Emacs: Lookup Google, Dictionary, Documentation

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Emacs: Lookup the Web, xah-lookup.el

For ready to-use-package, see

Emacs: Lookup the Web, xah-lookup.el

Write Your Own Lookup Command

Here's how to write a command to lookup the web of the word under cursor.

This is useful when you are writing a major mode for a programing language. You want to provide a command that lookup function (the word under cursor)'s documentation.

(require 'browse-url) ; part of gnu emacs

(defun my-lookup-wikipedia ()
  "Look up the word under cursor in Wikipedia.
If there is a text selection (a phrase), use that.

This command switches to browser."
  (interactive)
  (let (word)
    (setq word
          (if (use-region-p)
              (buffer-substring-no-properties (region-beginning) (region-end))
            (current-word)))
    (setq word (replace-regexp-in-string " " "_" word))
    (browse-url (concat "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/" word))
    ;; (eww myUrl) ; emacs's own browser
    ))

You can setup a key such as F8 for easy access. See: Emacs: How to Define Keys.

You can change the URL in the above definition to other reference sites.

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