Xah's Tutorial on Text Properties

Xah Lee has a new page out in his Emacs Lisp Tutorial that serves as a 10 minute introduction to text properties. Text properties are one of those things that you probably won’t need to fiddle with directly unless you are writing a (major or minor) mode but you often see them mentioned in such commands as buffer-substring-no-properties, which is a common function that anyone might use to write Elisp that manipulates text. So even if you don’t use them directly, it’s nice to know what they are and how they work.

The tutorial just gives you a flavor of what you can do with properties but it links to the full documentation if you really want all the details. It’s pretty easy to deal with the properties, as you’ll see when you read the tutorial.

I haven’t written about Lee’s tutorial for some time but I thought this new page was interesting and that others might enjoy it too. Lee has done a lot of work on the tutorial since I last mentioned it and it looks pretty good and is easy to navigate. One thing I especially like is that hovering over a function will pop up the doc string for that function so it’s easy to follow the action if an example uses a function you’re not familiar with.

If you work off-line a lot or just want to help out, you can buy a copy of both the Emacs and Emacs Lisp tutorials for $25.

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  • hey jcs, thanks for mention again!