: Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition

3.4.2.2 Making word abbreviations part of your startup

3.4.2.2 Making word abbreviations part of your startup

Once you become hooked on using abbreviation mode, it's easiest to incorporate it into your .emacs file. This procedure creates a permanent file of your word abbreviations that is loaded every time you start Emacs. You can also delete abbreviations from this file; we'll discuss how to do so in the next section.

To define word abbreviations and make them part of your startup:

1.Add these lines to your .emacs file:

(setq-default abbrev-mode t)
(read-abbrev-file "~/.abbrev_defs")
(setq save-abbrevs t)

2.Save the .emacs file and reenter Emacs. Abbrev appears on the mode line. You may get an error message saying Emacs can't load your abbrev file (understandable if you haven't created the file yet). Ignore this error message; it won't happen again.

3.Type an abbreviation and type C-x a i g or C-x a - following the abbreviation. These commands create a global abbreviation; if you want to create a local abbreviation instead, type C-x a i l. Emacs asks you for the expansion.

4.Type the definition for the abbreviation and press Enter. Emacs expands the abbreviation and will do so each time you type it followed by a space or punctuation mark. You can define as many abbreviations as you want to by repeating Steps 3 and 4.

5.Type C-x C-c to exit Emacs. Emacs asks if you want to save the abbreviations in .abbrev_defs.

6.Type y to save your abbreviations.

After you define some abbreviations and save them, Emacs loads the abbreviations file automatically. When you define word abbreviations in subsequent sessions, Emacs asks again whether you want to save the abbreviations file. Respond with a y to save the new abbreviations you've defined and have them take effect automatically.


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