Emacs is described as "self-documenting". An extensive help system is available using various keystrokes starting with `C-h` (that is, Control-H). To choose from the full list, type `C-h C-h`.
Emacs Tutorial - Beginners Mandatory
Emacs ships with a tutorial. Just type `C-h t`. It teaches you all the essentials you need to know for starting emacs.
Intermediate to advanced users can browse in-built help with `C-h r`.
- Learning GNU Emacs, 2nd Edition by Debra Cameron, Bill Rosenblatt, Eric S. Raymond
Much better than the current, 3rd edition. The first half of the book walks you through the fundamental steps, as a tutorial.
Can be obtained from O'Reilly http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9781565921528.do
- Casting Spells in Lisp (Emacs Lisp version) by Conrad Barski M.D.
Written originally to teach Lisp, the book has been modified for Emacs Lisp. The presentation is in a form between a comic book and a manual that educates while you have fun. The best of both worlds.
It can be read online here.
- Xah Emacs Lisp Tutorial - This concise and concrete tutorial focus on practical needs with examples.
- Emacs Fu - Useful Tricks for Emacs
- Mastering Emacs
- Got Emacs?
- Xah Emacs Blog - Tips and tricks for emacs and emacs lisp
- Planet Emacsen - blogroll, includes probably all above
Before you install a lot of extensions, explore your Emacs distribution! Try 'C-h p' (find-emacs-packages) to browse the available packages by category.
This blog post is a great introduction to setting up your .emacs and emacs dir the "professional way"!