blank.gif (43 bytes)

Church Of The
Swimming Elephant


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)


  • <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).


Protect yourself from cyberstalkers, identity thieves, and those who would snoop on you.
Stop spam from invading your inbox without losing the mail you want. We give you more control over your e-mail than any other service.
Block popups, ads, and malicious scripts while you surf the net through our anonymous proxies.
Participate in Usenet, host your web files, easily send anonymous messages, and more, much more.
All private, all encrypted, all secure, all in an easy to use service, and all for only $5.95 a month!

Service Details

Have you gone to church today?
All pages ©1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Church of the Swimming Elephant unless otherwise stated
Church of the Swimming Elephant©1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 is a wholly owned subsidiary of Packetderm, LLC.

Packetderm, LLC
210 Park Ave #308
Worcester, MA 01609