emacs's “describe-” commands

emacs's “describe-” commands

emacs has describe-function command, and many other that starts with “describe-”. They are in general giving you help or info.

by default, there are 2 keys to invoke them, 【F1】 or 【Ctrl+h】. ⁖

  • describe-function → 【Ctrl+h f
  • describe-function → 【F1 f

〔☛ Emacs Keys Overview: How's Emacs Keys Organized?

here's my own usage, ordered roughly in frequency of use. (with my own keys, plus a few of my own commands)


<menu> h f      describe-function
<menu> h k      describe-key
<menu> h 3      man
<menu> h 9      lookup-word-definition
<menu> h 8      lookup-wikipedia
<menu> h 7      lookup-google


<menu> h 4      elisp-index-search
<menu> h c      describe-char
<menu> h m      xah-describe-major-mode
<menu> h v      describe-variable
<menu> h e      view-echo-area-messages


<menu> h a      apropos-command
<menu> h l      view-lossage
<menu> h s      describe-syntax
<menu> h 0      lookup-all-dictionaries


<menu> h C      describe-coding-system
<menu> h F      Info-goto-emacs-command-node
<menu> h I      Info-goto-emacs-key-command-node
<menu> h L      describe-language-environment
<menu> h S      info-lookup-symbol
<menu> h b      describe-bindings
<menu> h d      apropos-documentation
<menu> h i      info
<menu> h n      view-emacs-news
<menu> h p      finder-by-keyword
<menu> h r      info-emacs-manual
<menu> h w      where-is

if you are new to emacs, here's some emacs terms explanation:

  • point → cursor position (beginning of file is 1)
  • frame → window
  • window → a pane/frame, as in split window
  • buffer → a opened file, or working area like “tab”.
  • mark → a cursor position, that begin text selection.
  • region → text selection
  • transient mark mode → a preference setting, to have text selection highlighted
  • cua-mode → a preference setting, to have standard copy/cut/paste/undo keys

if you want my elisp commands:

The 【▤ Menu】 key is chosen because it's a easy starting key, right under thumb on the Truly Ergonomic Keyboard. See Ergoemacs-vi Mode