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Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition by Bill Rosenblatt, Eric S. Raymond, Marc Loy, James Elliott, Debra Cameron

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Navigating Emacs Documentation

Once upon a time, to get access to Emacs documentation, you ordered manuals from FSF. You can still do so if you like printed documentation (as we do) and would like to support the FSF, but most of the documentation you will ever want or need is at your fingertips right in Emacs.

Using Info to Read Manuals

Most GNU documentation (including Emacs documentation) is in texinfo format and designed to be read in the Info documentation reader. Typing C-h i (for info) puts you at the top-level of the Info tree. You’ll see that Emacs is just one choice of many. In Info, documentation is organized as trees of information called nodes. If you want information on a topic, you can select its tree; the nodes of the tree contain information on subtopics, subsubtopics, etc., organized hierarchically.

When you type C-h i, you see a read-only buffer containing the directory node of the Info system in a window in Info mode. If you press h while in Info, you get a tutorial on Info analogous to the one described earlier for basic Emacs commands.

You’re probably better off typing C-h r, which sends you directly to the Emacs manual.

Type: C-h r

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Emacs displays the table of contents for the Emacs manual.

Note that the icons are almost completely different in Info mode. Later in this section, Table 14-3 lists them, along with the keystrokes needed for navigating in this ...

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