Collection of various little things I find handy when I am lost in Emacs

  • Truly lost and need help about help itself? C-h C-h or C-h ?
  • C-h m should bring up a list of all the shortcuts available to that mode.
  • Want to find out what the docs mean when they refer to something? C-h o and then type in that name.
    For e.g. when the Org Mode docs refer to org-hide-leading-stars, a C-h o => Return => org-hide-leading-stars will give me details about what it is. (According to the docs: org-hide-leading-stars is a variable defined in ‘org.el’. Its value is nil.) Alternatively if you know the type of object, you’re looking at, C-h f will give you help on a function and C-h v will do the same with a variable.
  • If you want to know what function is behind this crazy shortcut you’re typing, a C-h k followed by giving it the shortcut your typing will lead you to the culprit command that powers it.
    For e.g. I blanked out on how to toggle multiple checkboxes in Org Mode today and I was hitting C-c C-x b to on avail. Running C-h k told me that it was bound to org-tree-to-indirect-buffer. So I was madly mashing the wrong keys. A little digging (with C-h m) revealed that what I needed was C-c C-x C-b which ran org-toggle-checkbox which indeed did what I wanted! :)

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