Help From Phil

Regular reader Phil offers some help on help in the comments to the vc-annotate post. The first suggestion is something I think he's mentioned before but that I promptly forgot. I often want to look at the source code that implements an Emacs command. Sometimes it's just curiosity, other times I want to extend or modify the command or implement something similar. My normal procedure for this is to bring up the help page for the command with 【Ctrl+h f】 and then click on the link to the source code. Actually, there's a function that does that for you: find-function. Phil assigns the key sequence 【Ctrl+h Ctrl+f】 for this. I do this operation often enough that this is a real time saver for me and I've added it to my init.el.

The second two commands are built in but virtually unknown. The sequence 【Ctrl+h F】 is just like 【Ctrl+h f】 except that it brings up the info page for the command. Similarly 【Ctrl+h K】 brings up the info page given the key sequence for the command.

These are really useful things to know so we all owe Phil thanks for (once again) pointing them out. Maybe now that I've blogged about them I'll actually remember them.

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  • Phil

    My full set of custom bindings for find-* commands are:

    C-h C-f : find-function
    C-h C-k : find-function-on-key
    C-h C-v : find-variable
    C-h C-l : find-library

    Taking a look at the C-h C-h page every now and again is probably a good idea. You might just find there's something built in that you didn't have a use for in the past, but now do.