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emacs (1)


emacs - GNU project Emacs


emacs [ command-line switches ] [ files ... ]


User Commands                                            EMACS(1)

     emacs - GNU project Emacs

     emacs [ command-line switches ] [ files ... ]

     GNU  Emacs  is  a version of Emacs, written by the author of
     the original (PDP-10) Emacs,  Richard  Stallman.   The  user
     functionality of GNU Emacs encompasses everything other edi-
     tors do, and it is easily extensible since its editing  com-
     mands are written in Lisp.

     The  primary  documentation of GNU Emacs is in the GNU Emacs
     Manual, which you can read using Info, either from Emacs  or
     as a standalone program.  Please look there for complete and
     up-to-date documentation.  This man  page  is  updated  only
     when someone volunteers to do so.

     Emacs  has  an  extensive interactive help facility, but the
     facility assumes that you know how to manipulate Emacs  win-
     dows  and  buffers.   CTRL-h or F1 enters the Help facility.
     Help Tutorial (CTRL-h t) starts an interactive  tutorial  to
     quickly  teach  beginners  the  fundamentals of Emacs.  Help
     Apropos (CTRL-h a) helps you find  a  command  with  a  name
     matching  a  given  pattern, Help Key (CTRL-h k) describes a
     given key sequence, and Help Function (CTRL-h f) describes a
     given Lisp function.

     GNU  Emacs's  many  special  packages  handle  mail  reading
     (RMail) and sending (Mail), outline editing (Outline),  com-
     piling  (Compile),  running  subshells  within Emacs windows
     (Shell), running a Lisp read-eval-print loop  (Lisp-Interac-
     tion-Mode), automated psychotherapy (Doctor), and much more.

  Emacs Options
     The following options are of general interest:

          file    Edit file.

          --file file, --find-file file, --visit file
                  The same as  specifying  file  directly  as  an

          +number Go  to  the  line  specified  by number (do not
                  insert a space between the  "+"  sign  and  the
                  number).   This  applies  only to the next file

                  Go to the specified line and column.

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          -q, --no-init-file
                  Do not load an init file.

                  Do not load the site-wide startup file.

                  Do not load a saved desktop.

          -Q, --quick
                  Similar  to  "-q  --no-site-file  --no-splash".
                  Also, avoid processing X resources.

                  Do not display a splash screen during start-up.

                  Enable Emacs Lisp debugger during the  process-
                  ing  of  the  user init file ~/.emacs.  This is
                  useful for debugging problems in the init file.

          -u user, --user user
                  Load user's init file.

          -t file, --terminal file
                  Use  specified  file as the terminal instead of
                  using stdin/stdout.  This  must  be  the  first
                  argument specified in the command line.

                  Start  Emacs  as  a  daemon, enabling the Emacs
                  server and  disconnecting  from  the  terminal.
                  You  can  then  use  the emacsclient command to
                  connect to the server (see emacsclient(1)).

                  Display Emacs version information and exit.

          --help  Display this help and exit.

     The following options are Lisp-oriented (these  options  are
     processed in the order encountered):

          -f function, --funcall function
                  Execute the lisp function function.

          -l file, --load file
                  Load the lisp code in the file file.

          --eval expr, --execute expr
                  Evaluate the Lisp expression expr.

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     The  following  options  are  useful when running Emacs as a
     batch editor:

          --batch Edit in batch mode.  The editor will send  mes-
                  sages  to  stderr.   You  must  use  -l  and -f
                  options to specify files to execute  and  func-
                  tions to call.

          --script file
                  Run file as an Emacs Lisp script.

          --insert file
                  Insert   contents  of  file  into  the  current

          --kill  Exit Emacs while in batch mode.

          -L dir, --directory dir
                  Add  dir  to  the  list  of  directories  Emacs
                  searches for Lisp files.

  Using Emacs with X
     Emacs  has been tailored to work well with the X window sys-
     tem.  If you run Emacs from under X windows, it will  create
     its  own  X window to display in.  You will probably want to
     start the editor as a background process  so  that  you  can
     continue using your original window.

     Emacs can be started with the following X switches:

          --name name
                  Specify  the  name  which should be assigned to
                  the initial Emacs window.  This controls  look-
                  ing up X resources as well as the window title.

          -T name, --title name
                  Specify the title for the initial X window.

          -r, -rv, --reverse-video
                  Display the Emacs window in reverse video.

          -fn font, --font font
                  Set the Emacs window's font to  that  specified
                  by  font.  You will find the various X fonts in
                  the /usr/lib/X11/fonts  directory.   Note  that
                  Emacs  will  only  accept  fixed  width  fonts.
                  Under the X11  Release  4  font-naming  conven-
                  tions,  any  font  with the value "m" or "c" in
                  the eleventh field of the font name is a  fixed
                  width  font.  Furthermore, fonts whose name are
                  of the form widthxheight  are  generally  fixed
                  width,  as  is the font fixed.  See xlsfonts(1)

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                  for more information.

                  When you specify a font, be sure to put a space
                  between the switch and the font name.

          --xrm resources
                  Set additional X resources.

          --color, --color=mode
                  Override  color  mode  for character terminals;
                  mode  defaults  to  `auto',  and  can  also  be
                  `never',  `auto', `always', or a mode name like

          -bw pixels, --border-width pixels
                  Set the Emacs window's border width to the num-
                  ber of pixels specified by pixels.  Defaults to
                  one pixel on each side of the window.

          -ib pixels, --internal-border pixels
                  Set the window's internal border width  to  the
                  number of pixels specified by pixels.  Defaults
                  to one pixel of padding on  each  side  of  the

          -g geometry, --geometry geometry
                  Set the Emacs window's width, height, and posi-
                  tion as specified.  The geometry  specification
                  is  in the standard X format; see X(7) for more
                  information.  The width and height  are  speci-
                  fied  in  characters;  the default is 80 by 24.
                  See the Emacs manual, section "Options for Win-
                  dow  Size and Position", for information on how
                  window sizes interact with selecting  or  dese-
                  lecting the tool bar and menu bar.

          -lsp pixels, --line-spacing pixels
                  Additional space to put between lines.

          -vb, --vertical-scroll-bars
                  Enable vertical scrollbars.

          -fh, --fullheight
                  Make the first frame as high as the screen.

          -fs, --fullscreen
                  Make the first frame fullscreen.

          -fw, --fullwidth
                  Make the first frame as wide as the screen.

          -mm, --maximized

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                  Maximize the first frame, like "-fw -fh".

          -fg color, --foreground-color color
                  On color displays, set the color of the text.

                  Use  the  command M-x list-colors-display for a
                  list of valid color names.

          -bg color, --background-color color
                  On color displays, set the color  of  the  win-
                  dow's background.

          -bd color, --border-color color
                  On  color  displays,  set the color of the win-
                  dow's border.

          -cr color, --cursor-color color
                  On color displays, set the color  of  the  win-
                  dow's text cursor.

          -ms color, --mouse-color color
                  On  color  displays,  set the color of the win-
                  dow's mouse cursor.

          -d displayname, --display displayname
                  Create the Emacs window on the  display  speci-
                  fied  by displayname.  Must be the first option
                  specified in the command line.

          -nbi, --no-bitmap-icon
                  Do not use picture of gnu for Emacs icon.

                  Start Emacs in iconified state.

          -nbc, --no-blinking-cursor
                  Disable blinking cursor.

          -nw, --no-window-system
                  Tell Emacs not to create a graphical frame.  If
                  you use this switch when invoking Emacs from an
                  xterm(1) window, display is done in  that  win-

          -D, --basic-display
                  This option disables many display features; use
                  it for debugging Emacs.

     You can set X default values for your Emacs windows in  your
     .Xresources file (see xrdb(1)).  Use the following format:


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     where  value  specifies the default value of keyword.  Emacs
     lets you set default values for the following keywords:

          background (class Background)
                  For color displays,  sets  the  window's  back-
                  ground color.

          bitmapIcon (class BitmapIcon)
                  If  bitmapIcon's value is set to on, the window
                  will iconify into the "kitchen sink."

          borderColor (class BorderColor)
                  For color displays, sets the color of the  win-
                  dow's border.

          borderWidth (class BorderWidth)
                  Sets the window's border width in pixels.

          cursorColor (class Foreground)
                  For  color displays, sets the color of the win-
                  dow's text cursor.

          cursorBlink (class CursorBlink)
                  Specifies whether to  make  the  cursor  blink.
                  The  default  is  on.  Use off or false to turn
                  cursor blinking off.

          font (class Font)
                  Sets the window's text font.

          foreground (class Foreground)
                  For color  displays,  sets  the  window's  text

          fullscreen (class Fullscreen)
                  The  desired fullscreen size.  The value can be
                  one of fullboth, maximized, fullwidth, or full-
                  height,  which  correspond  to the command-line
                  options `-fs', `-mm', `-fw', and `-fh', respec-
                  tively.   Note that this applies to the initial
                  frame only.

          geometry (class Geometry)
                  Sets the  geometry  of  the  Emacs  window  (as
                  described above).

          iconName (class Title)
                  Sets the icon name for the Emacs window icon.

          internalBorder (class BorderWidth)
                  Sets the window's internal border width in pix-

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          lineSpacing (class LineSpacing)
                  Additional space ("leading") between lines,  in

          menuBar (class MenuBar)
                  Gives  frames  menu bars if on; don't have menu
                  bars if off.  See the  Emacs  manual,  sections
                  "Lucid  Resources" and "LessTif Resources", for
                  how to control the appearance of the  menu  bar
                  if you have one.

          minibuffer (class Minibuffer)
                  If none, don't make a minibuffer in this frame.
                  It  will  use  a  separate   minibuffer   frame

          paneFont (class Font)
                  Font  name for menu pane titles, in non-toolkit
                  versions of Emacs.

          pointerColor (class Foreground)
                  For color displays, sets the color of the  win-
                  dow's mouse cursor.

          privateColormap (class PrivateColormap)
                  If  on,  use  a  private color map, in the case
                  where the "default visual" of class PseudoColor
                  and Emacs is using it.

          reverseVideo (class ReverseVideo)
                  If  reverseVideo's value is set to on, the win-
                  dow will be displayed in reverse video.

          screenGamma (class ScreenGamma)
                  Gamma correction for colors, equivalent to  the
                  frame parameter `screen-gamma'.

          scrollBarWidth (class ScrollBarWidth)
                  The  scroll  bar width in pixels, equivalent to
                  the frame parameter `scroll-bar-width'.

          selectionFont (class SelectionFont)
                  Font name for pop-up menu items, in non-toolkit
                  versions  of Emacs.  (For toolkit versions, see
                  the Emacs manual,  sections  "Lucid  Resources"
                  and "LessTif Resources".)

          selectionTimeout (class SelectionTimeout)
                  Number  of milliseconds to wait for a selection
                  reply.  A value of 0 means wait as long as nec-

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          synchronous (class Synchronous)
                  Run  Emacs in synchronous mode if on.  Synchro-
                  nous mode is useful for debugging X problems.

          title (class Title)
                  Sets the title of the Emacs window.

          toolBar (class ToolBar)
                  Number of lines to reserve for the tool bar.

          useXIM (class UseXIM)
                  Turns off use of X input methods (XIM) if false
                  or off.

          verticalScrollBars (class ScrollBars)
                  Gives  frames  scroll  bars  if  on; suppresses
                  scroll bars if off.

          visualClass (class VisualClass)
                  Specify the "visual" that X should  use.   This
                  tells X how to handle colors.  The value should
                  start  with  one  of  TrueColor,   PseudoColor,
                  DirectColor,  StaticColor, GrayScale, and Stat-
                  icGray, followed by -depth, where depth is  the
                  number of color planes.

     You  can  order  printed copies of the GNU Emacs Manual from
     the Free Software Foundation, which develops  GNU  software.
     See the online store at <>.
     Your  local  administrator might also have copies available.
     As with all software and publications from FSF, everyone  is
     permitted to make and distribute copies of the Emacs manual.
     The Texinfo source to the manual is  also  included  in  the
     Emacs source distribution.

     /usr/local/share/info  --  files  for the Info documentation
     browser.  The complete text of the Emacs reference manual is
     included   in  a  convenient  tree  structured  form.   Also
     includes the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual, useful  to  anyone
     wishing  to  write programs in the Emacs Lisp extension lan-
     guage, and the Introduction to Programming in Emacs Lisp.

     /usr/local/share/emacs/$VERSION/lisp --  Lisp  source  files
     and  compiled files that define most editing commands.  Some
     are preloaded; others are  autoloaded  from  this  directory
     when used.

     /usr/local/libexec/emacs/$VERSION/$ARCH  -- various programs
     that are used with GNU Emacs.

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     /usr/local/share/emacs/$VERSION/etc  --  various  files   of

     /usr/local/share/emacs/$VERSION/etc/DOC.*  --  contains  the
     documentation strings for the Lisp primitives and  preloaded
     Lisp functions of GNU Emacs.  They are stored here to reduce
     the size of Emacs proper.

     /usr/local/share/emacs/$VERSION/etc/SERVICE   lists   people
     offering  various  services  to  assist  users of GNU Emacs,
     including education, troubleshooting, porting and customiza-

     There  is a mailing list,, for report-
     ing Emacs bugs and fixes.  But before reporting something as
     a  bug, please try to be sure that it really is a bug, not a
     misunderstanding or a deliberate feature.   We  ask  you  to
     read  the section ``Reporting Bugs'' in the Emacs manual for
     hints on how and when to report  bugs.   Also,  include  the
     version  number  of  the  Emacs you are running in every bug
     report that you send in.  Bugs tend actually to be fixed  if
     they  can  be  isolated, so it is in your interest to report
     them in such a way that they can be easily reproduced.

     Do not expect a personal answer to a bug report.   The  pur-
     pose  of reporting bugs is to get them fixed for everyone in
     the next release, if  possible.   For  personal  assistance,
     look  in  the  SERVICE file (see above) for a list of people
     who offer it.

     Please do not send anything but bug reports to this  mailing
     list.   For  more information about Emacs mailing lists, see
     the file /usr/local/share/emacs/$VERSION/etc/MAILINGLISTS.

     Emacs is free; anyone may redistribute copies  of  Emacs  to
     anyone  under  the  terms  stated  in the GNU General Public
     License, a copy of which accompanies each copy of Emacs  and
     which also appears in the reference manual.

     Copies of Emacs may sometimes be received packaged with dis-
     tributions of Unix systems, but it is never included in  the
     scope of any license covering those systems.  Such inclusion
     violates the terms on which distribution is  permitted.   In
     fact,  the primary purpose of the GNU General Public License
     is to prohibit anyone from attaching any other  restrictions
     to redistribution of Emacs.

     Richard Stallman encourages you to improve and extend Emacs,
     and urges that you contribute your  extensions  to  the  GNU
     library.  Eventually GNU (Gnu's Not Unix) will be a complete

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     replacement for Unix.  Everyone will be free to  use,  copy,
     study and change the GNU system.

     See   attributes(5)   for   descriptions  of  the  following

     |Availability   | editor/gnu-emacs |
     |Stability      | Committed        |
     emacsclient(1),  etags(1),  X(7),   xlsfonts(1),   xterm(1),

     Emacs  was written by Richard Stallman and the Free Software
     Foundation.  For detailed credits and  acknowledgments,  see
     the GNU Emacs manual.

     Copyright (C) 1995, 1999-2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

     Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies
     of this document provided the copyright notice and this per-
     mission notice are preserved on all copies.

     Permission is granted to copy and distribute  modified  ver-
     sions  of  this  document  under the conditions for verbatim
     copying, provided that the entire resulting derived work  is
     distributed under the terms of a permission notice identical
     to this one.

     Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of
     this  document into another language, under the above condi-
     tions for modified versions,  except  that  this  permission
     notice  may  be stated in a translation approved by the Free
     Software Foundation.

     This  software  was   built   from   source   available   at    The  original
     community       source       was       downloaded       from

     Further  information about this software can be found on the

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     open source community  website  at

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