O'Reilly logo

Learning GNU Emacs, Second Edition by Eric S. Raymond, Bill Rosenblatt, Debra Cameron

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 15. Emacs and X

Though Emacs can run on a character terminal, it is a native X client application and doesn’t need to run through xterm. This feature gives it the ability to use multiple fonts, interpret mouse events, display through more than one X window and use X’s whole range of facilities. In this chapter, we’ll introduce you to the Emacs X interface.

User-Interface Features

Many of the X features are instantly ready to use when you fire up your Emacs. We’ll describe these first, then get into the features for Emacs customization and programming.

Window Scrollbars and X Mode Lines

The most obvious difference from an Emacs running on a terminal is that each Emacs X window has its own X scrollbar. Each of these scrollbars behaves much like the scrollbar on an xterm window; you can drag the thumb with your mouse to scroll the window continuously or click on the scrollbar to jump-scroll up and down through it. You can also click on and drag a window mode line. It will move, resizing the windows above and below it.

The Menu Bar

You’ll also notice that the top line of your Emacs generically resembles a Macintosh menu bar, with headings for Buffers, Files, Tools, Edit, Search, and Help. If you click on these, you’ll get pull-down menus that make it easy to mouse-select various common commands. (Starting with Emacs version 19.30, a version of this menu bar is also available in terminal mode, but you have to navigate it with keystrokes rather than a mouse.)

For example, the Buffers ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required