‘M-x enriched-mode’ is just like text mode. With one crucial difference: When you add Faces to the text, this information gets saved as RFC 1896 text/enriched format markup (with an Emacs-specific Content-Type tag at the start).

Read about enriched mode in the Emacs manual, at Enriched mode.


Use ‘M-g b’ to add the bold face to some text, such that it looks like this:

This is bold. This is not.

Then use ‘M-x enriched-mode’ and save. If you reload your file, the bold text will still be bold. If you use ‘M-x find-file-literally’, however, you can see how Emacs saved the face information:

 Content-Type: text/enriched
 Text-Width: 70
 <bold>This is bold</bold>.  This is not.


In the future, we plan to implement other formatting features as well.
Stallman et al, GNU Emacs Manual. Fourteenth edition. 2002.

EnrichedMode is an initial attempt to provide the Emacs text editor with WordProcessing capabilities. The early system has generic formatting features and will later be able to input and output numerous enriched file formats.

In September 2004, there was a post on the emacs-devel about enriched-mode and switching major modes which evolved into a discussion on the future of EnrichedMode.


This doesn’t seem to work on XEmacs. Does anybody know how to find literally in XEmacs?

When I try to print enriched buffers (either from GNU Emacs or from XEmacs) the background color (as in highlighting) is lost. All other faces information seems to be preserved. Any ideas?

Try ‘M-x ps-print-buffer-with-faces’. Works for me in GNU Emacs 23.