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Re: Help for a beginner with Emacs

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Help for a beginner with Emacs
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 11:42:35 +0300 (IDT)

On Mon, 11 Jun 2001, Alain Glachant wrote:

> I have downloaded the Emacs manual to get more informations on Emacs 
> configuration. This manual is, to my opinion, not easy to understand 
> (especially for a beginner who doesn't know any thing about LISP) 
> concerning the customization of Emacs for a particular environment : the 
> customization part lacks of examples.

There are quite a few examples of customizations in the section "Init
File Examples".  (To get there, type "C-h i m Emacs RET", which will
bring up the on-line manual, then type "g Init Examples RET".)

The most efficient way to use the manual to find information about
specific subjects is to use the index-searching command, bound to the
`i' key when you are in Info mode reading the manual.  For example, to
find the section(s) which deal with printing, type "i print RET" or
"i hardcopy RET".  If the first hit is not what you want, type `,'
(comma) repeatedly until you find something appropriate.

The manual has all the user commands and key sequences indexed, so,
for example, to see the full description of the "C-h p" command (see
below), press `i', then type the characters `C', `-', `h', `SPC', and
`p', and then hit RET.

Other efficient methods of finding quickly what you want include the
following commands (listed in the recommended order of trying them
when you are looking for something):

  C-h a
  M-x apropos-documentation
  C-h p
  C-h F

If you are unfamiliar with any of these commands, I strongly suggest
to spend some time reading their description and playing with each one
of them a bit.  Mastering the powerful help system is one of the most
important goals of every new user; you will be lost in Emacs without

Finally, new users sometimes fail to find the relevant information
because they do not know how things are called within Emacs.  The
Glossary section in the manual will help you in such cases: it
includes many popular terms related to Emacs and their ``Emacspeak''

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