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1.4 The Menu Bar

Each Emacs frame normally has a menu bar at the top which you can use to perform common operations. There's no need to list them here, as you can more easily see them yourself.

On a graphical display, you can use the mouse to choose a command from the menu bar. An arrow on the right edge of a menu item means it leads to a subsidiary menu, or submenu. A ‘...’ at the end of a menu item means that the command will prompt you for further input before it actually does anything.

Some of the commands in the menu bar have ordinary key bindings as well; if so, a key binding is shown in parentheses after the item itself. To view the full command name and documentation for a menu item, type C-h k, and then select the menu bar with the mouse in the usual way (see Key Help).

Instead of using the mouse, you can also invoke the first menu bar item by pressing <F10> (to run the command menu-bar-open). You can then navigate the menus with the arrow keys. To activate a selected menu item, press <RET>; to cancel menu navigation, press <ESC>.

On a text terminal, you can use the menu bar by typing M-` or <F10> (these run the command tmm-menubar). This lets you select a menu item with the keyboard. A provisional choice appears in the echo area. You can use the up and down arrow keys to move through the menu to different items, and then you can type <RET> to select the item. Each menu item is also designated by a letter or digit (usually the initial of some word in the item's name). This letter or digit is separated from the item name by ‘==>’. You can type the item's letter or digit to select the item.