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Emacs is a wonderful editing tool that does much more than just edit files. It's an entire world!

More information about Emacs can be found in the GNU Emacs website.

Getting help

Emacs contains all the help you need about emacs:

To get the most basic help on emacs simply press "C-h t" (that is ctrl + 'h', and afterwords 't' - without ctrl). This will bring up the emacs tutorial with basic commands on emacs and how to use it (also accessible through the "Help" menu).
The info utility is a program that contains extensive documentation about emacs and other commands. To look at the emacs manual press "C-h i" from inside emacs, and then go to the "Emacs" node (or press "m emacs <RET>").
You can also view Info nodes from outside emacs, the command "info emacs" from the shell will bring you the emacs info node.
To find out what a certain key does, press "C-h k" and then press the desired key (or key combination).
To find out what special keys you can use in the current emacs mode (e.g. java mode, cc mode, perl mode, etc.) press "C-h m".
To find out about more help you can get, press "C-h ?"
Reference Card
Print the Emacs Reference Card, it contains the most basic (and several not so basic) commands you'll need.

CSE-HUJI emacs customizations

We added some basic customizations to the emacs installed in the cs labs. The most noticeable is the CSE-HUJI menu. From there you can enable/disable almost all of the customizations we've made.

The most up-to-date packages that are installed can be activated using the "CSE-HUJI -> Load Libraries" menu.
If you think there are curtain packages or special customizations that all users can benefit from, please email system@cs.huji.ac.il with your suggestion.

Another addition is the ~/.elisp/load directory. In there you can place small elisp files that emacs will execute on startup. This way, you don't need to change your .emacs file and you won't lose any special configuration you've made if you need to "reinstall" .emacs.

You can download the entire cs emacs configuration and install it at home, to get the same environment as you have at the cs labs.


Download Emacs

You can download Emacs for Linux, Windows and other operating systems here:

Obtaining Emacs

Emacs Reference Card

The emacs reference card contains the basic commands and key-combinations in emacs:

Emacs Reference Card

Emacs configuration

To install the cse-huji customizations:

  1. Download the gziped tarball (13MB): elisp.tar.gz
  2. Open it wherever you like.
    • /usr/local/share/ and /usr/local/share/emacs/ are good locations, but if they already have a not empty site-lisp directory, it's better to open it somewhere else.
  3. Link the site-lisp/site-start.el that you've just created to one of emacs' default site-start.el. e.g:
    ln -s /path/to/opened/tar/site-lisp/site-start.el /path/to/default/site-start.el
    • if you've opened it in one of emacs' default paths, you may skip this stage.
    • The location of the default site-start.el file may vary according to your distribution, to get a list of paths where emacs looks, execute:
      emacs --no-init-file --no-site-file --batch --eval "(princ load-path)" | tr ' ' '\n'

Emacs info

These are the complementary info nodes for several of the packages included in the emacs cse-huji configuration (including elisp and perl manuals). If you don't use the info system, you don't need to install these. To install:

  1. Download the gziped tarball (11MB): info.tar.gz
  2. Open it in the same directory where the cse-huji emacs configuration "site-lisp" directory is (not inside the site-lisp directory itself).

Emacs miscellaneous

These are some extra files that should be installed for some of the packages to work properly, the packages are:

  • gnus
  • AUCTeX

To install:

  1. Download the gziped tarball (128KB): misc.tar.gz
  1. The "etc" directory should be placed in the same directory where the site-lisp and info directories are. This directory is for the gnus package.
  2. The "doc" and "tex" directories should be combined with the doc and tex directories under the local texmf directory (usually /usr/local/share/texmf, but may vary according to you latex installation). Afterwords, you should probably run mktexlsr. These directories are for the AUCTeX package.