Practical Emacs Tutorial

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By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

This tutorial is designed for writers, scientists, engineers, to get started on emacs quickly. Each page teaches you something practical you can use right away. No emacs jargons. No need for programing experience.

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If you were to spend 3 months reading 3 emacs books, it is more efficient to just read Xah Emacs Tutorial for just 1 month. Xah tutorial focus on actually using emacs in practice, and on efficiency of using emacs, as well as efficiency of learning.

  1. This tutorial skips the emacs parts that 90% of programers will rarely use. Every single one thousand emacs C-x commands are looked, the practical ones are presented to you.
  2. The write style is concrete, and example based. No story telling, no joke, just what you need to know to use emacs in the most efficient way.
  3. This tutorial does not force emacs jargons and emacs hacker methods. If you are new to emacs, you will understand it. If you are old time hacker, you will also understand it.
  4. This tutorial covers emacs lisp in depth, and is the only book-length tutorial to do so. A little elisp makes you a far better emacs user and understanding emacs.
  5. There are more examples and elisp code in Xah Emacs Tutorial than all existing emacs books combined. You do not need to read it all, but any time spent reading this tutorial, you can be sure it's the most efficient way to learn emacs.

The author lives in emacs since 1999. And has been writing emacs tutorial since 2006.

If you have a question, leave a comment at the bottom of the page you are reading.

For experienced emacs users or programers, see Practical Emacs Lisp. Knowing a little elisp goes a long way.


from Sacha and Marie emacs tutorial review 2014

Thank YOU for your fantastic resource. I've been an emacs user for 28 years, and I've learned countless things from your tutorials.

I've used Emacs since 1986. Thanks for making such interesting remarks with history and pictures and so forth. In addition, you're right! —NN

;;; coffee-mode.el --- Major mode to edit CoffeeScript files in Emacs
;; Major thanks to
;; the instructions.

Chris Wanstrath (co-founder of Github) @

Thank you guys. Testimonial on Xah's Emacs Tutorial

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