EmacsNewbieHelpReference

Here are some pointers for getting help for EmacsNewbies:

Try ‘C-h C-h’ (‘help-for-help’) to access Emacs help. You can also use the ‘Help’ menu. The EmacsManual is available through ‘Help’ → ‘Info’ → ‘Emacs’. The command names associated with the individual help keys can sometimes help you remember the keys themselves.

Useful help keys and commands include these (this info is available via ‘C-h C-h’):

‘C-h t’ (‘help-with-tutorial’)
Present the learn-by-doing EmacsTutorial
‘C-h k’ (‘describe-key’)
Describe the Emacs command that a keyboard/menu/mouse sequence invokes: You enter a key sequence, and Emacs tells you what it does.
‘C-h K’ (‘Info-goto-emacs-key-command-node’)
Go to the Emacs manual section that describes a key sequence that you type.
‘C-h w’ (‘where-is’)
List the (keyboard/menu/mouse) keys that invoke an Emacs command. This is the inverse of ‘C-h k’.
‘C-h f’ (‘describe-function’)
Describe an Emacs command (non-interactive function).
‘C-h F’
‘C-h a’ (‘apropos-command’)
List Emacs commands whose names match a given pattern. Example: ‘C-h a file’ lists the commands with “file” in their name.
‘C-h d’
‘C-h m’ (‘describe-mode’)
Describe the modes of the current buffer, including the main keys and commands available.
‘C-h b’ (‘describe-bindings’)
List all of the key bindings currently in effect for the current buffer.
‘C-h r’ (‘info-emacs-manual’)
Access the EmacsManual. (Emacs 22 or later only)
‘C-h i’ (‘info’)
Open Info, the documentation browser: Access to a menu of available manuals.
‘C-h p’ (‘finder-by-keyword’, FinderByKeyword)
List available EmacsLisp packages. Go to a package.
‘M-x search-emacs-glossary’
Open the Glossary page of the Emacs manual.
‘C-h C-n’ (‘view-emacs-news’)
Describe what’s new in the current version of Emacs, compared to the previous version.
‘C-h l’ (‘view-lossage’)
Show your last 100 keystrokes.
‘C-h v’ (‘describe-variable’)
Describe an Emacs user option or internal variable.

There are several more.

Help on anything at all, with one click: ‘help-on-click/key’ in help+.el: Gives help on a key sequence or an object clicked with the mouse. See HelpPlus.

Bind ‘l’ to ‘help-go-back’ in ‘help-mode’, to make it behave a tiny bit more like Info mode:

  (add-hook 'help-mode-hook
    (lambda () (define-key help-mode-map "l" 'help-go-back)))

EmacsNewbie CategoryHelp CategoryKeys CategoryReferenceSheet