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11 Help

Emacs provides extensive help features accessible through a single character, C-h. C-h is a prefix key that is used for commands that display documentation. The characters that you can type after C-h are called help options. One help option is C-h; that is how you ask for help about using C-h. To cancel, type C-g. The function key <F1> is equivalent to C-h.

C-h C-h (help-for-help) displays a list of the possible help options, each with a brief description. Before you type a help option, you can use <SPC> or <DEL> to scroll through the list.

C-h or <F1> means “help” in various other contexts as well. After a prefix key, it displays a list of the alternatives that can follow the prefix key. (A few prefix keys don't support C-h, because they define other meanings for it, but they all support <F1>.)

Most help buffers use a special major mode, Help mode, which lets you scroll conveniently with <SPC> and <DEL>. It also offers hyperlinks to URLs and further help regarding cross-referenced names, Info nodes, customization buffers and the like. See Help Mode.

If you are looking for a certain feature, but don't know where exactly it is documented, and aren't sure of the name of a related command or variable, we recommend trying these methods. Usually it is best to start with an apropos command, then try searching the manual index, then finally look in the FAQ and the package keywords.

C-h a topics <RET>
This searches for commands whose names match topics, which should be a keyword, a list of keywords, or a regular expression (see Regexps). This command displays all the matches in a new buffer. See Apropos.
C-h i d m emacs <RET> i topic <RET>
This looks up topic in the indices of the Emacs on-line manual. If there are several matches, Emacs displays the first one. You can then press , to move to other matches, until you find what you are looking for.
C-h i d m emacs <RET> s topic <RET>
Similar, but searches for topic (which can be a regular expression) in the text of the manual rather than in its indices.
C-h C-f
This brings up the Emacs FAQ. You can use the Info commands to browse it.
C-h p
Finally, you can try looking up a suitable package using keywords pertinent to the feature you need. See Library Keywords.

To find the documentation of a key sequence or a menu item, type C-h K and then type that key sequence or select the menu item. This looks up the description of the command invoked by the key or the menu in the appropriate manual (not necessarily the Emacs manual). Likewise, use C-h F for reading documentation of a command.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire