Questions tagged [help]

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

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6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does GNU Emacs use ksi(ξ) as its logo?

Why does GNU Emacs use ksi(ξ) as its logo, while most Lisp dialects use lambda(λ) as their logos? not mean this one:
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Unclear expectation of behavior from `scan-sexps`

The docstring of scan-sexps says: If the beginning or end is reached between groupings but before count is used up, nil is returned. Putting point (|) before the first element of a list: (|a b c) ...
6
votes
1answer
45 views

How do I customize the way Emacs prints out certain keys and key sequences?

For example, I want Control key to be displayed not as C but as ⎈ (U+2388 HELM SYMBOL) in the minibuffer. Trying to personalize my Emacs and display all function keys as ISO symbols. And sequences to ...
5
votes
2answers
423 views

What bindings start with H-z?

When I type H-z, emacs waits for more input, so I assume something is bound to H-z plus something else, only in this case C-h k H-z also just waits for more input. How can I find out what is bound to ...
2
votes
1answer
224 views

Finding emacs release notes

What's the best source of emacs release notes - especially for reading prior to installing an update? I searched Google for "emacs release notes". There are some posts about specific releases (and ...
5
votes
3answers
313 views

If I know a keybinding/shortcut, how to get the corresponding function?

I want to use the function to switch to other window when there are only 2 windows in emacs. I know that the shortcut is C-x o, but I don't know which function that shortcut calls. How do I ...
1
vote
1answer
249 views

echo-area: disable help messages

I get the following in my minibuffer and I want to disable these basic help messages. Anyone know how? Type C-x 1 to delete the help window Type "q" in help window to restore it's previous buffer ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Bindings in helm-help?

when helm is active, I can press C-c ? to open a buffer containing helpful information for the current helm session. Now, coming from vim, I'd like to have some evil-bindings in that window, but I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
229 views

Where to explore Emacs-Lisp APIs?

Is there a web app for Emacs-Lisp API searching with nice description, links, examples, etc? Something like http://apidock.com/ for Ruby, or http://en.cppreference.com/w/ for C++, etc.
-2
votes
2answers
3k views

I can't find my emacs init.el file in the normal paths

I can't find the init.el file in the normal paths that is supposed to be, and I already try to search inside the emacs app and with the terminal. Apart from that I can write and save files. I made a ...
5
votes
3answers
505 views

How to see the name of the command every time I run it by a shortcut?

Whenever one runs a function/command for which there is already a shortcut, Emacs shows briefly a message in the echo area to recall that there is a shortcut associated with that command. For example ...
3
votes
1answer
331 views

Emacs hangs after describe-variable on package-archive-contents

When I try run describe-variable on package-archive-contents C-h v package-archive-contents emacs hangs. It hangs at least 5 minutes, maybe forever (I did not wait any longer). Seems like Esc : (...
3
votes
3answers
53 views

In the help page of a function/variable, how to jump to the corresponding part in the manual?

Sometimes the doc is just confusing without proper background knowledge mentioned in the manual (Info). How to jump to the manual from the help buffer?
6
votes
1answer
928 views

How do I create a button in Emacs?

I'm trying to create *Help* buffers in Emacs, documenting functions defined in other languages. I can create a simple help buffer easily: (defun wh/help-hello-world () (interactive) (with-help-...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Key binding help for magit popup-based commands

Magit implements multi-key bindings in a nonstandard way: the first key runs a command that displays a “popup”, i.e. a buffer in a special mode that displays usage instructions, and the second key is ...
7
votes
1answer
274 views

How to describe a key sequence that starts with `C-u`?

I am trying to use C-h k to describe the function to which a key is bound. But when I use it with a key chord like C-u C-e C-x it retrieves the documentation for C-u before I can finish typing the ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Documentation of the action of a button

I want to know what happens if I click on a button (a link) in an Emacs buffer, so I type C-h c (describe-key-briefly) and click the button, but all I'm told is: <mouse-2> (translated from <...
2
votes
1answer
634 views

Help Buffer on Hover Possible?

I'm looking for something similar to Eldoc mode (hover over a function and the parameter list appears in the minibuffer), only I'd like to have a help buffer appear, as if I had just run describe-...
2
votes
0answers
204 views

Remapping help-map

I'm trying to remap some keys in help-map, but the following does not work: (define-key help-map [remap describe-mode] #'my-describe-mode) Remapping in the global map does work, however: (global-...
2
votes
0answers
76 views

Canonical list of minor modes

In describe-mode's definition (in help.el), there's the following piece of code: ;; Older packages do not register in minor-mode-list but only in ;; minor-mode-alist. (dolist (x minor-mode-alist) (...
2
votes
1answer
408 views

How to see the code of a built-in function [duplicate]

How can I see the code of a built-in function? I'd like to look at the code of functions such as upcase-region. I looked at the completion list that I pulled up by "find-library TAB", but the list is ...
3
votes
0answers
66 views

“helm-documentation”? (search docstrings like apropos-documentation but with helm)

I just started using helm-apropos. It's great! Is there a helm equivalent for apropos-documentation or alternatively does helm-apropos have sources already available to narrow over docstrings?
1
vote
1answer
406 views

Define the behaviour of help window?

When I'm looking for documentation or information, I press C-h and then f or k or anything else. Then a help window will pop up. I was wondering if I could configure the help window, that he will ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Recenter buffer when clickable text is clicked?

TASK 1: If I run C-h f goto-line(or any other function) it will open help buffer with clickable text like this. If I click this text, it will open that file in a new buffer and it will take to that ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

Understanding “It is bound to …” message in describe-function

If you ask for a function description, there is a line that starts: It is bound to <...> <...> <...> For example, for isearch it says: It is bound to <menu-bar> <search&...
4
votes
1answer
460 views

How to look up documentation for a minor mode?

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
621 views

Change focus to *Help* buffer after running describe-mode

When I type C-h m for describe-mode the frame splits into two windows with the current buffer on top and the *Help* buffer below. But the focus stays in the current buffer, so I usually have to type C-...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Info file emacs does not exist

When I type C-h r I get error: Debugger entered--Lisp error: (error "Info file emacs does not exist") signal(error ("Info file emacs does not exist")) error("Info file %s does not exist" "...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

How to programatically retrieve help strings for mode-line % constructs?

I'm looking for a way to programmatically retrieve documentation for mode-line-format %-constructs; this is part of a little project I'm working on to help with mode-line customization. So for ...
34
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between a function and a command?

When posting questions and answers here, people sometimes use the terms "function" and "command" interchangeably. In other cases, people only use one of the two terms to discuss specific pieces of ...
1
vote
6answers
639 views

How to get the function help without typing?

I'm already used to press C-h f and type a function name to ask for help on that function. But if the function name is already under the cursor (e.g. while visiting the .emacs configuration file), is ...
7
votes
2answers
396 views

How can I find out exactly what my modeline is telling me?

I'd like to know exactly what my modeline is telling me and how it's derived. Right now, if I'm working with a graphical terminal I can hover over each modeline entry in turn, and if I'm lucky, a ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What are possible real use cases of the Emacs “psychotherapist” mode? [closed]

It is well known that when you type M-x doctor, a kind of AI program prompt you to write about your problems, as a psychotherapist does. Some said it's an easter egg, but it seems it goes beyond the ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a command `describe-command', similar to command `describe-function'?

I use C-h f heavily, but this is all functions in Emacs. I'm often only interested in interactive functions, i.e. commands. Is there an equivalent for commands? Ideally I'd like ido completion too.
8
votes
4answers
165 views

How can I look up help for a key sequence that I can't type

I know that I can look up help for a key sequence using C-h k <key sequence>, but I use Emacs in the terminal, and my terminal emulator doesn't pass all key sequences through to Emacs. Sometimes ...