I just decided that I should try the outline-minor-mode for showing and hiding Emacs lisp defun definitions in an Emacs Lisp file. So I typed M-x outline-minor-mode and then I would like to get an overview over the available keyboard shortcuts, so I typed C-h m and scrolled down until I found:

Outline minor mode (indicator Outl): Toggle Outline minor mode. With a prefix argument ARG, enable Outline minor mode if ARG is positive, and disable it otherwise. If called from Lisp, enable the mode if ARG is omitted or nil.

See the command `outline-mode' for more information on this mode.

Ok, this seems nice, but still not what I was looking for.. so I clicked the link for outline-mode and found this:

C-c C-t make all text invisible (not headings).
C-c C-a make everything in buffer visible.

However, these keyboard sequences does not work. But after some googling, the Emacs Wiki page ( http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/OutlineMode ) came to my rescue and informs that the actual keybindings are C-c @ C-t and C-c @ C-a (and not C-c C-t and C-c C-a) ..

I hope there is an easier way to find this information from within Emacs. Any suggestions?

  • The docs for outline-mode have been fixed in the trunk.
    – abo-abo
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 12:03
  • 2
    C-h b gives you all current bindings. It's one way to find the real bindings and not the documented. But it requires searching for the bindings you want, i.e. know at least part of the function names... 'C-c ?' would give you the bindings starting with C-c. Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 12:04
  • @MeaningfulUsername Thanks.. that is a good tip! Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 12:14
  • 1
    No problems! I think these issues should be rare since most documentation I've seen checks the actual bindings so it's updated if the keys are remapped. Here it seemed to be hardcoded in the documentation. Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


You've seen the basics, really. Your main problem was that this documentation was wrong, not that you weren't looking in the right place.

The slightly more direct way to read that documentation for a mode is by calling describe-function:

C-hf outline-minor-mode

And the bit you missed is that, should the mode in question be indexed in the manual, you can jump directly to that with Info-goto-emacs-command-node:

C-hF outline-minor-mode

Failing that, you can still open the manual with C-hr and check the index (I) or just isearch (C-s) for what you're interested in. n.b. After an isearch failure, just type C-s again to continue the search in the subsequent nodes.

Edit: And of course (as Meaningful Username pointed out in the comments) while most mode help displays the actual current keymap, if you're still unsure of any bindings then C-hb should sort you out.

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