quotation

@node Catching up in all newsgroups, Killing based on nonstandard headers, Starting Gnus faster, Mail and news
@section How do I catch up all newsgroups in Gnus?
@cindex Catching up all newsgroups in Gnus
@cindex Gnus, Catching up all newsgroups in

In the @file{*Newsgroup*} buffer, type @kbd{M-< C-x ( c y C-x ) M-0 C-x e}

Leave off the initial @kbd{M-<} if you only want to catch up from point
to the end of the @file{*Newsgroup*} buffer.

@node Killing based on nonstandard headers, Removing flashing messages, Catching up in all newsgroups, Mail and news
@section Why can't I kill in Gnus based on the Newsgroups/Keywords/Control headers?
@cindex Killing articles based on nonstandard headers
@cindex Newsgroups header, killing articles based on
@cindex Keywords header, killing articles based on
@cindex Control header, killing articles based on

Gnus will complain that the @samp{Newsgroups}, @samp{Keywords}, and
@samp{Control} headers are ``Unknown header'' fields.

For the @samp{Newsgroups} header, there is an easy workaround: kill on the
@samp{Xref} header instead, which will be present on any cross-posted article
(as long as your site carries the cross-post group).

If you really want to kill on one of these headers, you can do it like

(gnus-kill nil "^Newsgroups: .*\\(bad\\.group\\|worse\\.group\\)")
@end lisp

@node Removing flashing messages, Catch-up is slow in Gnus, Killing based on nonstandard headers, Mail and news
@section How do I get rid of flashing messages in Gnus for slow connections?
@cindex Flashing Gnus messages, removing
@cindex Removing flashing Gnus messages
@cindex Slow connections causing flashing messages in Gnus
@cindex Gnus, flashing messages in

Set @code{nntp-debug-read} to @code{nil}.

@node Catch-up is slow in Gnus, Gnus hangs for a long time, Removing flashing messages, Mail and news
@section Why is catch up slow in Gnus?
@cindex Slow catch up in Gnus
@cindex Gnus is slow when catching up
@cindex Crosspostings make Gnus catching up slow

Because Gnus is marking crosspostings read.  You can control this with
the variable @code{gnus-use-cross-reference}.

@node Gnus hangs for a long time, Learning more about Gnus, Catch-up is slow in Gnus, Mail and news
@section Why does Gnus hang for a long time when posting?
@cindex Hangs in Gnus
@cindex Gnus hangs while posting
@cindex Posting, Gnus hangs wile

@email{tale@@uunet.uu.net, David Lawrence} explains:

The problem is almost always interaction between NNTP and C News.  NNTP
POST asks C News's @code{inews} to not background itself but rather hang
around and give its exit status so it knows whether the post was successful.
(That wait will on some systems not return the exit status of the
waited for job is a different sort of problem.)  It ends up taking a
long time because @code{inews} is calling @code{relaynews}, which often
waits for another @code{relaynews} to free the lock on the news system
so it can file the article.

My preferred solution is to change @code{inews} to not call
@code{relaynews}, but rather use @code{newsspool}.  This loses some
error-catching functionality, but is for the most part safe as
@code{inews} will detect a lot of the errors on its own.  The C News
folks have sped up @code{inews}, too, so speed should look better to
most folks as that update propagates around.
@end quotation

@node Learning more about Gnus,  , Gnus hangs for a long time, Mail and news
@section Where can I find out more about Gnus?
@cindex FAQ for Gnus
@cindex Gnus FAQ
@cindex Learning more about Gnus

For more information on Gnus, consult the Gnus manual and FAQ, which are
part of the Gnus distribution.

@node Concept index,  , Mail and news, Top
@unnumbered Concept Index
@printindex cp


   arch-tag: fee0d62d-06cf-43d8-ac21-123408eaf10f
@end ignore