GNU Emacs Manual. Node: Help


Chapter 6: Help

Emacs provides extensive help features accessible through a single character, C-h. C-h is a prefix key that is used only for documentation-printing commands. The characters that you can type after C-h are called help options. One help option is C-h; that is how you ask for help about using C-h. To cancel, type C-g. The function key F1 is equivalent to C-h.

C-h C-h (help-for-help) displays a list of the possible help options, each with a brief description. Before you type a help option, you can use SPC or DEL to scroll through the list.

C-h or F1 means ``help'' in various other contexts as well. For example, in the middle of query-replace, it describes the options available for how to operate on the current match. After a prefix key, it displays a list of the alternatives that can follow the prefix key. (A few prefix keys don't support C-h, because they define other meanings for it, but they all support F1.)

Most help buffers use a special major mode, Help mode, which lets you scroll conveniently with SPC and DEL.

  • Help Summary Brief list of all Help commands.
  • Key Help Asking what a key does in Emacs.
  • Name Help Asking about a command, variable or function name.
  • Apropos Asking what pertains to a given topic.
  • Library Keywords Finding Lisp libraries by keywords (topics).
  • Language Help Help relating to international language support.
  • Help Mode Special features of Help mode and Help buffers.
  • Misc Help Other help commands.
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