When looking at 'Face attributes' in emacs you have keywords like :family, :height, :weight etc.

When using use-package you have keywords like :ensure, :init, :config etc.

  1. What are the terms for describing these symbols where you have a colon prepended to a name?
  2. Where in info can I find out more? Please use the format: (info "(manual)DOCUMENT NODE") which can be searched for by using M-: e.g. (info "(elisp)Lisp Data Types")
  • The funny thing is that you've used the correct terminology when describing them in your question :) I think C-h i g (elisp)Constant Variables is the most specific manual node (it is linked to from the one Tobias has given). – phils Oct 29 '19 at 21:43
  • @phils After reading the documentation that Tobias mentioned and stumbling towards (elisp)Constant Variables as you have mentioned, I realised that 'keyword' was the exact descriptor. :) – ptypes Oct 30 '19 at 8:31

From the manual Section 9.2. "Symbol Components":

Most symbols can have any Lisp object as a value, but certain special symbols have values that cannot be changed; these include nil and t, and any symbol whose name starts with ‘:’ (those are called keywords). See Constant Variables.

This page can be reached with M-: (info "(elisp)Symbol Components") <RET>

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you. M-: (info "(elisp)Constant Variables") <RET> as phils mentioned is also a good read. – ptypes Oct 30 '19 at 8:33

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