30 Commands for Human Languages
The term text has two widespread meanings in our area of the
computer field. One is data that is a sequence of characters. Any file
that you edit with Emacs is text, in this sense of the word. The other
meaning is more restrictive: a sequence of characters in a human language
for humans to read (possibly after processing by a text formatter), as
opposed to a program or commands for a program.
Human languages have syntactic/stylistic conventions that can be
supported or used to advantage by editor commands: conventions involving
words, sentences, paragraphs, and capital letters. This chapter
describes Emacs commands for all of these things. There are also
commands for filling, which means rearranging the lines of a
paragraph to be approximately equal in length. The commands for moving
over and killing words, sentences and paragraphs, while intended
primarily for editing text, are also often useful for editing programs.
Emacs has several major modes for editing human-language text. If the
file contains text pure and simple, use Text mode, which customizes
Emacs in small ways for the syntactic conventions of text. Outline mode
provides special commands for operating on text with an outline
For text which contains embedded commands for text formatters, Emacs
has other major modes, each for a particular text formatter. Thus, for
input to TeX, you would use TeX
For input to nroff, use Nroff mode.
Instead of using a text formatter, you can edit formatted text in
WYSIWYG style (“what you see is what you get”), with Enriched mode.
Then the formatting appears on the screen in Emacs while you edit.
The “automatic typing” features may be useful when writing text.