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EMACS Quick Reference Guide

Note that  (Esc) is always pressed prior (i.e. sequentially) to the following key. Avoid holding down the escape key. Note also that <ctrl>x<ctrl>f is different from <ctrl>xf. In the second case, do not hold down the control key while pressing f.

Moving around

  • <ctrl>p previous line
  • <ctrl>n next line
  • <ctrl>a beginning of line
  • <ctrl>e end of line
  • <ctrl>f and <ctrl>b forward and back one letter at a time
  • arrow keys also move the cursor around (duplicating <ctrl>p, <ctrl>n, <ctrl>f, and <ctrl>b)
  • <esc>v previous screenfull
  • <ctrl>v next screenfull
  • <esc>
  • <esc>> end of document

Cutting and Pasting

  • <ctrl>k kills (cuts) to the end of the line (a second <ctrl>k will cut the carriage return)
  • <ctrl>y yanks back text from the last kill (several kills in a row count as one kill unless another command or some typing somes between them)
  • My immediately after a <ctrl>y will replace what you just yanked by previously killed text (and will keep moving backward through previous text you've killed)
  • <ctrl>d deletes the character at the cursor location
  • <ctrl>2 some text <ctrl>w wipes out a region (see below for regions) These can be yanked back with <ctrl>y
  • using the mouse to copy and paste will work under Xwindows (such as elm)

Files

  • <ctrl>x<ctrl>f find file
  • <ctrl>x<ctrl>s save file
  • <ctrl>xi insert file at cursor position
  • <ctrl>xs save any files that have changed (you'll have to answer y/n for each file)
  • <ctrl>x<ctrl>w write out current buffer into new file (to save under a different file name)

Search and Replace

  • <ctrl>s search starting at cursor point (you'll be prompted for search string) Repeated <ctrl>s commands will find the next occurance.
  • <ctrl>r reverse search
  • <esc> (Escape) or any other command or mouse click will terminate a search
  • <ctrl>s<ctrl>s will use the previous search string
  • <esc>% prompts for a string and replacement and will ask for confirmation before replacing
  • <esc>xreplace-string prompts for string and replacement and replaces all without confirmation

Miscellaneous commands

  • <ctrl>g abort command in progress
  • <ctrl>x<ctrl>c quit emacs (<ctrl>z will suspend)
  • <ctrl>xu undo, will continue to undo until the last save
  • <esc>$ check spelling of this word
  • <ctrl>xb change buffers (switch between files if more than one are open)
  • <esc>q formats paragraph so all lines are no longer than "fill" amount
  • <ctrl>xf sets "fill" amount to current cursor position
  • use space or tab for word or command completion on the command line (minibuffer)
  • You can create a region by setting a mark at one end with <ctrl>2 and moving the cursor to the other end. Operations on regions include <ctrl>w (wipe out), <ctrl>x<ctrl>i (indent, if no region is set, indents current line) and <ctrl>g (formats region according to "fill" amount).
 

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