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About.com: Emacs for Beginners

Sep 02, 2000, 12:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Aron Hsiao)

"Most experienced Linux users are familiar with what have become the two major Unix-world text editors, Emacs and Vi. For inexperienced users, however, both may seem strange or even completely unapproachable. This article is designed to provide some basic insights into and keystrokes for using the GNU Emacs editor, the favorite among many programmers and Web designers."

"Some concepts do not have easy analogs in word processors, however. Split-window editing, once very popular in word processors years ago, has fallen out of favor as graphical operating environments (and thus multiple windows) have become the norm. The split window remains very useful in the technical types of editing often associated with Emacs, however. Buffers, status lines (as Emacs uses them), mini-buffers and modes are also dissimilar from any common word processor features. More information on use of these concepts will come in the following sections."

"When using the Emacs editor, a few basic keystrokes will go a long way toward increased usability and productivity. Emacs is fundamentally designed for keyboard, rather than mouse interaction... Emacs keystrokes can actually be quite lengthy and complex. The best way to familiarize yourself with the format in which they're usually represented is to study a few examples..."

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