I'm following this Lisp tutorial, which provides you with a Lisp interpreter and Emacs to make setting stuff up easier. However, I want to change the font, and everything Google has given me involves putting some cryptic lisp commands in a file, or pressing some key combination, or giving it a long font name, and they're all pretty complicated.

Is there any way to simply open a font selection dialog or something like that? Or maybe a simple command to use? Keep in mind I'm a beginner.

  • I think that's what you will find, with Emacs. It is extremely customizable, but the cost of that is a steep learning curve. Maybe changing fonts will have to wait until you are more comfortable with Lisp. Aug 7, 2009 at 0:49
  • I understand, but it's just one little thing. It can't be too complicated; it's just that I haven't found a clear explanation. Plus, "it has a steep learning curve but it customizable" is not an excuse for making software difficult to use.
    – Javier
    Aug 7, 2009 at 1:34
  • What version of Emacs are you using? Aug 7, 2009 at 4:15
  • 21.3.1. It's kind of old, but it's the one that came with all the lispy stuff the tutorial said would come in handy. Until I get more comfortable with Lisp, I'll keep using what the tutorial maker used.
    – Javier
    Aug 7, 2009 at 23:21
  • @reyjavikvi That's probably a good idea. Just keep in mind that Emacs 23 has changed the way fonts are handled. For example, the long font names are no longer required. And, I'm sure after you have finished Seibel's book, you will no longer think that adding a pair to an association list is cryptic or complicated. Good luck to you. Aug 8, 2009 at 3:45

2 Answers 2


Shift-LeftClick in a buffer and you'll get a font dialog. Select

Change Buffer Font...

This will only last until emacs is shut-down though.

Under the Options in the menubar you have Set Default Font... Dont forget to select Save Options after. (it's right below Set Default Font)

And as an aside. EmacsW32 is the emacs I recommend for windows


If you are using Emacs 23 put this in your init.el:

(setq default-frame-alist 
     (add-to-list 'default-frame-alist '(font . "Envy Code R-18")))

Substituting "Comic sans" or whatever for "Envy Code R-18".

There is also "M-x customize", which puts you into a menu based customization mode. Some people find that easier than fuzting with lisp; I don't.

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