I'm new to Emacs. How do I customize a setting?

This is actually a generic question inspired by the org-mode manual:

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In this description, it says to (setq org-clock-persist 'history). Where should I set this?

I'm a new user to Emacs, and I'm starting with org-mode. If I need to set this in the .emacs file, I do not know how to locate it and do it.

Step by step guidance would be helpful.

  • 3
    Have a look at the manual nodes on the .emacs file and the customization interface to get started. I found these resources via web searches for "emacs .emacs" and "emacs customize".
    – Dan
    Mar 2 '16 at 14:06
  • 1
    The answer is available here. superuser.com/questions/73458/where-is-emacs-file. Somehow I have overlooked it. BTW, Why are emacs questions on superuser? Where should I ask emacs questions then?
    – Prasanna
    Mar 3 '16 at 2:09
  • 1
    @Prasanna this emacs stack exchange site did not exist when that question was asked. Now that there is a official emacs stack exchange site, all emacs related questions should be pointed here. Of course there are exceptions, but they are few in number. Mar 3 '16 at 15:34

So your .emacs file is usually in a couple of places, unless it has been set up in an odd way. Your .emacs.el file is by default in your home directory,or in a directory called .emacs.d. And your .emacs file should be called either .emacs.el or init.el. As for customizing things, simply paste the customization into your init file. But depending on the mode you're working in there is a feature called easy-customization that does a lot of this for you that you can get to from the menus or by calling with M-X. I hope that helps!


I just wanted to post this straight forward answer which I find will be more relevant.

In Windows(10):

  1. \AppData\Roaming are hidden folders, so type them in the address bar and Windows will show them to you as you type.
  2. $USERNAME is your username in your computer for your login.

In Ubuntu(Linux)

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