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10.1 Help Summary

Here is a summary of help commands for accessing the built-in documentation. Most of these are described in more detail in the following sections.

C-h a topics RET

Display a list of commands whose names match topics (apropos-command). See Apropos.

C-h b

Display all active key bindings; minor mode bindings first, then those of the major mode, then global bindings (describe-bindings). See Other Help Commands.

C-h c key

Show the name of the command that the key sequence key is bound to (describe-key-briefly). Here c stands for “character”. For more extensive information on key, use C-h k. See Documentation for a Key.

C-h d topics RET

Display the commands and variables whose documentation matches topics (apropos-documentation). See Apropos.

C-h e

Display the *Messages* buffer (view-echo-area-messages). See Other Help Commands.

C-h f function RET

Display documentation on the Lisp function named function (describe-function). Since commands are Lisp functions, this works for commands too, but you can also use C-h x. See Help by Command or Variable Name.

C-h h

Display the HELLO file, which shows examples of various character sets.

C-h i

Run Info, the GNU documentation browser (info). The Emacs manual is available in Info. See Other Help Commands.

C-h k key

Display the name and documentation of the command that key runs (describe-key). See Documentation for a Key.

C-h l

Display a description of your last 300 keystrokes (view-lossage). See Other Help Commands.

C-h m

Display documentation of the current major mode and minor modes (describe-mode). See Other Help Commands.

C-h n

Display news of recent Emacs changes (view-emacs-news). See Help Files.

C-h o symbol

Display documentation of the Lisp symbol named symbol (describe-symbol). This will show the documentation of all kinds of symbols: functions, variables, and faces. See Help by Command or Variable Name.

C-h p

Find packages by topic keyword (finder-by-keyword). See Keyword Search for Packages. This lists packages using a package menu buffer. See Emacs Lisp Packages.

C-h P package RET

Display documentation about the specified package (describe-package). See Keyword Search for Packages.

C-h r

Display the Emacs manual in Info (info-emacs-manual).

C-h s

Display the contents of the current syntax table (describe-syntax). See Other Help Commands. The syntax table says which characters are opening delimiters, which are parts of words, and so on. See Syntax Tables in The Emacs Lisp Reference Manual, for details.

C-h t

Enter the Emacs interactive tutorial (help-with-tutorial).

C-h v var RET

Display the documentation of the Lisp variable var (describe-variable). See Help by Command or Variable Name.

C-h w command RET

Show which keys run the command named command (where-is). See Documentation for a Key.

C-h x command RET

Display documentation on the named command (describe-command). See Help by Command or Variable Name.

C-h C coding RET

Describe the coding system coding (describe-coding-system). See Coding Systems.

C-h C RET

Describe the coding systems currently in use.

C-h F command RET

Enter Info and go to the node that documents the Emacs command command (Info-goto-emacs-command-node). See Help by Command or Variable Name.

C-h I method RET

Describe the input method method (describe-input-method). See Selecting an Input Method.

C-h K key

Enter Info and go to the node that documents the key sequence key (Info-goto-emacs-key-command-node). See Documentation for a Key.

C-h L language-env RET

Display information on the character sets, coding systems, and input methods used in language environment language-env (describe-language-environment). See Language Environments.

C-h S symbol RET

Display the Info documentation on symbol symbol according to the programming language you are editing (info-lookup-symbol). See Other Help Commands.

C-h .

Display the help message for a special text area, if point is in one (display-local-help). (These include, for example, links in *Help* buffers.) See Help on Active Text and Tooltips.

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