emacs terminology

The first emacs versions appeared in 1976, in a world quite different from the current, in particular when it comes to computing. For this reason, emacs uses a lot of terminology that is a bit foreign for people who learned computers in later years. This presents a challenge when trying emacs itself, or its extensive documentation. Here, I try to list the emacs terminology and the 'translation' in current computer terms. I expect to be continually updating this.

As with much of what is in this blog, for just about everything a footnote could be added with some exception/alternative explanation/..., but I will resist the urge to do so.

The following picture shows some of the important concepts to keep in mind... especially when reading emacs documentation. Of course, many of the visual details depend on your color settings, operating system, emacs-version and so on...

The following table is another way to help you understand the emacs jargon:

emacs terminology common terminology
evaluate expressionsinterpret/execute some code
font lockingsyntax highlighting
fillingline wrapping
markbeginning of the selected area
mode linestatus bar
pointcursor position
regionselected area; the area between 'mark' and 'point'
visit a fileopen a file
windowwindow pane

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would say it is one of the most important posts for new-emacs users!