Elisp: Documentation Lookup

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Look Up Function Doc String

The following function you will use often when you code elisp.

Alt+x describe-functionCtrl+h f】, then type the function name.

(if the function name is under cursor, you don't need to type the name, just hit Enter.)

emacs describe function 2017 06 21
emacs describe-function output

You can use the asterisk * as a wildcard when looking up function doc. For example, type Ctrl+h f *file Tab and emacs will list all functions whose name ends in “file”.

Once the function's doc string page comes up, you can jump to the function's location in source code by clicking on underlined file name (or press Tab to move your cursor to the link then press Enter).

Look Up Variable Doc String

Alt+x describe-variableCtrl+h v】 for doc string of variables.

Some words (symbols) in elisp source code are variables, not function.

For example, sentence-end-double-space is a variable.

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