Before you get started with Emacs and Emacspeak, you must install both. Most distributions come with Emacs, or you can download it from the Emacs home page at http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/emacs.html. If you have not already installed Emacspeak, you can download it from http://emacspeak.sourceforge.net/. For Emacspeak installation information, please refer to the Emacspeak Installation HOWTO available at the Emacspeak home page, http://emacspeak.sourceforge.net.
If you've never used Emacs or Emacspeak before, you'll probably want to try some of the following tutorials:
Finally, you might want to peruse http://www.gnusoftware.com/WebRing/zone.cgi?list, which provides a list of Emacs resource sites.
Emacs commands are denoted by holding down either the Control key or the Meta key, then pressing one or more alphanumeric keys. On today's keyboards, the Alt key provides the same functionality as the old Meta key, or alternatively you can press the Esc key followed by the alphanumeric keys (you don't have to hold down the Esc key). Because different documents sometimes use different notation to denote these sequences, this section explains the notation used in this HOWTO. For consistency, this HOWTO uses the same notation as is used in the Emacs menus.
There are a few different types of key sequences you may see. The first is commonly written in the form C-x C-s. The letter "C," followed by a hypen, literally means "hold down the Control key" (the letter "M" would denote the Meta (Alt or Esc) key), and the additional letters denote specific commands. This example, which saves the current file, should be interpreted as, "Hold down the Control key, press the letter x followed by the letter s, then release the Control key."
Another common sequence is written in the form C-x d. Again, the letter "C" followed by a hyphen denotes holding down the Control key. However, because the second letter of the sequence does not have a "C-" in front of it, you do not hold down the Control key while pressing the second letter. Thus, this command should be interpreted as, "Hold down the Control key and type x, then release the Control key and type d." Sometimes you may see commands with more than one letter after them, such as C-e d w. The same rules apply: you should hold down the Control key, press "e," release the Control key, then press "d" and "w".
Finally, you may see commands that use actual words, such as M-x emacspeak-toggle-word-echo. Fortunately, most of these longer commands have a shorthand command (in this case, C-e d w. However, should you opt to type the entire command, you would hold down the Meta or Alt key, type x, release the Meta key, then type emacspeak-toggle-word-echo.
There are several different types of help you can get from within Emacs. If you are unfamiliar with Emacs or Emacspeak, refer to Getting Started with Emacs and Emacspeak in Getting started for information on several tutorials that can help get you up and running. If you've completed those tutorials and are looking for more in-depth help on specific topics, consider the following sources.
The most comprehensive source for Emacs is the GNU Emacs Manual, available at http://www.delorie.com/gnu/docs/emacs/emacs_toc.html. Not only does this document contain information on using Emacs as a text editor, but it also contains information on how to use many of the Emacs applications.
In addition, there are many help options within Emacs, all of which can be accessed using C-h. Some of these options, and the types of help they provide, are listed below.
When you install Emacspeak, additional Emacspeak-specific help is also installed. In general, Emacspeak commands begin with C-e. The more commonly used help commands are listed below:
In addition to the general Emacs commands that are Emacspeak enabled, many applications have their own Emacspeak-enabled commands. To get a list of these commands, invoke the application of choice (for example, W3 for viewing web sites)and then type C-h k for a list of key bindings, or C-h m to list the commands associated with the cirretn active modes.
Linux comes with an extensive manual, better known as the "man" pages. These pages cover just about every Linux command. The only drawback to using the man pages is that you must know the name of the command you want information about. To read a man entry:
For more information on man pages themselves, you can type man when prompted for the manual entry name.