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10.1 Help Summary

Here is a summary of help commands for accessing the built-in documentation. Most of these are described in more detail in the following sections.

C-h a topics <RET>
Display a list of commands whose names match topics (apropos-command).
C-h b
Display all active key bindings; minor mode bindings first, then those of the major mode, then global bindings (describe-bindings).
C-h c key
Show the name of the command that the key sequence key is bound to (describe-key-briefly). Here c stands for “character”. For more extensive information on key, use C-h k.
C-h d topics <RET>
Display the commands and variables whose documentation matches topics (apropos-documentation).
C-h e
Display the *Messages* buffer (view-echo-area-messages).
C-h f function <RET>
Display documentation on the Lisp function named function (describe-function). Since commands are Lisp functions, this works for commands too.
C-h h
Display the HELLO file, which shows examples of various character sets.
C-h i
Run Info, the GNU documentation browser (info). The Emacs manual is available in Info.
C-h k key
Display the name and documentation of the command that key runs (describe-key).
C-h l
Display a description of your last 300 keystrokes (view-lossage).
C-h m
Display documentation of the current major mode (describe-mode).
C-h n
Display news of recent Emacs changes (view-emacs-news).
C-h p
Find packages by topic keyword (finder-by-keyword). This lists packages using a package menu buffer. See Packages.
C-h P package <RET>
Display documentation about the package named package (describe-package).
C-h r
Display the Emacs manual in Info (info-emacs-manual).
C-h s
Display the contents of the current syntax table (describe-syntax). The syntax table says which characters are opening delimiters, which are parts of words, and so on. See Syntax Tables, for details.
C-h t
Enter the Emacs interactive tutorial (help-with-tutorial).
C-h v var <RET>
Display the documentation of the Lisp variable var (describe-variable).
C-h w command <RET>
Show which keys run the command named command (where-is).
C-h C coding <RET>
Describe the coding system coding (describe-coding-system).
C-h C <RET>
Describe the coding systems currently in use.
C-h F command <RET>
Enter Info and go to the node that documents the Emacs command command (Info-goto-emacs-command-node).
C-h I method <RET>
Describe the input method method (describe-input-method).
C-h K key
Enter Info and go to the node that documents the key sequence key (Info-goto-emacs-key-command-node).
C-h L language-env <RET>
Display information on the character sets, coding systems, and input methods used in language environment language-env (describe-language-environment).
C-h S symbol <RET>
Display the Info documentation on symbol symbol according to the programming language you are editing (info-lookup-symbol).
C-h .
Display the help message for a special text area, if point is in one (display-local-help). (These include, for example, links in *Help* buffers.)