Emacs commands use the Ctrl key and the Meta key (Meta is usually the Alt key or the Escape key). In this chapter, the notation C- indicates that the Ctrl key is pressed at the same time as the character that follows. Similarly, M- indicates the use of the Meta key. When using Escape for Meta, press and release the Escape key, then type the next key. If you use Alt (or Option on the Mac) for Meta, it is just like Ctrl or Shift, and you should press it simultaneously with the other key(s).
In the command tables that follow, the first column lists the keystroke and the last column describes it. When there is a middle column, it lists the command name. If there are no keystrokes for a given command, you’ll see (none) in the first column. Access these commands by typing M-x followed by the command name. If you’re unsure of the name, you can type a tab or a carriage return, and Emacs lists possible completions of what you’ve typed so far.
Because Emacs is such a comprehensive editor, containing literally thousands of commands, some commands must be omitted for the sake of preserving a “quick” reference. You can browse the command set from within Emacs by typing C-h (for help) or M-x Tab (for command names).