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.
Display a list of commands whose names match topics
apropos-command). See Apropos.
Display all active key bindings; minor mode bindings first, then those
of the major mode, then global bindings (
See Misc Help.
Show the name of the command that the key sequence key is bound
describe-key-briefly). Here c stands for
“character”. For more extensive information on key, use
C-h k. See Key Help.
Display the commands and variables whose documentation matches
apropos-documentation). See Apropos.
Display the *Messages* buffer
view-echo-area-messages). See Misc Help.
Display documentation on the Lisp function named function
describe-function). Since commands are Lisp functions,
this works for commands too. See Name Help.
Display the HELLO file, which shows examples of various character sets.
Run Info, the GNU documentation browser (
info). The Emacs
manual is available in Info. See Misc Help.
Display the name and documentation of the command that key runs
describe-key). See Key Help.
Display a description of your last 300 keystrokes
view-lossage). See Misc Help.
Display documentation of the current major mode and minor modes
describe-mode). See Misc Help.
Display news of recent Emacs changes (
See Help Files.
Display documentation of the Lisp symbol named symbol
describe-symbol). This will show the documentation of all
kinds of symbols: functions, variables, and faces. See Name Help.
Find packages by topic keyword (
See Package Keywords. This lists packages using a package menu
buffer. See Packages.
Display documentation about the specified package
describe-package). See Package Keywords.
Display the Emacs manual in Info (
Display the contents of the current syntax table
describe-syntax). See Misc Help. The syntax table says
which characters are opening delimiters, which are parts of words, and
so on. See Syntax Tables in The Emacs Lisp
Reference Manual, for details.
Enter the Emacs interactive tutorial (
Display the documentation of the Lisp variable var
describe-variable). See Name Help.
Show which keys run the command named command (
See Key Help.
Describe the coding system coding
describe-coding-system). See Coding Systems.
Describe the coding systems currently in use.
Enter Info and go to the node that documents the Emacs command
Info-goto-emacs-command-node). See Name Help.
Describe the input method method (
See Select Input Method.
Enter Info and go to the node that documents the key sequence
Info-goto-emacs-key-command-node). See Key Help.
Display information on the character sets, coding systems, and input
methods used in language environment language-env
describe-language-environment). See Language Environments.
Display the Info documentation on symbol symbol according to the
programming language you are editing (
See Misc Help.
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.) See Help Echo.