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Welcome to WikEmacs - A Community Maintained Emacs Wiki


Useful resources for working with GNU Emacs. See also Emacs (Wikipedia).

WikEmacs (pronounced wikimacs) is intended as a next generation alternative to the traditional EmacsWiki.

Consult Mediawiki User's Guide for contributing to this wiki. You can use mediawiki.el to contribute to the wiki from the comfort of your Emacs.

Getting started with Emacs

The latest stable release is Emacs-23.4. The next major release is Emacs-24.1 and is in Pretest stage.

Emacs is available on all popular Operating Systems including GNULinux, OSX and Windows. See the respective pages for installation instruction and platform specific customization.

Emacs ships with a bunch of Cheatsheets or Reference Cards for popular packages. These are located in the refcards subdirectory of data-directory. Template:Function. Template:Command.

  • Look and Feel
  • Emacs for Vim users
  • Starter Kits
  • Learning Resources and getting help
  • Package Managers
  • Emacs Terminology
    • Buffer (contrasted with file)
    • Windows and frames (compared with panes and windows respectively)
    • Point and mark (compared with insertion point/cursor and ...?)
    • Kill and Yank (contrasted with cut and paste) and the kill ring
    • Region (compared and contrasted with selection)
    • Fill (compared with line wrap)
    • Case-fold (compared with case sensitivity)
    • Narrow and widen (compared with collapse and expand)
  • Quitting Emacs: type `C-x C-c` (that's Control-X, Control-C)

Text editing in Emacs

Automation in Emacs

Configuring Emacs


  • Completion and selection

Emacs and Desktop Integration

Typesetting, Document Markup and Document Creation in Emacs

Emacs as an IDE

Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Emacs is called CEDET. See Gentle Introduction to CEDET.

For Literate Programming see Org Babel.

Programming and Scripting Languages

Markup Languages




Interactive command-line environments for Lisp. (Read-Eval-Print-Loop)

  • Inferior Emacs Lisp Mode (IELM), for interacting with Emacs' own internal Lisp
  • mozrepl, for interacting with an external web browser's internal JavaScript engine
  • SLIME, for interacting with an external Common Lisp or Clojure instance

Version Control

Emacs supports many Version Control systems out of the box and provides bindings and other shortcuts for a better workflow between Emacs and these systems.

Within Emacs, ediff provides sophisticated diff and merge functions. Both vc and dvc integrate well with ediff.



Web browsing and web development

  • w3: a pure-Emacs-Lisp text-mode web browser.
  • w3m-el: The text-mode w3m web browser hosted and enhanced within Emacs, with rudimentary inline image support but no JavaScript.
  • Launching and interacting with an external browser from emacs
  • Using emacs as a browser's external editor, either when entering text on web pages or when viewing a web page's source document or both.

Shells and terminal emulation

Within Emacs you can interact with various shells and other command-line/text-mode programs running as a sub-process within an Emacs terminal emulator:

eshell is a shell (not a terminal emulator, nor a process hosted in one) written in pure Emacs Lisp . It is very powerful, flexible and customizable, but poorly documented at time of writing.

Emacs itself is fully functional either in a terminal or a windowing system. Some keystrokes available under window systems may not work in a terminal and vice versa.


Security and cryptography

Getting Involved

  • IRC Channel

Contributing to Emacs

  • Reporting bugs
  • Testers
    • Profiling
    • Memory Usage
    • Reporting Bugs

Niche Uses

Games and Entertainment

  • Tetris
  • Doctor
  • Humor


  • XEmacs and GNU Emacs

Popular Culture and Community

  • Adding Emacs-style key bindings to other programs and operating systems.
  • St Ignucius and the Church of Emacs
  • Saving the world from vi