: Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition

14.3 Help with Complex Emacs Commands

14.3 Help with Complex Emacs Commands

Many of the more complicated Emacs commands include their own sets of help keystrokes. These commands often have their own help functionality, but help is invoked with ? rather than the standard help key. Here is a summary of some popular complex commands and what ? does within each of them:

dired(C-x d)

You see a list of the most frequently used commands in the minibuffer. This list is far from complete. Type C-h m (for describe-mode) for more comprehensive documentation and C-h b (for describe-bindings) for all the key bindings available to you.


You see a *Help* window listing the available commands. Typing C-h does the same thing. This also works with query-replace-regexp. save-some-buffers(C-x s)

Behavior is similar to query-replace just described.

list-buffers(C-x C-b)

You see a *Help* window giving information on buffer menu mode. This command has the same effect as typing C-h m (for describe-mode).


When you are responding to a minibuffer prompt with the name of something on which Emacs can do completion, typing ? at any time gives you a *Completions* window with the choices available at that point. Completion is explained in detail later in this chapter.

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