Note: the emacs tutorial is much better than this page. To access it, start
emacs and type in
Ctrl-t (written as
To open emacs, type
at the command prompt. To open emacs with a file, type
at the command prompt. You can open multiple files as follows:
emacs file1 file2 file3
with as many files as you want. See Switching between buffers (files) and Multiple windows to learn how to deal with these.
To close emacs, type Ctrl-x Ctrl-c. If you have not saved your work, it will ask you to save it.
Saving in emacs
To save a file, type
Ctrl-x Ctrl-s. This will automatically save the
filename as whatever filename it was before, unless it was in the
scratch buffer, in which case it will ask you to enter in a
To save a file with a different name, type
Ctrl-x Ctrl-w. This is akin
to a “Save As” command.
Opening a file when emacs is already open
Ctrl-x Ctrl-f FILENAME
followed by the enter key will open up that file for you. If no such
file is found, it will open up a blank buffer with
FILENAME as its
Switching between buffers (files)
To switch between files already open in emacs, use
Ctrl-x b FILENAME.
Often, it is useful to open more than one window. To open 2 or 3 windows
in one, type in
Ctrl-x 2 or
Ctrl-x 3. To switch between buffers, type in
Ctrl-x o. To get back to one window, type