1

Suppose I do a certain keystroke sequence in emacs, and nothing happens, even though I expect there to be a keybinding that would do something. This could be because:

  • The keybinding is not actually present.
  • The keybinding is invoking the command, but for some reason the command isn't having the expected effect.

How can I tell which of these it is? (The specific example is that I'm doing meta-q, which is supposed to be bound to the command fill-paragraph, but nothing seems to happen.)

5

You can determine which command a keybinding calls with C-h k then the keybinding.

In your example, you would enter C-h k M-q, which will tell you that M-q runs fill-paragraph (or at least it does by default in most modes). If there's no command associated with the keybinding, Emacs will tell you so in the echo area.

2

You can try using (view-lossage) (bound to C-h l by default) to see if your terminal even recognizes keystrokes. Some terminals might have problems with certain keystrokes. This shouldn't be an issue if you're using a graphical display for emacs, but your window manager might grab some key combinations, and Emacs won't even know about them.

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