24 Major and Minor Modes

A mode is a set of definitions that customize Emacs behavior in useful ways. There are two varieties of modes: minor modes, which provide features that users can turn on and off while editing; and major modes, which are used for editing or interacting with a particular kind of text. Each buffer has exactly one major mode at a time.

This chapter describes how to write both major and minor modes, how to indicate them in the mode line, and how they run hooks supplied by the user. For related topics such as keymaps and syntax tables, see Keymaps, and Syntax Tables.