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General navigating/editing[edit]

Key binding Description Name
C-v Move forward one screen.
M-v Move backwards one screen.
C-l Move text so that the "point" becomes centered.
C-p Previous line.
C-n Next line. next-line
C-b Backward.
C-f Forward.
M-f Forward by a word.
M-b Backwards by a word.
C-a Move to beginning of a line.
C-e Move to the end of a line.
M-a Move to the beginning of a sentence.
M-e Move to the end of a sentence.
M-< Move to beginning of entire text. beginning-of-buffer
M-> Move to end of entire text. end-of-buffer
C-u Enter argument for next command.
C-g Stop the current command.
C-x 1 One window.
<Delback> Delete the character just before cursor.
C-d Delete the next character after the cursor.
M-<Delback> Kill the word immediately before the cursor.
M-d Kill the next word after the cursor.
C-k Kill from the cursor position to end of line.
M-k Kill to the end of the current sentence.
C-<SPC> Select beginning of text to kill. set-mark-command
C-w Select end of text to kill.
C-y Yanks back killed text.
M-y Replaces yanked text with previous kill.
C-x u Undo last change.
C-x C-f Find a file.
C-x C-s Save the file. (I.e., save the current buffer to the file which it is visiting.)
C-x C-b List buffers.
C-x b Switch buffer. switch-to-buffer
C-x s Save some buffers.
C-z Suspend Emacs temporarily.
$ fg (In Bash) Resume Emacs.
C-x C-c Quit Emacs.
C-s Search forwards.
C-r Search backwards.
M-x goto-line Prompts for number of line to jump to goto-line
M-x replace-string Search and replace. replace-string
M-x text-mode Switch to text mode. text-mode
M-x fundamental-mode Switch to fundamental mode. fundamental-mode
M-x org-mode Switch to org mode. org-mode
M-x lisp-mode Switch to Lisp mode. lisp-mode
M-x prolog-mode Switch to Prolog mode. prolog-mode
M-x list-input-methods Lists possible input methods list-input-methods
C-x <RET> C-\ Prompts for input method.[1] set-input-method
C-x <RET> C-\ ucs <RET> Mode for Unicode input (U+U). (Type U followed by four digits to input special character.)
C-\ Switches to default input method (stored in variable default-input-method).[2]
Options > Customize Emacs > Specific Option... (Menu item) Prompts for the name of a variable whose value is to be changed.
C-h m Help for current mode.
C-x 2 Two windows.
C-x 3 Three windows.
C-x o Move cursor to (o)ther window.
C-x C-x Exchanges positions of mark and blinking cursor. exchange-point-and-mark
C-x d Lists directory. (Cf. UNIX ls) dired
M-x cd Changes directory. (Cf. UNIX cd) cd
C-h f Prompts for the name of a function, for which a documentation string is then presented (in a new, Help-mode, buffer). describe-function
C-h v Prompts for the name of a variable, for which a help file is then presented. describe-variable
(variable) Major version of the current instance of Emacs. emacs-major-version
(variable) "Column beyond which automatic line-wrapping should happen." fill-column
M-x Prompts for the name of an interactive function (which will then be executed).
C-u Prompts for an argument (Should be used right before M-x to pass the argument to the interactive function (called with M-x))
M-x goto-char Goes to character number %PROMPT in the current buffer. goto-char
C-x h Marks entire current buffer as a region. mark-whole-buffer
C-x C-e Shows the result of executing an Emacs Lisp statement in the command line (at the bottom). Note: there is no need to enter lisp mode to be able to execute this.


C = Control key

M = Meta key (e.g., Command key)

M = ESC key in Terminal (ALT key in v. 23.4)

S = Shift key


C-c C-t Changes a TODO item to DONE
<TAB> toggle show/hide org-cycle
M-x org-indent-mode "Org Ind" mode (in Emacs v. 23.2 or later) org-indent-mode
C-c C-c Toggle checkbox status. org-toggle-checkbox
C-c C-x C-i Start clock on current headline. org-clock-in
C-c C-x C-o Stop the clock on current headline org-clock-out


C-x C-e Echoes the evaluation of the list which immediately precedes the blinking cursor eval-last-sexp
C-u C-x C-e Inserts (at the blinking cursor's position) the evaluation of the list which immediately precedes the blinking cursor
q quit/close the debugger/error_message window
name of the current buffer buffer-name
name of the file which the current buffer is visiting buffer-file-name
size of the current buffer buffer-size
number of the cursor's current position point
Defines function with name %1, parameter list %2, documentation string %3, interactive list %4 (optional), body %5 defun
Sets a mark at the current position of the blinking cursor. push-mark