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Questions tagged [help]

Questions about using the built-in help system in Emacs or how to find help.

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4 votes
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What exactly are keys like `<copy>`, `<paste>` etc (CUA not enabled)?

I see these keybindings sometimes in the help docs. E.g. from C-h f clipboard-kill-ring-save It is bound to <copy>, <f16> So, what might this be on my keyboard assuming I do not have CUA ...
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  • 143
0 votes
0 answers
28 views

I need advices for my access database with vba scripts

I would need a hand to create an access database with various functionalities. mainly I would need to view the personal details of the person, which cell phones he owns and which sims he owns. also I ...
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  • 1
1 vote
1 answer
40 views

List definitions for a package?

Is there a way to list definitions for a package? (functions, macros, variables for e.g.). Once a package is loaded, is there a way to retrieve a list of what it defined? So for example: (list-...
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  • 7,069
2 votes
1 answer
80 views

Which byte-compile-file is my Emacs using? Function signature in describe-function differs to that in bytecomp.el

After reviewing some functions in my own dot-emacs files, I've noticed that the function signature that describe-function shows for byte-compile-file differs to that for the function definition in the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
23 views

Use of cl-defun

What is a use case for cl-defun, where defun wouldn't work or would be hard to work with? I am using it to count the number of opening and closing bracemarks. (cl-defun rk-bracemark-count-from-...
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  • 159
2 votes
3 answers
85 views

How can I quit windows like *Help* and *Messages* without first selecting them?

I find myself running C-h k/f/v and after reading the popup that's in the other window, going to that window and closing it. Is there a way to streamline that process a bit more (maybe adding a hook ...
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  • 892
1 vote
1 answer
40 views

Why does `C-h b` show `??` as the command name for my key binding?

I've just added a nice custom key binding: ;; Open files in dired mode using 'open' (eval-after-load "dired" '(progn (define-key dired-mode-map (kbd "z") (lambda () (...
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  • 115
0 votes
0 answers
35 views

How to have describe-key describe functions mapped to evil leader key

I am running evil in Emacs. I have set Space as evil-leader and assigned a key to it as follows: (evil-define-key 'normal my-intercept-mode-map (kbd "SPC") 'evil-send-leader) (evil-...
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2 votes
1 answer
90 views

What is the name of the face that appears in this list of company completions?

If I have company-mode enabled, and I type in company like this. (company) I then see a list of completions that I can select. My question is - apart from the currently selected item, the word ...
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1 vote
1 answer
46 views

How to know whether a local keybinding map exists (for a given package) and its name

I was wondering if we can know whether a given package has a local map of keybindings. For example, I'd like to bind the function pdf-occur of the pdf-tools package by using the use-package macro. ...
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  • 59
3 votes
3 answers
272 views

`C-h` without knowing the type of an object

When someone use the Emacs inbuild help via C-h she/he has to know and understand if the object of interest is a function (C-h f), a variable (C-h v), a package (C-h p) or something else. The ...
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  • 499
0 votes
1 answer
70 views

Default yank keyboard shortcut does not work

I am using Emacs 27.1 (GNU Emacs 27.1 (build 1, x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.24.24, cairo version 1.16.0) of 2021-03-28, modified by Debian). When I hover the mouse pointer over the "copy&...
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  • 499
1 vote
1 answer
49 views

WHAT is the emacs tutorial command?

It says C-h t in a vague forum manual but I don't have that, how do I access this feature.
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  • 175
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

Is there any command like describe-function for defmacro?

I know that I can get the documentation string of a function defined with defun, by using describe-function. Is there any command like describe-function to get the documentations string of a macro ...
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  • 1,320
2 votes
1 answer
142 views

Why I cannot find `Emacs Lisp Intro` inside info mode?

I am trying to read the Emacs Lisp Intro inside Emacs. I am following the advice on Emacs wiki: Read the Emacs Lisp Introduction: EmacsLispIntro. Use ‘C-h i’ (‘info’), then choose ‘Emacs Lisp Intro’. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
74 views

How to autoload a non-elpa package such as help-fns+.el?

I read from some posts (require vs. package-initialize?, and here) that Emacs can autoload packages installed via ELPA/MELPA, which avoids using require on packages and speeds up loading during ...
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  • 902
3 votes
1 answer
164 views

How to get immediate visual feedback of keys I type?

I would like to get some immediate strong visual feedback for the commands I enter in emacs. For example, I would be happy if any key sequence (beginning with a modifier key) that I type appeared in ...
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2 votes
1 answer
57 views

Vim help on Emacs using evil-mode?

It would be nice to have the help system present in Vim when using Emacs evil-mode (:help command). I searched online and could not find a way to do this since only the native Emacs C-h help menu is ...
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  • 123
3 votes
3 answers
440 views

What's :eval (colon eval) in defcustom?

I am reading this Elisp library and can't figure out what :eval is.
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1 vote
1 answer
58 views

special form or macro? eval-when-compile, eval-and-compile

Is eval-when-compile a special form (primitive in C), or a macro? According to the elisp manual, C-h S eval-when-compile RET, Special Form: eval-when-compile body... But according to C-h f eval-when-...
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  • 1,754
1 vote
1 answer
48 views

Flymake colouring?

I've recently updated my Emacs from 26 to 27, and now the Flymake error indicators are very hard to see - they're now in a very pale rose instead of crimson red. How can I change the colour back? I've ...
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  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
346 views

How to get help on Doom's own functions

I use describe-function command with SPC h f to get help on emacs functions. But I want to get documentation on Doom's own functions such as map!. describe-function doesn't list this function. How can ...
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0 votes
2 answers
70 views

Open clickable filenames in the same help buffer

I looking for simple solution to open clickable filenames in the same help buffers. For example, when we display help for add-to-list variable and click TAB the cursor is placed on the subr.el file ...
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  • 592
0 votes
2 answers
60 views

How to know the list of possible commands when in a session?

For instance: When I am in C-c C-e (export), by pressing # you get extra options. How to know this? Another example: When in a helm session, by pressing C-c C-f, you activate helm-follow-mode. But ...
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2 votes
1 answer
66 views

How to automatically select apropos buffer when it is displayed

It is possible to automatically select *Help* buffers when they are displayed by doing (setq help-window-select t) (relevant question: How to close help buffer without moving to it?). Is there a ...
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  • 553
1 vote
0 answers
29 views

Cannot access text properties because of hl-line

I want to change somes faces in my system, but each time I want to access describe-text-properties I get an answer with hl-line, for every text displayed in the buffer. Therefore, I cannot ...
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1 vote
3 answers
211 views

Is there a way to create an org-mode link that opens help?

For example: * Purpose Keep some notes to elisp functions. [[link:elisp-func][elisp-func help]] I want to open the link via C-c C-o which would show a buffer with help as though I had ran instead: C-...
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1 vote
1 answer
56 views

How to get the mode-specific help information or help files

No matter in which mode I am currently in, is there a general way / key combination to open the help file related to the currently active mode?
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  • 499
4 votes
2 answers
144 views

Display summary information on command when running Meta-x

Since I'm new to GNU Emacs (version 26.1 running on Debian Stable) I'd like to get some information when invoking a command using Meta-x. Currently I'm only able to see a list of possible completions ...
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3 votes
3 answers
169 views

How does scoping work in emacs lisp

A lot of emacs configurations shared publicly have this format: ;; 01-something.el (provide 'something) ;; init.el (require 'something) Suppose I'm writing a defun named "s-join" inside 01-...
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1 vote
1 answer
100 views

emacs lisp manual

What does this text mean, in node Simple Lambda Expression Example of the Emacs Lisp manual: As these examples show, you can use a form with a lambda expression as its car to make local variables and ...
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  • 59
1 vote
1 answer
29 views

Completion with help

I'm using completing-read to get an argument for an interactive command. The argument is a non-intuitive word (required for my application), so the completion list looks like this: Possible ...
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  • 123
0 votes
1 answer
362 views

Getting Helm describe-function/describe-variable’s secondary to work like helm-M-x?

When you use Helm for M-x, you can quickly check the documentation for an interactive command before calling it, it using the secondary key (usually C-z or C-j; I use the latter below). It brings up a ...
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  • 815
0 votes
0 answers
64 views

C-h v gives " Symbol’s value as variable is void: default

I'm running 26.1, I don't believe I have anything weird help-related in my .emacs. When I try to get help on a variable, C-h v, it tells me Symbol’s value as variable is void: default. Any hints of ...
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1 vote
2 answers
56 views

Is there a more convenient way to find out what keys do in org-agenda than looking it up or just pressing them?

Sometimes just pressing keys until one does what I want works, but this feels rather unelegant. Is there an easier way of finding out what keys do what?
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2 votes
1 answer
194 views

How can I see what Major and Minor modes I'm currently in?

Is there an easy way to see what modes are currently operating in a buffer? And have a list of their names?
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  • 131
3 votes
0 answers
87 views

What does it mean that something is an incompatible package?

I have some issues going on with my emacs and am getting an error where the stacktrace seems to indicate a potential issue with the parinfer package. I run describe-package on it and get parinfer is ...
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0 votes
3 answers
115 views

How to find information about a function?

To be able to learn about functions on my own I would like to know where I can find information about them (within emacs or otherwise).
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  • 1
4 votes
2 answers
203 views

Display keybindings typed in a buffer

On this video stream, the window on right displays the keybindings typed with its corresponding command bound. Is there any package that does that, or a way to achieve it?
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  • 1,999
3 votes
2 answers
792 views

How to close help buffer without moving to it?

I often use Emacs' help buffers, via e.g. C-h k. Buffer *Help* is displayed in another window, and that window is not selected. In order to close the *Help* buffer, I need to switch windows via C-x o ...
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  • 33
1 vote
2 answers
70 views

How to find hook running after last line of code?

I have a repeating habit such as: ** TODO some habit SCHEDULED: <2020-05-22 Fri 08:00 .+1d> :PROPERTIES: :STYLE: habit :CREATED: [2020-05-08 Fri] :LAST_REPEAT: [2020-05-21 Thu 10:07] :END: :...
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  • 1,489
0 votes
0 answers
109 views

How do I find out what libraries I need to require?

When I write elisp, since I already have a lot of packages required which in turn have required other code, I am able to use a lot of functions without requiring them. When I give the code to someone ...
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  • 248
1 vote
2 answers
140 views

How to describe-mode (but not the current major mode)?

I know that describe-mode will describe the current major mode. Is it possible to describe a mode, and I will input the mode name?
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  • 217
1 vote
1 answer
68 views

Finding org-mode bindings

I sometimes want to insert a new heading without first jumping to the end of the current tree. It was fairly simple to guess that this could be achieved by calling (org-insert-heading), but from C-h ...
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  • 2,904
2 votes
1 answer
41 views

Why is appropos (C-h a) not finding all terms, e.g. backup doesnt find make-backup-file-name-function

When running C-h a then entering backup, it lists the following matches, but not all of them (e.g. does not find the make-backup-file-name-function)? Buffer-menu-backup-unmark M-x ... RET Move ...
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1 vote
2 answers
532 views

Temporarily show the documentation for a emacs lisp function

I want to bind a key which when pressed shows the documentation for an emacs lisp function, but as non-disruptive as possible. I want the contents of describe-function but jumping directly to the docs ...
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  • 883
2 votes
1 answer
244 views

How to jump multiple lines in emacs?

Suppose I want to jump x amount of lines up or down. Is there a convenient command for it?
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1 vote
1 answer
193 views

How do I describe C-z?

I tried to bind a key using a prefix-key of C-z, but Emacs told me: Key sequence C-z c starts with non-prefix key C-z. I guess this means that C-z is already bound to something. So I tried to do M-x ...
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4 votes
1 answer
177 views

How do I install An Introduction to Programming in Emacs Lisp? [duplicate]

This may sound odd, but when I type C-h i m Emacs Lisp Intro -- it's not there. I'm on Ubuntu 19.10 with Emacs 26.3. I tried apt-get install emacs-lisp-intro as the EmacsWiki said, but there's no such ...
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  • 2,717
2 votes
2 answers
312 views

How to detect the key binding for a function in elisp?

How would I go about getting the key binding for a function in elisp? I'd like to know which key is used to quit. e.g. keyboard-quit. I tried using the function used by help functionality but it's ...
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  • 7,069