Questions tagged [help]

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

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Where is pixel-scroll-precision-use-momentum described in more detail?

Precision scrolling in Emacs 29 introduces several variables to control the momentum effect while scrolling. Are these terms defined anywhere in more detail, possibly by using a formula or two to ...
StackExchanger's user avatar
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How am I able to check, what function a combination like C-u C-SPC calls? [duplicate]

I would like to know, what function the combination C-u C-SPC calls, but when I am trying C-h k, the input just stops at C-u.
David's user avatar
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What does "(which see)" mean in various Emacs help docstrings?

In various Emacs docstrings the text include the "(which see)" mention right after a reference to a variable as shown in the second paragraph of the example below, taken from the emacs-lock ...
PRouleau's user avatar
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Why does BACKSPACE generate C-h?

When running emacs (v29.1) -nw on a ThinkPad X61 under FreeBSD 13.2, pressing Backspace generates C-h. The key is not bound to anything. Running C-h k BACKSPACE does not show DEL but C-h-h. Entering ...
balanga's user avatar
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How to see if a keybinding is used in any mode? [duplicate]

For example, I once set <C-j> as <C-x>, only to find out <C-j> is used for org-forward-heading-same-level in org-mode. I know <C-h> k shows a keybinding's usage in current mode....
Lai Yu-Hsuan's user avatar
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1 answer
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Confusion about key definition for SPC

Yesterday, I tried to do something like (define-keymap " " #'foo) and I got the error message that " " is not a valid key definition. OK, key-valid-p also says so and I figured ...
Frunobulax's user avatar
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A better where-is command?

I'm trying to setup a way to find keys I want to use but keep forgetting. (I know there is where-is (C-w) and describe-binds, describe-mode. ) I want the following, initiate a command to search for ...
eugene's user avatar
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Where to find all elisp functions?

I’m working on this tutorial and it uses functions such as, search-forward, goto-char, save-excursion etc. Is there a place where all functions are listed? If I search for search-forward I find this ...
zeynel's user avatar
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How can I view the history of what variable I've looked up before with describe-variable?

Whenever I call (describe-variable) , there is no history of what variables I've recently viewed. Is there a way to enable it to have some kind of history?;)
Jason Hunter's user avatar
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How to get `C-h m` to show its output in the same window?

When I type C-h m in dired mode, it opens in a different window. I'd like it to open in the same. How can I do this? In the future, is there an internal reference for questions like this that is quick ...
cspurposesonly's user avatar
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Moving from legacy function global-set-key to keymap-global-set

The documentation in the release of GNU Emacs 29.0.50 states that global-set-key is a legacy function; instructing people that the recommended function to use is keymap-global-set. What would be the ...
Dilna's user avatar
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Why does an unset key binding still show up in the Help menu buffer?

What I've done is that I wanted to slim down on the amount of bindings I had in a major mode (in this case CC-Mode). I had started with CC-Mode's c-set-offset and it did work with the solution I used (...
The Programming M16A4's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
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How can I discover new commands using M-x (or similar command) semantically?

Currently, I'm in Doom and I'm pressing M-x which does a nice fuzzy search for commands. The problem with this is it has no synonym detection. So if I'm trying to collapse something and type M-x ...
Zaz's user avatar
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How can I find the face of the items in the headeline in lsp-mode?

Re-edited the answer for clarity Typically I would put my cursor over the text, and call M-x describe-face, but I can't do that with the headerline. In the above screenshot, I want to change the ...
suvayu's user avatar
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Helm see options for opening a file

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 ...
Zaz's user avatar
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Which commands/functions/processes are run on keyboard input S-<right>?

Emacs help shown using C-h k S-<right> states only: <right> (translated from S-<right>) runs the command right-char (found in global-map), which is an interactive byte-compiled Lisp ...
Claudio's user avatar
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2 answers
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Check if there are marked files in dired buffer

How can I check, with a function, if there are marked files in a dired buffer? Edit. The issue with dired-get-marked-files is that if the user moves the cursor on a "current file name" the ...
Gabriele Nicolardi's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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What is the default value of TRY-VSCROLL in `(previous-line &optional ARG TRY-VSCROLL)`?

The documentation shown with Ctrl h k up states: <up> runs the command previous-line (found in global-map), which is an interactive byte-compiled Lisp function in ‘simple.el’. It is bound to C-...
Claudio's user avatar
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Inconsistency between read-key and read-key-sequence-vector w.r.t. conditional application of local-function-key-map translations

While working with read-key-sequence-vector and read-key, I found that the former applies the local-function-key-map translations in a conditional manner but the latter does not. I am using Emacs 28.1 ...
Susam Pal's user avatar
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How to get help on a symbol at point with [F1]?

Pressing the F1 key with a cursor/point at an elisp symbol in code I want to view the *Help* related to this symbol, but pressing F1 does not result in rising the appropriate help buffer. Is there a ...
Claudio's user avatar
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Fetch necessary function call arguments in Emacs

I started writing code in Emacs some days ago and i'm doing very well, however, a very difficult and boring situation is always annoying me, that is the moment of call a function written by me. To ...
Rômulo peres de moraes's user avatar
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emacs command window is too small

When I C-x to show the list of commands, the window of commands is chopped like below how can I make it show the full?
Guldam Kwak's user avatar
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56 views

How to open package list in emacs

The question is simple as Opening package list in emacs on macOS, I knew everywhere is Type M-x list-packages to open the package list., but it's just not working for me brew install emacs Start ...
http8086's user avatar
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1 answer
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What does `nil` as second argument do in `write-file` command?

In a previous question I asked how to add a "Save as" button to the toolbar: Add Save as button to org mode toolbar and got a great answer: (tool-bar-add-item-from-menu 'write-file "...
ironfish's user avatar
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2 answers
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How to find Emacs Lisp Org Mode functions

How can I find Org Mode emacs lisp functions like org-current-level which is used in the answer for Org subtree from yasnippet? I looked for the command in the Org Mode Manual but didn't find it there....
Ben Bkhdt's user avatar
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1 answer
41 views

Getting `help-xref-button: Wrong type argument: symbolp, (lambda ...)' when using `describe-key' with `describe-function-1' in `help+20'

When using describe-key, the following block from the help+20 package, in the describe-function-1 function: (help-xref-button 1 #'(lambda (arg) (let ((location ...
ShadowRylander's user avatar
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How to get the value of an evaluated function and nothing else?

In emacs, when I evaluate an elisp function, I get the value plus other stuff. For example, if I evaluate (+ 2 2), I get this: 4 (#04, #x4, ?\C-d) How can I setup emacs to just return 4?
Vinn's user avatar
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How to list all the keybindings with the same prefix key?

How to list all keybindings that have same prefix? For example, M-g M-g is bound to goto-line. How to list all the keybindings that have the prefix M-g?
Talespin_Kit's user avatar
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1 answer
133 views

Use echo area to show which faces are applied to text at point?

When writing a color theme, it would be helpful if the echo area showed which faces are applied to the text at point. I know I could use C-u C-x = to call what-cursor-position, but that requires ...
ivan's user avatar
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1 vote
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What is the optional `BUFFER` argument to `describe-symbol` for?

I'm trying to add additional contextual help information to describe-function, describe-variable etc, and I notice that describe-symbol has the option to take a buffer as a parameter. When I try (...
vfclists's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
200 views

Reading Common Lisp Source Code Inside Emacs?

I think emacs is just brilliant. The help functionality with C-h is extremely useful. Recently, I started coding in SB Common Lisp. It would be very useful if I could search the definitions of ...
Vinn's user avatar
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1 answer
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Given a key, find command that Emacs binds by default

If I've created custom keybindings, possibly overriding some Emacs default keybindings, is there a way to determine what command a given key would be bound to by default (i.e. if I hadn't overridden ...
ivan's user avatar
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0 votes
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Link in the documentation of a function

Although I have the function mdoc to add to the documentation, I do not find it very convenient to add to the documentation after defining the function. Rather, I would like to see how links in the ...
Dilna's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
148 views

emacs org mode how to learn syntax and a tool-bar-add-item-from-menu syntax question

Thru another post: Add Save as button to org mode toolbar I was happy to get a solution: (tool-bar-add-item-from-menu 'write-file "save" nil :label "Save As&...
ironfish's user avatar
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1 answer
43 views

Keys for use during `completing-read`

Am having difficulty finding information about the keys that can be used during completing-read.
Dilna's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
78 views

interactive function: Meaning of Does not do I/O

I'm going through the documentation for the interactive function and there are some code letters which are documented like this: d -- Value of point as number. Does not do I/O. P -- Prefix arg in raw ...
Sibi's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
314 views

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 ...
loonatick's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
145 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-...
ideasman42's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
179 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 ...
Sean Champ's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
411 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-...
Dilna's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
295 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 ...
irregular's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
52 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 () (...
Ryo's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
310 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 ...
Eric Johnson's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
104 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. ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 99
4 votes
3 answers
304 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 ...
buhtz's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
223 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&...
buhtz's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
62 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.
eguneys's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
511 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’. ...
Pedro Delfino's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
137 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 ...
tinlyx's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
322 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 ...
Communicative Algebra's user avatar