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11.1 Help Summary

Here is a summary of the Emacs interactive help commands. (The character that follows C-h is the “help option.”) See section Help Files, for other help commands that display fixed files of information.

C-h a topics <RET>

Display a list of commands whose names match topics (apropos-command; see section Apropos).

C-h b

Display all active key bindings; minor mode bindings first, then those of the major mode, then global bindings (describe-bindings).

C-h c key

Given a key sequence key, show the name of the command that it runs (describe-key-briefly). Here c stands for “character.” For more extensive information on key, use C-h k.

C-h d topics <RET>

Display the commands and variables whose documentation matches topics (apropos-documentation).

C-h e

Display the *Messages* buffer (view-echo-area-messages).

C-h f function <RET>

Display documentation on the Lisp function named function (describe-function). Since commands are Lisp functions, this works for commands too.

C-h h

Display the ‘HELLO’ file, which shows examples of various character sets.

C-h i

Run Info, the GNU documentation browser (info). The complete Emacs manual is available on-line in Info.

C-h k key

Display the name and documentation of the command that key runs (describe-key).

C-h l

Display a description of the last 100 characters you typed (view-lossage).

C-h m

Display documentation of the current major mode (describe-mode).

C-h p

Find packages by topic keyword (finder-by-keyword).

C-h s

Display the current contents of the syntax table, with an explanation of what they mean (describe-syntax). See section The Syntax Table.

C-h t

Enter the Emacs interactive tutorial (help-with-tutorial).

C-h v var <RET>

Display the documentation of the Lisp variable var (describe-variable).

C-h w command <RET>

Show which keys run the command named command (where-is).

C-h C coding <RET>

Describe the coding system coding (describe-coding-system).

C-h C <RET>

Describe the coding systems currently in use.

C-h I method <RET>

Describe the input method method (describe-input-method).

C-h L language-env <RET>

Display information on the character sets, coding systems, and input methods used in language environment language-env (describe-language-environment).

C-h F function <RET>

Enter Info and goes to the node that documents the Emacs function function (Info-goto-emacs-command-node).

C-h K key

Enter Info and goes to the node that documents the key sequence key (Info-goto-emacs-key-command-node).

C-h S symbol <RET>

Display the Info documentation on symbol symbol according to the programming language you are editing (info-lookup-symbol).

C-h .

Display the help message for a special text area, if point is in one (display-local-help). (These include, for example, links in ‘*Help*’ buffers.)

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