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I'm new to emacs and using Spacemacs Doom. I pressed SPC f r t of find recent files and I used the arrow keys to select the one I want. Now I want to see what options I have for opening it (open in vertical split, new frame, etc).

How can I see what options I have?

I've heard of emacs great built-in help system, but I'm struggling to understand how to use it as there doesn't seem to be one built-in hotkey to say "I'm not sure what to do next"


To clarify:

I'm in a default Spacemacs setup. I'm now in a Doom setup, but am having the same problem.

I have pressed SPC f r t of find recent files. Now, there is a mapping of keys to actions. E.g. Enter → open file, Shift+Enter → open file in new split, etc

What hotkey can I press to see that mapping?

If there is no hotkey, what emacs command can I run to see that mapping?

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  • There are no such options for opening a file: setting up a window/frame and opening a file are orthogonal and independent actions. You arrange a frame or a window the way you want and then open a file in that frame (or that window). Check out the File menu entry for some common actions. It is quite possible of course to extend Emacs and add such capabilities: but they don't necessarily exist out of the box.
    – NickD
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 21:20
  • @NickD: To give a specific example, <kbd>Shift</kbd> + <kbd>Enter</kbd> opens the file in a split. How am I supposed to discover that?
    – Zaz
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 21:27
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    Do C-h c S-RET to find out what command is bound to it. Then do C-h f <command> to find out about that command. Do C-h i g(emacs)RET i <command> to read about it in the manual. As for discovering it, I'm not sure what spacemacs provides in the way of tutorials: in vanilla Emacs, you learn about these things either by reading the manual (if you are inclined that way) or by running the Emacs tutorial (C-h t) or reading/viewing some other tutorial (there's lots of them on YouTube e.g.)
    – NickD
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 22:41
  • Too vague.........
    – Drew
    Commented May 11, 2023 at 3:05
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    I am not at all sure of that, so let's wait for a Spacemacs expert to chime in: from what you say in your edit, it may well be that SPC f r is a prefix key in Spacemacs, in which case Emacs has the capability of presenting the defined keys in that map (e.g by pressing C-h). Whether that (i.e. the prefix surmise) is true in Spacemacs and whether C-h will work to show the defined keys I don't know, but it's worth trying. But even if C-h does not work, there might be another key that does the same thing in Spacemacs.
    – NickD
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 13:11

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