This file documents the GNU Emacs Web Wowser (EWW) package.
Copyright © 2014–2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with the Front-Cover Texts being “A GNU Manual,” and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License.”
(a) The FSF’s Back-Cover Text is: “You have the freedom to copy and modify this GNU manual.”
|History and Acknowledgments|
|GNU Free Documentation License||The license for this documentation.|
|Lisp Function Index|
EWW, the Emacs Web Wowser, is a web browser for GNU Emacs. It
can load, parse, and display various web pages using shr.el.
However a GNU Emacs with
libxml2 support is required.
2 Basic Usage
You can open a URL or search the web with the command M-x eww.
If the input doesn’t look like a URL or domain name the web will be
eww-search-prefix. The default search engine is
DuckDuckGo. If you want to open a file
either prefix the file name with
file:// or use the command
If you invoke
eww with a prefix argument, as in C-u M-x eww, it will create a new EWW buffer instead of reusing the
default one, which is normally called *eww*.
If loading the URL was successful the buffer *eww* is opened
and the web page is rendered in it. You can leave EWW by pressing
q or exit the browser by calling eww-quit. To reload the
web page hit g (
Pressing w when point is on a link will call
shr-maybe-probe-and-copy-url, which copies this link’s
URL to the kill ring. If point is not on a link, pressing
eww-copy-page-url, which will copy the current
page’s URL to the kill ring instead.
The M-RET command (
eww-open-in-new-buffer) opens the
URL at point in a new EWW buffer, akin to opening a link in a new
“tab” in other browsers. When
enabled, this buffer is displayed in the tab on the window tab line.
tab-bar-mode is enabled, a new tab is created on the frame
The R command (
eww-readable) will attempt to determine
which part of the document contains the “readable” text, and will
only display this part. This usually gets rid of menus and the like.
The F command (
eww-toggle-fonts) toggles whether to use
variable-pitch fonts or not. This sets the
The M-C command (
eww-toggle-colors) toggles whether to use
HTML-specified colors or not. This sets the
A URL can be downloaded with d (
will download the link under point if there is one, or else the URL of
the current page. The file will be written to the directory specified
eww-download-directory (default: ~/Downloads/).
EWW remembers the URLs you have visited to allow you to go back and
forth between them. By pressing l (
eww-back-url) you go
to the previous URL. You can go forward again with r
eww-forward-url). If you want an overview of your browsing
history press H (
eww-list-histories) to open the history
buffer *eww history*. The history is lost when EWW is quit.
If you want to remember websites you can use bookmarks.
Along with the URLs visited, EWW also remembers both the rendered
page (as it appears in the buffer) and its source. This can take a
considerable amount of memory, so EWW discards the history entries to
keep their number within a set limit, as specified by
eww-history-limit; the default being 50. This variable could
also be set to
nil to allow for the history list to grow
PDFs are viewed inline, by default, with
this can be customized by using the mailcap (see mailcap in Emacs MIME Manual)
mechanism, in particular
EWW allows you to bookmark URLs. Simply hit b
eww-add-bookmark) to store a bookmark for the current website.
You can view stored bookmarks with B
eww-list-bookmarks). This will open the bookmark buffer
To get summary of currently opened EWW buffers, press S
eww-list-buffers). The *eww buffers* buffer allows you
to quickly kill, flip through and switch to specific EWW buffer. To
switch EWW buffers through a minibuffer prompt, press s
Although EWW and shr.el do their best to render webpages in GNU
Emacs some websites use features which can not be properly represented
viewing a website with EWW then hit &
eww-browse-with-external-browser) inside the EWW buffer to
open the website in the external browser specified by
browse-url-secondary-browser-function. Some content types,
such as video or audio content, do not make sense to display in GNU
Emacs at all. You can tell EWW to open specific content automatically
in an external browser by customizing
You can view the source of a website with v
eww-view-source). This will open a new buffer
*eww-source* and insert the source. The buffer will be set to
html-mode if available.
Many HTML pages have images embedded in them, and EWW will
download most of these by default. When fetching images, cookies can
be sent and received, and these can be used to track users. To
control when to send cookies when retrieving these images, the
shr-cookie-policy variable can be used. The default value,
same-origin, means that EWW will only send cookies when
fetching images that originate from the same source as the
nil means “never send cookies when
retrieving these images” and
t means “always send cookies
when retrieving these images”.
The header line of the EWW buffer can be changed by customizing
eww-header-line-format. The format replaces
%t with the
title of the website and
%u with the URL.
The D command (
the paragraphs direction between left-to-right and right-to-left
text. This can be useful on web pages that display right-to-left test
(like Arabic and Hebrew), but where the web pages don’t explicitly
state the directionality.
Loading random images from the web can be problematic due to their
size or content. By customizing
can set the maximal image proportion in relation to the window they
are displayed in. E.g., 0.7 means an image is allowed to take up 70%
of the width and height. If Emacs supports image scaling (ImageMagick
support required) then larger images are scaled down. You can block
specific images completely by customizing
EWW (or rather its HTML renderer
shr) uses the colors declared
in the HTML page, but adjusts them if needed to keep a certain minimum
contrast. If that is still too low for you, you can customize the
shr-color-visible-luminance-min to get a better contrast.
The HTML attribute
aria-hidden is meant to tell screen
readers to ignore a tag’s contents. You can customize the variable
shr-discard-aria-hidden to tell
shr to ignore such tags.
This can be useful when using a screen reader on the output of
shr (e.g., on EWW buffer text). It can be useful even when not
using a screen reader, since web authors often put this attribute on
non-essential decorative elements.
In addition to maintaining the history at run-time, EWW will also save the partial state of its buffers (the URIs and the titles of the pages visited) in the desktop file if one is used. See Saving Emacs Sessions in The GNU Emacs Manual.
EWW history may sensibly contain multiple entries for the same page
URI. At run-time, these entries may still have different associated
point positions or the actual Web page contents.
The latter, however, tend to be overly large to preserve in the
desktop file, so they get omitted, thus rendering the respective
entries entirely equivalent. By default, such duplicate entries are
not saved. Setting
eww-desktop-remove-duplicates to nil will
force EWW to save them anyway.
Restoring EWW buffers’ contents may prove to take too long to
finish. When the
eww-restore-desktop variable is set to
nil (the default), EWW will not try to reload the last visited
Web page when the buffer is restored from the desktop file, thus
allowing for faster Emacs start-up times. When set to
restoring the buffers will also initiate the reloading of such pages.
The EWW buffer restored from the desktop file but not yet reloaded
will contain a prompt, as specified by the
eww-restore-reload-prompt variable. The value of this variable
will be passed through
substitute-command-keys upon each use,
thus allowing for the use of the usual substitutions, such as
\[eww-reload] for the current key binding of the
Appendix A History and Acknowledgments
EWW was originally written by Lars Ingebrigtsen, known for his work on
Gnus. He started writing an Emacs HTML rendering library,
shr.el, to read blogs in Gnus. He eventually added a web
browser front end and HTML form support. Which resulted in EWW, the
Emacs Web Wowser. EWW was announced on 16 June 2013:
EWW was then moved from the Gnus repository to GNU Emacs and several developers started contributing to it as well.
B GNU Free Documentation License
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ADDENDUM: How to use this License for your documents
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Copyright (C) year your name. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled ``GNU Free Documentation License''.
If you have Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts and Back-Cover Texts, replace the “with…Texts.” line with this:
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B C D F G H L M Q R S V W
B C D F G H L M Q R S V W
After eww has rendered the data in the buffer,
eww-after-render-hook is called. It can be used to alter the
contents, for instance.
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