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30.12.9 Forcing Enriched Mode

Normally, Emacs knows when you are editing formatted text because it recognizes the special annotations used in the file that you visited. However, there are situations in which you must take special actions to convert file contents or turn on Enriched mode:

  • When you visit a file that was created with some other editor, Emacs may not recognize the file as being in the text/enriched format. In this case, when you visit the file you will see the formatting commands rather than the formatted text. Type M-x format-decode-buffer to translate it. This also automatically turns on Enriched mode.
  • When you insert a file into a buffer, rather than visiting it, Emacs does the necessary conversions on the text which you insert, but it does not enable Enriched mode. If you wish to do that, type M-x enriched-mode.

The command format-decode-buffer translates text in various formats into Emacs's internal format. It asks you to specify the format to translate from; however, normally you can type just <RET>, which tells Emacs to guess the format.

If you wish to look at a text/enriched file in its raw form, as a sequence of characters rather than as formatted text, use the M-x find-file-literally command. This visits a file, like find-file, but does not do format conversion. It also inhibits character code conversion (see Coding Systems) and automatic uncompression (see Compressed Files). To disable format conversion but allow character code conversion and/or automatic uncompression if appropriate, use format-find-file with suitable arguments.

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