back 8 characters – C-u 8 C-b

back a character – C-b

beginning of line - C-a

beginning of sentence - M-a


carriage returns, get rid of – M-^

close a filecontrol x, control c

cut and paste

1.      Move the point (the cursor) to the beginning of the region to be moved

2.      Type C-<space> to set the mark

3.      Move the point to the end of the region to be moved

4.      Type C-w to wipe that region into the kill ring

5.      Move the point to the position where the text should be inserted

6.      Type C-y to yank the deleted text out of the kill ring, and insert it where the point is

If the text to be cut and pasted is only one line long, the process is even easier:

1.      Move the point to the line to be removed, and type C-a if necessary to move the point to the beginning of the line

2.      Type C-k to delete the line

3.      Move the point to where the line should be pasted

4.      Type C-y to yank the line into your document

5.      Alternatively, to insert something from what you put in the buffer BEFORE you started up emacs, C-insert

In addition, step 2 above can be repeated to cut and paste two or more lines all at once.

copy and paste

The copy and paste process is almost exactly the same as the cut and paste process. The only difference is use of the M-w (“M” stands for the “Meta” key which is often “Esc” but has been known to be something else) command in place of the C-w command, to select the region without removing it. M-w will add the selected text to the kill ring, so that it can be pasted later, without removing it from your document.



editing overview

.emacs file template

end of line - C-e

end of sentence - M-e


forward 8 characters – C-u 8 C-f

forward a character – C-f

front of line - C-a

frozen – C-g


global replace

M-x “replace-string” and hit return

The prompt will change to: “Replace string:”.  Type in the “search” string and hit return.  So type in a string like “foo” and hit return

The prompt will change to: “Replace string bob with:”  Type in a string like “bar” and hit return

You should get something like: “Replaced 20 occurrences”


html - enhanced HTML editing mode)

download HTML helper mode beta files html-helper-mode.el and tempo.el to /usr/local/share/emacs/site-lisp

add some lines to .emacs

(autoload 'html-helper-mode "html-helper-mode" "Yay HTML" t)

(setq auto-mode-alist (cons '("\\.htm$" . html-helper-mode) auto-mode-alist))

(setq auto-mode-alist (cons '("\\.html$" . html-helper-mode) auto-mode-alist))

hung – C-g



indent the region 4 spaces:

C-u C-x TAB

to indent it -4 spaces:

C-u -4 C-x TAB

or, more simply, mark the corners of the indentation that you want to remove and use kill-rectangle, which is bound to "C-x r k" by default.



key, find the function that's bound to any key with "C-h k", then type the key you're interested in.  It will be different depending on the Emacs mode you're in.


line numbers

download setnu.el to /usr/local/share/emacs/site-lisp

in your .emacs, add the line:

(require 'setnu)

In an emacs session, M-x setnu-mode toggles the line number mode on and off.


M, as in “M-x”.  You’ll see a lot of this in online explanations of how emacs works.  Turns out “M” stands for “the Meta key” which is usually the “Alt” key (if you keep it pressed down) or the “Esc” key (if you press and then release before hitting next character) but can apparently be configured to be some other key.

move to front or end of line - C-a or C-e

move to front or end of sentence - M-a or M-e


new lines, get rid of – M-^


outdent – see indent - to outdent 4 spaces, C-u -4 C-x TAB


package – emacs21

print – M-x ps-print-buffer for whole doc, M-x ps-print-region for just a region



replace – In addition to the simple ‘M-x replace-string’ command which is like that found in most editors, there is a ‘M-x query-replace’ command which finds each occurrence of the pattern and asks you whether to replace it.


spaces, get rid of – M-x Collapse-spaces.  If this isn’t defined, in your .emacs file,

(defun Collapse-spaces ()

  "Turn consecutive spaces and tabs into one space"


  (while (re-search-forward "[ \t]+" nil t)

  (replace-match " " nil nil)))


tab key to always insert a tab in perl code

add this to your .emacs file sometime after the '(load "artselect")' line:

            (add-hook 'cperl-mode-hook

                        (lambda ()

                                    (local-set-key "\C-i" 'tab-to-tab-stop)))

The behavior it has otherwise is to insert a tab if you're within a line, but if you're in the whitespace at the beginning of a line it indents the line.

Each mode in Emacs tends to define tab somehow, so you have to override it on a per-mode basis like the above.  If you want to do the same thing in Text mode, you would do the above for 'text-mode-hook.

tutorial – Ctrl-h t



emacs allows for virtually limitless undo, on typing, simple deleting, and kill ring commands. The undo command is C-_ (while holding down Control, type the underscore character). Notice that this requires use of three keys - control, shift, and the underscore key.

Ctrl-x u might also work







2 sessions – m-x man