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Subject: GNU Emacs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), part 1/5

This article was archived around: 10 Feb 1999 19:55:29 +0200

All FAQs in Directory: GNU-Emacs-FAQ
All FAQs posted in: gnu.emacs.help, comp.emacs
Source: Usenet Version

Archive-name: GNU-Emacs-FAQ/part1
GNU Emacs FAQ: Introduction This is the introduction to a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about GNU Emacs 20 with answers. Some of the answers are not valid for GNU Emacs 18 or 19. The FAQ is posted (in five parts) to reduce the noise level in the gnu.emacs.help newsgroup (which is also the help-gnu-emacs mailing list) which results from the repetition of frequently asked questions, wrong answers to these questions, corrections to the wrong answers, corrections to the corrections, debate, name calling, and generally unproductive use of the mailing list. Also, it serves as a repository of the canonical "best" answers to these questions. However, if you know a better answer or even a slight change that improves an answer, please tell us! If you know the answer to a question in the FAQ list, please reply to the question by e-mail instead of posting. Help reduce noise! The FAQ is crossposted to comp.emacs because some sites do not receive the gnu.* newsgroups. The FAQ is also crossposted to news.answers. Full instructions for getting the latest FAQ are in question 22. A diff file between the last version of the FAQ and this one should have been posted along with the FAQ. If you did not receive the diff file, you can get it at ftp://the-tech.mit.edu/pub/GNU-Emacs/faq-diffs Please suggest new questions, answers, wording changes, and deletions by sending mail to emacs-faq@lerner.co.il. The most helpful form for suggestions is a context diff (i.e., the output of `diff -c'). Include "FAQ" in the subject of messages about the FAQ list. Please do not send questions to us just because you do not want to disturb a lot of people and you think we would know the answer. We do not have time to answer questions individually. :-( -- Reuven M. Lerner <reuven@lerner.co.il> and the FAQ team (a full list is at the bottom of the FAQ). ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Notation Used in FAQ 1: What do these mean: C-h, M-C-a, RET, "ESC a", etc.? 2: What does "M-x command" mean? 3: How do I read topic XXX in the on-line manual? 4: What do these mean: etc/SERVICE, src/config.h, lisp/default.el? 5: What are FSF, LPF, OSF, GNU, RMS, FTP, and GPL? General Questions 6: What is the LPF? 7: What is the real legal meaning of the GNU copyleft? 8: What are appropriate messages for gnu.emacs.help, gnu.emacs.bug, comp.emacs, etc.? 9: Where can I get old postings to gnu.emacs.help and other GNU groups? 10: Where should I report bugs and other problems with Emacs? 11: How do I unsubscribe from this mailing list? 12: What is the current address of the FSF? On-line Help, Printed Manuals, Other Sources of Help 13: I'm just starting Emacs; how do I do basic editing? 14: How do I find out how to do something in Emacs? 15: How do I get a printed copy of the Emacs manual? 16: Where can I get documentation on Emacs Lisp? 17: How do I install a piece of Texinfo documentation? 18: How do I print a Texinfo file? 19: Can I view Info files without using Emacs? 20: What informational files are available for Emacs? 21: Where can I get help in installing Emacs? 22: Where can I get the latest version of this document (the FAQ list)? Status of Emacs 23: Where does the name "Emacs" come from? 24: What is the latest version of Emacs? 25: What is different about Emacs 20? Common Things People Want To Do 26: How do I set up a .emacs file properly? 27: How do I debug a .emacs file? 28: How do I make Emacs display the current line (or column) number? 29: How can I modify the titlebar to contain the current filename? 30: How do I turn on abbrevs by default just in mode XXX? 31: How do I turn on auto-fill mode by default? 32: How do I make Emacs use a certain major mode for certain files? 33: How do I search for, delete, or replace unprintable (8-bit or control) characters? 34: How can I highlight a region of text in Emacs? 35: How do I control Emacs's case-sensitivity when searching/replacing? 36: How do I make Emacs wrap words for me? 37: Where can I get a better spelling checker for Emacs? 38: How can I spell-check TeX or *roff documents? 39: How do I change load-path? 40: How do I use an already running Emacs from another window? 41: How do I make Emacs recognize my compiler's funny error messages? 42: How do I indent switch statements like this? 43: How can I make Emacs automatically scroll horizontally? 44: How do I make Emacs "typeover" or "overwrite" instead of inserting? 45: How do I stop Emacs from beeping on a terminal? 46: How do I turn down the bell volume in Emacs running under X Windows? 47: How do I tell Emacs to automatically indent a new line to the indentation of the previous line? 48: How do I show which parenthesis matches the one I'm looking at? 49: In C mode, can I show just the lines that will be left after #ifdef commands are handled by the compiler? 50: Is there an equivalent to the `.' (dot) command of vi? 51: What are the valid X resource settings (i.e., stuff in .Xdefaults)? 52: How do I execute ("evaluate") a piece of Emacs Lisp code? 53: How do I change Emacs's idea of the tab character's length? 54: How do I insert `>' at the beginning of every line? 55: How do I insert "_^H" before each character in a region to get an underlined paragraph? 56: How do I repeat a command as many times as possible? 57: How do I make Emacs behave like this: when I go up or down, the cursor should stay in the same column even if the line is too short? 58: How do I tell Emacs to iconify itself? 59: How do I use regexps (regular expressions) in Emacs? 60: How do I perform a replace operation across more than one file? 61: Where is the documentation for "etags"? 62: How do I disable backup files? 63: How do I disable auto-save-mode? 64: How can I create or modify new pull-down menu options? 65: How do I delete menus and menu options? 66: How do I turn on syntax highlighting? 67: How can I force Emacs to scroll only one line when I move past the bottom of the screen? 68: How can I replace highlighted text with what I type? 69: How can I edit MS-DOS files using Emacs? 70: How can I tell Emacs to fill paragraphs with a single space after each period? Bugs/Problems 71: Does Emacs have problems with files larger than 8 megabytes? 72: How do I get rid of ^M or echoed commands in my shell buffer? 73: Why do I get "Process shell exited abnormally with code 1"? 74: Where is the termcap/terminfo entry for terminal type "emacs"? 75: Why does Emacs spontaneously start displaying "I-search:" and beeping? 76: Why can't Emacs talk to certain hosts (or certain hostnames)? 77: Why does Emacs say "Error in init file"? 78: Why does Emacs ignore my X resources (my .Xdefaults file)? 79: Why does Emacs take 20 seconds to visit a file? 80: How do I edit a file with a `$' in its name? 81: Why does shell mode lose track of the shell's current directory? 82: Are there any security risks in Emacs? 83: Dired says, "no file on this line" when I try to do something. Difficulties Building/Installing/Porting Emacs 84: How do I install Emacs? 85: How do I update Emacs to the latest version? 86: What should I do if I have trouble building Emacs? 87: Why does linking Emacs with -lX11 fail? Finding/Getting Emacs and Related Packages 88: Where can I get Emacs on the net (or by snail mail)? 89: How do I find a Emacs Lisp package that does XXX? 90: Where can I get Emacs Lisp packages that don't come with Emacs? 91: How do I submit code to the Emacs Lisp Archive? 92: Where can I get other up-to-date GNU stuff? 93: What is the difference between Emacs and XEmacs (formerly "Lucid Emacs")? 94: Where can I get Emacs for my PC running MS-DOS? 95: Where can I get Emacs for Microsoft Windows, Windows '95, or Windows NT? 96: Where can I get Emacs for my PC running OS/2? 97: Where can I get Emacs for my Atari ST? 98: Where can I get Emacs for my Amiga? 99: Where can I get Emacs for NeXTSTEP? 100: Where can I get Emacs for my Apple computer? 101: Where do I get Emacs that runs on VMS under DECwindows? 102: Where can I get modes for Lex, Yacc/Bison, Bourne shell, Csh, C++, Objective-C, Pascal, Java, and Awk? 103: What is the IP address of XXX.YYY.ZZZ? Major Emacs Lisp Packages, Emacs Extensions, and Related Programs 104: VM (View Mail) -- another mail reader within Emacs, with MIME support 105: Supercite -- mail and news citation package within Emacs 106: Calc -- poor man's Mathematica within Emacs 107: VIPER -- vi emulation for Emacs 108: AUC TeX -- enhanced LaTeX mode with debugging facilities 109: BBDB -- personal Info Rolodex integrated with mail/news readers 110: Ispell -- spell checker in C with interface for Emacs 111: W3-mode -- A World Wide Web browser inside of Emacs 112: EDB -- Database program for Emacs; replaces forms editing modes 113: Mailcrypt -- PGP interface within Emacs mail and news 114: JDE -- Development environment for Java programming 115: Patch -- program to apply "diffs" for updating files Changing Key Bindings and Handling Key Binding Problems 116: How do I bind keys (including function keys) to commands? 117: Why does Emacs say "Key sequence XXX uses invalid prefix characters"? 118: Why doesn't this [terminal or window-system setup] code work in my .emacs file, but it works just fine after Emacs starts up? 119: How do I use function keys under X Windows? 120: How do I tell what characters or symbols my function or arrow keys emit? 121: How do I set the X key "translations" for Emacs? 122: How do I handle C-s and C-q being used for flow control? 123: How do I bind `C-s' and `C-q' (or any key) if these keys are filtered out? 124: Why does the "Backspace" key invoke help? 125: Why doesn't Emacs look at the stty settings for Backspace vs. Delete? 126: How do I "swap" two keys? 127: How do I produce C-XXX with my keyboard? 128: What if I don't have a Meta key? 129: What if I don't have an Escape key? 130: Can I make my "Compose Character" key behave like a Meta key? 131: How do I bind a combination of modifier key and function key? 132: Why doesn't my Meta key work in an xterm window? 133: Why doesn't my ExtendChar key work as a Meta key under HP-UX 8.0 and 9.x? Using Emacs with Alternate Character Sets 134: How do I make Emacs display 8-bit characters? 135: How do I input 8-bit characters? 136: Where can I get an Emacs that handles kanji, Chinese, or other character sets? 137: Where is an Emacs that can handle Semitic (right-to-left) alphabets? Mail and News 138: How do I change the included text prefix in mail/news followups? 139: How do I save a copy of outgoing mail? 140: Why doesn't Emacs expand my aliases when sending mail? 141: Why does Rmail think all my saved messages are one big message? 142: How can I sort the messages in my Rmail folder? 143: Why does Rmail need to write to /usr/spool/mail? 144: How do I recover my mail files after Rmail munges their format? 145: How can I force Rmail to reply to the sender of a message, but not the other recipients? 146: How can I get my favorite Emacs mail package to support MIME? 147: How do I make Emacs automatically start my mail/news reader? 148: How do I read news under Emacs? 149: Why doesn't Gnus work via NNTP? 150: How do I view news articles with embedded underlining (e.g., ClariNews)? 151: How do I save all the items of a multi-part posting in Gnus? 152: How do I make Gnus start up faster? 153: How do I catch up all newsgroups in Gnus? 154: Why can't I kill in Gnus based on the Newsgroups/Keywords/Control headers? 155: How do I get rid of flashing messages in Gnus for slow connections? 156: Why is catch up slow in Gnus? 157: Why does Gnus hang for a long time when posting? 158: Where can I find out more about Gnus? ------------------------------------------------------------ If you are viewing this text in a GNU Emacs Buffer, you can type "M-2 C-x $" to get an overview of just the questions. Then, when you want to look at the text of the answers, just type "C-x $". To search for a question numbered XXX, type "M-C-s ^XXX:", followed by a C-r if that doesn't work. Type RET to end the search. If you have w3-mode installed (see question 111), you can visit ftp and HTTP uniform resource locators (URLs) by placing the cursor on the URL and typing M-x w3-follow-url-at-point. The FAQ is posted in five parts; if you are missing a section or would prefer to read the FAQ in a single file, see question 22. ------------------------------------------------------------ Time-stamp: <1999-02-10 18:44:04 reuven> Notation Used in FAQ Skip this section and then come back if you don't understand some of the later answers. 1: What do these mean: C-h, M-C-a, RET, "ESC a", etc.? C-x: press the `x' key while holding down the Control key M-x: press the `x' key while holding down the Meta key (if your computer doesn't have a Meta key, see question 128) M-C-x: press the `x' key while holding down both Control and Meta C-M-x: a synonym for the above LFD: Linefeed or Newline; same as C-j RET: Return, sometimes marked Enter; same as C-m DEL: Delete, usually not the same as Backspace; same as C-? (See question 124 if deleting invokes Emacs help) ESC: Escape; same as C-[ TAB: Tab; same as C-i SPC: Space bar Key sequences longer than one key (and some single-key sequences) are inside double quotes or on lines by themselves. Any real spaces in such a key sequence should be ignored; only SPC really means press the space key. The ASCII code sent by C-x (except for C-?) is the value that would be sent by pressing just `x' minus 96 (or 64 for uppercase `X') and will be from 0 to 31. The ASCII code sent by M-x is the sum of 128 and the ASCII code that would be sent by pressing just the `x' key. Essentially, the Control key turns off bits 5 and 6 and the Meta key turns on bit 7. NOTE: C-? (aka DEL) is ASCII code 127. It is a misnomer to call C-? a "control" key, since 127 has both bits 5 and 6 turned ON. Also, on very few keyboards does C-? generate ASCII code 127. For further information, see "Characters" and "Keys" in the on-line manual. (See question 3 if you don't know how.) 2: What does "M-x command" mean? "M-x command" means type M-x, then type the name of the command, then type RET. (See question 1 if you're not sure what "M-x" and "RET" mean.) M-x (by default) invokes the command "execute-extended-command". This command allows you to run any Emacs command if you can remember the command's name. If you can't remember the command's name, you can type TAB and SPC for completion, `?' for a list of possibilities, and M-p and M-n to see previous commands entered. An Emacs "command" is any "interactive" Emacs function. NOTE: Your system administrator may have bound other key sequences to invoke execute-extended-command. A function key labeled `Do' is a good candidate for this. To run non-interactive Emacs functions, see question 52. 3: How do I read topic XXX in the on-line manual? When we refer you to topic XXX in the on-line manual, you can read this manual node inside Emacs (assuming nothing is broken) by typing this: C-h i m emacs RET m XXX RET This invokes Info, the GNU hypertext documentation browser. If you don't already know how to use Info, type `?' from within Info. If we refer to topic XXX:YYY, type this: C-h i m emacs RET m XXX RET m YYY RET WARNING: Your system administrator may not have installed the Info files, or may have installed them improperly. In this case you should complain. See question 15 if you would like a paper copy of the Emacs manual. 4: What do these mean: etc/SERVICE, src/config.h, lisp/default.el? These are files that come with Emacs. The Emacs distribution is divided into subdirectories; the important ones are "etc", "lisp", and "src". If you use Emacs, but don't know where it is kept on your system, start Emacs, then type "C-h v data-directory RET". The directory name displayed by this will be the full pathname of the installed "etc" directory. The location of your Info directory (i.e., where on-line documentation is stored) is kept in the variable Info-default-directory-list. Use "C-h v Info-default-directory-list RET" to see the contents of this variable, which will be a list of directory names. The last directory in that list is probably where most Info files are stored. By default, Info documentation is placed in /usr/local/info. Some of these files are available individually via FTP or e-mail; see question 20. All are available in the source distribution. Many of the files in the "etc" directory are also available via the Emacs "help" menu, or by typing "C-h ?" (M-x help-for-help). WARNING: Your system administrator may have removed the src directory and many files from the etc directory. 5: What are FSF, LPF, OSF, GNU, RMS, FTP, and GPL? FSF == Free Software Foundation LPF == League for Programming Freedom OSF == Open Software Foundation GNU == GNU's Not Unix RMS == Richard Matthew Stallman FTP == File Transfer Protocol GPL == GNU General Public License NOTE: Avoid confusing the FSF, the LPF, and the OSF. The LPF opposes look-and-feel copyrights and software patents. The FSF aims to make high quality free software available for everyone. The OSF is a consortium of computer vendors which develops commercial software for Unix systems. NOTE: The word "free" in the title of the Free Software Foundation refers to "freedom," not "zero dollars." Anyone can charge any price for GPL-covered software that they want to. However, in practice, the freedom enforced by the GPL leads to low prices, because you can always get the software for less money from someone else, because everyone has the right to resell or give away GPL-covered software. General Questions 6: What is the LPF? The LPF opposes the expanding danger of software patents and look-and-feel copyrights. To get more information, feel free to contact the LPF via e-mail or otherwise. You may also contact Joe Wells <jbw@cs.bu.edu>; he will be happy to talk with you about the LPF. You can find more information about the LPF in the file etc/LPF. More papers describing the LPF's views are available on the Internet and also from the LPF: http://lpf.ai.mit.edu/ 7: What is the real legal meaning of the GNU copyleft? The real legal meaning of the GNU General Public License (copyleft) will only be known if and when a judge rules on its validity and scope. There has never been a copyright infringement case involving the GPL to set any precedents. Please take any discussion regarding this issue to the newsgroup gnu.misc.discuss, which was created to hold the extensive flame wars on the subject. RMS writes: The legal meaning of the GNU copyleft is less important than the spirit, which is that Emacs is a free software project and that work pertaining to Emacs should also be free software. "Free" means that all users have the freedom to study, share, change and improve Emacs. To make sure everyone has this freedom, pass along source code when you distribute any version of Emacs or a related program, and give the recipients the same freedom that you enjoyed. 8: What are appropriate messages for gnu.emacs.help, gnu.emacs.bug, comp.emacs, etc.? The file etc/MAILINGLISTS discusses the purpose of each GNU mailing-list. (See question 20 if you want a copy of the file.) For those lists which are gatewayed with newsgroups, it lists both the newsgroup name and the mailing list address. comp.emacs is for discussion of Emacs programs in general. This includes Emacs along with various other implementations, such as JOVE, MicroEmacs, Freemacs, MG, Unipress, CCA, and Epsilon. Many people post Emacs questions to comp.emacs because they don't receive any of the gnu.* newsgroups. Arguments have been made both for and against posting GNU-Emacs-specific material to comp.emacs. You have to decide for yourself. Messages advocating "non-free" software are considered unacceptable on any of the gnu.* newsgroups except for gnu.misc.discuss, which was created to hold the extensive flame-wars on the subject. "Non-free" software includes any software for which the end user can't freely modify the source code and exchange enhancements. Be careful to remove the gnu.* groups from the "Newsgroups:" line when posting a followup that recommends such software. gnu.emacs.bug is a place where bug reports appear, but avoid posting bug reports to this newsgroup (see question 10). 9: Where can I get old postings to gnu.emacs.help and other GNU groups? The FSF has maintained archives of all of the GNU mailing lists for many years, although there may be some unintentional gaps in coverage. The archive is not particularly well organized or easy to retrieve individual postings from, but pretty much everything is there. The latest archives are supposed to be available at ftp://ftp-mailing-list-archives.gnu.org/ although as of this writing, this ftp site is not yet working. Web-based Usenet search services, such as DejaNews, also archive the gnu.* groups. You can reach DejaNews at http://www.dejanews.com 10: Where should I report bugs and other problems with Emacs? The correct way to report Emacs bugs is by e-mail to bug-gnu-emacs@gnu.org. Anything sent here also appears in the newsgroup gnu.emacs.bug, but please use e-mail instead of news to submit the bug report. This ensures a reliable return address so you can be contacted for further details. Be sure to read the "Bugs" section of the Emacs manual before reporting a bug to bug-gnu-emacs! The manual describes in detail how to submit a useful bug report. (See question 3 if you don't know how to read the manual.) RMS says: Sending bug reports to help-gnu-emacs (which has the effect of posting on gnu.emacs.help) is undesirable because it takes the time of an unnecessarily large group of people, most of whom are just users and have no idea how to fix these problem. bug-gnu-emacs reaches a much smaller group of people who are more likely to know what to do and have expressed a wish to receive more messages about Emacs than the others. However, RMS says there are circumstances when it is okay to post to gnu.emacs.help: If you have reported a bug and you don't hear about a possible fix, then after a suitable delay (such as a week) it is okay to post on gnu.emacs.help asking if anyone can help you. If you are unsure whether you have found a bug, consider the following non-exhaustive list, courtesy of RMS: If Emacs crashes, that is a bug. If Emacs gets compilation errors while building, that is a bug. If Emacs crashes while building, that is a bug. If Lisp code does not do what the documentation says it does, that is a bug. 11: How do I unsubscribe from this mailing list? If you are receiving a GNU mailing list named "XXX", you might be able to unsubscribe from it by sending a request to the address <XXX-request@gnu.org>. However, this will not work if you are not listed on the main mailing list, but instead receive the mail from a distribution point. In that case, you will have to track down at which distribution point you are listed. Inspecting the "Received:" headers on the mail messages may help, along with liberal use of the "EXPN" or "VRFY" sendmail commands through "telnet <site-address> smtp". Ask your postmaster for help. 12: What is the current address of the FSF? E-mail: gnu@gnu.org Telephone: +1-617-542-5942 Fax: +1-617-542-2652 World Wide Web: http://www.gnu.org/ Postal address: Free Software Foundation 59 Temple Place - Suite 330 Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA For details on how to order items directly from the FSF, see the file etc/ORDERS. On-line Help, Printed Manuals, Other Sources of Help 13: I'm just starting Emacs; how do I do basic editing? Type "C-h t" to invoke the self-paced tutorial. Just typing `C-h' enters the help system. WARNING: Your system administrator may have changed `C-h' to act like DEL to deal with local keyboards. You can use M-x help-for-help instead to invoke help. To discover what key (if any) invokes help on your system, type "M-x where-is RET help-for-help RET". This will print a comma-separated list of key sequences in the echo area. Ignore the last character in each key sequence listed. Each of the resulting key sequences invokes help. NOTE: Emacs help works best if it is invoked by a single key whose value should be stored in the variable help-char. There is also a WWW-based tutorial for Emacs 18, much of which is also relevant for Emacs 20, available at http://kufacts.cc.ukans.edu/cwis/writeups/misc/emacsguide.html 14: How do I find out how to do something in Emacs? There are several methods for finding out how to do things in Emacs. * The complete text of the Emacs manual is available on-line via the Info hypertext reader. Type "C-h i" to invoke Info. Typing `h' immediately after entering Info will provide a short tutorial on how to use it. * You can order a hardcopy of the manual from the FSF. See question 15. * You can get a printed reference card listing commands and keys to invoke them. You can order one from the FSF for $1 (or 10 for $5), or you can print your own from the etc/refcard.tex or etc/refcard.ps files in the Emacs distribution. * You can list all of the commands whose names contain a certain word (actually which match a regular expression) using "C-h a" (M-x command-apropos). * You can list all of the functions and variables whose names contain a certain word using M-x apropos. * There are many other commands in Emacs for getting help and information. To get a list of these commands, type `?' after `C-h'. 15: How do I get a printed copy of the Emacs manual? You can order a printed copy of the Emacs manual from the FSF. For details see the file etc/ORDERS. The full TeX source for the manual also comes in the "man" directory of the Emacs distribution, if you're daring enough to try to print out this 440-page manual yourself (see question 18). If you absolutely have to print your own copy, and you don't have TeX, you can get a PostScript version from ftp://ftp.cs.ubc.ca/pub/archive/gnu/manuals_ps/emacs-19.21.ps.gz Note that the above document is somewhat out of date, although most major concepts are still relevant. This site requests that you please *confine any major ftping to late evenings or early mornings, local time* (Pacific time zone, GMT-8). A WWW version of the (somewhat outdated) Emacs 19.34 manual is at http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/texinfodoc/emacs_toc.html See also question 14 for how to view the manual on-line. 16: Where can I get documentation on Emacs Lisp? Within Emacs, you can type "C-h f" to get the documentation for a function, "C-h v" for a variable. For more information, obtain the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual. Details on ordering it from FSF are in file etc/ORDERS. The Emacs Lisp Reference Manual is also available on-line, in Info format. Texinfo source for the manual (along with pregenerated Info files) is available at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/emacs/elisp-manual-20-2.5.tar.gz and all mirrors of ftp.gnu.org (See question 92 for a list). See question 17 if you want to install the Info files, or question 18 if you want to use the Texinfo source to print the manual yourself. WWW versions of the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual are available at http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/texinfodoc/elisp_1.html http://www.cs.indiana.edu/usr/local/www/elisp/lispref/elisp_toc.html 17: How do I install a piece of Texinfo documentation? First, you must turn the Texinfo files into Info files. You may do this using the stand-alone "makeinfo" program, available as part of the latest Texinfo package at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/texinfo/texinfo-3.12.tar.gz and all mirrors of ftp.gnu.org (see question 92 for a list). For information about the Texinfo format, read the Texinfo manual which comes with Emacs. This manual also comes installed in Info format, so you can read it on-line. Neither texinfo-format-buffer nor makeinfo installs the resulting Info files in Emacs's Info tree. To install Info files: 1. Move the files to the "info" directory in the installed Emacs distribution. See question 4 if you don't know where that is. 2. Edit the file info/dir in the installed Emacs distribution, and add a line for the top level node in the Info package that you are installing. Follow the examples already in this file. The format is: * Topic: (relative-pathname). Short description of topic. If you want to install Info files and you don't have the necessary privileges, you have several options: * Info files don't actually need to be installed before being used. You can feed a file name to the Info-goto-node command (invoked by pressing `g' in Info mode) by typing the name of the file in parentheses. This goes to the node named "Top" in that file. For example, to view a Info file named "XXX" in your home directory, you can type this: C-h i g (~/XXX) RET * You can create your own Info directory. You can tell Emacs where the Info directory is by adding its pathname to the value of the variable Info-default-directory-list. For example, to use a private Info directory which is a subdirectory of your home directory named "Info", you could put this in your .emacs file: (setq Info-default-directory-list (cons "~/Info" Info-default-directory-list)) You will need a top-level Info file named "dir" in this directory which has everything the system dir file has in it, except it should list only entries for Info files in that directory. You might not need it if all files in this directory were referenced by other "dir" files. The node lists from all dir files in Info-default-directory-list are merged by the Info system. 18: How do I print a Texinfo file? NOTE: You can't get nicely printed output from Info files; you must still have the original Texinfo source file for the manual you want to print. Assuming you have TeX installed on your system, follow these steps: 1. Make sure the first line of the Texinfo file looks like this: \input texinfo You may need to change "texinfo" to the full pathname of the texinfo.tex file, which comes with Emacs as man/texinfo.tex (or copy or link it into the current directory). 2. tex XXX.texinfo 3. texindex XXX.?? The texindex program comes with Emacs as man/texindex.c. 4. tex XXX.texinfo 5. Print the DVI file XXX.dvi in the normal way for printing DVI files at your site. To get more general instructions, retrieve the latest Texinfo package mentioned in question 17. 19: Can I view Info files without using Emacs? Yes. Here are some alternative programs: * Info, a stand-alone version of the Info program, comes as part of the Texinfo package. See question 17 for details. * Xinfo, a stand-alone version of the Info program that runs under X Windows. You can get it at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/xinfo/xinfo-1.01.01.tar.gz and all mirrors of ftp.gnu.org (See question 92 for a list). * Tkinfo, an Info viewer that runs under X Windows and uses Tcl/Tk. You can get Tkinfo at http://math-www.uni-paderborn.de/~axel/tkinfo/ 20: What informational files are available for Emacs? This isn't a frequently asked question, but it should be! A variety of informational files about Emacs and relevant aspects of the GNU project are available for you to read. The following files are available in the "etc" directory of the Emacs distribution (see question 4 if you're not sure where that is). COPYING -- Emacs General Public License DISTRIB -- Emacs Availability Information, including the popular "Free Software Foundation Order Form" FAQ -- Emacs Frequently Asked Questions (You're reading it) FTP -- How to get GNU Software by Internet FTP or by UUCP GNU -- The GNU Manifesto INTERVIEW -- Richard Stallman discusses his public-domain UNIX-compatible software system with BYTE editors LPF -- Why you should join the League for Programming Freedom MACHINES -- Status of Emacs on Various Machines and Systems MAILINGLISTS -- GNU Project Electronic Mailing Lists NEWS -- Emacs news, a history of user-visible changes SERVICE -- GNU Service Directory SUN-SUPPORT -- including "Using Emacstool with GNU Emacs" Latest versions of the above files also available at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/GNUinfo/ More GNU information, including back issues of the "GNU's Bulletin", are at http://www.gnu.org/bulletins/bulletins.html http://www.cs.pdx.edu/~trent/gnu/gnu.html 21: Where can I get help in installing Emacs? See question 84 for some basic installation hints, and question 83 if you have problems with the installation. The file etc/SERVICE (see question 4 if you're not sure where that is) lists companies and individuals willing to sell you help in installing or using Emacs. An up-to-date version this file is available on ftp.gnu.org (see question 20). 22: Where can I get the latest version of this document (the FAQ list)? The Emacs FAQ is available in several ways: * Inside of Emacs itself. You can get it from selecting the "Emacs FAQ" option from the "Help" menu at the top of any Emacs frame, or by typing C-h F (M-x view-emacs-FAQ). * Via USENET. If you can read news, the FAQ should be available in your news spool, in both the gnu.emacs.help and comp.emacs newsgroups. Every news reader should allow you to read any news article that is still in the news spool, even if you have read the article before. You may need to read the instructions for your news reader to discover how to do this. In rn, this command will do this for you at the article selection level: ?GNU Emacs Frequently Asked Questions?rc:m In Gnus, you should type "C-u c-x c-s" from the *Summary* buffer or "C-u SPC" from the *Newsgroup* buffer to view all articles in a newsgroup. If the FAQ articles have expired and been deleted from your news spool, it might (or might not) do some good to complain to your news administrator, because the most recent FAQ should not expire for a while. * Via HTTP or FTP. You can always fetch the latest FAQ at http://www.lerner.co.il/emacs/ and ftp://ftp.lerner.co.il/pub/emacs/ * In the Emacs distribution. Since Emacs 18.56, the FAQ at the time of release has been part of the Emacs distribution as etc/FAQ (see question 4). * Via the World Wide Web. A hypertext version is available at http://www.lerner.co.il/emacs/ * Via anonymous ftp and e-mail from rtfm.mit.edu (and its mirror in Europe), the main repository for FAQs and other items posted to news.answers. The Emacs FAQs are available at ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/comp.emacs/ ftp://ftp.uni-paderborn.de/pub/doc/FAQ/comp/emacs/ If you do not have access to anonymous FTP, you can access the archives using the rtfm.mit.edu mail server. The Emacs FAQ can be retrieved by sending mail to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with a blank subject and containing send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/diffs send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/part1 send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/part2 send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/part3 send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/part4 send usenet/news.answers/GNU-Emacs-FAQ/part5 For more information, send email to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with "help" and "index" in the body on separate lines. * As the very last resort, you can e-mail a request to emacs-faq@lerner.co.il. Don't do this unless you have made a serious effort to obtain the FAQ list via one of the methods listed above.