GNU Emacs Manual. Node: Text Mode

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19.7: Text Mode

When you edit files of text in a human language, it's more convenient to use Text mode rather than Fundamental mode. To enter Text mode, type M-x text-mode.

In Text mode, only blank lines and page delimiters separate paragraphs. As a result, paragraphs can be indented, and adaptive filling determines what indentation to use when filling a paragraph. See Adaptive Fill.

Text mode defines TAB to run indent-relative (see Indentation), so that you can conveniently indent a line like the previous line. When the previous line is not indented, indent-relative runs tab-to-tab-stop, which uses Emacs tab stops that you can set (see Tab Stops).

Text mode turns off the features concerned with comments except when you explicitly invoke them. It changes the syntax table so that periods are not considered part of a word, while apostrophes, backspaces and underlines are considered part of words.

If you indent the first lines of paragraphs, then you should use Paragraph-Indent Text mode rather than Text mode. In this mode, you do not need to have blank lines between paragraphs, because the first-line indentation is sufficient to start a paragraph; however paragraphs in which every line is indented are not supported. Use M-x paragraph-indent-text-mode to enter this mode.

Text mode, and all the modes based on it, define M-TAB as the command ispell-complete-word, which performs completion of the partial word in the buffer before point, using the spelling dictionary as the space of possible words. See Spelling.

Entering Text mode runs the hook text-mode-hook. Other major modes related to Text mode also run this hook, followed by hooks of their own; this includes Paragraph-Indent Text mode, Nroff mode, TeX mode, Outline mode, and Mail mode. Hook functions on text-mode-hook can look at the value of major-mode to see which of these modes is actually being entered. See Hooks.

Emacs provides two other modes for editing text that is to be passed through a text formatter to produce fancy formatted printed output. See Nroff Mode, for editing input to the formatter nroff. See TeX Mode, for editing input to the formatter TeX.

Another mode is used for editing outlines. It allows you to view the text at various levels of detail. You can view either the outline headings alone or both headings and text; you can also hide some of the headings at lower levels from view to make the high level structure more visible. See Outline Mode.

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