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31.6.3 Emacs Lisp Documentation Lookup

As you edit Lisp code to be run in Emacs, you can use the commands C-h f (describe-function) and C-h v (describe-variable) to view documentation of functions and variables that you want to use. These commands use the minibuffer to read the name of a function or variable to document, and display the documentation in a window. Their default arguments are based on the code in the neighborhood of point. For C-h f, the default is the function called in the innermost list containing point. C-h v uses the symbol name around or adjacent to point as its default.

A more automatic but less powerful method is Eldoc mode. This minor mode constantly displays in the echo area the argument list for the function being called at point. (In other words, it finds the function call that point is contained in, and displays the argument list of that function.) If point is over a documented variable, it shows the first line of the variable's docstring. Eldoc mode applies in Emacs Lisp and Lisp Interaction modes, and perhaps a few others that provide special support for looking up doc strings. Use the command M-x eldoc-mode to enable or disable this feature.


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