After hearing great things about modal text editors, I decided to give Emacs a go (Windows version). Having no experience with this kind of application, I found it extremely difficult to do anything, and promptly closed the application.

However I'm not quite ready to give up. Can anyone suggest a really, really good basic tutorial for Emacs?

I know there are plenty around on the internet, but I'd really like to find a suite of tutorials — from the basics to more advanced stuff.
(Inspired by this question)

  • 4
    Emacs is a modeless text editor. – Richard Hoskins Nov 9 '09 at 7:39
  • 5
    Let me clarify, it is not modal in the VI sense that there are separate command and insert modes. Emacs has modes. e.g. lisp-mode. – Richard Hoskins Nov 9 '09 at 7:46

I would recommend the included tutorial. Type C-h t in the opening screen to open it.

It may look dry, but the benefit of using the included tutorial is that you actually get to use the emacs key bindings you're being asked to remeber inside the program that you see the tutorial in. Additionally it teaches you from the very basics.

If you don't have some programming to do right away, emacs might not seem all that useful. If this is the case, I'd recommend checking out org-mode in emacs as a fun flashy way to learn something about emacs and get used to another major mode. http://jaderholm.com/screencasts.html


There is an excellent tutorial in the included documentation.

Click on the "Emacs Tutorial" link in the start screen, or type "C-h t" (Control and "h", then "t".)

In general, the Emacs documentation is excellent, once you have learned the help system.


If you are really interested in a modal text editor, you might try Vim. Emacs is modeless.

For an Emacs tutorial, try Berkeley's quick reference guide.


You may find helpful also to follow @learnemacs on twitter.

Beside right-to-go tips you can find also some deep learning resources. Look into their archived posts you will find for example this suite of tutorials: Emacs editing environment.

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