EMACS is a very powerful and large editor. Apart from the normal editor functions, it can automatically format program source code while it is being written, be programmed to do nearly any task in lisp, offers an electronic mail interface and an internet news reader, automatically can compile the programs written with it, provides a file manager, and last but not least offers automated phsychotherapy. The latest X-Windows versions also have pull-down menus.
This power of course also uses a large amount of the computers resources, and some people call it ``Eight Megabytes Always Continously Swapping''
In contrast to ed and vi, EMACS does not have distinct command and input modes. When EMACS is started up we can immediately start entering text. All commands are reached via control keys or by calling a lisp function.
The control keys used are the CONTROL and META keys. In the EMACS manual and the following examples keystrokes are shown as follows:
EMACS is run by typing emacs and RETURN at the shell prompt. EMACS allows full use of the cursor keys, and the backspace key, so even novices can start editing text without any specialist knowledge. The easiest way to learn about EMACS, is to use the online tutorial, which can be started by typing C-h t.
Here are a few important EMACS commands:
As the use of EMACS is more intuitive as the other editors, it is easiest to learn more about, while using it.