Emacs Cheat Sheet



What How Comments
Run emacs from the shell command line to edit a new or existing file emacs myfile &

The '&' allows the terminal window from which emacs is called to continue accepting commands. If the '&' is left out, that terminal window will lock up until emacs is closed.

Add text to a file Just start typing. By default, emacs is in "text insert" mode.
Notation C-f

Means press CTRL and hold it while you type f.

C-x C-s

Means press CTRL and hold it while you type x and then s.

Move the cursor

(The arrow keys also work.)

C-f forward 1 character To move forward multiple characters, hold down CTRL and hit f several times.
C-b back 1 character  
C-n next line  
C-p previous line  
M-> end of file  
M-< start of file  
Search C-s pattern search for pattern starting from cursor position

To find next occurrence, do C-s again.

To find one occurrence after another, hold down CTRL and type one s after another.

Deleting DELETE delete 1 char  
C-k kill/delete characters from cursor to end-of-line These characters are 'cut' and put into a buffer which can be pasted with C-y (yank).
Cut and Paste




C-k to kut

C-y to paste (yank)

Save file

C-x C-s (Save)

C-x C-w (Save As)

Exit Emacs C-x C-c   It'll ask you if you want to save or not.
Undo C-g Gets you out of any command you are currnetly try to run e.g. search, open, save as, or you hit back space by accident. Hitting Esc multiple times also does the trick, if you prefer to take out frustration on keyboards :)
C-_ Undo changes to the buffer e.g. typing or deletion. C-- works in some versions too.