LearningEmacs

Last edit

Changed:

< * [http://tuhdo.github.io/emacs-tutor.html Emacs Mini Manual] - An Emacs mini manual for starters to learn Emacs before reading the real (and big) Emacs manual..

to

> * [http://tuhdo.github.io/emacs-tutor.html Emacs Mini Manual] - An Emacs mini manual for starters to learn Emacs before reading the real (and big) Emacs manual.


This page provides tips for learning to use Emacs and learning more about Emacs. See also EmacsNewbie.

Try the EmacsTutorial, or read one of the BooksAboutEmacs.

Most people learn best by doing and not just by reading over a list of commands and trying to memorize them. Get yourself a text file to play around with. Make a backup copy if you’re nervous about losing it. But don’t worry – Emacs makes it hard to lose your work, and it has a great undo command: ‘C-/’ or `C-_’.

Emacs key bindings can be intimidating at first since they are quite distinct from those used in other applications and platforms. Keep the following advice in mind.

  1. Try to memorize the most commonly used commands in the tutorial.
  2. Use apropos or help to find commands to accomplish a task.
  3. Run the command for a task with ‘M-x’ and typing it in.
  4. Run the command again by using ‘M-x M-p’ or by typing it in again.
  5. On the third time, see if the command is bound to a key binding with ‘C-h w’.
  6. If you forget a key binding (sometimes you forget even the basic keys introduced in the tutorial), try ‘C-h w M-p’ to peek at it again or use ‘C-h b’ to browse the bindings available in the current buffer.
  7. If you can’t burn a key binding into your brain with this approach, then you might not be using it enough to matter. Don’t worry about it.
  8. If you’re convinced after a fair amount of practice that a given key binding is really bad, then consider binding its command to a different, unused key. But not before.

Some EmacsNewbies rush too quickly to add or change key bindings. This can mean avoiding to learn Emacs and spending more time configuring. Competency with ‘M-x’ and help are core Emacs skills for life. ‘M-x’ should become your command line in Emacs.

Emacs-Lisp Libraries and Snippets that Can Help You Learn Emacs


CategoryHelp CategoryDotEmacs